30. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Discussion with Secretary Rusk at Breakfast Meeting—18 Mar 65

[Omitted here is unrelated material.]


Reviewed in considerable detail my personal concern over U.S. inability to combat counterinsurgency. I stated that it was apparent to me that the Soviets, under the umbrella of the nuclear stalemate and the Chinese Communists as well, would pursue an aggressive program of political action, subversion and insurgency in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. I said there were abundant indications that Moscow was moving in this direction, which in reality was an implementation of their publicly announced policy and that Communist China was doing likewise. I said that neither the United States nor the Free World were properly organized to combat this sort of thing.

With respect to the United States, the problem touched the area of responsibility of almost all the departments, i.e. State, Defense, AID, USIA and CIA. No one department could do it all, and furthermore some departments now were charged with responsibility which they could not discharge properly. As an example I felt AID, charged with internal security, were not motivated in that direction but on the contrary were more interested in raising gross national product, standard of living, etc. Therefore they were inclined to put internal security, police training, etc., at a very low priority and while this had been arrested somewhat by [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], he was forced to fight his way at every turn of the road. The Embassies could do a great deal but not the entire job; the military assistance groups could do conventional training but they were notoriously poor at anti-guerrilla activities, etc.

The Special Group CI had in the past done some constructive work, however its position had eroded away during the last year despite efforts by Governor Harriman. Now Secretary Ball seemed to favor doing away with the Special Group because it encroached in his opinion on State Department authority and this, indeed, had been State’s position ever since Special Group CI was formed. I said I thought this was wrong; that Special Group should be revitalized; it [Page 68] should have a dynamic Chairman; that the Special Group CI charter2 should be reviewed carefully and thoughtfully and modified and strengthened, and the responsibilities of the departments and agencies reviewed and changed and reallocated when it was determined that departments were unable to execute their assignments because of either motivation or organization or custom.

I gave many examples, i.e., saving Venezuela in ’63, communication warnings about impending events in Panama, the election in Chile, the developments in Brazil, etc., all of which had been carefully husbanded by either the Special Group CI or the Special Group (303 Committee). I referred to Mr. FitzGerald’s efforts to get approval of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and, while all agreed, weeks had been consumed securing interdepartmental approval of a rather simple telegram of instructions to the field.

The Secretary was very sympathetic to the purposes of my talk. He asked if Mr. Gaud would be a good Special Group CI Chairman and I replied affirmatively but stated he must be properly located in the chain of command in State. At this point I said that I felt State must have a strong Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs to serve as its authoritative voice in both Special Group forums.

I then turned to the necessity of encouraging and exhorting our Allies both in Western Europe and in the Far East to help. I said that I thought this was so important that we could make almost any kind of a concession to our European friends in such fields as nuclear weapons, Polaris submarines, etc., if it would resolve our differences and put us on a common front in dealing with this problem which we would all be required to face over the next 10 or 20 years. At this point Rusk said that he shared my views and my concern and agreed that we must organize both internally and with our Allies. He asked if I would prepare a memorandum outlining my views in a form which he might use in May in address to the North Atlantic Council of Foreign Ministers.

Action: I should discuss this entire subject with Cline, Kent and others and arrange for the preparation of this memorandum.3

[Omitted here is unrelated material.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Memos for Record, Job 80–B01285A. Secret; Eyes Only. Dictated by McCone and transcribed in his office. The time of the meeting is from Rusk’s Appointment Book at the Johnson Library.
  2. Presumably a reference to National Security Action Memorandum No. 124, January 18, 1962. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. VIII, Document 68.
  3. Not further identified.