810.20 Defense/2–745

The Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Dunn) to the Assistant Secretary of State for the American Republics (Rockefeller)

Mr. Rockefeller: In response to your request of this morning as to the reply of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to our inquiry with respect to possible action by Argentina against her neighbors, the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee on the 19th of January in requesting certain information from the Joint Chiefs of Staff through the War and Navy Departments included the following question:

i. From a strategic point of view what should the United States position be with regard to the support or nonsupport of Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay with respect to Argentina?”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, by letter of February 6,24 in answering our questions referred particularly to question i. and made the following response:

“Question i. Opinion—The armed forces of the United States can be diverted to military intervention in Latin-America only at the expense of the war effort against our present enemies. All appropriate measures should be taken, therefore, to prevent the outbreak of war in Latin-America. Should war nevertheless occur, the United States should endeavor to minimize its own commitments and if possible, to insure that the necessary military forces be furnished by Latin-American states.”

The entire letter from the Joint Chiefs of Staff was forwarded to the Secretary of State by the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee on the 7th of February, 1945 and a copy was sent by memorandum from the secretaries of the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee to Mr. Avra Warren for the SWNCC25 Subcommittee on Latin America on the same day.

James Clement Dunn
  1. Not printed.
  2. State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee.