The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense ( Halaby ) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: This is in reply to your letter of 17 August 19531 regarding the renewal of the agreement between the Governments of the United States and the Republic of Liberia providing for the assignment of the United States Army Mission to Liberia.
Liberia is of certain potential military value to the United States because it is a source of natural rubber and high grade iron ore; there is an airfield there, Roberts Field, which may be necessary in case the United States should require a South Atlantic Air Route; Monrovia provides the only port in West Africa not controlled by a European nation. In the event of global war, it would in all probability be necessary for the United States to furnish Army units to protect the supply of strategic materials and bases in Liberia. The strength of such United States Army units could be reduced by the extent Liberia itself is able to contribute to its own security. On this basis and in view of the low costs involved and the good will engendered, it is concluded that continued assistance to Liberia on a very modest scale through the renewal of the agreement is justified.
It is therefore requested that the Department of State initiate the necessary negotiations with the view of renewing the agreement as [Page 516] recommended in your letter. It is further requested that you contact the Department of the Army directly in working out the details.
- Not printed; it solicited the views of the Department of Defense to the overture of the Liberian Government to renew the agreement providing for a U.S. Army Mission in Liberia for an additional 3 years. (776.58/8–753)↩