73. Memorandum for the Record0

In the Basic National Security Policy meeting,1 my major contribution was to pick up Bob Good’s statement2 and to deliver it along the following lines.

I started off by saying that according to the Saturday Evening Post, INR was supposed to be the Devil’s Advocate, so I was about to advocate some deviltry.

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I began by saying that the basic concept here reminded me very much of our discussions in the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research concerning the Free World System, and saying that I had been Paul Nitze’s principal collaborator in that but that some reservations ought to be made.

I said that we don’t have as great leverage to create a community of values3 as the paper suggests nor does a failure to do this give the Communists as much of an opportunity as the paper suggests.

In the foreseeable future the lesser developed countries are not susceptible to such organization by either side.

In Latin America, the United States has a great opportunity but not so in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

In these areas the notion of an order sponsored by the West is either irrelevant or suspect. It is irrelevant because these nations are largely preoccupied with creating a viable national order of their own. It is suspect because one of the goals of these nations is precisely to disentangle themselves from the old colonial order.

The assertion that governments by consent and respect for individual liberty will play a larger role in these countries seems to us to be questionable. In fact, it might be the reverse. The problem in the lesser developed countries is precisely to accumulate power at the center. They must develop a capacity to assemble information and skills at the center; to develop a capacity to reach decisions about a society as a whole at the center; and to develop a capacity to carry out those decisions effectively.

This first priority task of developing power, authority, and skills at the center, is not always consistent with at least the forms of western parliamentary democracy; if all the above is so, then in these parts of the world our goal may be less to assure an environment of sustained progress, higher standards of wealth, social justice and so on, and more so to play the game that the Communists are not permitted to swing the balance in their favor.

We do not suggest that we should repudiate the effort to create a world order based on a community of value. It is a question of appropriate emphasis.

If our prior objective is to create a community of values, we are bound to suffer disillusionment. If we are careless about how we talk about it, we will alienate many on ideological grounds. If we emphasize too much using our resources in helping those who share our values, we will lose flexibility in offsetting Soviet advances.

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The Secretary immediately challenged me by saying that he thought I should examine this question empirically, that if I looked at the world country by country, he was sure that I would find that most of the nations did in fact share our basic values. He said that the charter of the United Nations was really an expression of our national goals and of the national goals of all countries. I argued that in a discussion in the Washington Center, I had often taken the position that in countries like Ceylon, for example, it was interesting to see that although the elites there frequently criticized the United States, when it came to a choice, they generally acted for western values. My point was one of emphasis.

To my amazement, my major support came from Harlan Cleveland,4 who said that he thought INR had a good point here and that there were other ways of expressing consent than the forms of parliamentary democracy. This made a little headway with the Secretary who made a distinction between a dictatorship and a monopoly of political power at the top, citing Pakistan where Ayub5 would certainly not be replaced by any democratic process, but that if you walked around the streets of the towns or cities in Pakistan, you do not have the impression of a dictatorship.

George McGhee challenged my point, however, which gave me a good opportunity, because after talking about how dependent he was on coffee plantation worker in Colombia for his coffee and how the plantation worker was dependent upon George for drinking coffee, he cited that he had worked hard to get Nitze’s paper into the Draper Report.6

This gave me the opportunity to remind him that I was co-author of that piece that he had worked so hard to get in and that I was not in a position of saying that we should junk it, or, that is, junk the concept, that I was in the same position that Max Millikan and others found themselves in after they wrote the book about “A Proposal”7 and found themselves coming to Washington and making speeches against their own book, because they had thought it had been oversold. My point was not that we should not try to build in the direction of a community of shared values but that we should not be oversold on the possibilities of developing a community of shared values. In the process of this, the Secretary suggested [Page 253] that we in INR might sponsor a study with External Research funds on the “Forms of Consent” in other parts of the world.

There are two actions that should follow from this:

The first is that under Allan Evans’ general supervision, we should pull together all the comments by the different offices on the basic national security policy paper into one INR document.8

The second action is that we should at least look into the possibility of an External Research Study on the “Forms of Consent in Other Parts of the World.”

It may be this is merely a part of our political development studies or possibly that we ask the people involved in the political development studies to write a separate paper on this particular subject. In any event, I leave it to my colleagues to explore whether or not we should do something about this, and, if so, what form it should take.

Roger Hilsman
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, State Department, General, Volume IV. Top Secret. Drafted by Hilsman. Marked for the attention of Thomas L. Hughes, Deputy Director of Intelligence and Research, and Allan Evans, Deputy Director for Research.
  2. Held at Camp David on Saturday, March 3.
  3. Robert C. Good, Director, Office of Research and Analysis for Africa, Bureau of Intelligence and Research. His statement was not found.
  4. The drafts of February 14 and March 26 spoke in similar terms of the importance of the United States encouraging the emergence of a free world community sharing common democratic political values. See Document 70.
  5. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
  6. Field Marshal Mohammed Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan.
  7. On November 24, 1958, President Eisenhower appointed William H. Draper, Jr., to head the President’s Committee To Study the U.S. Military Assistance Program. On June 3, 1959, the Committee submitted to the President its Report on the Organization and Administration of the Military Assistance Program (Washington, 1959).
  8. Max F. Millikan and Walt W. Rostow, A Proposal: Key to an Effective Foreign Policy (New York: Harper and Row, 1957). The book called for an expanded long-term program of U.S. participation in the economic development of underdeveloped areas.
  9. This document took the form of Research Memorandum INR-62 from Hughes to Rostow, March 6. (Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, BNSP, 1961-1962)
  10. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.