105. Draft Paper Prepared in the Department of State1
U.S. OVERSEAS INTERNAL DEFENSE POLICY
- National Security Action Memorandum NSAM No. 182 of August 24, 1962,2 promulgated the U.S. Overseas Internal Defense [Page 229]Policy (USOIDP), and charged the Department of State, in consultation with other agencies with responsibility for publishing revised editions. NSAM No. 182 provided that the USOIDP is to serve as basic policy guidance to U.S. diplomatic missions and military commands abroad, as well as to government departments and agencies in Washington and to the government educational system.
- This revised edition of the USOIDP has been prepared at the direction of the Senior Interdepartmental Group, and reflects developments that have occurred since 1962 in the U.S. Government’s thinking and action in dealing with the problem of subversive aggression. It is a policy directive controlling on all U.S. Government agencies and personnel associated with the formulation or execution of U.S. programs in foreign affairs whether in the U.S. or abroad. The Departments of State and Defense, the Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, as well as other departments or agencies involved in foreign affairs programs, should assure it is read by all appropriate personnel in the U.S. or abroad who are associated substantively with the formulation or execution of U.S. overseas programs or who plan or conduct related training programs.
II. Policy Considerations
- It is U.S. policy to anticipate and thwart subversive aggression designed to overthrow governments which the U.S. has a cogent interest to maintain by stimulating and supporting programs of those governments for healthy political and economic growth, social progress, and internal security. The totality of these programs constitutes internal defense.
- Subversive aggression is defined as calculated action initiated or supported by an external government or political organization to undermine or overthrow an established government by political or psychological subversion, agitation, sabotage, terrorism, and guerrilla operations, singly or in combination. Purely indigenous insurgency, free of foreign direction or support, is not subversive aggression. In making this distinction, the U.S. Government relies upon the intelligence community to provide information upon which sound political judgments may be made.
- In the social and political environment that exists in the world today, subversive aggression represents a major form of conflict, equal in importance to conventional warfare. This is likely to present a threat to developing countries throughout the foreseeable future. The strategy of subversive aggression is attractive to communist powers because their objective of world domination is not reasonably attainable [Page 230]through nuclear or conventional warfare; because it involves minimum risks and requires relatively modest resource expenditures; and because the social and political ferment taking place in many countries presents exceptional opportunities to encourage popular unrest and to exploit human discontent. In addition, the tactics of subversive aggression are selective and flexible; they may consist merely of propaganda and minor sabotage designed to incite insurgency, or of organized terrorism and paramilitary operations on a limited or national scale, accompanied or unaccompanied by selective or wholesale kidnappings and assassinations. Subversive aggression, varying somewhat in its nature and the doctrine in which it is clothed, is thus a tool of importance for Moscow, Peking, Havana and other communist elements.
- To forestall and overcome the threat that subversive aggression
poses to developing countries, and thus to regional stability and to
U.S. political and security interests, it is established U.S. policy
to assist developing countries in their efforts toward removing the
root causes of justified discontent among their people. To that end,
U.S. programs should:
- Support indigenous efforts for the creation of progressive societies and viable economies;
- Encourage developing countries to initiate and pursue reasoned programs for political and social progress and economic growth;
- Encourage governments and political organizations in developing countries to seek increasing popular participation in and support of indigenous political, economic and social programs;
- Strengthen the intent and capability of developing countries to remain free of communist or other extremist domination, and contribute to the development of police and military establishments capable of maintaining law and order and internal security in support of legitimate government;
- Cultivate in developing countries popular and official attitudes conducive to the development of free institutions responsive to indigenous aspirations and to the exercise of political rights by the people;
- Develop to the extent possible the indigenous capability and purpose which, together with all forms of U.S. influence and assistance, will preclude situations requiring the intervention of U.S. combat forces to deny the success of subversive aggression;
- Encourage other free countries and regional and multilateral organizations to participate in foreign assistance programs and collaborative actions to strengthen economic and social development and internal security in developing countries and to stimulate regional cooperation.
- It is recognized there is no simple or universally applicable solution to the threat that subversive aggression may present at a given place or time. The particular conditions in each country must determine the nature of the activities and programs required to protect and advance U.S. interests. In addition, U.S. resources are not unlimited, [Page 231]and they must be applied carefully in light of the inhibitions and constraints inherent in local circumstances. The attitude and capability of the host government will be the most important factor in the success of any country program.
- It is therefore U.S. policy that a united effort by all elements of the U.S. Government with overseas programs and operations be directed, coordinated, and supervised abroad by the Ambassador, and in Washington by the Secretary of State.
III. Chief of Diplomatic Mission and Country Team
- Each Ambassador, as the personal representative of the President,
is responsible not solely for the coordination but also for
imaginative planning, timely initiation, and effective execution of
all programs needed to achieve U.S. goals within the country of his
assignment. The Ambassador, working in conjunction with his Country
Team, is responsible for:
- Determining the nature of any latent or active threat that subversive aggression presents to the local government and to U.S. short and long term interests;
- Identifying specific objectives that must be attained to reduce or eliminate this threat;
- Recommending specific courses of action necessary to achieve such objectives.
