Air University Review, November-December 1983

Cuba and United States Strategy

Dr. P. Edward Haley

A nation’s vital interest, as Charles Burton Marshall once observed, is what it will fight to protect or achieve. The United States has a vital interest in the maintenance of a favorable political and military environment in Central America and the Caribbean, but it has lost military and political initiative in the region. A hostile revolutionary government in Nicaragua and civil war in El Salvador, together with the growing military power of Cuba, threaten to transform the political and military circumstances in the region to the detriment of the United States.

In its efforts to overcome these adverse developments, the Reagan administration has concentrated on vigorous programs of economic assistance, propaganda, covert support of military intervention, and military aid and training. These measures have provoked an intense debate over the wisdom and morality of the course the administration has chosen. To the responsible critics—such as Senator Christopher Dodd and Wayne Smith, former chief of U.S. interests in Havana—this course reveals fundamental errors of understanding and judgment. They insist that the disturbances in Central America are local in origin and do not threaten U.S. security. Also, if a genuine threat to U.S. security developed— such as direct Soviet intervention—Dodd and Smith allege that the United States has the military power to deal with it.1

Supporters of the administration’s policy reply that U.S. security is endangered not because of local grievances but as a result of Cuban and Soviet intervention. The National Security Planning Group observed:

Strategically, [the United States . . . has] a vital interest in not allowing the proliferation of Cuba-model states which would provide platforms for subversion, compromise vital sea lanes and pose a direct military threat at or near our borders. This would undercut us globally and create economic dislocation and a resultant influx to the U.S. of illegal immigrants.2

However, for different reasons, neither the critics nor the supporters of U.S. policy have examined the military dimension of the issue about which they so fervently disagree. Critics avoid it because they oppose anything having to do with the use of force in Central America, even the careful discussion of it. Ironically, their arguments depend on an invalid military premise: that the United States possesses overwhelming military superiority in Central America and the Caribbean and could crush Cuba and any combination of anti-U.S. revolutionary governments there if it chose to. Supporters of the administration are silent about the military questions, either because they, too, are unaware of the actual military weakness of the United States in the region or because they wish to avoid embarrassing admissions.

As a result, the public debate about U.S. policy in Central America is incomplete and misleading. It is based on the false premise that the United States has a military trump card to play. Such a trump may exist if Castro is foolish enough to take an extremely provocative action— such as basing Cuban warplanes in Nicaragua— or if relations deteriorate severely between the United States and the U.S.S.R. Neither appears likely. More important, such extreme contingencies provide an unsuitable basis on which to plan U.S. foreign policy. Because neither the critics nor the supporters of this policy are prepared to acknowledge the military realities in the Caribbean, they are unable to recognize the advantages and disadvantages of the United States as it attempts to transform the situation there.

The unavoidable military reality is that the United States is without adequate military support for its foreign policy objectives in Central America. In practical terms, this means the United States is unable to take more drastic measures in opposition to pro-Castro forces in Central America other than those developed by the Reagan administration. In this sense, the nonnuclear strategic military weakness of the United States has predetermined U.S. policy.

A Comparison of Caribbean Powers

Cuba is free to support revolution and subversion in Central America because Cuban leaders know that the United States is unable to force them to stop. The inability of the United States to coerce Cuba may be demonstrated in two ways: by comparing the military forces available to each country in the event of a showdown and by comparing U.S. forces presently available to those that participated in two other amphibious campaigns; these campaigns were the seizure of Okinawa during World War II, a military campaign that would be roughly comparable to an invasion of Cuba, and the British recovery of the Falkland Islands in April-May 1982.

The U.S. military is constituted for the nuclear defense of the United States and for the conventional and nuclear defense of Western Europe. There are other vital U.S. security interests. In the western Pacific, the United States has deployed the Seventh Fleet and two divisions to defend Japan and Korea. A carrier task force operates in the Indian Ocean, and there are token forces in the Panama Canal Zone and the Caribbean area. However, unlike the strategic nuclear forces and the units in Western Europe, these other deployments are valuable primarily as symbols of U.S. commitment and as a frame to be filled out by mobilization rather than for their immediate combat power, which is not on a scale comparable to that of the enemy forces nearby.

