CABLE FROM SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE USA A.F. DOBRYNIN TO SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTRYCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationDobrynin relays a meeting with Lippmann in which the two discuss how close their respective countries were to war and the exchange of bases in Turkey."Cable from Soviet ambassador to the USA A.F. Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Ministry" November 01, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by Vladimir Zaemsky http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112646
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At one of the receptions I had a conversation with W. Lippmann. He confirmed, half in jest, that he "caught it hot" for having published [in a column published on 25 October--ed.], in the middle of the Cuban crisis, an article about the possibility of exchanging Soviet missile bases in Cuba for American missile bases in Turkey, insofar as "a lot of people" here considered that his article had suggested to N.S. Khrushchev the idea of raising such a question. Lippmann said that he had been writing the article taking into consideration data which had previously received from high-ranking officers of the U.S. Agency for disarmament.1 Several officers of this Agency believe that the question of bases has become rather obsolete and it must be solved.
Lippmann himself proceeds from the assumption that the issues of American bases in Turkey and Italy can be solved in the relatively near future. There is a certain progress of mood regarding this issue in Washington. Nevertheless, by no means can it be related to the Cuban events. For a number of reasons, Kennedy's administration can't do that. A corresponding decision can be formalized as one of the first, partial actions in the framework of disarmament, but necessarily waiting for a final agreement upon a plan of general and complete disarmament.
Lippmann also said that during the Cuban crisis Thompson played a certain positive deterrent role at the White House. But in general in the course of the last year, according to Lippmann, Thompson has considerably evolved and become closer to [Soviet expert Charles] Bohlen's point of view, i.e., there is no hope of reaching an agreement with the Soviet Union on principal issues due to its extreme obstinacy. With such a pessemistic mood Thompson has returned from the Soviet Union.
Lippmann confirmed that during the Cuban conflict the USA had been very close to war. Even dates for the bombing of the Soviet missile bases in Cuba had been planned -- October 29 or 30, but N.S. Khrushchev's response of October 28 to Kennedy's "great relief" drastically altered the subsequent course of events.
01/XI/62 A. DOBRYNIN
1. Evidently a reference to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, which Kennedy created.
[Source: AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by Vladimir Zaemsky.]