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Operation Mongoose Training
Arming - Supplying
(White House copy)
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
WASHINGTON 25, D.C.
12 March 1962
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SPECIAL GROUP (AUGMENTED)
From: Brig. Gen. Lansdale
Subject: Policy Questions, Operation Mongoose
As Operation Mongoose goes into the approved activities of Phase I, a number of policy questions have started to arise. Current problems, needing resolution, are listed below. It is requested that the Special Group (Augmented) provide guidance, as a matter of some urgency.
1. Use of U.S. military installations. CIA desires to train small groups of Cuban nationals on the U.S. Air Force Bombing Range, Avon Park, Florida, immediately. Defense reports that the proposed are is adequate for this training, but that such training of covert agents who will be introduced ultimately into Cuba represents a security problem and a departure from past security procedures, due to the fact that U.S. Government sponsorship will be apparent to trainees. Capture and interrogation of any of these covert agents could result in exposure (in international news media) of U.S. official involvement in efforts to unseat the present Communist Cuban regime. A policy determination is needed as the whether or not agents to be infiltrated into Cuba should be trained on U.S. Government installations.
There are other U.S. military installations and properties, in the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean areas, which CIA would like to use for similar training and operational purposes in the future. The same policy determination could cover all uses of identifiable U.S. Government properties for training and deployment of Cuban nationals for covert infiltration into Cuba.
2. Arming of Cuban guerrillas. CIA needs a policy determination on supplying of arms and equipment to deserving Cuban guerrillas, as they are located, assessed, and request help. Such requests are starting to surface, as the intelligence-collection effort is increased, and it is logical that the number of requests will increase as the operation proceeds. There is a need for clearly defining the limits of arming guerrillas (for self-defense, for training, for purposes short of open actions in revolt), to permit operational judgment to be used by designated operations officers, in Phase I.
3. Use of U.S. military personnel and equipment. CIA has requested Defense assistance in air and sea capabilities, including supplying equipment and.....[portion deleted]....Included in these requests are 2 LSD's (or similar ships) to lie off the coast in support of CIA maritime operations,.....[portion deleted].....(This is in addition to CIA requests for 6 PT type boats, 3 Helio aircraft, 2 82-foot Coast Guard cutters, and arms, communications equipment, etc.). Again, where U.S. military personnel and equipment are involved in Phase I, there is need for a policy determination which will permit operational judgment to be used by designated operations officers, as well as a need for rules of engagement.
2.–The Attorney General
3.–Secretary Rush/Deputy Under Secretary Johnson
4.–Secretary McNamara/Deputy Secretary Gilpatric
5.–General Lemnitzer (through General Craig)
6.–Mr. McCone (through Mr. Helms/Mr. Harvey)
7.–Chief of Operations
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