722.5 MSP/2–353:Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ecuador 1


A–157. The Department refers to the following communications concerning implementation of the grant-aid military assistance program for Ecuador: Embassy despatch 660, of February 19, 1952;2 Embassy despatch 939, of June 16, 1952;3 Embassy despatch 126, of Aug. 20, 1952;4 Embassy despatch 266, of October 8, 1952;5 Embassy despatch 511, of January 23, 1953;6 Embassy telegram 195, of Jan. 23, 1953;7 Embassy despatch 521, of Jan. 28, 1953;8 Department telegram 188, of Jan. 30, 1953;9 Embassy telegram 208, of Feb. 3, 1953;10 Embassy despatch 536, of Feb. 3, 1953.11

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Before complying with the Embassy’s request that a competent officer be sent to Ecuador to examine problems which have arisen in connection with the grant-aid military assistance program, the Department of Defense plans to review the basic problems which have been reported by the Embassy, the Acting MAAG Chief12 and the U.S. Military Attaché,13 with a view to determining alternative solutions. A preliminary review of those basic problems indicates that it may be possible to apply remedial measures of the type indicated below.

Local Currency and MAAG . Prior to the receipt of the Embassy’s telegram 208, of Feb. 3, 1953, the Department of Defense reduced its original estimate of currency required for the program by about 40 percent. To accomplish this reduction, the Defense Department reduced the number of training teams planned for Ecuador over an eighteen-month period from three teams to one Army training team of five men, planned to remain in Ecuador for about 90 days. The Defense Department, however, made no change in its original recommendation for the establishment of a MAAG of four officers and four enlisted men. After currency requirements of the Defense Department had been revised, those of the State Department were recalculated and the following total U.S. requirement for Ecuadoran currency established. Amounts shown are in U.S. dollars. An equivalent amount of Ecuadoran currency, in each case, represents the U.S. requirement.

First Six-Month Period

Training State Admin. Support For Contingencies Total
MAAG Army Navy AF
8,517 7,385 4,213 1,885 22,000

Ensuing Twelve-Month Period

17,034 7,385 12,639 3,942 41,000

In view of the Embassy’s report, in despatch no. 536, of February 3, 1953, that the Ecuadoran Ministry of Defense, because of its meager budget, would find it impracticable to assume any further financial burden of any importance beyond the current requirements of the Ecuadoran Armed Forces, the Defense Department has further reduced its requirements in accordance with the formula outlined below.

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The MAAG would consist of four officers and four enlisted men, as indicated: Chief of MAAG, with the rank of Army Colonel, and one clerical assistant; an Army Section of one Lt. Colonel and one enlisted man; a Navy Section of one Lt. Commander; an Air Force Section of one Lt. Colonel and two enlisted men. Personnel would be carefully selected so as to assure that they would be qualified to implement the Army, Navy and Air Force programs effectively.
Ecuador would be asked to pay the following expenses of MAAG personnel: station allowance while in Ecuador; necessary travel within Ecuador; return travel to the U.S., including return of dependents and household effects, but not travel to Ecuador of personnel, their dependents or household effects.
Although personnel required for the program, as specified above, would not be assigned to training missions, they might share office space and be given access to administrative facilities and services which Ecuador already provides the training missions, thus reducing the amount of currency required by the State Department for administrative support to the MAAG.
In order to establish a MAAG without increasing U.S. military population in Ecuador greatly, and in order to reduce the net cost to Ecuador of maintaining both a MAAG and U.S. training missions, the Army is prepared, subject to Ecuador’s consent, to reduce its present training mission complement by two spaces, and the Air Force is prepared to reduce its present training mission complement by three spaces. The Navy is uncertain whether it would be practicable to reduce its present training mission complement and is requesting recommendations from the Chief of the Naval Training Mission in Ecuador before making a final determination.
Ecuador would not be requested to supply currency for training teams, which would be sent to Ecuador, as needed, at U.S. expense.
It might be possible to reduce, or eliminate, currency required for contingencies, i.e., return of MAAG personnel to Ecuador for consultation, in the event the need should arise.

Under this formula, Defense requirements in the above tabulation could be reduced to a total of $8,517 in currency required for the first six-month period and to a total of $17,034 in currency required for an ensuing twelve-month period. Depending on the ability and willingness of Ecuador to provide administrative facilities and services to the MAAG, it might be possible to reduce the amounts tabulated for State Department administrative support and for contingencies by perhaps one-half or more. In addition to these reductions, Ecuador would realize a reduction in cost brought about by a reduction of existing training mission complements, which are now being maintained at Ecuador’s expense. Any unused-balance of currency existing at the end of either of the two specified periods would, of course, have the effect of reducing the amount of currency required for an ensuing period.

Consideration is not being given in Washington, at the present time, to the Embassy’s suggestion that the program for Ecuador be wholly subsidized by the U.S. Legal difficulties prohibit funds programmed for [Page 979] end-items to be used for meeting U.S. administrative costs in Ecuador, and there are no other dollars available for meeting those costs. While it is recognized that the failure of Ecuador to agree to provide any currency would present the U.S. with a difficult choice, either of discontinuing the program or assuming its full cost, it is believed that the alternative proposed by the Embassy should be considered only as a last resort, after Ecuador has indicated officially an intention not to provide any currency for the program.

It would be beneficial to have at least a preliminary and informal Ecuadoran reaction to the above formula at an early date. In the event Ecuador should object to negotiations prior to settlement of the Army problems discussed below, it is suggested that negotiations might be limited to currency required by the State and Defense Departments to maintain all of the eight MAAG personnel proposed above, with the exception of one officer and one enlisted man proposed for the Army Section. This suggestion is based on the belief that rectifying the Army program may be time-consuming and that negotiations for currency required for an Army Section could be undertaken at a later date. In the event Ecuador is prepared to commence negotiations in accordance with the above formula, the Department is prepared to provide any additional information the Embassy may require for the negotiations.

