Policy Paper Approved by the Foreign Assistance Correlation Committee 1
Military Rights Question
What is the relationship of the Military Assistance Program to the obtaining of military rights for the United States?
In this connection, it is important to remember that in the North Atlantic Pact, member nations are pledged by Article III, by means of continuous and effective self help and mutual aid, to maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist aggression. Each member understands and contemplates that under this provision, military facilities essential for the defense of the area will be established and maintained. The exact manner of establishment, operation and maintenance will be evolved through the Pact mechanism.
In accordance with the provisions of the North Atlantic Pact, member nations are pledged by Article III by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, to maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist aggression. It is clear that through the operation of the Pact mechanism each country will contribute to the common defense.
Answer: (Secret—for use in Executive session)
The Department of State and the National Military Establishment are jointly examining the long-range strategic defensive requirements of the United States and, insofar as they concern countries to which military assistance is proposed, seeking to satisfy these requirements [Page 312]through bilateral negotiation to the maximum practicable degree prior to the extension of military assistance to them. Congress may be assured that the attitudes and actions of recipient countries in this respect will be taken into account prior to extending military assistance to them.
In order to satisfy these requirements in the case of North Atlantic Pact countries, it may be most feasible in some cases to utilize the Atlantic Pact mechanism. Article III of the North Atlantic Pact provides:
“In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist aggression.”
Under this Article it is clearly understood by all parties that mutual aid means the contribution by each party consistent with its geographic location and resources of such mutual aid as it can reasonably be expected to contribute in the form in which it can most effectively furnish it, e.g., facilities, manpower, productive capacity for military equipment.
Certain military facilities which are essential to the defense of the North Atlantic area and which for local political reasons could not be provided by certain Pact countries to the United States as such, will be provided by those countries as their contribution under the Treaty to the collective capacity to resist aggression. It is expected, for example, that Denmark, as part of its contribution to the collective capacity to resist aggression, would contribute the use of certain facilities in Greenland for this purpose. In this manner, the security interests of the United States will be protected and improved.
An important factor in securing military rights for the United States in foreign countries is the necessity of taking into account the objective of stimulating other nations toward the maximum self-reliance and the minimum dependence on the United States. It is also important to avoid the concept that such military rights as are essential for common defense should be purchased or paid for by the United States since this inevitably involves greater expenditures on our part and a lesser assumption of responsibility by other nations: A third important factor in this connection is to avoid an association between military assistance programs and United States strategic requirements which will furnish a basis for Soviet propaganda charges that the Pact and the Military Assistance Program are parts of a plan of aggression against the Soviet Union. Failure to do so could well give the Pact and the Program a provocative rather than the desired and intended defensive aspect in the eyes of the world.
- This document, approved by FACC on May 20, was included in Part G of the Hearing Book employed by the Executive Branch in presenting the Military Assistance Program to Congress.↩