71. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to the President’s Military Representative (Taylor)0


  • Police Programs

Since I will again be unable to attend the counter-insurgency session Thursday,1 I want to urge that we give a good hard push to police programs. I am satisfied by the arguments that they are an essential element in our counter-insurgency effort, particularly in those areas where we are still in the “preventive medicine” phase.2

This being the case, I am concerned by Fowler Hamilton’s remarks, as reflected in the minutes of our last meeting (Item 2).3 These seem to indicate that police programs are being deemphasized by AID instead of stepped-up, e.g. some are being phased out, responsibility within AID is being diffused, lines of responsibility for such programs are “fuzzy”, and there are many differing views as to what kinds of police programs, if any, the US should support.

The Group should press on Fowler that it regards police programs, including equipment where necessary, as needing the same type of renewed emphasis which we are currently giving to Special Forces and other aspects of the overall counter-insurgency effort. Given the checkered history of these programs in the aid agency, we might ask Hamilton to consider whether giving them semi-autonomy within AID, earmarking their funds separately, and re-centralizing the police function under him personally might not be essential to protect them adequately. Indeed I wonder whether a Presidential letter to Hamilton4 similar to that of 11 January to Bob McNamara5 might not be useful. These things do have quite a cathartic effect.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, National Security Action Memoranda, NSAM 114. Secret. A copy was sent to Robert Komer.
  2. February 15.
  3. This argument, including use of the term “preventive medicine,” had been put to Bundy by Komer very strongly in memoranda dated January 31 and February 7. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Robert Komer 1- 2/62)
  4. Reference is to the memorandum prepared for the record by Thomas A. Parrott of the NSC Staff of the February 8 meeting of the Counter-Insurgency Group. (Department of State, Special Group (CI) Files: Lot 68 D 451, SG(CI) 1/1-7/31/62)
  5. Document 72.
  6. Document 67.
  7. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.