President Kennedy Assembles EXCOMM Upon Viewing Photographs of Soviet Missiles in Cuba
Kennedy saw the photographs on October 16; he assembled the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM), fourteen key officials and his brother Robert, at 9.00 a.m. The U.S. had no plan for dealing with such a threat, because U.S. intelligence was convinced that the Soviets would not install nuclear missiles in Cuba. The EXCOMM quickly discussed five courses of action:
1. Do nothing.
2. Use diplomatic pressure to get the
Soviet Union to remove the missiles.
3. An air attack on the missiles.
4. A full military invasion.
5. The naval blockade of Cuba,
which was defined as a more
They, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can't, after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don't take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Berlin.”— John F. Kennedy