132. Memorandum From President Kennedy to Secretary of State Rusk1

I should like to have a meeting of the Berlin Steering Group this week to go over the status of our Berlin contingency planning, in order to see what has been quadripartitely agreed and what is still under discussion. Are there any gaps in our planning which need to be covered? I am particularly interested in knowing what we are doing with regard to the following situations:
Interference with the civil air traffic into Berlin. This is very much in my mind.
Contingencies arising from the partitioning of Berlin (for example, conflicts between the West Berlin population and the East German police).
The extension of Live Oak planning to take into account a greater reliance on conventional forces.
Actions to be taken in the case of an East German revolt.
Please let me know when you will be ready to have this meeting.
John Kennedy
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.00/8-2861. Secret. A copy was sent to Secretary of Defense McNamara. Published in part in Declassified Documents, 1986, 912. A draft of this memorandum by Taylor has points a and b rearranged and a point e: “Reaction to a sudden invitation to negotiation by the USSR.” (National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 39, 6A Berlin) On August 28 Bundy sent the President a 4-page memorandum on the subject of negotiations, indicating that it was a complex subject and “the most important one” the President had before him. After reviewing the question of timing, Bundy stated that the President’s principal advisers were split on the issue of the substance of the negotiations and stressed that only Kennedy could decide the U.S. negotiating position. (Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Germany)