In a confrontation with Cuba, the United States would possess total nuclear superiority. However, one assumes that nuclear weapons would not be used against Cuba unless a threat of nuclear attack arose from the island, as it did in 1962. Therefore, the force available for use against Cuba would have to be drawn from the nonnuclear units not earmarked for deployment elsewhere. As the following tables indicate, very few U.S. military units are available for use against Cuba without significantly reducing forces already committed to other theaters.

The shortfall in U.S. land and naval power revealed in Tables I and II is even greater than it appears. Two army divisions, for example, are not completely manned by active duty personnel. Moreover, it would never be possible to deploy 100 percent of the active ships and submarines in any of their assigned areas. At best only some fraction of the ships would be on station. (See Table II.) The others would either be in transit or in port because of equipment and weapon shortages, training, crew leave, and maintenance. During one of its perennial struggles with the Congress for operating funds, the Pentagon revealed how severe these reductions can be. In June 1983, a Defense Department spokesman stated that the United States was able to arm fully only 5 of its 13 operational carriers at one time.3 This observation underlines the inability of the United States to use its existing naval power against Cuba. Any diversion of carriers and surface combatants from their regular assignments to blockade or combat duty in the Caribbean would reduce the other fleets to token forces unable to carry out their missions.

Table I. Planned and present deployment of U.S. Army divisions


Table II.  Deployment of U.S. Navy major combatants


As Table III reveals, the United States has no tactical fighter squadrons available for use against Cuba without reducing its capabilities to intervene in the other vital theaters—Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—to which the nation is committed. This is critical to the formulation and execution of U.S. policy in Central America and the Caribbean because of the vital importance of control of the air to effective naval and amphibious action in the region.


Table III. Strength and deployment of U.S. tactical air force divisions


As was true with naval strength, the table exaggerates U.S. tactical air power, since only a portion of the airplanes listed would be ready for combat flight. If one generously assumes that 50 percent of all tactical aircraft are ready for combat, Cuba has an operational force of 109 aircraft available for combat in a confrontation with the United States. The United States has none. Clearly, the table reveals the same unfortunate picture as the others. Without a serious reduction in the ability of the United States to honor its commitments in Europe, the western Pacific and the Middle East, the United States lacks the air power to engage Cuba militarily.

The U.S. Marine Corps has a strength of 192,000. It is constituted in three divisions, each with its own air wing, a total of 441 combat aircraft in 26 fighter and ground attack squadrons. Plans for the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force call for an independent Marine amphibious brigade, but this unit apparently has not yet been established. (See Table IV)


Table IV. Strength and deployment of U.S. Marines


The unavoidable conclusion is that out of this impressive force of army, navy, arid air forces, the United States has at best one Marine division with its air wing available for service in the Caribbean without disrupting the assignment of other units to other theaters. In a word, Cuba has the military initiative in the region. Cuban not U.S. foreign policy is adequately supported by military power.

The following survey of Cuban military power shows that Castro has acquired potent self-defense and interventionary capabilities. The effectiveness of this Cuban military power is enhanced by the inadequacies of conventional U.S. military forces opposed to it. The Cuban army, reserves, and paramilitary forces have expanded dramatically in the past six years and now greatly outnumber the active force the United States has to send against them. (See Table V.) During the same period, the U.S.S.R. has significantly increased both the size and quality of the Cuban air force, which now disposes of some 190 advanced fighter aircraft, MiG-21 and MiG-23. (See Tables VI and VII.)