- Programs should be designed to stimulate the indigenous constructive forces essential to national development toward the fulfillment of popular aspirations. It is a primary function to encourage the government of a developing country to identify, mobilize, and apply indigenous resources in a manner which will suit the particular requirements of the country concerned. The local government should be made to understand that U.S. programs can only be ancillary and supplemental to indigenous programs.
- In assisting the local government to focus its resources on constructive national development as its best hope for security in the long view, the Ambassador and Country Team should take special account of the critical sectors in the society, and of the impact that national development and the modernization process exert on these. The Country Team should have a conscious and coordinated plan for its members or their staffs to use as a continuing base of reference and, through program formulation and all Country Team action, to bring discreet influence upon these sectors. The latter include, among others, the civil bureaucracy; the military and police establishments; the business community; the informational and communications media; the intelligentsia; artistic and performing groups; teachers and professors at all levels of the educational system; youth and student groups at the primary, [Page 232]secondary, and university levels; religious leaders and organizations; labor unions; worker and peasant organizations; ethnic or tribal majority and minority groups; high, middle, and worker class spokesmen; foreign communities; and political parties of all complexion.
- The Country Team, at the direction of the Ambassador, should also consider the extent to which the resources of U.S. business firms and philanthropic foundations may be applied in support of U.S. objectives. Many private U.S. firms and foundations engage in programs to improve social and economic conditions in countries abroad, but these often are not coordinated with the programs of other firms, the local government, or the U.S. Government. If the Ambassador considers it appropriate, the Country Team should encourage U.S. firms and foundations to ascertain whether their programs may lend themselves to coordination, and to expansion, in support of U.S. goals in the country. Whenever the Ambassador considers it appropriate, private U.S. firms and foundations should be encouraged to undertake collectively or on a coordinated basis projects that will identify them with popular improvements and aspirations.
IV. Internal Defense Planning
- In countries where the U.S. has a cogent interest to maintain a government threatened latently or actively by subversive aggression, the Ambassador should examine periodically all programs of all U.S. agencies in the country to assure that they are mutually complementary, and that they include appropriate objectives and adequate courses of action to support U.S. goals. The Ambassador should review and approve all programs submitted by members of the Country Team to their parent department or agency. He should supervise the effective application of funds, personnel, and equipment used to implement U.S. programs in the country.
- In formulating new programs for internal defense, the Ambassador
and his Country Team should consider the following guidelines:
- Subversive aggression depends ultimately upon gaining support of a significant part of the people if it is to succeed. Programs to anticipate and thwart subversive aggression should be designed to reduce popular discontent and to strengthen popular allegiance to the established government;
- The world is undergoing vast and rapid changes through the expansion of medical and educational facilities; through the extension of communication and transportation facilities (permitting the exchange of ideas and culture and providing increasing access to and egress from hitherto remote areas); and through the phenomena of population growth, the trend toward intensive urbanization, and the restructuring of world population, with persons under 25 years of [Page 233]age in the majority. In many countries, historic tribal and similar group social structures are breaking down, and regulatory institutions that have governed individual and group conduct are being replaced by new institutions still in a formative stage. These include among others youth, student, and university organizations, labor organizations, trade and cooperative societies, cultural organizations, and governmental departments and agencies being created or improved to exercise the functions of sovereignty. In these circumstances, it is essential that the U.S. be identified as dedicated to constructive change and popular welfare, sponsoring stability through growth;
- Internal defense depends upon the totality of policy and programs in a particular country. Programs to reduce popular discontent and to accelerate social, economic, and political development depend for successful implementation upon an environment of law and order, based on popular consent in matters of local concepts of justice and government, but this environment often is characterized by the political instability and social turbulence existing in many developing countries. Hence, it often is essential that such programs be supplemented by concurrent programs to provide an enlightened and dependable intelligence, police, and military capability to assure a political climate in which constructive national development may thrive;
- Constructive national development requires the effective mobilization and judicious application of indigenous resources to remove the causes of popular discontent, to fulfill popular aspirations, and to secure the allegiance of the population.
- The preparation of a formal Internal Defense Plan or other specific reporting may be required by the pertinent Interdepartmental Regional Group (IRG) or the Senior Interdepartmental Group (SIG). If so, the content and format of such plans or reports will be specified by them. In any event, the objectives and courses of action that constitute internal defense planning should be reflected in regular program submissions by all posts at which there is an internal defense problem. Internal defense planning, where it is required, thus should be regarded as an integral part of the regular country program.
- The adequacy of country programs for internal defense will be
assured by the Senior Interdepartmental Group and the
Interdepartmental Regional Groups. National Security Action
Memorandum No. 341, issued by the President on March 2, 1966,3 requires each
regional Assistant Secretary of State, as Executive Chairman of an
Interdepartmental Regional Group:
- To assure the adequacy of U.S. policy for the countries in their region;
- To assure the adequacy of plans, programs, resources, and performance for implementing that policy;
- To be particularly watchful for indications of subversive aggression directed at the overthrow of governments in which the U.S. has a cogent interest to maintain;
- To recommend appropriate measures to higher authority for dealing with emergent critical situations when these require consideration at higher level.
