Memorandum by Colonel Charles H. Bonesteel, III, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, to the Under Secretary of State ( Webb )


Subject: The “Working Doctrine” for the Foreign Aid Presentation

Attached are two copies of the “working doctrine” which you originally dictated some time ago.1
This present version incorporates the ideas of Paul Nitze2 and Mr. Harriman and has been cleared in general with Messrs. Lovett and Foster and General Bradley3 in addition to Mr. Harriman and Paul Nitze.
We do not anticipate any particular widespread use of the doctrine, but it has been extremely helpful in permitting us to get on the beam. If you agree with the paper in its present shape, you may wish to show a copy to the Secretary.4

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Statement of Working Doctrine for Presentation to Congress of Foreign Aid Programs


Memorandum for the Executive Group

Colonel Bonesteel

Ambassador Wood

Colonel Lincoln

1. There is urgent necessity for a foundational working doctrine from which will be derived the many detailed decisions required to finalize the Presidential submissions to the Congress on foreign assistance programs. There follow guide lines for such a doctrine:

2. The United States holds the position of leadership of the free world in a vital struggle for survival. To meet our responsibilities requires a tremendous effort in production, resources and personal service during the next 2–4 years, and a probability of a continuing substantial effort thereafter. The U.S. security program, including foreign assistance elements thereof, must be such as to assure sustained effort and continued support by the U.S. public and Congress. Therefore, projects presented to the Congress in the foreign assistance program must have both intrinsic merit and demonstrable importance to national security and fundamental national interest.

3. The U.S. position today requires a program which:

Will accomplish, as rapidly as feasible, the simultaneous build-up of military strength in being of:
the United States,
the other North Atlantic Treaty Nations,
in terms of operational requirements, those other areas in the Far East and Middle East, as well as Germany and Yugoslavia, now threatened by the Soviet system, whose loss would be of critical importance to our national security, and
those elements of Latin American armed forces which can provide military strength essential to hemisphere defense.
Will permit the build-up of general strength in the free world to be planned and executed to provide:
production and facilities directly required for military forces and necessary support in depth, including bases,
economic foundations capable of sustaining short and long-term military preparedness, with particular emphasis on the quick development on the part of those countries and regions having major economic potentials to a position of self-support of their defense efforts.
Will provide reasonable assistance to underdeveloped areas to help them help themselves to develop their resources, productivity and strength, thereby deterring further internal subversion or aggressive adventures by communist forces, giving a sense of positive purpose through association with the more developed democracies, and laying the foundation for cooperation with these areas that will expedite effective development and use of their resources including scarce and strategic materials in their own interest and in the interest of an expanding defense requirement and expanding world trade.
Is aimed at attaining maximum realistic contributions by each free nation to the sum total of free world military strength and the development of their capabilities and potential, singly and mutually.

4. Finalizing of this program for Congress will take into account the necessity for adjustments as compared with previous programs to reflect the important changes which have taken place since the aggression in Korea. Among major changes are:

The change in the international economic situation, including the improvement in the external financial position of many countries, the scarcity of raw materials and of commodities desired by raw materials producing areas, and of increasing the production of scarce raw materials.
The scarcity of many materials and finished goods in the U.S. will necessitate defense priorities to obtain these items for all exports of such items including those financed by foreign loan and grant programs.

5. In order to have a program of maximum effectiveness under the changed conditions since Korea, it must have:

Sufficient flexibility to permit resources to be used in such a way as to contest most effectively the shifting tactics of communism.
Realistic appreciation of fundamental political factors in other free nations.
The integrated utilization of economic, military, political and spiritual resources of the United States, powered and guided by efficient streamlined organization and teamwork in the Government and in the field.

6. Planning will include maximum efforts to eliminate administrative clogging of the functioning of the U.S. programs. Emphasis will be placed on gaining, as an integral part of building the mutual security to which the U.S. will be contributing so heavily, the maximum cooperation from all free nations in development, distribution and conservation of scarce resources.

7. The basic concept of U.S. tactics is to build U.S. power in being, to encourage the maximum effort to build strength and stability in friendly countries, and to exert psychological, economic, and other pressures to interfere with the accomplishment of communist programs.

  1. The attachments do not accompany the file copy. The source text of the document which is attached is located in FRC Acc. No. 62A613, Box 124.
  2. Director of the Policy Planning Staff.
  3. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  4. No evidence has been found to confirm that the paper was seen by the Secretary of State.