386. Memorandum from Rostow to U. Alexis Johnson, July 111
Country Task Forces and the review of the MAP program have emphasized on several occasions the desirability of using local military forces and equipment in civil works and other projects helpful to economic growth. We understand that in a number of cases military personnel and equipment are being used for road construction, village projects, literacy and other basic educational activities of major non-military usefulness. It would be useful to have information in Washington about the current scale of such activity and plans for increasing it in the future.
While the MAAGs probably have most of the information we desire, there may be projects using military forces funded or supervised by the USOMs or the Embassies. We suggest that you ask the field to supply information on the allocation of military resources and people by the U.S. (including non-appropriated funds) and by the local government for these kinds of programs in FY 1961. They could also be asked what specific plans, if any, they now have for expanding this activity and what problems they anticipate. Since we are after facts it should be possible for answers to be received promptly, perhaps before final Congressional action on the FY 1962 appropriation. We are certain the Department of Defense will provide any assistance you may need.
The information received can be used to help judge how much expansion may be feasible and to suggest ways of making an expansion effective. It may also point out problems, perhaps of the method of funding or project approval, which can then be solved prior to the initiation of FY 1962 operations in the summer.
to the President
- Request for embassy information on USG and host government allocation of military resources for local civil works/economic projects. No classification marking. 1 p. Department of State, Central Files, 700.5–MSP/8–561.↩