30. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning (Smith) to the Secretary of State1


  • Re-examination of Basic Concepts on Which Our Military and Defense Policy Toward Latin America Is Based


We believe that long-range developments and immediate circumstances compel an urgent and thorough re-examination and reorientation of our military and defense policy toward Latin America. The principal reasons are: 1) that the elements of nuclear strategy in 1960 raise serious question as to whether Latin American military forces can make any significant contribution to defense of the free world against an all-out communist attack; 2) the military program for Latin America [Page 175]is under heavy fire in the Congress on a variety of grounds, but principally because it is said to permit or encourage diversion of resources from badly needed economic development and does not distinguish between dictatorial and democratic governments; 3) highlighted by a recent statement by the President of Chile,2 more and more Latin Americans themselves are objecting to costly Latin American military programs and are supporting arms limitation and the utilization of some of the funds now devoted to military establishments for economic purposes; 4) President Eisenhower’s forthcoming visit to South American countries offers an excellent opportunity for him to indicate at the highest level that we are preparing a new approach to our military relationship with Latin American countries.3

As indicated, the military policy which we have been pursuing for some years has as its central element the view that the Latin American countries can make important contributions to free world defense. The strategic concept which the Pentagon has adduced to guide that policy contemplates roles and missions which, in the phraseology of the Mutual Security Act, are “important to the defense of the Western Hemisphere.” Within the strategic force objectives, a relatively limited number of units of the armies, air forces and navies of the Latin American countries are provided U.S. grant aid to better enable them to participate in this defense. In addition, these countries spend considerable sums from their own budgets on equipment which, in theory at least, will strengthen their military capabilities, but which often appears to have more of a prestige purpose. Partly by design and partly by circumstance, we are the main supplier of these armaments although European countries have at times also entered the field.

Thus, 1) our program, 2) the important place of the military in Latin American political life and 3) their appetites have come close to producing an arms race which inevitably diverts funds from that economic development without which the underlying strength of Latin America, and therefore its defense potential, is weak. There might be some justification for all this if the realities of the present military picture did not suggest a much less important position for Latin American military than we seem to have led them to believe they have.

The attached paper (Tab B), prepared in S/P in collaboration with ARA, proposes a new concept for hemispheric defense which would emphasize that the real Latin American direct military contribution is more appropriately aimed at maintaining security among American states (intra-hemispheric defense) and that consequently the roles and missions which Latin American countries might perform may be safely [Page 176]reduced. The concept also introduces the idea of a collective OAS stand-by peace force, encourages the utilization of already well-developed OAS multilateral agencies such as the COAS and the IADB in the defense picture (and consequently in the area of U.S. grant aid), and underlines the educational and developmental contribution which Latin American military forces might make. The paper calls for diverting attention from those Latin American defense viewpoints which augment military expenditures toward a less expensive, more realistic and more effective participation by the military element.

The conclusions of this study are set forth in its first three and a half pages. It is emphasized that these conclusions simply form the basis for a revised policy, the exact lines and the negotiation of which will require further specific planning and preparation, and which, even in most favorable circumstances, would require years to be put into effect. Nevertheless, the first stage must necessarily be to obtain from the JCS a review of the strategic concept upon which our present policy is based.


It is recommended that you authorize Mr. Merchant to present the concept to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the attached outline form (Tab A) at the earliest opportunity and request their reactions on an urgent basis.4 The objective of this review would be to seek to obtain enough common ground with the Department of Defense to put us in a position to recommend to the President that he give his important impulse to at least the main outlines of the policy during his visit to Latin America.5

[Tab A]


