108. Editorial Note

After the Department of Defense received the draft paper on “U.S. Overseas Internal Defense Policy,” along with Foy Kohler’s covering January 5, 1967, letter asking for agency comments (Document 105), Commander J. Fitzgerald of the Policy Planning Staff (DOD/ISA) sent a January 10 tasking memorandum to the directors of military assistance and of the geographical regional areas within DOD/ISA, asking for comments on the paper and indicating that the Joint Staff was preparing a reply for General Wheeler that would be coordinated with that of Deputy Secretary Vance. (Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 71 A 4546, 381 1967 February)

In a February 10 memorandum to these same directors, Colonel John G. Wheelock III, Director of the Policy Planning Staff (DOD/ISA), noted that on the basis of internal replies a suggested DOD revision of the State Department draft had been prepared that recommended “among other things the formation of an interagency working group to deal with the question of roles and missions in our overseas internal defense programs.” (Ibid.) A copy of this 15-page revision prepared by Colonel Lindjord and Commander Fitzgerald on February 9 is ibid. Attached to it is a draft letter from Vance to Kohler. Memoranda from Philip E. Barringer, Acting Director of Near and South Asia Region (DOD/ISA), and Maurice J. Mountain, Director of the Office of Military Assistance Policy Review (DOD/ISA), to Colonel Wheelock, both dated February 15, which generally approved of the proposed response to Kohler and offered a few additional suggestions, are ibid.

Neither the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this draft paper nor a final approved version of Vance’s reply to Kohler has been found.

Meanwhile the National Security Council Staff was reacting to the draft paper. In a January 7 memorandum to Francis Bator, William Bowdler, Edward Hamilton, William Jorden, and Howard Wriggins, Bromley Smith requested their views on the draft paper. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, SIG, Vol. I, 13th Meeting, 7/26/66) A handwritten note from Bowdler on this memorandum indicates that the paper looked “OK” to him and that he had no comments on it. In a January 13 memorandum to Smith, Jorden said he had “no particular problems with the proposed revision” but did not like its emphasis on thwarting aggression designed to overthrow “‘governments which the U.S. has a cogent interest to maintain.’” He thought the “main concern” of U.S. policy should be “not the continuation of any particular ‘government’ but rather of a given political or social structure.” In a January 16 memorandum to Smith, Wriggins thought the [Page 240] paper had “merit,” but added that the Department of State and AID budgeting processes were “not adequately related to intricate and discriminating involvement in other societies” to provide for effective follow through, and he believed that “more careful research” and budgetary rethinking might be needed. (Ibid.)

For the views of Hamilton and Bator on the draft paper, see Document 109. No response to Kohler offering White House comments has been found.