John F Kennedy prepared to announce WW III?
London: Former US President John F Kennedy had prepared to announce a full scale invasion of Cuba that may have led to World War III, if the Cuban Missile Crisis worsened, according to newly released Cold War documents.
JFK would have delivered the speech if Soviet ships carrying strategic nuclear missiles had reached Cuba in October 1962, papers released from Robert F Kennedy's personal files have revealed.
JFK's planned speech begins with the words "My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfilment of my oath of office, I have ordered, and the United States Air Force has now carried out, military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba."
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University professor and Cuban Missile Crisis expert Graham Allison said the invasion would have almost certainly led to the outbreak World War III, and the potential loss of hundreds of millions of lives.
Robert Kennedy goes on to detail a plan by Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara to bomb Cuba with 500 sorties and then invade the island with 90,000 troops if the Soviets broke a blockade and brought nuclear weapons onto it, The Independent reported.
"If we go in, we go in hard", RFK wrote.
According to RFK's papers the outcome did not happen only because JFK and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev both realised the severity of what was coming.
The Soviet ships carrying missiles to Cuba turned back following to a series of public, private and secret concessions.
Elsewhere in the documents, details of a 1964 mafia-assisted plot to assassinate Fidel Castro are outlined.
The mafia and a band of so-called "patriotic Cuban exiles" agreed to assassinate Castro for a payment of USD 100,000, USD 20,000 for his brother Raul and USD 20,000 for revolutionary Che Guevara.