FACC Files

Policy Paper Approved by the Foreign Assistance Correlation Committee 1



Why the Military Assistance Program Should Be Administered by the State Department

The expansionist pressures of the Soviet Government to dominate and control and integrate into the Russian communist orbit other [Page 360]parts of the world has forced the U.S. to engage in what has been aptly described as a “cold war.” Our resistance to these Soviet pressures is primarily political, but necessitates the use of a variety of methods, including these which are economic, military and informational in character. It is obvious that to achieve maximum effectiveness in utilizing all these methods, there must be effective coordination among them.

The Military Assistance Program is conceived as an essential and integral part of our foreign policy designed to be effective in this sort of cold war. Its fundamental purpose is to deter war by making clear that the determination to resist aggression, expressed in the North Atlantic Pact, will be backed up by an improvement in the ability to resist, and by the strengthening of the morale of nations now under threat of Soviet domination. The Military Assistance Program thus constitutes a major measure to supplement and support United States foreign policy and is not a substitute for our foreign policy or any part of it. Consequently, its over-all policy direction as an integral instrument of our foreign policy should be in the hands of the Secretary of State. Furthermore, the nature of our relationships with the other participating governments is highly political and insofar as these governments are concerned, they will expect to handle all important military assistance problems of policy through the normal diplomatic channels of the Department of State. This would include, of course, the negotiation of agreements and other terms and conditions to be applicable to the transfer of assistance under the Program. Although all political matters will be handled through diplomatic channels of the Department of State, this does not preclude, and the proposed organization expressly provides for, the handling of the technical aspects of the Program directly through the appropriate channels of the NME and ECA, respectively. Similarly, implementation of the Program must take into account, insofar as Atlantic Pact countries are concerned, the positions of the United States Government as they may be developed with regard to organization under the Pact and the common defense plans which it is anticipated will be developed through the Pact. Many other aspects of our foreign policy could be mentioned which must be considered in the evolution and implementation of the Military Assistance Program in each particular country.

In order that the Military Assistance Program may achieve its desired military effect it must also be conceived and executed so as to achieve a real and convincing improvement in the military strength of the participating nations. In other words, the Program must make military as well as political sense if it is to have the desired political effect.

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By the same token it is equally necessary that the Program be so conducted as to aid rather than interfere with the achievement of economic recovery and the maintenance of sound economies in the participating nations. Thus the Program must also make economic sense.

Accordingly, MAP has been a joint endeavor in its development and will necessarily continue to be so in its implementation, the State Department, NME and ECA each having a vital and inseparable interest in substantially all MAP problems and decisions. Therefore the very closest coordination must be maintained in all aspects of MAP and it is the considered conclusion of the Executive Branch of the Government that the most satisfactory method of achieving this coordination is to assign primary responsibility for the Program to the Secretary of State. Although the three participating agencies have joint interest in almost all MAP policy matters, the Program is nonetheless predominantly and basically an instrument of our peacetime foreign policy. It therefore follows that its direction should be subject to the primary responsibility and authority of the Secretary of State. However, the State Department will not undertake operational responsibilities, for the proposed organization contemplates and provides for the utilization of the Military Establishment, the ECA and other existing agencies and machinery of our Government to the maximum degree. Although the State Department need not and will not undertake operational responsibilities, it is nevertheless the logical focal point where all of the policy aspects of MAP as well as all of the various other aspects of our foreign policy are, not only in fact, but should continue to be normally coordinated and integrated. The Secretary of State should therefore be given appropriate responsibility to enable his performance of this function with respect to the Military Assistance Program.

  1. This document, approved by FACC on August 1, was included in Part F of the MAP Hearing Book.