Question is raised as to the continuing applicability of the present strategic concept upon which the roles and missions of Latin American military forces in defense of the Western Hemisphere against aggression are based, or whether, conversely, Latin American capabilities might be devoted in greater measure to:
intra-hemispheric defense roles and missions,
internal security,
economic development, and
U.S. recovery from general war.
The forcefulness and urgency with which this question is raised are emphasized by:
the rapidity with which scientific developments and military technology appear to be overtaking defense concepts to the achievement of which Latin American military forces in their present stage of development might usefully contribute,
rising demands from civilian governmental elements in Latin America for the curtailment of military expenditures, most of which are stated to be warranted in the interests of hemisphere defense, as expressed in the Chilean initiative for a conference among South American nations on arms control, and the response thereto,
sharp Congressional criticism of the Latin American MAP program, most of which has been directed not only at the program itself, but to the concept on which it is based, and
the likelihood that the President will be expected to discuss hemispheric defense policy during his visit to four South American countries in February.
Assuming alteration of strategic concept is required, would it not be feasible to move toward:
Latin American roles and missions primarily for intra-hemisphere defense,
a stand-by Inter-American Peace Force,
greater utilization of OAS multilateral approach in military dealings with Latin America.
Above does not involve proposals for immediate changes in present programs or policy, but does constitute a request for JCS review of strategic bases for determining the contribution required from Latin American military forces and feasibility of adapting present programs to new conditions.
Objective of requested review is to examine practicability of phased execution over period of years of new politico-military policy which would maintain our all-important influence with the Latin American military, and at the same time, permit greater proportion of indigenous Latin American resources to be devoted to internal economic development.
[Page 178]

[Tab B]


I. Conclusions

The broad elements of a long-range defense concept for Latin America, with emphasis shifted to economic, social and political development during what we might designate as The Development Decade of the 1960’s, should include:

Extra-hemispheric defense. The US should, in conformity with the realities of the nuclear age, continue to assume primary (though not exclusive) responsibility for the defense of Latin America against external aggression.6 Toward this end, and in order to permit Latin America to conserve resources and point toward arms limitations and disarmament, the US should undertake (a) to phase out programs in which Latin American forces are unrealistically associated in continental defense roles and (b) to influence Latin American military leaders toward greater emphasis on maintaining intra-hemispheric peace and contributing to the internal development of their countries.
Intra-hemispheric defense. Latin America should assume primary (though not exclusive) responsibility for defense against intra-hemispheric aggression. Toward this end, the present roles of the Council of the Organization of American States (COAS) and of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) should be enlarged and coordinated and an inter-American standby peace (defense) force developed.
Enlarged role for COAS. Since the COAS acts provisionally (in lieu of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers) as the Organ of Consultation [Page 179]under the Rio Treaty7 when the Treaty is invoked, the Council should logically evolve in the decade ahead toward assumption of primary executive responsibility for the maintenance of intra-hemispheric peace as provided in the Treaty. Toward this end, it should be more closely associated with the IADB and serve as the principal hemispheric forum (a) for determining the intra-hemispheric roles and missions to which the US could contribute US grant military aid most effectively, and (b) for preparing the ground-work for arms controls and limitations within Latin America.
New role for IADB. The primary (though not exclusive) role of the IADB should be to plan and coordinate activities and forces relating to the maintenance of intra-hemispheric security (defense) within the framework of the Rio Treaty, including (a) the providing of military advice, assistance and recommendations to the COAS, and (b) the development and deployment of an inter-American standby peace force. It should continue to plan and coordinate those aspects of continental defense in which the Latin American military may have a practical role, to utilize its influence to phase out unrealistic continental defense missions, and to make recommendations relating to US grant military aid. Toward these ends, and in order for it to discharge its enlarged political-military responsibilities with maximum political guidance and coordination, its present role within the OAS structure should be redefined.
Standby peace force. In consultation with the COAS, the IADB should earmark military and/or naval units within the respective countries for deployment in one or more standby peace forces, since such forces in-being would represent the most feasible and economical method of implementing the inter-American commitments against intra-hemispheric aggression. Toward this end, the US should at an appropriate time announce its support of a standby force and its willingness to implement its commitments under the Rio Treaty by having certain US units earmarked for such a force.
US grant aid. We should evolve toward a position (a) of holding grant aid for continental defense missions to a minimum, and (b) of otherwise furnishing military grant aid, upon recommendation of the IADB as approved by the COAS, only for intra-hemispheric military purposes and to those nations which earmark forces for a stand-by peace force.
Arms controls: disarmament. We should encourage Latin America toward arms limitations and controls on a continental basis. Toward this end, the US should emphasize that Latin America’s distance [Page 180]from external Communist power uniquely qualifies it to reduce force levels and military demands on resources which can better be used for developmental purposes.
Education of the military. The projected Inter-American Defense College and other educational and training facilities in which the US can exert influence should emphasize the constructive political and socio-economic role which the Latin American military can play in internal development. Toward this end, the US should start the process of convincing the Latin American military—however long it may take—that their most patriotic role, and their true defense role, lies in executing a concept of defense through development, with all that this entails.

