Report to the State–Army–Navy–Air Force Coordinating Committee by the Subcommittee for Rearmament 1


SANACC 360/5

Considerations Relative to Continuing Support of Programs of U.S. Military Assistance to Foreign Nations


SWN–5602, 30 July 1947.2
SANACC 360/4, Legal and Legislative Aspects of United States Military Assistance to Foreign Nations, 29 Dec 1947.3
Appreciation of Foreseeable Foreign Needs for U.S. Military Assistance during the Next Three to Five Years, 10 Jul 1947. (Not enclosed. Will be furnished on request by the SANACC Secretariat.)4

the problem

1. To study and make recommendations concerning considerations relative to continuing support of programs of U.S. military assistance to foreign nations, taking cognizance of the statements that, [Page 598]

“In many cases, initial requirements constitute the least important part of a program, the major problem being to provide for subsequent requirements for replacements, spare parts, and maintenance;” and
“In the case of foreign nations which are economically unable to to support their minimum requirements for a military establishment, consideration should be given to the advisability of providing financial assistance for this purpose.”

facts bearing on the problem

2. See Appendix “A”.5


3. See Appendix “B”.5


4. It is concluded that before embarking upon a course of military assistance to a foreign nation the following factors should be considered:

U.S. foreign policy may be substantially impaired in certain of its objectives if the result of U.S. military assistance (excluding war or threats of war) is the possible alienation of a friendly nation through early breakdown of that military assistance.
It may well prove inimical to our national interest to transfer military equipment to a foreign nation without considering the possible future need for replacements and spare parts and without having or clearly foreseeing the means to furnish such needed replacements and spare parts.
The size and cost (present and continued) of a military assistance program should be carefully studied in relation to its economic feasibility to avoid an unremunerative dissipation of U.S. resources, excessive foreign commitments or contributing to an undue burden upon a friendly nation.
In cases where military assistance is considered sufficiently important to the national interest of the United States, supporting or financing through U.S. means should be given policy consideration when the recipient nation cannot wholly or in part support the required program.

5. A complete and accurate report should be prepared for Congressional consideration, in cases of those countries where U.S. Government support or financing is required.

6. Appropriate subcommittees in coordination with Rearmament Subcommittee of SANACC should be charged with making recommendation to SANACC twice a year with respect to continuing support of military assistance programs in effect.

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7. Prior to approval of a program of military assistance of long-term concern to the U.S. which involves considerable quantities of munitions, the approving authority should review the proposed program in the light of the questions posed in paragraph 5 of Appendix “B”.6


8. It is recommended that:

SANACC approve the foregoing conclusions.
After approval of the above conclusions, this report be transmitted to the Secretaries of State, Defense, Army, Navy, and Air Force for information and appropriate implementation.

  1. This report was initially submitted to SANACC by its Subcommittee for Rearmament on February 27, 1948. Its conclusions were approved by the parent body in a slightly amended form on July 26; they are printed here in the form approved by the Committee. (SANACC Files) On August 5, SANACC 360/5 was circulated in the Department of State by Charles E. Saltzman, Department of State Member and Chairman of SANACC, and Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas. The memorandum of transmittal read in part as follows: “It is requested that in all matters pertaining to programs of military assistance to foreign nations, and notably in the case of long-term programs, where consideration of the necessity and means of continuing support of such programs is required, the approved Conclusions of this document be applied as a matter of policy guidance.” (800.24/7–2748)
  2. SWN 5602, not printed, a memorandum to the Chairman of the Rearmament Subcommittee, July 30, 1947, directed the Subcommittee to undertake a series of studies concerning military assistance one of which resulted in the present report (SANACC Files).
  3. SANACC 360/4, prepared by the Subcommittee on Rearmament in response to section 1 of SWN 5602 (see footnote 2 above), is not printed. SANACC 360/4 recommended that enabling legislation for a comprehensive military assistance program be drafted. (SANACC Files) The Joint Chiefs of Staff subsequently drafted such legislation (at the request of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs) which the Secretaries of State and Defense presented jointly to the Committee for inclusion in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948 as Title VI. However, legislative leaders and representatives of the interested executive departments later agreed to withdraw Title VI in order to expedite the passage of remainder of the bill (which included the Economic Cooperation Act, subsequently approved, April 3, 1948, 62 Stat. (pt. 1) 137). With respect to the proposed Title VI, see also NSC 14/1, July 1, 1948, p. 585.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed.
  7. Paragraph 5 of Appendix “B” is titled “Considerations of Continuing Support.”