Table V. Recent developments in Cuban military manpower



Table VI. Strength of the Cuban Air Force (by aircraft type and squadron)




The Cuban navy is a coastal defense force. However, the range of its missile boats and the narrow waters around Cuba make it formidable to an opponent who has not established air superiority. The missile boats are the Osa-I and II and Komar class, with a range of 800 nautical miles at 25 knots and 400 nautical miles at 30 knots respectively. They are armed with the Styx missile, which has a range of 18 miles and carries a 1100-pound conventional warhead.

Cuba, Okinawa, and the Falklands

A comparison of present U.S. forces to those employed in the invasion of Okinawa underlines the inability of the United States to coerce Cuba. The island of Okinawa, one of the Ryukyu chain, runs north to south and is some 60 miles long and from 2 to 18 miles wide; total area, 485 square miles; its population in 1940 was 435,000. Cuba has an area of 44,218 square miles and a population of 9,827,000.

For the invasion of Okinawa, the United States amassed an impressive force. Altogether, 184,000 troops were assigned to the operation, code-named Iceberg. Supported by Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher’s Fast Carrier Task Force (FCTF), five divisions or 116,000 men were committed to the initial landings, which began on 1 April 1945. The Fast Carrier Task Force included 9 carriers, 5 fast battleships, 8 escort carriers, 4 heavy cruisers, 7 light cruisers, 3 antiaircraft cruisers, and 58 destroyers. In addition to the FCTF, another 1300 American ships followed the invading American troops, including 10 battleships, 9 cruisers, 23 destroyers, and 177 gunboats. In all they fired 44,825 shells of 5 inches or more, 33,000 rockets, and 22,500 mortar shells. All the landing area for 1000 yards inland was blanketed with enough 5-inch shells, 4.5-inch rockets, and 4.2-inch mortars to average 25 rounds in each 100-yard square. Simultaneously, aircraft from American carriers attacked Japanese positions. They were aided by a British carrier force, whose planes flew 345 sorties to destroy enemy aircraft on nearby islands. To supply the invasion force required a sealift of approximately 745,000 measurement tons. Japanese forces defending Okinawa numbered approximately 77,200. Less than 10 percent survived the battles. American casualties were also heavy: 12,300 dead. Aircraft and shipping losses were severe on both sides.4

In contrast to the American armada deployed against Okinawa, the active U.S. forces available for conventional military operations against Cuba are minuscule. Without disrupting American commitments to other theaters, they include 1 Marine division and its fighter wing, several carriers, and a handful of surface combatants. It is beyond the capability of this brave but slender force to establish control of the air around Cuba. Without adequate air cover, U.S. naval Commanders would be reluctant to bring their carriers and large surface combatants into the waters around Cuba. For the same reason the Gulf of Mexico would be closed to U.S. capital ships if hostilities between Cuba and the United States were imminent. It follows, then, that a naval blockade of Cuba could not now be established. A blockade that depended on mines for complete coverage would also fail because of Cuban air, missile boat, and minesweeping capabilities. (See Tables VII and VIII.) The United States committed 180 ships to blockade a far weaker Cuba in 1962. This was less than one-fourth (21.5 percent) of the active U.S. fleet of 835 ships. Twenty years later, the commitment of 180 ships would represent nearly 45 percent of the entire fleet.5


Table VII. Strength of the Cuban Air Force (by aircraft type)


Table VIII. Strength of the Cuban Navy


In contrast to the American operation against Okinawa in 1945, the forces assembled by the British government to recover the Falkland Islands were much smaller. Even so, they provide a standard of successful amphibious warfare and would probably surpass the American forces that could be committed against Cuba without borrowing heavily from other commands. For the Falklands campaign, the British assembled a task force of 28,000 men and 100 ships. They were opposed by some 12,000 Argentine troops in the garrison on East Falklands and by the Argentine air force and navy operating from the mainland.

Among the 44 warships in the British task force were 2 carriers, 6 submarines, 2 missile destroyers, 6 destroyers, 15 frigates, and 5 mine-sweepers. Altogether, 42 Sea Harrier vertical/ short takeoff aircraft were committed to combat. British losses were 255 dead and 777 wounded. The task force lost 12 ships and 28 aircraft (7 planes and 21 helicopters).