II. Introduction

This paper examines reasons why present US politico-military policy toward Latin America has been subjected to increasing criticism and outlines a new concept which will more closely align our hemispheric military policy and its implementation with our overriding hemispheric political and security interests—and those of the other American republics—in the decade ahead.
Our present policy rests on the concept of a common US-Latin American responsibility for hemispheric defense against both extra-and intra-hemispheric aggression.
Its implementation has developed anomalies which should not be perpetuated: (a) If our objective is to prepare Latin America for World War III missions, it would seem that we are furnishing the wrong weapons and placing the wrong emphasis on training; (b) if our objective is the maintenance of internal order, it would appear that we are furnishing too large a number of the wrong weapons; and (c) if our objective is to strengthen the inter-American commitments to maintain intra-hemispheric peace, our policy and programs have unfortunately trended toward an opposite effect by permitting rivals to arm against each other on the pretext of requiring additional arms for continental defense, e.g., Chile and Peru.
The concept proposed in this paper provides a basis for focusing the military and other resources of the hemisphere, and the respective contributions which the United States and Latin America can most advantageously make, on the foreseeable and real threat to the hemisphere.
That threat is the Communist-nationalist exploitation of failure to make socio-economic progress, rather than the threat of extra-hemispheric aggression against Latin America. A sound strategic concept for hemispheric defense under the prospects of aggression now obtaining should therefore relate defense of the hemisphere with its socio-economic development on an urgent basis.
This paper is concerned primarily with the elements of such a concept rather than with the tactics of its presentation, timing or negotiation. It is recognized that much of the concept will not be immediately negotiable, largely because of opposition of the Latin American military in many countries.
It is believed, however, that predictable and immediate military opposition should not present an insuperable long-term obstacle. Nor should such opposition deter our phasing toward a new policy which will be more acceptable in the long run to civilian leaders and opinion in Latin America because it points their military establishments toward a more realistic role in confronting the real security threat. Mexico might well serve as an exemplar in this respect.
The following section analyzes deficiencies in our existing policy and Section IV enumerates reasons why we should move forward toward a new policy. Section V summarizes a rationale which can be summoned in support of the changes in policy and concept advanced herein.

