This chapter focuses on discussions about the initial U.S. response to the discovery of Soviet missiles. It argues that the choice of the blockade was only possible once a particular objection to that very plan was suppressed, namely that it would give the Soviets a chance to complete work on at least some of the missiles, as a result of which the United States might subsequently find itself attacking operational missiles that could be launched (perhaps without authorization) against U.S. cities. This suppression took time, however, time that the ExComm had because it was able to postpone a decision so long as its deliberations were kept secret.
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