Editorial Note

On December 27, 1950, Departmental Announcement 248 established the position of Director, International Security Affairs (S/ISA) within the Department of State, effective January 8, 1951. The Director was assigned responsibility for the general direction and coordination of all activities within the Department of State relating to a) the North Atlantic Treaty and other collective defense arrangements, and b) military assistance programs and economic assistance programs designed to support military assistance. Thomas D. Cabot, a Boston executive, was appointed Director. Files of the Office of Director, International Security Affairs, and its predecessor organizations, 1949–1951, are located in Federal Records Center Accession No. 62A613, 129 boxes. For the text of Departmental Announcement 248, released to the press on January 4, 1951, see American Foreign Policy, 1950–1955: Basic Documents (Department of State Publication 6446) (Washington, [Page 266] Government Printing Office, 1957), volume II, pages 3045–3047, or Department of State Bulletin, January 22, 1951, pages 155–156.

The position of Director, International Security Affairs, was established within the Department of State pursuant to organizational arrangements set forth in an interdepartmental memorandum of understanding concluded by the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, and the Economic Cooperation Administration, approved by President Truman on December 19, 1950. This understanding provided for the establishment of an International Security Affairs Committee (ISAC) to conduct the review and coordination of policy and programs in international security affairs and mutual defense assistance matters. It was specified that the Chairman of ISAC would be the Director, International Security Affairs, Department of State. Membership of the Committee included representatives of the Departments of Defense and the Treasury, the Economic Cooperation Administration, and a representative of W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President. ISAC met 49 times between February 2 and October 12, 1951. Documentation produced by ISAC and its subcommittees is located in Department of State Lot File 53 D 443 and in FRC Acc. No. 62A613, Files of the Office of the Director, International Security Affairs.

For the text of the interdepartmental understanding of December 19, 1950, and other material on mutual defense assistance, see Foreign Relations, 1950, volume I, pages 126 ff.