Army Program. The Department of the Army is requesting the Chief of the U.S. Army Mission in Ecuador to submit additional information regarding problems which have arisen so that remedial measures may be developed. On the assumption that Ecuador is unwilling or unable to prepare an anti-aircraft battalion for hemisphere defense (see Colonel Enderton’s report of December 22, 195214 to the Department of the Army) one of the following alternatives would appear to be indicated.

Reduce the battalion to a single battery, thus utilizing equipment shipped to date and thus reducing Ecuadoran effort and expense. Offer remainder of battalion to another country without delay.
Delete entire AA battalion from the program, retaining Air Force and Navy programs on present scale. Remove Army equipment shipped to date. Offer AA battalion to another country.
Same as b, and in addition, indicate to Ecuador that a contribution of some other unspecified unit might be considered at some indefinite later date, subject to acceptability at that time to both countries and subject to availability of U.S. and Ecuadoran funds, at that time.

If Ecuador cannot contribute an AA battalion, present U.S. military planning requires that the Department of the Army seek the contribution [Page 980] of an AA battalion from some other Latin American country. The Department of the Army is therefore not in a position to release Army funds programmed for Ecuador to the Navy or Air Force, in order to permit an increase in Navy and Air Force programs.

There appears to be virtually no possibility of the U.S. providing warehousing assistance to Ecuador.

Navy and Air Force Programs. It may be possible for the Navy Department to increase slightly the Navy program planned for Ecuador. The substitution of AT–6–g for AT–6 aircraft is unlikely to present a problem. The Acting MAAG Chief should submit this request to the Department of Defense if he has not already done so.

With regard to questions raised by the Embassy in its despatch No. 511 of January 23, 1953, the Embassy will be informed, and provided an opportunity to comment, regarding any contemplated revision of the Secret Military Plan with Ecuador or the basic program contemplated under the Plan. After the Embassy has consulted with the Chiefs of the Army, Naval and Air Force Missions, the Department would very much appreciate receiving any proposals the Embassy may desire to submit regarding the Plan.

As soon as the Defense Department is prepared to send an officer, or officers, to Ecuador to review the problems which have arisen, the Embassy will be informed. In the interim, the Department would appreciate receiving the Embassy’s reaction to the local currency and MAAG proposals set forth herein.

  1. Drafted by George O. Spencer of the Office of Regional American Affairs; cleared with the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Mutual Security Affairs, the Office of South American Affairs, and the Departments of Defense and the Army; signed by Mr. Jamison.
  2. In despatch 660, Ambassador Daniels informed the Department of State that he had received a note from Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ponce, dated Feb. 14, 1952, expressing agreement with the Ambassador’s proposals that U.S. armed service missions in Ecuador temporarily perform the functions of a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), and that additional personnel be assigned to these missions to perform necessary technical operations (722.5 MSP/2–1952).
  3. In despatch 939, Ambassador Daniels requested information about equipment scheduled for shipment to Ecuador in accordance with the Military Assistance Agreement, and he also suggested ways to reduce the costs to Ecuador of implementing the military assistance program (722.5 MSP/6–1652).
  4. In despatch 126, Ambassador Daniels recommended that only a minimum amount of the total administrative costs of the military assistance program for Ecuador be charged to the Ecuadoran Government for payment in local currency (722.5 MSP/8–2052).
  5. In despatch 266, the Embassy in Ecuador transmitted a memorandum by Col. Herbert B. Enderton, U.S. Army Attaché, dated Oct. 8, 1952, reporting the views of Ecuadoran armed forces concerning the arrival on Aug. 3, 1952, of the initial shipment of equipment under the Military Assistance Agreement (720.5 MSP/10–852).
  6. In despatch 511, the Embassy requested information with respect to whether or not the Department of Defense contemplated revision of the United States–Ecuador bilateral military plan of Feb. 20, 1952 (722.5 MSP/1–2353).
  7. In the referenced telegram, Ambassador Daniels recommended that a qualified military officer be sent to Ecuador by the Department of Defense to survey the operation of the military assistance program and to suggest solutions to the problems which had arisen in connection with the program (722.5 MSP/1–2353).
  8. In despatch 521, Ambassador Daniels reported a conversation which took place on Jan. 27, 1953, between him and Ecuadoran Minister of Defense Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy, concerning the implementation of the military assistance program in Ecuador (722.5 MSP/1–2853).
  9. In telegram 188, the Department informed Ambassador Daniels that he would soon be instructed to initiate negotiations with the Ecuadoran Government to obtain its agreement to provide local currency to cover the costs of MAAG functions in Ecuador, and that Defense preferred to deal with the problems connected with the Ecuadoran program on the basis of the results of the negotiations, rather than by sending an officer to Ecuador to evaluate the situation (722.5 MSP/1–2353).
  10. In telegram 208, Ambassador Daniels emphasized the need for a military officer to survey the operation of the military assistance program in Ecuador (722.5 MSP/2–353).
  11. In despatch 536, Ambassador Daniels discussed the limited funds available in Ecuador for financing MAAG operations, and he reiterated his earlier recommendation for a special military mission to study the military assistance program for the purpose of adjusting it to Ecuadoran realities (722.5 MSP/2–353).
  12. Col. Herbert K. Baisley, Chief, U.S. Air Force Mission in Ecuador.
  13. Col. Herbert B. Enderton.
  14. Not found in Department of State files.