39. Letter From the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mallory) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Irwin)1

Dear Mr. Irwin: On June 16, Assistant Secretary Rubottom responded2 to Mr. Knight’s letter of May 19, 1960 (File: X–13890/60),3 which submitted a proposal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that there be obtained from the next Congress a modification of Section 105 (b) (4) of the Mutual Security Act,4 as amended, to permit the use of MAP funds for furnishing internal security assistance to Latin American countries without prior Presidential approval of each case, as now required by law. Mr. Knight’s letter also transmitted a copy of the Joint Chiefs’ program for strengthening the security and intelligence capabilities of the armed forces of Latin American countries.

[Page 215]

The Department of State fully agrees that the maintenance and strengthening of internal security has become a priority objective in Latin America and one essential to the security and defense of the hemisphere. It is clearly desirable to consider revision of Section 105 (b) (4) of the Mutual Security Act, as amended, in conjunction with the formulation of legislative provisions for submission to the next Congress.

Careful consideration has been given to the action programs developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aimed at coping with the internal security problem throughout Latin America. While many of these proposals, in our opinion, have potential value, their implementation in some countries would be certain to touch on serious problems of internal political sensitivity. I believe, therefore, that before implementing those programs which provide for participation by Latin American countries or the dispatch of additional U.S. personnel to the area, we should have a U.S. assessment of the total internal security situation in each Latin American country, commencing with countries in the Caribbean area, where the situation is most critical, with a view to identifying: (1) deficiencies in military equipment required by the local police or armed forces for internal security purposes; (2) deficiencies in local intelligence or counter-intelligence capabilities [1 line of source text not declassified]; (3) local political considerations that may make one type of program more feasible than another; (4) the most appropriate and effective U.S. channels to utilize in furnishing types of internal security assistance determined necessary and politically feasible. This procedure would be consistent with the conclusions set forth in the study of August 29, 1960, entitled, “Counter-Guerrilla Warfare”,5 which was prepared and approved by the Ad Hoc Study Group6 established pursuant to a decision taken at the state–JCS meeting of July 8, 1960.7

I suggest that representatives of our Departments meet with representatives of ICA [1½ lines of source text not declassified] in order to arrive at an agreed procedure for making the type of assessment proposed [Page 216]above. I have accordingly requested my staff to consult your office and the other concerned agencies for the purpose of arranging a meeting to discuss this urgent matter at an early date.

Sincerely yours,

L.D. Mallory8
  1. Source: Department of State, ARA/ISA Files: Lot 65 D 285, Political Affairs & Relations, 1960–1962. Secret. Drafted by Spencer and Devine on September 8.
  2. Not printed. (ibid., Central Files, 720.5/6–1660)
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. Of 1954.
  5. This report concluded, inter alia, that effective counterguerilla action by the United States required the development of measures by nondefense agencies to deal with the underlying political, social, and economic causes of guerilla violence, and the formulation of a “counter-guerilla doctrine” by defense agencies based on that principle. (Department of State, ARA/ISA Files: Lot 65 D 285, Political Affairs & Relations 1960–1962)
  6. The Ad Hoc Study Group was comprised of 12 working level officers from the Departments of State and Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Edward E. Rice of the Policy Planning Staff and George S. Newman of the Office of the Deputy Coordinator of Mutual Security represented the Department of State.
  7. The record of this meeting is in Department of State, state–JCS Meetings: Lot 67 D 548.
  8. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.