Two of the most important advantages gained by Britain during the fighting were control of the air—by British count 117 Argentine warplanes were destroyed—and control of the sea. After their initial heavy losses, and fearing attack by the nuclear submarines of the British task force, the Argentine navy would not venture beyond the 12-mile coastal safe limit allowed by British commanders and, therefore, was unable to hinder the operation against the Falklands in any significant way. Perhaps the most striking comparison relevant to U.S. strategy in the Caribbean is that in an operation against forces that are much smaller, less potent, and less well trained than those of Cuba, the British deployed a task force whose warships numbered one-fifth the entire surface combat fleet of the U.S. Navy. Plainly, the lesson of the Falklands is that the United States can find the power to coerce Cuba only by wrecking the structure of its military commitments to other vital theaters.6

Alternative Policies toward Cuba

United States foreign policy toward Cuba and the nations of Central America must now be made on a basis of U.S. military weakness. But most critics of the Reagan administration will not address this military reality. Rather, they appear to share the view that nothing short of the establishment of a Soviet military base in the region is harmful to U.S. vital interests or would justify U.S. countermeasures. Senator Christopher J. Dodd took this position in his reply to President Reagan’s address to a joint session of Congress on 27 April 1983. Charles William Maynes, editor of Foreign Policy, expressed this view succinctly in a widely publicized article: "In the final analysis," Maynes argued, "there is only one step these countries could take that would affect the national security of the United States: They could offer military facilities to the Soviet Union."7

This might be termed the minimalist definition of U.S. vital interests. It is attractive to critics of administration policy because it seems to postpone indefinitely the day of a showdown. After all, what Latin American revolutionaries would be foolish enough to offer military facilities to the U.S.S.R.? Can we so easily have forgotten Castro’s offer and its acceptance by the Soviet Union?

Contrary to the view of the minimalists, the United States must continue to be intimately involved in the defense of endangered countries in Central America precisely because revolutionary disturbances may bring to power radicals who would offer military facilities to the Soviet Union. It is a matter of political common sense. No prudent government throws away military and political allies. To do so would be strategic folly. In addition, it would demoralize all potential U.S. allies, making military showdown with the Soviet Union even more likely than it is at present.

There are other serious problems with the minimalist argument. Apparently, there is nothing to admire about U.S. policy in Central America. To Maynes, there is no difference between U.S. policy in Central America and Soviet policy in Central Europe. "The United States should recognize," Maynes wrote, "that it cannot oppose the Brezhnev Doctrine in Eastern Europe while proclaiming a Reagan Doctrine in Central America." The argument is false. The constant effort of the Carter and Reagan administrations has been to bring about democratic reform in Central America. Admittedly, both administrations were unwilling to overthrow the existing friendly governments in order to achieve rapid peaceful change. But this is prudence rather than a compromise of principle. In any case, the U.S. search for democratic reform, a lessening of repression and violence, and free elections have nothing in common with Soviet policy in Poland, which has been to do exactly the opposite.

The remedy offered by these critics is as flawed as their analysis. They say, if the Soviet Union should attempt to establish a base in Central America, the United States should then ruthlessly wipe it out. Moscow and the nations of Central America and the Caribbean should be told, as Maynes put it, that any establishment of Soviet military bases in Central America "will trigger an immediate U.S. invasion to wipe out the facility." The statement has a certain appearance of toughness to it. But it must not be taken at face value for at least two reasons. First, as this analysis has shown, the United States has no immediate conventional military options in the Caribbean and Central America. It would acquire them over a period of years, but few of the critics speak in favor of the large-scale conventional buildup that would be needed to get them. In these circumstances, to speak of unilateral American intervention to destroy Soviet bases is to indulge in fantasy.

