33. National Security Action Memorandum No. 560


  • The Secretary of Defense


  • Evaluation of Paramilitary Requirements

The President has approved the following paragraph:1

“It is important that we anticipate now our possible future requirements in the field of unconventional warfare and paramilitary operations. A first step would be to inventory the paramilitary assets we have in the United States Armed Forces, consider various areas in the world where the implementation of our policy may require indigenous para-military forces, and thus arrive at a determination of the goals which we should set in this field. Having determined the assets and the possible requirements, it would then become a matter of developing a plan to meet the deficit.”

The President requests that the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State and the CIA, make such an estimate of requirements and recommend ways and means to meet those requirements.2

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 56. Secret. Copies were sent to Secretary Rusk, Allen Dulles, and General Taylor.
  2. The paragraph is based on suggestions made in Recommendation No. 3 of the Taylor Report, “Improvement of Effectiveness in the Paramilitary Field.” Concerning the Taylor Report, see footnote 2, Document 32.
  3. In NSAM No. 110 to McNamara, dated October 25, Bundy stated that in order not to lose “another year,” NSAM No. 56 should be interpreted to permit initial budgetary estimates for FY 1963 “even in the absence of formal completion of the requested evaluation of paramilitary requirements.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 110)
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.