III. Problem

The present US politico-military policy and supporting programs toward Latin America rest upon the assumption of a common responsibility for hemispheric defense as set forth in the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Treaty of Rio de Janeiro) and upon plans for continental defense developed in the Department of Defense, the general elements of which have been reviewed by the IADB.
Under MSA legislation, we provide grant military assistance to 128 of the 20 Latin American republics, though the existing MAP with Cuba is inoperative. We maintain training missions in almost all Latin American countries. Under the 12 bilateral MAP agreements, we provide military equipment and training for specified units which are assigned missions for continental defense, i.e., defense against an assumed extra-hemispheric threat.
It has become increasingly apparent that our MAP policy is unrealistic. There is no credible extra-hemispheric military threat to Latin America to which Latin American military establishments could appropriately respond. Military units which Latin America could or would make available for extra-hemispheric defense under the MAP agreements would be small and of dubious military value.
The roles planned for such units are largely World War II type roles which bear little or no relevance to the Latin American contributions which would assist us most in the event of general war (antisubmarine warfare training may be the principal exception).
NSC policy recognizes the marginal military value of the existing MAP’s in providing that only in exceptional circumstances shall the US participate with Latin American countries in combined operations for hemispheric defense (NSC 5902/1, para. 44).9
Although unrealistic militarily, these military programs have been of political value in the past.
No government can remain in power in a majority of the Latin American countries without the support or suffrance of the military. Military support is equally essential for major shifts of policy or of international orientation. The armed forces represent the major institution-in-being which assumes power, or maintains internal security, in time of crisis.
As a consequence, it is in US interests to maintain a friendly attitude on the part of the Latin American military at this stage of Latin American development and pending the emergence of stronger civilian institutions which can hold the military in control. But it is equally important that we not carry our friendship and support to the extent of sharing the onus of popular opposition with those officers corps or dictatorial military regimes which are obstacles to socio-economic progress.
US politico-military policy toward Latin America thus presents a curious paradox: We employ military justification for the achievement of primarily political purposes and develop hemispheric defense missions to cultivate influence within military establishments whose most important missions, in terms of US interests, are maintenance of internal security and support of constitutional institutions. It is not surprising that this paradox has led important segments of opinion in Congress and Latin America to question the validity of existing policy and to call for its revision.
Congress questions whether the quantum of US grant military aid is being utilized to the best advantage and whether the present direction of existing programs will assure long-range political benefits either to the US or to Latin America. Influential members of Congress would prefer that US aid be channelled to Latin America on a multilateral basis. The Senate is on record as favoring the development of an inter-American stand-by peace force to discharge the intra-hemispheric obligations of the Rio Treaty.
The Morse Amendment to the 1958 MSA10 precludes the furnishing of grant aid for purposes of maintaining internal security save in exceptional cases; it thus cuts across a major role which the Latin American military can and should perform, notwithstanding that the US pays an unacceptable political price when US arms are utilized by dictators to suppress human rights and popular grievances.
Paralleling this criticism is the widespread Latin American apprehension, expressed by civilian elements on whom we must depend to advance long-range US interests, that US policy burdens Latin America with excessive arms buildups, tends to play into the hands of the military “man on horseback”, and complicates the task of civilian advancement toward democratic institutions and higher standards of living.
We must assume some blame for inflating Latin American military expenditures and whetting appetites for the extravagances of prestige equipment (naval units, jet aircraft). We must also recognize that any concept of utilizing Latin American units outside the hemisphere is unpopular, as well as largely unrealistic.
The effect of our program—executed as it is under the restrictions of the doctrine of non-intervention—has very probably been to strengthen the older, conservative officer corps at the expense of more liberal younger officers who, unless properly educated, encouraged, and channeled, can become susceptible to extremist and even Communist influences.
Our postwar politico-military policy toward Latin America has, in short, run its course and has probably produced the maximum benefits which can be expected of it.
Two benefits which have been derived are that the US has supplanted Europe as the primary supplier and trainer of the Latin American military and that, by and large, the US has achieved friendly relations with, and a considerable influence in, the Latin American officer groups. Nevertheless, the continuance of our present policy and programs is more likely to be counterproductive than productive as Latin America continues to trend away from military regimes and toward more serious preoccupation with internal developmental problems.
[Page 184]

IV. Desirability of Making a Start on a New Concept

However desirable it may be to alter and reorient the emphasis of our present politico-military policy, the process will not be an easy one. It is desirable to commence the process, nevertheless, for these reasons, among others:
Our present policy imposes unnecessary expenditures and unrealistic missions on Latin American military establishments and diverts them from playing more constructive roles which could (a) assist internal development programs and (b) convert Latin America into a more prosperous going concern on which the US might more securely rely in a post-general war recovery period.
The US should take the fullest advantage of the general Latin American desire to make greater developmental progress under more democratic institutions.
We should help lay the groundwork for possible arms controls and limitations.
We should likewise enhance the role and influence of the apolitical, professional type of Latin American officer—especially the younger, liberal officer—and encourage him in the direction of the apolitical officer corps of Mexico, Chile, and Uruguay.
We should—in an effort to stem the trend toward neutralism in certain countries—try to strengthen the Western Hemisphere Idea within the context of the existing realities of hemispheric defense. Moving in this direction is especially important if, in so doing, we can both moderate Congressional criticism of our existing politico-military policy and programs as well as win the support of Latin American civilian leaders who aspire toward a deceleration of arms expenditures.

