161. Information Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (Spiers) to the Under Secretary of State (Irwin) and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)1


We owe General Haig an answer to his note of August 16 to Alex Johnson transmitting a revision of our Security Assistance Program Review memorandum and a revised version of NSDM 112 (attached).2

Since the Secretary forcefully objected to the original version of 112, I believe this matter must be taken up with him before replying to General Haig. However, I believe our recommendation to him should be that NSDM 112 in its revised form is no more acceptable than before and that we should reaffirm our intention to proceed with the Security [Page 331] Assistance Program Review Committee as outlined in our original memorandum.

I believe that the major points which need to be made are as follows:

NSDM 112 usurps the responsibility of the Department of State for foreign policy planning. We find particularly objectionable the concept of asking Defense to chair interagency country programming committees where “its programs are exceptionally important.” We do not conceive of any instances where Defense interests would be more important than all other foreign policy interests.
In the case of many countries, the country programming concept would inevitably overlap the security assistance planning function which has, upon Presidential decision, been vested in the Department of State. In the specific countries listed in the memorandum (i.e. Jordan, Thailand and Cambodia), our Security Assistance Programs, including MASF in the case of Thailand, would be the major focus of our planning effort.
In other cases (e.g. Japan) were Security Assistance Programs are minimal or non-existent, CPM’s would either overlap present NSSM studies or would create unnecessary duplications of present NSC procedures.
The NSC Program Analysis Staff is heavily defense oriented and badly overextended (it also staffs the VP, DPRC, and VSSG where its efforts are more germane). Its record in bringing major country studies (undertaken under NSDM 4)3 before the NSC system for decision has not been good (one—Korea—out of four). In addition, Administration decisions have largely ignored these studies (e.g. Korea).
The SRG could not make major budget decisions. Under existing procedures major program and budget issues are already submitted to the President for decision and are, of course, reviewed by the NSC or CIEP staffs.

Although we see some virtue in the comprehensive tabulation and analysis of all U.S. programs in a given country across agency lines and by major purpose, we believe this objective can be achieved through the regular NSC process, which should concentrate, initially, on selected countries which would not duplicate the work of the Security Assistance Program Review Committee.

As regards the Security Assistance Program Review Committee, we note that the NSC staff does not have any objection to its establishment provided that it works within the “basic guidance” provided by Country Program Memoranda. Since we will need to prepare guidance for the field for the 1974 Security Assistance Program by December of this year, the deadline set forth in the revised NSDM 112 (mid1972) would be too late and the Security Assistance Coordinator could not rely on the Country Program Memorandum for such guidance.

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In sum, we believe that NSDM 112 should remain a dead letter. Specific country programming studies can be undertaken in regular SRG channels, with the Department of State, in consonance with its responsibility for relations with foreign countries, taking the lead in the interdepartmental work on these studies. In the case of predominantly security assistance countries, the work should proceed under the aegis of the Security Assistance Program Review Committee.

If the Secretary accepts this recommendation, Alex Johnson should convey these points orally to General Haig.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/SNSDM Files: Lot 83 D 305, NSDM 112. Confidential; Nodis. Drafted by Spiers.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Documents 13 and 71.
  4. See Document 162.