213. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

2354. Ref: Deptel 1549 to Leo, rptd Brussels 2333, New York 2258, London 4709, Paris 4742.2 Although it has not been feasible pursue subject reftel actively in Léopoldville, USUN should proceed to discuss with appropriate Secretariat officials, including SYG, proposed mission to encourage and facilitate program for reorganization ANC, gendarmerie and police. Purpose is to enlist high level UN support and start get plan underway for concerted effort to solve problem which Dept continues regard as among most crucial facing Congo.

Suggest you give UN copy of draft outline of tasks for special mission to Congo pouched on March 7.3 This can be presented as follow-up to Gullion-Wallner-Yost discussion with SYG on Feb 16 when this point briefly raised and we promised give SYG paper describing proposal (NY’s 2797).4

Important to stress that only by approaching ANC reorganization program in comprehensive manner can UN hope obtain necessary Congolese cooperation. UN must make it clear to GOC that piecemeal approach, e.g., in purchasing airplanes and training officers, will not lead to solution of complex and difficult military, economic, financial and social problems involved creating effective and dependable military establishment. Special mission to draft recommendations deal with these problems would be first step towards progress in this area.

Although original proposal based on assumption that mission might be US staffed, form and substance US participation can be decided later. We would be ready consider idea UN mission in which US would cooperate and contribute in manner to accommodate itself UN organized and directed operation. At this stage, important have UN accept basic concept and come out in favor of rapid setting up of mission even before request from Adoula obtained.

In informal exchanges with Linner on this subject, he stressed importance of semantics and that even though basic purpose of mission is [Page 407] to address itself to security problem and to reorganize ANC and police, it might be harmful refer to it as military mission but should be presented under suitable economic-social label. This view appears sound to us, and suggest you approach problem under this rubric rather than as “military mission.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.5/3–1462. Confidential. Drafted by Buffum and Pelcovits, cleared by Eisenberg and Sisco, and approved by Wallner. Repeated to Léopoldville, Brussels, London, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 1549 to Léopoldville, March 6, outlined for discussion with Gardiner and Adoula a proposal for a U.S. or U.N. military mission, the purpose of which would be to make recommendations to the Congolese Government and United Nations for the creation of effective Congolese armed forces, gendarmerie, and police, including the reduction, reorganization, and retraining of the army. (Ibid., 770G.5/3–662)
  3. Not found.
  4. Document 205.