CIA failed to identify the storage bunkers for Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuban missile crisis





The CIA failed to identify the storage bunkers for Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba during the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, despite obtaining numerous photographs of the sites, according to new materials -- including a selection of photos -- being published on the Web today by the National Security Archive.

The precise location of the Soviet nuclear storage bunkers at Bejucal and Managua is revealed for the first time in a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs based on interviews with Soviet veterans and raw U.S. intelligence film obtained from the National Archives. Declassified CIA documents show that U.S. intelligence analysts at the time concluded that the sites could not be used for the storage of nuclear weapons because of the lack of visible security measures such as guard posts and extra fencing.

This is the third of five postings looking at the new material in One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War, which draws on the National Security Archive's long-standing documentary work on the Cuban missile crisis. As part of this posting, Dobbs also tracks the dispersal of nuclear warheads from the Bejucal bunker to other sites in Cuba on the night of October 26-27, 1962, at the height of the crisis.

In coming weeks, the National Security Archive will publish more of the key primary sources behind One Minute to Midnight, including documents and other evidence on the "Eyeball to Eyeball" confrontation between U.S. and Soviet ships that never happened.



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