Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of American Republics Analysis and Liaison (Dreier)15
As a result of the staff conversations recently held with Panama and reported in the underlying despatch,16 Panama wishes:
- To reorganize its present police force into an expanded military unit consisting of one military police battalion, one military police company, and one horse cavalry troop—a total of 963 officers and men. Aside from a request, reported in the despatch, for 50 patrol cars, the equipment to outfit this force is not indicated. The War Department recommendation for the token shipment of ground equipment which has been submitted to the Department, contains no recommendations for Panama.
- Panama also wishes to acquire a modest air force, to consist initially of 1 C–45 (transport plane), 2 AT–6’s (advanced bombing trainer), 2 AT–19’s (advanced fighter trainer), and 2 PT–13’s (primary trainer) when pilots have been trained to fly them. The War [Page 1236] Department recommendation for the token shipment of aircraft includes 1 C–45, 1 AT–6, 2 PT’s for Panama.
- As part of this projected reorganization and expansion of its police force, Panama wishes to add to its present United States Military Mission which consists of one veterinary officer, sundry other officers to train the reorganized military unit.
In the belief that this government should not aid in the creation of armies in Latin America where such armies do not exist, I recommend:
- That if and when the War Department submits a list of military equipment for Panama, the Department agree to the shipment of only such small arms as might be legitimately utilized by a Panamanian police force of a size comparable to the present one.
- That the Department agree to the shipment of only the primary trainers and the C–45 of the aircraft recommended by the War Department if and when this latter type of plane becomes available and provided Panama has the money to pay for it.
- That since the increase in the present military mission is predicated on a reorganization and expansion of the present police force, the Department do not agree to an increase in the mission but instead offer adequate assistance in training of police, possibly a small police mission.