289. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (McNaughton) to Secretary of Defense McNamara1



  • Additional Military Assistance for Thailand

In response to your memorandum of April 1,2 I have reviewed Ambassador Martinʼs proposed add-ons for FY65 Thailand MAP. In my judgment, additional FY65 MAP for Thailand must be justified on one or more of the following grounds:

To deal with the threat of subversion and potential low-level insurgency.
To deal with conventional war threat.
By building up solely Thai capabilitie.
By building up facilities for joint US/Thai use. (Note that this item could be funded either by MAP or by the Services.)
To provide political “cumshaw” to the Thais for cooperation in SEA efforts.

Although Ambassador Martin has been pressing for these add-ons primarily on Ground 1, very few of his recommended add-ons can be directly identified as predominantly counter-subversion or even counter-insurgency oriented. Most appear to provide additional conventional war capability or would contribute to increasing the readiness and capability of US forces that may subsequently be deployed to Thailand.

Although none of the add-ons is urgent from a strict military view and although there has been a recent adverse GAO evaluation of Thai utilization of MAP equipment (Tab G),3 an argument could be made for the add-ons on either Ground 1 or 2 as contributing to Thai “over-all capability.” But we should be aware that the controlling justification for almost [Page 621] all of the add-ons would be the “cumshaw” Ground 3. Accordingly, I recommend that for now (pending receipt of formal JCS comments next week) you take no action on the add-ons. My present views on each proposed FY65 add-on are at Tab A. As indicated there, I am prepared to recommend—as being (a) militarily needed (b) now—approximately $2.26 million as possible add-ons and items approximating $2.3 million for reprogramming. State, as you know, has pressed for the add-ons on a Ground 3 rationale. I will explore with State the possibility of their being a little tougher with Martin and of their providing a special AID transfer for mutually agreed add-ons that would satisfy any genuine political requirement. (They have already agreed to do so with regard to $400,000 add-on for FY65 per diem support of certain Thai army training.)

Staff views are furnished at Tab B with regard to the add-ons requested for FY66, but no decision is needed now and I propose to look at these more closely when the JCS views are received.

John T. McNaughton
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 1265, Thailand 091.3 MAP. Secret. A note on the source text indicates that Under Secretary of Defense Vance saw it
  2. Not found.
  3. Tabs A–L are cited as attachments. Tab A is ISAʼs comments on FY 65 Add-ons; Tab B, ISAʼs comments on FY 66 Add-ons; Tab C, “Composition &Capabilities of Thai Security Forces;” Tab D, “Force Objective Study;” Tab E, “Major Items of Equipment in Country;” Tab F, “Thailandʼs Financial Capabilities; Tab G, “GAO Report Summary,” Tab H is Document 288; Tab I, “Thailand MAP Summary, FY 65–70;” Tab J, “Reductions to FY65 & FY66 MAP,” Tab K, “United States Policy Towards Thailand”; and Tab L, “Locator Map.”