AFIO Monographs

NEW: RELEASED SEPTEMBER 2022 is a Monograph on The Cuban Missile Crisis — Sixty Years Later — by CIA Historian/Analyst Regis Heitchue

"The Cuban Missile Crisis: When Intelligence Made a Difference.

In October 1962 the US and the world faced the most serious crisis and threat of nuclear war. A new 208-page monograph published for free on-line by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) on the Cuban Missile Crisis is an insightful examination of US intelligence during the crisis.  Unlike most accounts of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which focus on the decision-making of President Kennedy and personal accounts of those involved, "The Cuban Missile Crisis — 60 Years Later — When Intelligence Made a Difference" provides an examination of how US intelligence functioned before, during, and after the crisis.  This is a unique treatment of the topic.

Former DCI Richard Helms once said "… the Cuban Missile Crisis was really an intelligence crisis. The threat appeared only through intelligence sources. Only those sources confirmed that the threat had gone away." The monograph is the story of what American intelligence knew, when it knew it, and how it knew what the Soviets were doing in Cuba prior to and during the crisis—and what we now know, 60 years later, quite accurately, of what the Soviets were actually doing in Cuba.

The monograph examines the critical questions that the president posed to the intelligence community and how the community responded.  It also includes interesting vignettes on principal intelligence officers involved in the crisis, including Juanita Moody, head of NSA's Cuba effort, and Arthur Lundahl, the chief of the new National Photographic Intelligence Center (NPIC), who briefed President Kennedy on a daily basis.

This is a well-researched and riveting monograph, with extensive notes, bibliography, charts and photos.   It is a valuable reference for any class on intelligence. — Peter Oleson, Senior Editor

The author is Reg Heitchue, a retired senior CIA scientific and technical officer. The book project was managed and edited by former DIA Assistant Deputy Director for Plans and Policy, Peter C. Oleson, who also serves as AFIO's Senior Editor, Intelligencer journal.

The free PDF version of publication here: "The Cuban Missile Crisis: When Intelligence Made a Difference."
For those interested in purchasing the paperback edition — a longer, more comprehensive version by Mr Heitchue — it is available here.

Eleven monographs AFIO created in the 1980s and 1990s, part of our The Intelligence Profession Series.

All of these are copyrighted, AFIO - Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Republication is not permitted nor is the transfer of these PDFs to other websites allowed.

The Clandestine Service by Hans Moses - Monograph #1

National Security and The First Amendment by John S. Warner - Monograph #2

The KGB - An Instrument of Soviet Power by Thomas Polgar - Monograph #3

Warning Intelligence by Cynthia M. Grabo - Monograph #4

The Role of Women in Intelligence by Elizabeth P. McIntosh - Monograph #5

The Central Intelligence Agency: An Overview by Lewis Sorley - Monograph #6

Intelligence: What It Is and How To Use It by John Macartney - Monograph #7

The Press and National Security Secrets by Tim Hackler - Monograph #8

From Balloons to Blackbirds: Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Imagery Intelligence - How it Evolved by Dino A. Brugioni - Monograph #9

Estimative Intelligence by Harold P. Ford - Monograph #10

Intelligence Oversight: The Controversy Behind the FY 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act by William E. Conner - Monograph #11