The Minister in Iran (Dreyfus) to the Secretary of State

No. 469

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report on the accomplishments and activities of the American Gendarmerie Mission to Iran, headed by Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf.97

There are enclosed98 (1) a copy of a report dated February 22, 1943, prepared by Colonel Schwarzkopf and addressed to the Prime Minister outlining plans for the reorganization of the gendarmerie (2) a chart showing the proposed District and Regimental Organization and (3) a chart giving the suggested Basic and Staff Organization Plan. Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch No. 371 of November 3, 1942, enclosing a copy of answers made by the Iranian authorities to a questionnaire prepared by Colonel Schwarzkopf and to despatch No. 374 of November 9, 1942, which enclosed a copy of [Page 514]Colonel Schwarzkopf’s report on his inspection of the southern section of the Trans-Iranian Railway.99

Colonel Schwarzkopf and his two assistants, Lt. Colonel Philip T. Boone, and Captain William Preston, have been engaged since their arrival in studying the Iranian gendarmerie and preparing a basic plan of staff and regimental organization. The finished plan, consisting of some 200 pages and covering all phases of organization and operation, has been presented to the Iranian Government. This comprehensive plan, based on careful analysis of the peculiar gendarmerie problems of Iran, should, if adopted and put into force, offer a solid basis for the future work of the Schwarzkopf mission.

Colonel Schwarzkopf has been handicapped in his work by the great delay in receiving from the Department the suggested draft for his contract with the Iranian Government. This has not only given him a feeling of uncertainty because his status with the Iranian Government is that only of an unofficial adviser but it has also prevented him from demanding and obtaining the authority without which he cannot hope to succeed. This is particularly noticeable in his relationship with General Agveli, head of the Iranian Gendarmerie, who has not only given him little cooperation but on the contrary has consistently blocked his efforts. This he has done in innumerable ways, such as encouraging subordinates to withhold action, through failure to support suggestions, by carrying on a whispering campaign, by deliberately withholding vital information, et cetera. Colonel Schwarzkopf has not felt his position sufficiently clear to “go to the bat” and demand the authority he fully intends eventually to get. It is contemplated, in fact, that he will become Under Secretary of Interior for Gendarmerie, in which case he will have undisputed command. Notwithstanding his anomalous status, he feels he cannot afford to await ultimate authority and is presenting his case against General Agveli at once to the Prime Minister who is also the Minister of the Interior. I shall, along the lines of the Department’s telegram No. 207 of August 8, 1942,1 support him to the full.

One must not be unduly perturbed at temporary disputes over authority such as that with General Agveli. This is to be expected. I have, as a matter of course, warned our arriving advisers that their first months will be spent in overcoming petty jealousies on the part of Iranians and in establishing the fact that they intend to demand and receive sufficient authority for the successful accomplishment of their missions. This should, I stress to them, be done in a quiet and dignified manner and I promise them my full support in arriving at this first and necessary stage.

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Colonel Schwarzkopf and his assistants have taken hold of their difficult task with vigor, intelligence and dignity. They have treated the Iranians with courtesy and deference, with the result that they have made many friends. This mission has, with few exceptions where they have had perforce to step on the toes of certain officials, established a very satisfactory reputation in Tehran. All three officers deserve credit for their tenacity and balance in carrying on under trying circumstances.

American advisers in Iran face a colossal task, in organizing or reorganizing demoralized services, in overcoming inherent Iranian jealousies and suspicions, in by-passing bureaucrats, in withstanding the complaints of unreasonable politicians and in keeping their balance in the midst of chaos. A very special type of man is needed, one who, always seeing his objective clearly before him and realizing the difficulties in the way, plods on patiently, consolidating his position as he goes, demanding authority and using it with intelligence and, above all, keeping his sense of humor. Bluster, strong arm methods, and devious political methods will avail little against the canny Iranians. Simplicity and kindliness will accomplish much, particularly if the Iranians are made aware that the adviser first, knows his business, and second, intends to carry out his mission in spite of the opposition of interested politicians. I am hopeful that the Schwarzkopf mission will continue to show the qualities necessary for the successful accomplishment of their task.

This is the first of a series of despatches which I hope to be able to submit on the work of this and other American missions to Iran.

Respectfully yours,

Louis G. Dreyfus, Jr.
  1. Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, former head of the New Jersey State Police, appointed by the Iranian Government as specialist to organize the Iranian Gendarmerie (rural police).
  2. Enclosures not printed.
  3. Despatches and their enclosures not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. iv, p. 245.