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Authority Under International Law to Take Action If the Soviet Union Establishes Missile Bases in Cuba


In the event that missile bases should be established in Cuba by the Soviet Union, international law would permit use by the United States of relatively extreme measures, including various forms and degree of force, for the purpose of terminating or preventing the realization of such a threat to the peace and security of the western hemisphere.

An obligation would exist to have recourse first, if time should permit, to the procedures of collective security organizations of which the United States is a member.

The United States would be obliged to confine any use of force to the least necessary to the end proposed.

Updated July 9, 2014