By Juan Armando Montes, Col. USA (Ret)

Let's not forget and remember what our Government did during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, President John F. Kennedy did the right thing. As President and Commander in Chief of the United States he informed our Allied Nations and the US. Congress with classified highly intelligence photos obtained by flights performed by

U-2 Aircrafts piloted by USAF and CIA pilots that obtained clear and immediate danger evidence showing the presence of offensive Soviet Missiles and Soviet Bombers in Cuban soil aiming at the heart of the United States. Based on the "threat assessment" as result of the Essential Elements of Intelligence (EEI) and Other Intelligence Requirements (OIR) without Congressional approval and only vested in his Presidential Authority preemptively and unilaterally established a Joint "Naval-Air Quarantine" around the island of Cuba. "An act of war".

The assumptions made by the US. Government before the "Nuclear Missile Crisis" was logical, realistic and essential. As combat plans are developed and before combat operations are projected further into the future, fewer facts are available and the strategic joint staff planner must depend on more assumptions. An "assumption" is a supposition on the current situation, true in the absence of positive proof, necessary to enable the Commander in Chief make a decision in his course of action. President George W. Bush and the National Command Authority made a public decision to attack Iraq based on the privy Joint Intelligence Estimate for Planning containing highly classified estimative intelligence for the short-and mid-range term, in addition to the Joint Strategic Planning Document outline the view of the Joint Chief of Staff concerning the role of the US military power in the long-range period and finally the Joint Long-Range Strategic Appraisal.

Based on the above, President George W. Bush, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense under the advice of the Joint Strategic Planning Document and available timely intelligence agreed on the course of action against Iraq to follow a political-military strategy of preemptive offensive joint-combined combat operations and military force structure to be determined in order to attain the national security objective of the United States.

The precedent existed since October 1962 when late President JFK, preemptively launched to combat the US Navy's Second Fleet from the Atlantic Command in Norfolk, VA, with two Naval Task Forces and Carrier Groups, US. Marines on units from Camp Le Jeune, SC, to surround and when ordered invade Cuba. The United States Air Force to provide reconnaissance, establish air supremacy and attack tactical targets in Cuba and cover adjacent waters to include protecting the sea lines of communications in the Caribbean Sea with Combat Air Patrols and B-52s to hit strategic targets. The US Army XVIII Airborne Corps with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions as Division Ready Force to move on short notice by air, jump in designated Drop Zones in Cuba, and fight on arrival. The US Army Special Forces would jump in advance of the main attack, other Army units were prepared to disembark such as the 2nd Armored Division and Mechanized Infantry Divisions. In total five divisions would participate in the combat operations in Cuba.

War is hell. However, when all diplomatic efforts fail, war is the only solution left to civilized nations to deal with ruthless tyrants and international terrorists who possess weapons of mass destruction such as chemical, biological and nuclear threatening international world peace and the lives of millions of people. Terrorist leaders such as Khadafi, Osama Bin Laden, Hussein and Castro, just to mention a few are a threat to peace and world stability. They most be dealt timely, preemptively and swiftly before they attack us. Terminate these murderers with extreme prejudice and without hesitation as ordered by our leaders…..

For freedom and democracy, and in the best national interest, the security and safety of our people. Let's not forget, we can no longer accept another terrorist attack like 9.11.01. It is unacceptable to wait for an impending attack, when all assumptions and available intelligence point out to the clear and imminent danger that faces the United States. We must act now and support the President's decision one hundred per cent to defend and protect our nation. The decision when to attack "D" Day and "H" Hour and the where is left to the President. If that difficult decision is to attack Iraq, God willing, so be it.


Juan Armando Montes, is a Retired US Army Colonel, Special Forces, Ranger.
Served with the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, 5th and 8th Special Forces. Graduate of the US. Armed Forces Staff College & US Army Command & General Staff College. Holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Villanova Univ. Commissioner of Human Relations of Florida.

September 9, 2002
The Miami Herald
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