V. A Rationale for the Proposed New Concept

This section presents the rationale of a concept of defense through development.
Extra-hemispheric aggression against Latin America is not likely in the absence of a nuclear attack by the USSR on the US. The USSR would not attack Latin America with nuclear or conventional weapons without first trying to dispose of the US retaliatory force, since to do so would expose the USSR to US retaliation.
The principal threat to Latin America in the decade ahead is not external military aggression but the consequences of failure of Latin America and the US to utilize this decade to better advantage than the last in making decisive progress toward economic development under democratic institutions.
Latin America and the US should therefore proceed on the basis that our most urgent tasks are to maintain peace in the Americas by the most economical means possible and to devote major emphasis to developmental problems, an important aspect of which is reducing Latin American military expenditures.
In the event of general war, the US and the USSR would both suffer crippling damage. In the aftermath of general war, the USSR would in all likelihood not pose any direct threat to Latin America. The nature of any military roles which Latin America might be required to perform in such a period should therefore be carefully explored with DOD/JCS.
In the event of general war, the US’s primary postwar dependence on Latin America would be for resources and manpower which could contribute to our recovery. The economic development of Latin America, therefore, is in the direct security interest as well as the political interest of the United States.
The BOD/JCS should therefore be asked to re-examine existing Latin American continental defense roles toward the end of eliminating them or adapting them to the realities and prospects of general war within the decade ahead. Although Latin American military establishments should unquestionably possess capabilities to defend strategic installations (mines, oil fields, communications) against the possibility of attack in the event of inter-continental war, it seems likely that reexamination would disclose a number of continental defense missions now assigned to the Latin Americans which could be curtailed or eliminated.
Intra-hemispheric defense. If the Latin American officer corps will devote their military effort to intra-hemispheric defense and the maintenance of constitutional government, they will be making as great a contribution as we should reasonably expect of them.
In devoting themselves to intra-hemispheric military roles and internal development, and in moving toward a hemispheric standby peace force which could reduce individual national military costs if it became a real deterrent to military adventurism, the Latin Americans could fulfill their aspirations for development, while also advancing our own political and security requirements in Latin America.
Standby peace force. This element is so central to the concept proposed herein that it should remain a policy objective despite the obvious present difficulties of negotiating its acceptance.
It is central because a small standby force(s) could (a) serve as a strong deterrent and thus encourage the scaling down of national military establishments, (b) furnish the rationale for US grant aid in accordance with multilateral determinations, and (c) stem trends toward neutralism or Soviet orientation by consolidating the Western Hemisphere Idea on a solid basis of common interest and strategy.
It would serve also to re-affirm faith in the intra-hemispheric commitments against aggression and to put real teeth into the Rio Treaty.
It would furthermore set a helpful precedent for the establishment of other regional peace forces—or of a UN standby force—and would supplement Latin American moves toward disarmament. In a social environment as volatile as Latin America, even a disarmed continent would find a policeman useful throughout the 1960’s.
A standby force is desirable for these additional reasons:
The responsibilities (onus) for US intervention in a given situation would be reduced. The COAS might even develop authority to commit the force, or components thereof, to situations short of overt aggression and where the presence of (or threat of intervention by) small, well-trained units would preserve internal security. In that case, it could conceivably be utilized in the event of a hemispheric crisis not involving outright intra-hemispheric aggression—such as a Communist takeover.
If the US contributed military assistance only to those countries which earmarked units to the standby force, it should lessen criticism that US military aid tends to support debates [dictators?] since the units supported would be earmarked for OAS service. This would not, of course, remove us from all criticism in situations where a local dictator committed the troops internally but would, notwithstanding these inevitable contingencies, represent an improvement over the present situation.
If the individual contingents were developed into well-equipped elite units, some aspirations of the newer type of Latin American apolitical-professional officer would be satisfied, to his advantage and ours.
A policy of supporting only those units which were earmarked for intra-hemispheric defense would permit us to treat Latin American countries on an equal basis and without regard to existing “continental defense” roles or geographical location.