NSAM No. 341 provides for the
Senior Interdepartmental Group:
- To assure a proper selectivity of the areas and issues to which the U.S. applies its resources of personnel, funds, and equipment;
- To carry out the functions and responsibilities previously attaching to the Special Group (Counter-Insurgency) which has been abolished;
- To verify the adequacy and effectiveness of interdepartmental overseas programs and activities.
V. Courses of Action
- In planning U.S. efforts to assist other countries in their
internal security and constructive national development, the
Ambassador and his Country Team and the responsible officials in
Washington should consider courses of action that will:
Identify the U.S. with youth through
- Improve and expand the educational system;
- Support and strengthen moderate youth organizations;
- Identify and cultivate youth leaders;
- Expand vocational opportunities;
- Facilitate communication and contacts between local and U.S. youth groups and organizations;
Identify the U.S. with social and economic
development through programs to:
- Expand low cost housing construction;
- Improve sanitation facilities;
- Reduce adult illiteracy;
- Encourage the construction of roads and communications facilities;
- Assure the development of independent and responsible labor and peasant organizations and leaders;
- Assist the operation and expansion of small business;
- Create or expand institutions to extend low cost credit;
- Contribute to increased agricultural productivity and diversification and to industrial development;
Identify the U.S with enlightened public
administration through programs to:
- Assure an equitable tax and tax collection system;
- Encourage land reform and the distribution of land to the peasant population;
- Contribute to the development of the middle class;
- Train the civil bureaucracy;
- Create a professional career service capable of administering government efficiently and impartially;
- Stimulate and strengthen the executive, legislative, and judicial functions in countries where the institutional framework makes this appropriate.
- Depending upon local circumstances, specific courses of
action may be required to improve the
capability of indigenous police forces as the first
line of internal defense. These courses may involve:
- Intelligence collection, especially at the village level;
- Intelligence evaluation, dissemination, and coordination;
- Border surveillance and immigration control;
- Mob and riot control;
- The prevention of crime and of juvenile delinquency;
- The protection of the people and especially of village officials against terrorists and assassins;
- The projection of an image to identify the police with the populace and its welfare.
- The armed forces of a government constitute the means for protection against external attack and internal insurrection beyond the capability of civilian police to control. The existence of loyal and well-equipped, trained, and led troops, competent in internal security operations, constitutes an important deterrent against large scale terrorism or guerrilla warfare. An internal defense capability on the part of friendly armed forces, balanced with and complementary to that of the indigenous police forces, is regarded as an important element in internal defense planning, meriting U.S. support.
- Consideration should be given to courses of action to
improve the utilization of military resources. In many
countries, the military establishment possesses equipment
and skills representing a major national investment and
resource. If in the judgment of the Ambassador local
circumstances permit, it is imperative that actions be taken
to assure the use of this resource in the nation building
process if this can be done without detracting from the
capability of the military to perform its primary defense
function. Such actions may require flexibility in funding to
permit mutual support of AID
and DOD projects, and may
take into account:
Military cooperation with social
and economic agencies to perform civic action
- Adult literacy and vocational instruction;
- Construction of low cost housing and municipal buildings at the village level and in urban slums;
- The construction of roads and water and sanitation facilities at the village level and in urban slums;
- The extension of medical facilities;
Military cooperation with the
- The collection and exchange of intelligence;
- The exchange of communications and transportation facilities, including air lift;
- The production of joint contingency plans identifying police and military roles and missions.
- Internal defense planning has been much improved by the training being provided to official personnel. NSAM No. 283 of February 13 1964,4 directed that training programs with foreign affairs interests should include study of the USOIDP; that all officers assigned to key positions receive special instruction at the National Interdepartmental Seminar on Problems of Development and Internal Defense; and that efforts be aimed at influencing and gaining the support of USOIDP policies and programs from as many local official personnel as possible throughout the underdeveloped countries.
- The National Interdepartmental Seminar serves as the focal point of U.S. overseas internal defense and development training efforts. Personnel assigned to key positions abroad and who attend this Seminar are made aware of the need to include internal defense requirements in country programs when appropriate. Departments and agencies in Washington should take action to assure that all senior personnel attend the National Interdepartmental Seminar before assignment to key positions abroad. This applies especially to Ambassadors who are responsible for the supervision of multi-agency resources in a coordinated program to achieve U.S. goals in developing countries.
- Departments and agencies with in-house training programs within the purview of the USOIDP and the Coordinator of the National Interdepartmental Seminar should consult informally at their discretion to assure that official curricula are mutually complementary, and that in-house training programs reflect adequate and correct coverage of the USOIDP.
- Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 71 A 4546, 381 1967 February. Confidential. An attached covering letter from Kohler to Vance, January 5, 1967, indicated that the draft paper was prepared in response to the SIG decision of July 26, 1966, to revise “U.S. Overseas Internal Defense Policy,” and asked for the early comments of the agencies that were members of the SIG. Regarding the July 26 decision, see Document 82. For other agency comments, see Documents 108 and 109.↩
- For text, see
Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. VIII, Document 105.↩
- Document 56.↩
- Document 191.↩