372. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)1
- Report by the Interdepartmental Committee on Certain Aid Programs
1. Reference is made to your memorandum, subject as above, dated 7 November 1956,2 in which you requested the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as to the minimum level of indigenous forces which in the best interests of the United States should be maintained in Pakistan, Turkey, Taiwan and Iran, over the next two years.
2. By memorandum dated 16 November 1956, subject: “Minimum Level of Indigenous Forces to be Maintained in Pakistan”,3 the Joint Chiefs of Staff provided you with recommendations regarding Pakistan. The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the following discussion of force levels is applicable to Pakistan and Iraqi forces.
3. Although a capability for the maintenance of internal security must continue to have first priority in the development of the indigenous forces of the countries with which the United States has bilateral aid agreements, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that U.S. programs [Page 858] for development and support of these forces must be oriented toward the military situation most likely to be faced in event of external aggression and toward the mission which they can best perform.
4. A realistic appraisal must recognize that direct U.S. military intervention will probably be necessary in the event of external attack, particularly by the Chinese Communists or the USSR, if the area attacked is not to be lost. Based on the recognition that U.S. intervention may be necessary, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that a concept based on cooperative effort involving the pre-planning for the use of combined forces (U.S. and indigenous) in which each member contributes that which it can do most effectively, must be adhered to. While we should not specify in detail the forces which we would make available in the event of war, we should conduct joint planning with each of the nations involved and give a broad indication of a strategic plan whereby the United States would come to their assistance.
5. The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the force levels recommended herein represent the best estimates of minimum force levels that can be made based on the present guidance regarding the intentions of the United States to intervene in the event of external aggression against the countries involved.
6. The following comments on levels of indigenous forces to be maintained in Turkey, Iran, Taiwan, and Iraq over the next two years concern those levels in the current FY 58 MDA Programming Guidance.
[Here follow comments on indigenous force levels in Turkey.]
(1) By reason of its geographic position, Iran is the keystone to the defense of the Baghdad Pact area against an aggression from the North. Although the United States is not a member of the Baghdad Pact, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider it in the best interests of the United States to provide an adequate defense of the Baghdad Pact countries.
[Numbered paragraph (2) (6 lines of source text) not declassified]
(3) The Joint Chiefs of Staff further consider that the pattern of forces of Iran, with its extensive natural defense barriers, should emphasize the development of a guerrilla warfare capability. However, until combined planning between the United States and Iran is undertaken, it is believed that responsible Iranian officials probably would not agree to any change of conventional forces.
(4) The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the minimum levels of indigenous forces which, in the best interests of the United States, should be maintained in Iran for the next two years are:
|6 Infantry Divisions, full strength
|6 Infantry Divisions, reduced strength
|5 Independent Brigades, reduced strength
|11 combatant ships
|(c) Air Force
[Here follow comments on indigenous force levels in Taiwan and Iraq.]
7. In the absence of authoritative determination of how far the U.S. can proceed with military bilateral planning with the nations mentioned above, it would be unrealistic to consider force objectives lower than those set forth above.
Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5610 Series. Top Secret. Transmitted to the NSC under a December 5 memorandum from Gleason.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Transmitted by Memo for NSC from the Executive Secretary, subject: “Report by the Interdepartmental Committee on Certain Aid Programs,” dated November 21, 1956. [Footnote in the source text; the memorandum of November 21 regarding JCS minimum force levels for Pakistan is in Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5610 Series.]↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