792.5 MSP/8–1252

No. 383
Memorandum by John H. Ohly, Assistant Director for Program, Office of the Director of Mutual Security, to Edwin M. Martin, Special Assistant to the Secretary for Mutual Security Affairs1



  • Military Assistance for Thailand.

As both of you are aware, I have for a long time had considerable doubts concerning (a) the precise objectives of, (b) the wisdom of maintaining, and particularly, (c) the wisdom of maintaining at such high levels, the military assistance program for Thailand. Recent reports to the effect that arms were being delivered from Thailand to the Karens2 in exchange for wolfram and that certain Thai military authorities were in touch with Chinese Communists in Hong Kong, together with the recurrent participation over the past two years of the several Thai services in military coups in support of different political factions, have strengthened these doubts at least to the point of believing that we should make a thorough reassessment of the purpose of this program and the desirability, and, if so, at what level, of continuing this program in FY 1953 and FY 1954.

I therefore request that the Departments of State and Defense collaborate on a careful reassessment of the problem so that it may be available at the time we review FY 1954 program proposals. I ask the Department of State to take the initiative in getting in touch with the Department of Defense and getting this work under way.

John H. Ohly
  1. This memorandum was also sent to Frank C. Nash, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
  2. Reference is to the Karen insurgents in eastern Burma.