106. Editorial Note

Under date of September 1962, the paper on “U.S. Overseas Internal Defense Policy” approved by the White House in NSAM No. 182 (Document 105) was widely distributed within the U.S. Government and U.S. Missions abroad. The paper opens with an analysis of Communist insurgencies that emphasizes their origin as political responses to the stress of modern economic development and continues with a description of stages of insurgency. The U.S. role should run the gamut from “Immunization of vulnerable societies not yet seriously threatened by communist subversion or insurgency” through defeat of “subversive insurgency in countries actively threatened by assisting the government under attack with military as well as non-military means.” One goal is to “minimize the likelihood of direct U.S. military involvement in internal war by maximizing indigenous capabilities” of defeating insurgency. U.S. strategy should not “assume a stance against revolution, per se, as an historical means of change.” Therefore non-Communist insurgency should be “examined on its merits in the light of U.S. interests.”

The paper recommends land reform, civil action, community development, education, cultivation of existing and emerging elites, police assistance, and diplomatic suasion as preferred means of bringing about successful and largely indigenous counterinsurgency efforts. “Anticipating, preventing and defeating communist-directed insurgency requires a blend of civil and military capabilities and actions to which each U.S. agency at the Country Team level must contribute.” In countering insurgency, however, “the major effort must be indigenous since insurgency is a uniquely local problem involving the aspirations and allegiance of local people.”

In Washington, the paper charges the Special Group (Counter-Insurgency) with assuring “a coordinated and unified approach to regional or country programs,” verifying progress in their implementation, and making “decisions on inter-departmental issues arising out of such programs.” The Department of State is “responsible for providing overall policy guidance and assuring the coordination of internal defense programs.” The Secretary of State will determine whether there shall be a military assistance program for a country. The Agency for International Development is responsible for administering economic aid programs in support of community development and civic action. AID is also to strengthen the capability of police and paramilitary organizations to “enforce the law and maintain public order with the minimum use of force,” to “counter communist-inspired or exploited subversion or insurgency,” and to encourage “the development of responsible and humane police administration” and judicial procedure.

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The Department of Defense is assigned a wide variety of roles, such as training of U.S. forces in counterinsurgency, military assistance, preparation of military sections of country defense plans, and the support of civilian and military counterinsurgency programs in affected countries with the assistance of AID and CIA. The CIA “is an active participant in the U.S. Internal Defense effort at both the national and the country team levels” and its role “will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of statutory authority and executive direction.” The USIA “will orient its programs toward immunizing the vulnerable sectors of developing societies against communist propaganda and subversive activities, and helping the modernization process to maturity without impairing the progressive enhancement of sovereignty and national values of the recipient country.”

Annex A requires the Department of Defense to “support the CIA in clandestine operations assigned to that agency” and to be “prepared to execute assigned paramilitary operations, wholly or partly covert, which require significant numbers of militarily trained personnel, amounts of military equipment, or military experience of a kind and level peculiar to the Armed Services.” Annex B is a glossary of terms. (Department of State, Special Group (CI) Files: Lot 68 D 451, Special Group (CI) 8/1/62-10/31/62)