205. Memorandum by the Chairman of the Senior Interdepartmental Group (Katzenbach)1


  • Executive Chairman, IRG/AF
  • Executive Chairman, IRG/ARA
  • Executive Chairman, IRG/EA
  • Executive Chairman, IRG/EUR
  • Executive Chairman, IRG/NEA
  • Chairman, Political-Military Group


  • Implementation of U.S. Policy on Internal Defense in Selected Foreign Countries

In implementation of the “U.S. Policy on Internal Defense in Selected Foreign Countries”, approved by the SIG on May 23, 1968, the following responsibilities are assigned to you:

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Each IRG will provide the SIG by July 1 with names of countries within its area of responsibility where the internal security situation represents a threat to significant United States interests and where United States foreign internal defense assistance would be desirable and feasible under the criteria of the revised policy. The list should be supported by a brief explicit statement of the reasons for including each country.

Strict application of the revised criteria necessarily will reduce the number of countries worldwide that qualify for United States assistance in the field of internal defense. However, it is recognized that in some countries current programs will have to be continued (although phased down over time) even if not completely justifiable on the grounds of an internal security threat to significant United States interests. Valid reasons for such exceptions may be preservation of a special political or military relationship, supplementing economic development assistance, repayment for United States overseas base rights, or protection of other United States interests. Each IRG will be expected to distinguish clearly between those countries which fully qualify for foreign internal defense assistance under the revised policy, and those which the IRG believes should continue to receive such assistance for other reasons, submitting to the SIG only the names of those countries in the former category.


Upon approval by the SIG of a country’s inclusion and its priority in the foreign internal defense action list, a comprehensive analysis of the internal defense situation in that country will be prepared under the supervision of the Chief of Diplomatic Mission for review and approval by the IRG. This analysis will include a detailed summary of host country, United States, third country, and international agency programs proposed to meet the internal threat.

This may take the form of a separate plan or be included in an overall foreign affairs planning document for the country concerned. In either case, internal defense considerations should be carefully related to and integrated with other political, economic, military, psychological, and informational aspects of United States policies and programs, and should focus on improving the capability of the country itself to strengthen its own internal security, using United States programs and resources in supporting roles. The country internal defense plan will be the basis for departmental and interdepartmental decisions on United States policies and programs concerning internal defense. Except as a new crisis may require, the plan should be submitted early enough in the budget cycle so that Washington guidance may be available to the field for use in the development of agency program documents. An outline showing the desired scope [Page 695] and a possible format for the internal defense section of a country plan or for a separate country internal defense plan is attached.2

To avoid duplication of effort, each IRG should make maximum use of reports already submitted in the preparation of internal defense plans. For example, the internal security section of the Country Analysis and Strategy Papers (CASPs) submitted by Latin American posts in almost every case, following IRG review, will satisfy the requirement established by this directive.

Countries should be nominated for addition to or removal from the foreign internal defense action list by each IRG as individual circumstances warrant. The proposal by the IRG to place a country on the list should contain an explicit statement of the reasons therefor and for the priority recommended. The proposal to remove a country should indicate what change in circumstances has occurred. Each country on the list, and countries which the IRG feels are potential candidates for the list, should be re-examined no less often than annually as a basis for evaluating on-going programs and determining whether the status of the country has changed. Additions to, or deletions from, the foreign internal defense action list must have SIG concurrence.
The Political-Military Group, acting on behalf of the SIG, will be responsible for:
Recommending priorities among countries selected for United States action in the foreign internal defense field;
Exploring inter-regional and overall foreign policy implications of internal defense strategies and resource allocations recommended by the IRGs;
Reviewing interagency contingency studies involving the possible use of United States military forces in situations where the United States national security interest requires it;
Ensuring interdepartmental coordination of foreign internal defense research and development activities to make sure that United States resources are used most effectively to provide information, hardware, and techniques for application in the foreign internal defense field;
Reviewing, on the basis of the above, all internal defense country plans and related reporting; assisting the IRGs; bringing to the attention of the SIG additional options or alternative approaches in the light of overall United States resources, strategies, and commitments, and other matters requiring decision or consideration at that level; reporting at regular intervals to the SIG on foreign internal defense matters.
When carrying out its responsibilities under this directive, the Political-Military Group should include representatives from all Departments and Agencies holding membership in the SIG and IRGs.
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 72 A 1498, 381 1968 June. Secret. The memorandum forms Tab B to a June 27 memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Nitze to the Secretaries of the Military Departments and the Joint Chiefs of Staff; see footnote 1, Document 204.
  2. Not printed.