125. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1


  • Recommendation to Special Group for the Organization and Training of a Mobile Gendarme Paratroop Unit for the Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville)

1. This memorandum is forwarded for your use as background in the presentation of attached memorandum2 for Special Group.

2. The attached memorandum proposes that this Agency undertake the organization, training, and, to some extent, the equipping of an airborne company3 of Congolese gendarmes for the purpose of providing a stopgap internal security and counter-insurgency striking force during the interim between the phaseout of U.N. troops and the long-range training of regular Congo National Army troops. It would also provide an unconventional warfare capability in the event of communist take-over of all or part of the Congo. First year costs would be about [dollar amount not declassified]. Subsequent annual costs should be half that amount.

3. On 6 November 1962, the Department of State submitted a contingency plan for the Congo4 which recommended, among other items, that the U.S. undertake the training of an airborne gendarmerie unit. [Page 178] The President approved this plan on 7 November, without naming an executive agency.5

4. The current Department of Defense plan for the reorganization and training of the Congolese National Army, which has been approved by the President, does not provide for an MAP program but recommends that the United Nations attempt its implementation, with the U.S. willing to assume responsibility for an unspecified portion of the overall plan. We do not believe this plan could be revised and implemented on a timely basis to include provision for the program recommended in attached memorandum, nor do we believe that such a revision would be readily accepted by the U.N. For these reasons, it is proposed that C.I.A. be the executive agency.

5. Implementation of attached proposal depends upon its acceptance by Congolese Commander-in-Chief, General Joseph D. Mobutu, who will be visiting the U.S. as a guest of the U.S. Army Chief-of-Staff between 3–15 December. If attached proposal is approved, it would be presented to General Mobutu during his visit to Headquarters.6

[Omitted here is further discussion of the proposal.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 11, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations. Secret. The original is attached to a November 28 transmittal memorandum to Director of Central Intelligence John McCone and General Carter that reads: “The President on 7 November approved a State Department plan of action for the Congo. One part of the plan he approved urged the ‘training of an airborne gendarmerie unit.’ This is the Agency’s paper which would provide for such training. It will provide the nucleus for a Congolese force to be used in maintaining order in provincial areas and to serve as a cadre for unconventional warfare activities as required. It would involve training for 125 men. [name not declassified].”
  2. Dated November 16, attached but not printed.
  3. At this point “125 men” is written in an unidentified hand.
  4. See footnote 5 to Document 323 and Document 324 in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XX, Congo Crisis.
  5. See Document 325, ibid.
  6. A November 27 memorandum from Assistant Secretary Williams to Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs U. Alexis Johnson states that the Bureau of African Affairs recommended approval of the proposal, with the only possible caveat being the possibility that the Adoula government might fall within the next few days and be replaced by a leftist government. (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Congo, Sept. 1962–Dec. 1963) On November 29, the Special Group approved the proposal, subject to the caveat that if Adoula fell, the plan should be reconsidered. (National Security Council, Intelligence Files, Special Group—Minutes and Approvals—1962) On June 20, 1963, the Special Group approved a State–CIA proposal to hold the project in abeyance.