Second, a Soviet base already exists in the Caribbean, but neither Maynes nor Dodd nor any of the other critics of this school advocate its elimination by military attack. Why should one believe that if another Soviet base were to be established in Central America they would favor its destruction by prompt American military action? Rather than advocating such firm steps, they would be the foremost spokesmen for the peaceful acceptance of the new status quo. Arguments would be found to prove that the base was small or concerned only with strengthening the internal position of the newly installed revolutionary regime. The Soviet action would be shown to be the result of a new power struggle within the Kremlin, a conflict that would be wrongly influenced if the United States took decisive military action in Central America. Interdependence would be cited as proof of the irrelevance of such military outposts. Then, the War Powers Resolution would be recalled, and the strategic defense of U.S. vital interests would be transformed into a constitutional question.

If one rejects such criticisms—and rejection is appropriate—one does not readily find more satisfactory proposals among those basically friendly to the policy of the Reagan administration. Perhaps the most elaborate constructive criticism of administration policy was presented in a monograph prepared in September 1982 for the U.S. Department of State and Air Force.8 It is a serious, conscientious work whose shortcomings stem less from errors of its author, Edward Gonzalez, than from the limitations imposed on him by his government sponsors. Clearly, he was instructed to confine his advice to measures that could be implemented within the present political and material limits on U.S. policy. Gonzalez was not allowed to suggest, for example, a significant increase in U.S. conventional military capabilities, although he warned that significant military action against Cuba would surpass the present military capabilities of the United States. Given these limitations, it is not surprising that Gonzalez recommended little more than incremental increases in present policy: better surveillance of arms shipments, better propaganda, and intensified economic and diplomatic pressure on Castro.9 Until such steps are backed by adequate U.S. conventional power deployed in the Caribbean, Cuba will ignore them. The visit of Cuban General Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez, organizer of Castro’s African interventions, to Nicaragua in June 1983 suggested that the Cuban government was planning to increase its aid to the Sandinista regime in disregard of the Reagan administration’s opposition.

In addition, Gonzalez has made a critically important error. The goal of U.S. policy, he argued, should be to "Finlandize" Cuba. By his definition, this would mean: "The integrity of the smaller country’s political institutions and economic system, and its international autonomy, are observed by the neighboring superpower on the condition that the smaller state respect the superpower’s security interests.10 This is a misleading analogy for at least three reasons. Most important, the U.S.S.R. has gone to war against Finland twice and has annexed part of its territory in order to oblige the smaller country to "respect the superpower’s security interests." Although the United States has used force against Cuba, notably during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, it now lacks the military capability to attack Cuba without mobilization. This is not true of the Soviet Union and Finland. Moreover, the Soviet Union has repeatedly used massive force against the nations of Eastern Europe since 1956 and, in Poland, has continued to threaten invasion.

The Soviet capability to invade Finland is all too credible. To the east of the Finnish-Soviet frontier lie Murmansk and the Kola Peninsula, where the U.S.S.R. maintains one of the largest concentrations of conventional air and sea power in the world. John Erickson has described the Soviet Northern Theater of Operations as:

…one of the strongest—possibly the strongest— complex of bases in the world. . . housing strategic forces capable of and committed to operating far beyond the Soviet periphery plus tactical forces deployed to protect these bases and embodying the capability of seizing and holding any appreciable territorial buffer zone. . . It is this search for security, avowedly defensive in origin, which has led and will continue to lead to overweening presence, impressive tactical readiness and pressure inevitably inducing instability.11

