153. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to Secretary of State Rogers1

Attached are the NSDM (Tab A)2 and Henry’s explanatory memo (Tab B)3 on “country programming” which I mentioned to you on the phone.

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There was no advance consultation with anyone in the Department on these instructions. I have confirmed that fact with Jack Irwin, Alex Johnson, Ron Spiers and Bill Cargo.

All of us are agreed that this instruction cuts across what we are doing, at the President’s direction, to establish and obtain legislative authority for a coordinator for Security Assistance at the Under Secretary level in the Department.4 In fact the system outlined in Henry’s memo would appear to have the Coordinator report to one of Henry’s staff.

We all also have doubts that the NSC staff will be able to cope with this system. It was unable to cope with a similar, less ambitious effort last year.

The new system also appears to be an attempt to give DOD greater authority than it received when the President decided in favor of the security assistance coordinator (Tab C).5 For example, DOD would chair coordinating program committees for certain key countries.

The real issue, it seems to me, is whether the Secretary of State or the NSC staff will coordinate resource allocations and ultimately foreign assistance operations.

Jack Irwin thinks you may want to sound out Secretary Laird to determine whether he favors (or stimulated) Henry’s memos or would join with you in first trying to make the new Presidentially approved system at Tab C work.

Both Jack and I believe also that this can be sorted out only by you with the President. In the meantime, as you requested, I am telling Haig that we regret we were not consulted on the new memos, that we have serious substantive and legislative problems with them and that at your instructions I am taking no action on them pending further consultations.

Talking points for you are at Tab D.6

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 2. Confidential; Eyes Only.
  2. Document 151.
  3. Attached at Tab B but not printed is the country programming memorandum, dated June 10; see footnote 3, Document 150, and footnote 2, Document 151.
  4. Based on a study of security assistance prepared by the Under Secretaries Committee, Irwin proposed to Rogers in a January 21 memorandum that a coordinator for security assistance be established within the Department “who would be responsible for day-to-day policy guidance and review, planning, program development and Congressional presentation of security assistance programs.” Rogers approved moving ahead with the proposal on February 2. (National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management, Management Subject Files: Lot 76 D 235, StevensonMacomber Letter—Org of Security Assistance Programs).
  5. Attached at Tab C but not printed is Kissinger’s March 25 memorandum to Rogers, Laird, and Irwin.
  6. Attached but not printed.