To launch such a force, it would very probably be necessary, and certainly desirable, for the US to furnish a small contingent lest the Latin Americans conclude we were welching on the Rio Treaty. The existence, however, of a well-trained Latin American standby force pledged to the OAS would considerably reduce what might otherwise be required as a US contribution in the event of a serious breach of the Rio Treaty.
In enunciating its support of a standby peace force, the US should make it clear that such a deterrent would implement the Rio Treaty commitments in the most feasible and economic manner available. The development of such a deterrent, therefore, should tend to calm the fears of countries which, notwithstanding the solemn obligations of the Treaty, profess to fear aggression from their neighbors and arm accordingly.
We should relate the force to the long-range objective of arms controls and limitations and develop the point that a standby force is conceived of essentially as a precondition to arms controls and as an inexpensive form of deterrent.
We can of course anticipate an initial strong objection to the creation of such a force from many Latin American countries on the grounds that it would impinge on national sovereignty and represent a means of breaching the doctrine of non-intervention. Our strongest line of argumentation in response to this objection should be that the force is conceived of primarily as a deterrent which, if it became a real deterrent, would never be used, and which would be a real deterrent if each country adhered to its commitments under the Rio Treaty.
Enlarged COASIADB roles. If we find advantages in moving toward policies in support of a hemispheric standby peace force and of basing US grant aid on COASIADB determinations, there are obvious advantages in bringing IADB more definitely within the OAS structure.
Few matters affecting Latin American military establishments could be more highly political than those relating to intra-hemispheric defense roles or the development and deployment of national units assigned to an OAS standby peace force. If the IADB is to discharge these political roles successfully, it should be brought firmly under the guiding political authority of the OAS structure.
Hence, the IADB fits into the over-all picture best as the military arm of the COAS.
The IADB could thus develop into an agency of great influence as the clearing house for hemispheric defense problems and the major hemispheric influence in encouraging Latin American military establishments toward holding security and developmental problems in proper balance.
It should logically also point toward an influential role in the education and advanced training of officers corps in developmental responsibilities. In this connection, thought should be given to its role vis-à-vis the projected Inter-American Defense College.
Multilateral grant aid goes hand-in-hand with the support of a standby peace force. Both should be pressed, therefore, as part of a long-range hemispheric policy. In part, however, the multilateral grant aid principle depends on the establishment of closer structural relationships between the COAS, as the continuing executive arm of the OAS, and the IADB.
Thus, even without a standby force, the IADB might, in planning intra-hemispheric defense missions with existing MSA-agreement countries, tender recommendations for US grant aid to the [Page 188]COAS. Under these circumstances, it would be plausible for us to consider such recommendations and furnish aid only for missions recommended by IADB as approved by the COAS.
The latter course of action might be considered as a method of the US’s exerting long-term pressure for standby peace forces. An advantage of this course of action is that it would enhance the prestige of both the IADB and its parent, the COAS.
A parallel course of action now being studied is that of channeling US technical aid through the OAS on a multilateral basis. Either course of action would create a precedent for the other and each should be studied for their effect on the other, especially since furnishing US technical aid on a multilateral basis is scheduled for discussion at the Quito Conference.
Reimbursable aid: reduction of military budgets. In advocating a new military policy for Latin America, we cannot remove ourselves from all influences of leverage over Latin American military establishments. We must not abdicate the field of influence won after the war either to the Europeans, or to the Soviet Bloc, though the Europeans now pose fewer problems for us in this area than before World War II.
We should therefore stand ready to supply military equipment on a reimbursable basis but, in so doing, we should utilize our influence to encourage a scaling down of military demands and budgets to the extent possible.
One mechanism which suggests itself in this respect is the Inter-American Development Bank. We should study how the Bank, in its concentration on the developmental process, can bring elements of control to bear on excessive foreign purchases of armaments. Perhaps the OAS, IADB, Export-Import Bank and IMF can also play more important roles in this respect in the future.
Role of military in development and maintenance of internal security. In the present stage of Latin American development, we want of the Latin American officer corps only that they (a) preserve the peace in the most economical manner possible (concentration on intra-hemispheric roles, standby peace force), (b) maintain internal security within constitutional processes, (c) remain friendly toward and susceptible to the influence of the US, (d) orient themselves toward greater appreciation of their responsibilities in the entire developmental process, and (e) keep their establishments, expenditures, and demands in balance with the urgent developmental requirements of their societies.
