735.5 MSP/11–154

Memorandum by the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Mutual Security Affairs (Nolting) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland)1



  • Proposed telegram to Ambassador Nufer re Military Assistance for Argentina.

The attached telegram2 to authorize the Ambassador to sound out Peron on the question of military assistance has been received in this office for concurrence. I do not feel that I can concur in this telegram for the following reasons.

In my opinion, it would be unwise and undesirable at this time for Ambassador Nufer to make any approach to Peron however informally.3 Any suggestion or offer of military aid, however tentative or qualified, would undoubtedly be looked upon by the Argentines as a commitment.

[Page 478]

As you know, at the present time we have not programmed any aid for Argentina and if we were to furnish them aid it would have to be by the diversion of funds and matériel from other programs. We are not certain that the JCS have a military mission in mind of sufficient priority to justify any such diversion of funds and matériel. Moreover, it does not seem probable that the Chiefs will establish a force basis, to be MDAP supported, that will result in an MDAP program of sufficient magnitude to be attractive to Peron. I am advised that the program originally planned for Argentina involved several AAA battalions and some support forces. This, by comparison to the Brazilian program, is not very large. If it is national policy to furnish military aid to Argentina, we should immediately take steps to have Defense include the requirements in the FY 1956 military aid program.4 The recommendations set forth in your briefing book5 on this subject (p. 33; also part of the attached6 file) appear to me to be quite sound.

I believe that before any approaches are made to Peron, we should reach agreement within the Executive Branch that, as a matter of policy, military assistance should be furnished to Argentina; assure that the Joint Chiefs have a sound military mission in mind; determine that the nature and magnitude of the assistance to be furnished would probably be acceptable to Peron; and provide that the necessary resources for this program are included in the Mutual Security Program.

  1. Drafted by George S. Newman of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Mutual Security Affairs.
  2. Attached to the source text, but not printed; it is marked “Not sent.”
  3. In despatch 255, from Buenos Aires, dated Sept. 22, 1954, Ambassador Nufer requested authorization to sound out President Perón informally on possible Argentine interest in a bilateral military pact, and stated that this would be the only way to obtain a clear indication of President Perón’s position on the matter. The Ambassador further stated that a military agreement was prospectively useful for furnishing Argentina with concrete evidence of U.S. goodwill. (735.5 MSP/9–2254)
  4. For documentation relating to this subject, see volume i .
  5. Not found in Department of State files.
  6. No attachments found with source text.