Second, Finland has a large Communist party and for the sake of its own internal unity must accommodate all but the most extreme demands from the Soviet Union. As part of the armistice agreement with the U.S.S.R. in 1944, Finland was obliged to legalize the Finnish Communist Party (SKP). Previously the party had operated directly from Moscow. Since the end of World War II, the SKP has been one of the country’s four major parties and has repeatedly joined in coalition governments of Finland. Although Finland is a relatively small country, the SKP ranks with the major Communist parties of Europe, usually polling from 16 to 23 percent of the vote. In 1979 its electoral front, the Finnish Peoples Democratic League (SKDL) won 17.9 percent of the vote and membership in the government. The party’s share of the vote fell in local elections in 1980. Even so, the SKDL/SKP put three ministers in the new government formed after Mauno Koivisto succeeded Urho Kekkonen as President in January 1982. The foreign policy objective of the SKP in the presidential elections was "to ensure the maintenance and strengthening of ties with the USSR" and to place "top priority on reassuring Moscow that Finnish authorities would adopt no policies constituting a threat to Soviet security."12

Not only is there no pro-American equivalent of the Finnish Communist Party in Cuba but the United States has allowed Castro to deport to its shores by the hundreds of thousands the very people who might have forced him to accommodate his policies to the interests of the United States. Finally, by its continuing communization of Eastern Europe, the U.S.S.R. has demonstrated to Finland that the alternative to acquiescence to the demands of Soviet security is most unattractive. This condition has no counterpart in the Cuba-U.S. relationship.

Although they are not spoken as criticism, the arguments of Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick in favor of supporting rightist authoritarian regimes also require attention in a survey of viewpoints supportive of the Reagan administration’s policies in Central America. In simplest terms Ambassador Kirkpatrick’s analysis holds that no sensible nation undermines friendly governments in a vital security zone. She embellishes the argument by observing that rightest authoritarian regimes are not in principle morally inferior to leftist totalitarian ones. But this does not detract from her appeal to political prudence.13

Granted, it is imprudent to ignore the dangers of one’s friends. Let us even assume, for the sake of argument, that the policy informed by the Kirkpatrick view of revolution in Central America is capable of producing a successful defense of vital U.S. interests. One still encounteres two serious problems. First, the policy inspired by this analysis may be an international success and a domestic failure. The injustice of the existing regimes may be so great and reform of them may be so protracted and uncertain that domestic support for the administration’s policy disappears in partisan wrangling and indecision. While the ugliness of the authoritarian right in Central America is all too tangible, the sins of the totalitarian left remain hypothetical as long as such movements fail to win power. Unable to discern the similarity, the American democracy may choose the lesser apparent evil.

It is, of course, far from clear that the Kirkpatrick view of the revolutionary process will always lead to successful international results. And if it does not, what recourse will the administration have? The metaphor employed throughout the debate on Central America has been that of climbing a staircase—a slow, steady rise in American involvement similar to that followed in Vietnam. A more apt metaphor would be falling off a cliff. If the present policy of military aid, economic development, and diplomacy and propaganda fails, the administration will suffer a nasty spill.

A different policy is needed. It must be one that is based on adequate military support. It must also be a policy that can win the support of the three-quarters of the electorate within the United States who have a grasp of the role of force in international politics. The international test of such a policy would be the return of a political and military environment in Central America favorable to the United States. The domestic political test of such a policy would be its ability to win the backing of those who oppose meddling in the internal affairs of the Latin and Central American republics and who are also alarmed about the dangers of Soviet and Cuban adventurism. Without a strong bipartisan basis, any policy of opposition to Havana and Moscow will fail. Under present political constraints, the United States will be denied more or less indefinitely the ability to intervene directly in revolutionary conflicts in Central America.

This restraint notwithstanding, the problem remains: How to base American foreign policy in Central America and the Caribbean on adequate military power? The solution would be to separate the internal politics from the foreign policies of the governments of Central America. In other words, American policymakers would base their decisions on the external actions rather than the internal ideology of these regimes. This approach has been recommended by observers with views as diverse as Maynes and Gonzalez. However, they have not advocated the additional measures without which such a distinction remains rhetorical. That step is for the United States to acquire the conventional military capabilities—primarily increased air and naval power— necessary to prevent governments in the region from refusing to respect U.S. security interests. At the same time, the United States must maintain its programs of reform and economic and military assistance in order not to squander military and political assets. In some cases these efforts will aid in the appearance of viable, morally attractive regimes. In others they will fail, and hostile, anti-American regimes will come to power.