Admittedly it will be difficult to persuade the older, more reactionary officer groups to these purposes. They will not willingly liquidate themselves as a class. They will not readily drop their accoutrements of prestige or political pretensions.
Yet, if we clearly hold our own purposes in mind and work with younger officers and responsible Latin American civilian elements, we can make more progress toward curtailing these excesses of the Latin American military in the future than we have in the past. The projected Inter-American Defense College could be utilized importantly in this respect, and our own military can also be of great assistance in influencing the Latin Americans to see the developmental process in perspective.
Seeing the process in perspective requires nothing less than that the Latin American military subordinate itself to the development problem and make the constructive contributions of which it is capable to developmental progress.
This means that the military should think in terms of nation-building, of reducing demands on scarce resources, of channeling its scientific and engineering know-how into productive enterprise and infrastructure, of disciplining and educating its manpower to useful vocations and roles as citizens, and of assisting in the campaign against illiteracy now conducted under UNESCOOASICA auspices.
Such is the real meaning of a concept of hemispheric defense through development which, if acted upon by the military, could assure success of what we might designate as the Development Decade of the 1960’s. Until the military components of Latin American societies move in support of such a concept, the development process will remain in jeopardy.
To those who may argue that subordination of the military in Latin America to the developmental process, as directed by civilians, is illusory, the answer is that it has been accomplished with marked success in Mexico, and that civilian control of the military is firmly established in Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Bolivia.
Arms control: disarmament. Progress toward implementing the foregoing concept and suggested courses of action must be made before the preconditions for substantial arms controls and disarmament are established. Yet the goal and the advantages of arms limitation should be kept before the Latin Americans at all times.
In encouraging the Latin Americans to move forward toward these desiderata, we should emphasize the indisputable fact that no continent on earth (even Australasia) enjoys conditions so favorable to reducing armaments burdens. We should impress on them the advantages they enjoy and the prospects that the Development Decade can hold for them if—in contrast to the present trend—they will maintain the peace, view their military role realistically, and keep security and developmental problems in proper balance.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 710.5/1–2860. Secret. Drafted by Edward A. Jamison, and concurred in by G. Frederick Reinhardt and James M. Wilson.
  2. Jorge Alessandri Rodriguez.
  3. Regarding President Eisenhower’s trip to South America, February 23–March 7, 1960, see Documents 68 ff.
  4. In a February 8 letter to Assistant Secretary of Defense Irwin, Livingston T. Merchant conveyed this outline paper for transmission to the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and requested comments prior to the President’s departure on February 22 for his visit to Latin America. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.5/2–860)
  5. Herter initialed his approval of the recommendation on February 3.
  6. Henry Ramsey of the Policy Planning Staff (S/P) completed the first draft of this paper on November 16, 1959. He circulated it in S/P and ARA for comment, and, in response to numerous suggestions, drafted a revised version under date of November 24. (Department of State, Central Files, 720.5/11–2759) Additional suggestions from officers in ARA and certain reservations expressed by Assistant Secretary Smith concerning portions of the paper he regarded as “unsalable” to the Pentagon and others that would involve S/P in areas of responsibility essentially belonging to ARA, led to a third revision on December 9. The fourth and final draft of the paper is printed here. Documents pertaining to the drafting and revision of Ramsey’s paper are principally ibid., Central File 720.5 and ARA Special Assistant’s Files: Lot 62 D 24, Military 1959.
  7. Use of the formula of “primary (though not exclusive) responsibility” should give us the flexibility to permit (continue) roles in hemispheric defense to nations which aspire to Great Power status (Brazil) or whose national pride might be injured if too suddenly deprived of existing hemispheric defense missions (Argentina). [Footnote in the source text.]
  8. Reference is to the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (commonly called the Rio Treaty), opened for signature at Rio de Janeiro, September 2, 1947, and entered into force for the United States, December 3, 1948; for text, see 62 Stat. 1681.
  9. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay. [Footnote in the source text.]
  10. Document 11.
  11. For text of the Mutual Security Act of 1958 (P.L. 85–477), approved June 30, 1958, see 72 Stat. 261. The Morse Amendment, submitted by Senator Wayne Morse, constitutes Section 103 of the act.