IO Files: USMS/12/Rev. 188

Memorandum by the United States Representatives on the Military Staff Committee


Principles To Be Advocated by U.S. in Preparing Military Agreements Between Security Council and Member Nations of U.N.O. 89 (Includes U.S. Delegation’s Comments)

The Security Council of the United Nations shall establish a pool of armed forces which shall be maintained by the respective contributing member nations at operational strength and in readiness for combat in order that units may be drawn upon promptly under conditions recognized by the Security Council as requiring the use of forces under the United Nations Charter.
The pool shall include land, sea and air force units so organized and distributed geographically as to enable the United Nations to bring military pressure to bear in any part of the world in so far as practicable. In particular, national air force contingents would be held immediately available to enable the United Nations to take urgent military measures as stated in Article 45 of the United Nations Charter.
Armed forces contributed by member nations shall habitually be based within the respective borders or territorial waters of each contributing nation, or its possessions, or within areas occupied by them under international agreements except at such times as such forces are acting under the direction of the Security Council. (Submit to J.C.S.)
The permanent members of the Security Council shall provide the major portion of the security forces initially with the contributions of smaller nations being integrated into the pool of forces as they become available.
The permanent members of the Security Council shall agree to contribute forces of comparable over-all strength but which may differ widely as to the strength of separate components, land, sea or air. Other member nations will be given an opportunity to offer contributions in the form of armed forces and/or installations, services, transportation, rights of passage or items of common military supply. The Military Staff Committee will be prepared to confer with military representatives [Page 760] of nations not permanently represented on the Security Council as to what appropriate contributions might include.
Forces, or any part thereof, contributed by member nations shall come under the control of the Security Council at the time and place designated by the Security Council.
United Nations forces, when operating under direction of the Security Council, shall serve under the over-all commander designated by the Security Council. The over-all commander shall act under the strategic direction of the Military Staff Committee. Except when required for use by the Security Council, armed forces listed as available to the United Nations shall remain under the exclusive command of the respective contributing nations.
The Security Council and any member or group of members of the United Nations shall have the right to reopen negotiations for an increase or decrease of the contribution of that member or group.
Each member nation shall be responsible for the supply and maintenance, including replacement personnel, of the forces it contributes to the United Nations forces. Each member nation shall also provide transportation for its forces acting under the Security Council to the extent of its capabilities.
In case of inability of any member nation to provide the required transportation to move its contingent of the United Nations forces operating under the Security Council, the transportation shall be obtained from other member nations as part of such other nations’ agreed contribution to the support of the enforcement powers of the Security Council, or it shall be found and chartered by the Security Council.
In general, agreements between the Security Council and member nations shall include general guarantees providing for rights of passage and for the furnishing of services and facilities required by forces acting under the Security Council, within the limits of each nation’s capacity, rather than including a detailed determination of them. Such services and facilities shall be provided at the request of the Security Council, and the expenses therefor shall be borne as the appropriate authorities may determine.
No member nation shall be urged to increase its military strength or create a particular component thereof for the purpose of providing a contingent to the United Nations forces.
The United Nations forces should be established with the least practicable delay.
Separate agreements shall be prepared for negotiation between the Security Council and each member nation. If practicable, these agreements shall be on a standard form.
  1. Documentation produced by the United States Representatives on the Military Staff Committee bears the designation “USMS”.
  2. The principles contained in this document were extracted, after consultation with representatives of the Department of State, from State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee document SWNCC 219/8; in regard to that document, and for information on subsequent developments with respect to the present document, see Mr. Blaisdell’s memorandum of April 1, p. 769.