147. Circular Airgram From the Department of State to African, Latin American, Far Eastern, and Near Eastern Diplomatic Posts1
- Emphasis on Youth: Spotting Young Leaders
JOINT STATE-USIA-AID-DOD MESSAGE
It is essential that a special effort be made to persuade identifiable potential leaders to turn to the West rather than the East if they intend to seek education or training abroad.
The Interagency Youth Committee has noted that U.S. Government scholarship programs generally do not make provision for training potential young leaders from the less-developed and uncommitted countries if they have neither the background nor the apparent capacity for formal education. Persons of this kind are, however, accepted for training and indoctrination in the Communist Bloc. To illustrate the kinds of young people we mean, your attention is called to A–286 from Cotonou, and USIS field message #11 from LaPaz, portions of which are attached.
The purpose of this message is to urge posts to evaluate these types of young leaders and potential leaders for USG attention before they accept Bloc training offers.
AID and CU are considering means of offering pre-university, technical, vocational and leadership training to such young leaders; the private sector is also being approached.
We know that the problem of identifying such leaders is difficult, that the Communists, with their local cadres, may have a tactical advantage when democratic groups are less organized, and that the AID and CU technical and academic training programs already require considerable identification and selection of potential leaders. Yet the [Page 387] kinds of young leaders we mean are often missed because of the lack of programs to accommodate them; and with the stakes as high as they are, a priority effort must be made.
Information requested: If such training were made available in the West or in the home country, would it be possible to persuade the kinds of potential young leaders who now go to the Bloc to accept Western assistance instead? If not, why not? What kind of training is needed?
This identification is consistent with our desire to reach the future leaders of the developing areas while they are still young and to compete effectively with the Bloc for influence among them.
It is requested that the entire country team participate in this continuing effort and that the task of coordination in the field be undertaken by the Youth Coordinator, working closely with the Chief of Mission.
FOR AFRICAN POSTS ONLY:
The Department’s circular telegram 668 to African posts, dated October 11,4 requests information on a related subject, but that request for information should not be confused with this message which calls for a continuing action program.
- Source: National Archives, RG 306, Subject Files 1955–1971, Acc. #68–J–1415, Entry UD WW 148, Box 261, Replies to CA–4402. Confidential. Sent for information to all European posts. Drafted by Battle on October 15; cleared in draft by Hilsman, Talbot, Tyler, Martin, Williams, Sorensen, Yarmolinsky, and Shooshan; approved by Harriman.↩
- Not found.↩
- Not found.↩
- Not found.↩
- Operation Crossroads Africa was a private, non-profit entity that initiated self-sufficiency programs in Africa through the work of U.S. and Canadian youth volunteers. For additional information, see “‘Crossroads’ Record in 5 Years of Work in Africa Marked,” The New York Times, February 2, 1964, p. 10.↩
- Huey Long served as the Governor of Louisiana and as a Senator until his assassination in 1935.↩
- Ellison D. “Cotton Ed” Smith served as a Senator from South Carolina from 1909 to 1944.↩
- This university in Moscow, established by the Soviet Government for foreign students, was named after the Prime Minister of Congo who was killed in January 1961.↩