150. National Security Action Memorandum No. 1770


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Attorney General
  • The Administrator, AID
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Police Assistance Programs

I hereby approve the recommendations of the interdepartmental committee on Police Assistance Programs,1 and direct that they be promptly put into effect as follows: [Page 324]

The US should give considerably greater emphasis to police assistance programs in appropriate less developed countries where there is an actual or potential threat of internal subversion or insurgency; to this end, while individual programs should be subject to normal review processes, AID should envisage very substantial increases in the global level of the FY 1963 program, with further increases in subsequent years where there is a demonstrated need. The DOD should also give, where appropriate, increased emphasis to the police aspects of existing MAP programs.
The Committee’s statement of the role and function of police programs and criteria for their initiation in its report [is to] be the basis for guidance in Washington and to the field; using this guidance, AID should insure that Washington agencies and country teams give appropriate priority to police assistance, including equipment where needed.
Subject to the general policy guidance of the Secretary of State in internal defense matters, the Administrator of AID is charged, in his capacity as coordinator of US aid programs, with responsibility for coordination and vigorous leadership of all police assistance programs; that he establish an interagency police group, to be chaired by his designee, to assist him in this responsibility.
AID is charged with operating and funding responsibility for all such programs, except for their covert aspects and for those programs which the Administrator of AID, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, decides should be carried out by the Department of Defense.
To carry out its responsibilities, AID should establish an office specifically charged with police matters, staffed with sufficient qualified personnel to: (a) provide centralized professional and technical planning guidance to the country teams, police missions and State and AID regional bureaus; (b) provide professional and technical guidance and professional and technical supervision in implementing programs; (c) establish and supervise training requirements for US police technicians, and standards for evaluating professional competence; (d) to conduct surveys and program evaluations; (e) to provide an essential repository of technical knowledge based on research in the latest techniques of controlling subversion and mass violence; AID should appoint a senior professional to head this office, responsible to the Special Assistant-Internal Defense with direct access to the Deputy Administrator; while line responsibility for AID police programs remains with each regional AID bureau, sufficient professional personnel should be assigned to the new Office to provide the centralized staff support outlined above.
AID should promptly devise methods for improving recruitment and training of personnel especially suitable for work with foreign police forces; other US agencies should cooperate in making qualified [Page 325] personnel available for duty with the police assistance program without prejudice to their career status.
AID should initiate the necessary studies and interdepartmental coordination looking toward early establishment of an international police academy under Government management to coordinate training more closely with US internal defense objectives and tighten US Government control over all training to improve its quality and insure its responsiveness to need.
To protect police programs, with their primarily internal defense rationale, from suffering as marginal competitors with primarily economic development projects, AID and the Bureau of the Budget should develop some means of providing the necessary degree of funding autonomy, such as creating a new AID line item for “internal defense” in the FY 1964 budget or funding through the Military Assistance Program though keeping the program in AID.
AID should develop ways to expedite a delivery of equipment, perhaps through stockpiling standard items.
Wherever possible, we should coordinate our police effort with similar programs of other friendly Western countries to assure that they are complementary; we should encourage such countries to provide similar assistance where appropriate, but not rely exclusively on them for this purpose; our aims in this respect should be to assure that adequate Western assistance is available to any country which needs it to deny the police assistance field to the Communist Bloc.
The Administrator of AID, as coordinator of US aid programs, is charged with carrying out the above recommendations,2 and he should report to me no later than 1 December 1962 on progress made;3 this report should include his revised FY 1963 and proposed FY 1964 program level.
The Special Group (C-I) should review the implementation of the Police Committee Report in accordance with the responsibilities assigned under National Security Action Memorandum 124.4

John F. Kennedy
  1. Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM No. 177. Secret. Copies were sent to Dillon and Bell.
  2. These recommendations, contained in a July 20 memorandum from the Interdepartmental Committee on Police Assistance Programs to President Kennedy, as well as additional documentation on the formulation of police assistance programs, are scheduled for publication in volume VIII.
  3. A letter from President Kennedy to Hamilton, August 7, emphasizing the importance of the AID role in launching this program, is in the Supplement.
  4. This report is contained in a memorandum from Acting AID Administrator Coffin to the President, December 1. (Washington National Records Center, RG 286, AID Administrator Files: FRC 67 A 1530, Chron Files, Dec. 1-9, 1962) For comments on the report, see the December 6 memorandum from General Maxwell D. Taylor to McGeorge Bundy, and the December 10 memorandum from Michael Forrestal to McGeorge Bundy, both in the Supplement.
  5. NSAM No. 124, January 18, which established the Special Group (Counter-Insurgency), is printed in vol. II, pp. 4850.