The Miami Herald
Wednesday, June 10, 1998

             '61 report: Castro ouster would require U.S. military
             Marine officer wrote after Bay of Pigs

             By DON BOHNING
             Herald Staff Writer

             Three weeks after the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the chief of the
             operation's paramilitary staff concluded that direct U.S. military action was the only
             way Fidel Castro would be ousted, according to newly declassified Central
             Intelligence Agency documents.

             ``A Communist-style police state is now firmly entrenched in Cuba, which will not be
             overthrown by means short of overt application of elements of United States military
             power,'' Marine Col. Jack Hawkins wrote in a secret after-action report.

             ``Further efforts to develop armed internal resistance, or to organize Cuban exile
             forces, should not be made except in connection with a planned overt intervention by
             United States forces,'' Hawkins warned in his 48-page post-mortem.

             The Kennedy administration took no heed, however, and within less than a year was
             engaged in Operation Mongoose, another covert action program relying heavily on
             Cuban exiles, designed to both gather intelligence and destabilize the Castro

             Hawkins' report, dated May 5, 1961, and titled Record of Paramilitary Action
             Against the Castro Government, was among 3,200 pages of material related to the
             Bay of Pigs invasion that was declassified last week by the Central Intelligence

             The Hawkins report was the most significant of the documents declassified. They
             did not include a four-volume history of the aborted invasion by the late Jack
             Pfeiffer, a CIA historian, which remains secret.

             A copy of the Hawkins report was made available to The Herald by the National
             Security Archive, an independent research organization and library located on the
             campus of George Washington University in Washington.

             The declassified documents include photographs, Brigade 2506 training files and
             National Security Council briefing papers.

             In his conclusions, Hawkins cited the incompatibility between political considerations
             and military objectives and declared that ``civilian officials of the government should
             not attempt to prescribe the tactics of military or paramilitary operations.''

             Political-military conflict

             In such a Cold War paramilitary operation as the Bay of Pigs, Hawkins said, there
             was ``a basic conflict'' between military effectiveness and political considerations.

             And, he added, unless immediate survival is at issue, ``political considerations tend to
             dominate, with the result that military measures are progressively restricted and

             ``Experiences of the past few years,'' he said, ``indicate that political restrictions on
             military measures may result in destroying the effectiveness of the latter, and the
             end result is political embarrassment coupled with military failure and loss of prestige
             in the world.''

             Hawkins, 81, retired and living in Virginia, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that
             he believes that what he wrote 37 years ago remains valid.

             ``I think I was exactly right but I did not know, of course, back in those days that the
             Kennedy administration resumed covert operations under the name Mongoose,''
             Hawkins said. ``If I had known it, I would have been quite disappointed.''

             ``What happened with the Bay of Pigs, conflict between political and military
             considerations, was carried on in Vietnam by the same key people, namely
             [Secretary of State Dean] Rusk and [Secretary of Defense Robert S.] McNamara,
             with the same results,'' Hawkins said. ``There were lessons learned by them, at least
             from the Bay of Pigs.''

             Hawkins also concluded in his report that ``civilian officials of the government should
             not attempt to prescribe the tactics of military or paramilitary operations.''

             Policy restrictions

             He cited seven ``significant'' policy restrictions placed on the Bay of Pigs operation
             -- largely at the urging of the State Department in the ``interest of non-attributability''
             -- which he said hampered its effectiveness.

             The restrictions prohibited:

               Use of bases in the United States for training paramilitary forces.

               Use of an air base in the United States for supply flights in support of guerrilla
             forces and of the strike force when landed.

               Use of American contract pilots for aerial supply of guerrilla forces.

               Use of a base in the United States for tactical air operations in support of the
             amphibious landing.

               Use of American contract pilots for tactical air operations.

               Use of more effective tactical aircraft than the B-26 bomber.

               The full application of the tactical air power available.

             ``Cancellations at the last moment, while the troops were already off the beaches
             preparing to land, of the air attacks . . . against Castro's remaining tactical aircraft,
             doomed the operation to failure,'' Hawkins wrote.

             ``Paramilitary operations cannot be effectively conducted on a ration-card basis,''
             Hawkins said. ``Therefore, if political considerations are such as to prohibit the
             application of all military measures required to achieve the objective, then military
             operations should not be undertaken.''

             Neither, said Hawkins, can ``paramilitary operations of any appreciable size be
             conducted on a completely covert basis, and the requirement for non-attributability
             introduces tremendous complications in the accomplishment of what would
             otherwise be simple tasks.''