Naval War College Review


The Cuban missile crisis was a defining moment in the career of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) at the time, Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr. His leadership of the Navy during the crisis has become the most prominent role accorded to him in history. Yet his relationship during the crisis with the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, has been cited as the factor that brought to a premature end his tour as CNO and his naval career. Among the events that affected the admiral’s relationship with the secretary during the crisis were those that took place on 23–24 October 1962 in CNO’s Intelligence Plot (IP)—part of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), located adjacent to but separate from CNO’s operational Flag Plot and charged with providing all-source intelligence to the CNO, cleared Navy staff, and others.