722.5 MSP/6–2953: Airgram
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Ecuador 1
A–249. The Department has received from the Defense Department a memorandum of June 5, 1953,2 which sets forth certain recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff respecting future implementation by the Defense Department of the grant-aid military assistance program being conducted under the Bilateral Military Assistance Agreement between Ecuador and the U.S. The Embassy’s comments regarding the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs are requested.
“1. The approved MDAP force bases for Ecuador are as follows:
|1 AAA (AW) Battalion
|1 Patrol Craft
|“c. Air Force
|1 Fighter Squadron
“2. The inclusion of 1 AAA (AW) Battalion in the approved forces for programming mutual defense assistance for Ecuador resulted from a recommendation by the Secretary of State in November 1951 that, unless there were overriding military considerations to the contrary, negotiations with Ecuador should include the opportunity for that country to prepare units of two services rather than the one service then contemplated (Air Force). The Joint Chiefs of Staff reported to the Secretary of Defense3 that there were no military objections which would override the political considerations involved and designated 1 [Page 986] AAA (AW) Battalion to be furnished by Ecuador. The Navy patrol craft was also included in the negotiations as a result of a later modification by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“3. Several reports have been received by the Departments of State and Defense from U.S. representatives in Ecuador (the U.S. Ambassador, the U.S. Army Attaché, and the Acting Chief of the MAAG) to the effect that the Army equipment thus far delivered to Ecuador under the MDAP is unwanted and inappropriate. The Acting Chief of the Army Section of the MAAG (Ecuador) recommended to the Department of the Army that the Army portion of the MDAP for Ecuador be terminated. The U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador suggested that consideration should be given to increasing the Navy portion of the program.
“4. The reports, suggestions, and recommendations referred to above have been carefully studied by the Department of Defense.
“5. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the advisability of revising the presently approved force bases for programming mutual defense assistance for Ecuador and have concluded that no revision should be made at this time. However, since Ecuador is not at this time prepared to absorb the undelivered portion of the equipment for an AAA (AW) Battalion and thereby of qualifying to receive this portion of its MDAP the Joint Chiefs of Staff have recommended that the United States should:
- “a. Suspend shipments of Army equipment to Ecuador until such time as the Department of the Army determines that resumption of shipments is warranted.
- “b. Continue efforts to obtain Ecuador’s cooperation in the raising of its AAA Battalion.
- “c. In the event these efforts are still unsuccessful after a reasonable time or the Government of Ecuador so requests, re-examine the force bases for the Ecuadorian MDAP.
“6. The Department of the Army is being requested to take appropriate action to implement the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“7. It is suggested that the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador be informed and that he be requested to continue his efforts to obtain Ecuador’s cooperation in the raising of its AAA Battalion.”
With regard to the Navy program planned for Ecuador, the Embassy is advised that the Ecuadoran Minister of Defense informed Defense Department representatives during his recent trip to Washington that he desired to obtain under the program a U.S. naval vessel in trade for a naval vessel now in the possession of Ecuador. He indicated that he desired a ship in better condition and of a more modern type than one of those now in the Ecuadoran Navy. Defense Department representatives requested the Minister to submit his request to the Acting Chief of MAAG, upon his return to Ecuador. He was informed that requests for alterations in the program should be submitted to the MAAG, which would then refer the request to the Defense Department in Washington for consideration.[Page 987]
The Defense Department is in process of selecting an officer for assignment as Chief of MAAG to Ecuador. As soon as the Department has been notified of the officer selected, the Department will communicate his name and qualifications to the Embassy for approval and diplomatic clearance.