The problem for the United States is to develop an internationally effective recourse when the failures come, as some surely will. This is not to suggest that U.S. foreign policy problems in Central America and elsewhere in the Third World can be solved by military means alone. Any satisfactory resolution of the problems facing the United States in these areas will require all the resources of diplomacy and economic development that the U.S. commands. But neither will these problems be solved by a foreign policy that is inadequately supported by military power. In this sense, it is possible to identify a rough test of the adequacy of U.S. conventional strength in Central America and the Caribbean. U.S. policy will be adequately supported when the United States is able to impose an air and sea blockade on Cuba without disrupting its commitments to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

With such military strength behind its foreign policy, the protection of vital U.S. interests becomes feasible and not, as it is in the critics’ world, hypothetical. Without this margin of conventional military power, the United States will remain unable to defend its vital interests in Central America and the Caribbean.

The Keck Center for International Strategic Studies Claremont
McKenna College, Claremont, California


1. Major criticisms of the administration’s Central American policies may be found in Senator Christopher Dodd’s televised speech, text in New York Times, April 28, 1983; Wayne S. Smith, "Dateline Havana: Myopic Diplomacy," Foreign Policy, Fall 1982; William LeoGrande, "Cuba Policy Recycled," Foreign Policy, Spring 1982; Tom Wicker, New York Times, April 29, 1983; William Pfaff, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1983.

2. The administration’s policy was set forth in National Security Document 17 of 1981 and in "United States Policy in Central America and Cuba through FY 1984," prepared by the National Security Planning Group, an entity established by the President in 1981. Its members are the Vice President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the National Security Council, and the three top presidential aides— Edwin W. Meese 3d, Michael K. Deaver, and James A. Baker 3d. The text of the National Security Planning Group’s document is in New York Times, April 7, 1983. The text of President Reagan’s address on Central America to a joint session of Congress is in New York Times, April 28, 1983. See also the responses to LeoGrande’s Foreign Policy article by Myles R. R. Frechette, Office of Cuban Affairs, Department of State; and Edward Gonzalez, University of California, Los Angeles, in Foreign Policy, Fall 1982.

3. Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1983.

4. See Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, John Stevens, United States Army in World War II. The War in the Pacific, volume 2, part H. Okinawa: The Last Battle (Washington: Historical Division, Department of the Army, 1948), chs. 1-3, 17-18, appendixes, and tables.

5. The figure for U.S. ships in the blockade of Cuba is from Elie Abel, The Missile Crisis (New York: Bantam, 1966), p. 98. For fleet strengths in 1962 and 1982, see Military Balance, 1962-1 963; 1982-1 983 (London: International Institute for strategic Studies).

6. For information on the Falklands campaign, see the article by the former British Defence Minister John Nott in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings/Naval Review 1983, May 1983, pp. 118-39.

7. Los Angeles Times, June 12, 1983.

8. Edward Gonzalez, "A Strategy for Dealing with Cuba in the 1980s," R2954-DOS/AF (Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation, September, 1982).

9. Ibid., pp. 97-130.

10. Ibid., p. 101.

11. John Erickson, "The Northern Theater: Soviet Capabilities and Concepts," Strategic Review, Summer 1976, p. 68.

12. Finis Herbert Capps, "Finland," in Richard F. Staar, editor, Yearbook on International Communist Affairs, 1982: Parties and Revolutionary Movements (Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press, 1982), p. 273; see also Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, April 2, 1982, p. 31410.

13. Jeane Kirkpatrick, "Dictatorships and Double Standards," Commentary, November 1979.


P. Edward Haley (A.B., A.M., Stanford University; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) is Director of the Keck Center for International Strategic Studies and Professor of Political Science at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California. He has served on the staffs of members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. His most recent books are Congress and the Fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia (1982) and Qaddafi and the United States since 1969 (forthcoming).


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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