123. Telegram 186454 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Morocco1 2


  • US Posture Toward Moroccan Military


The following reflects substance from inter-agency consultations with Colonel Rolin, Chief MUSLO, and provides guidance in handling specific requests made by General Oufkir.
General Posture: US obviously has significant strategic interest in Morocco deriving from its geographic location. Consequently we wish Morocco to maintain its defensive capability and internal security. Future Moroccan support in Law of the Sea negotiations for free transit through Straits of Gibraltar would be desirable. However, limitations on our resources, desirability of U.S. not becoming too closely identified with regime, and our concern that GOM concentrate its own resources on urgently required economic and social reforms significantly limit extent to which it would either be practicable or [Page 2] desirable for USG to increase its level of military assistance and advisory effort in response to Oufkir’s request. At same time, within these limiting parameters and national interest considerations, we wish to be helpful responding to Oufkir in a manner that will provide additional reassurance that broad lines of US policy toward Morocco will continue. We therefore agreeable to MUSLO taking advantage of new atmosphere to foster closer relations with Moroccan military which we continue regard as focus of significant political power. Under overall guidance of the Ambassador, MUSLO may be as responsive as prudently possible to Moroccan requests for advice and assistance, provided that such advice and assistance does not promise or imply a commitment of additional US resources for Moroccan military establishment.
Oufkir’s Requests: The following guidance was provided with respect to handling specific Oufkir requests [Page 3] (Rabat 4210, 4283):
Military Orqanization: We regard as politically undesirable formal participation by MUSLO in Oufkir’s review of Moroccan Army, Navy and Air Force organization. Formal MUSLO responsiveness to his request for recommendations re headquarters reorganization and formal MUSLO participation equally undesirable. Foregoing based on fact that we do not rpt not wish to give either Moroccans or French impression that we seeking to enter more central or exclusive relationship with Moroccan military. This should not preclude MUSLO from providing technical and professional advice on specific questions.
Command and Control System: The assignment of two personnel on a temporary basis to respond to technical questions has already been approved. Since Oufkir apparently places high priority on a Qte coup-proof Unqte command and control system (including an alternate or mobile command post) as a part of the FY 71 program, we would [Page 4] wish to be responsive in this area. We would not want US personnel assigned in an advisory capacity which might result in their becoming directly involved in operating the Moroccan military comunications network.
Civic Action: Oufkir appears to be interested in expanding civic action efforts of the Moroccan Army. Advisory assistance relative to civic action may be provided as long as it does not rpt not result in a significant expansion of our military assistance effort.
Increased Advisory Effort: Oufkir’s interest in increasing our advisory effort should offer a fertile field for enhancing capability of the MUSLO. We prepared consider substitutions in MUSLO personnel and even small increases if benefit is likely to outweigh cost or political implications of an increased presence.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 19–8 US-MOR. Secret. It was also sent to USCINCEUR and repeated to CHMUSLO Rabat. Drafted on October 7 by Blake and Bader (OSD/ISA); cleared by DOD/ISA, JCS, PM/MAS, AF/RA, AF/N, and PM/ISP; and approved by Odell. In telegram 4283 from Rabat, August 25, the Embassy had supplied a more detailed list of Oufkir’s subsidiary requests for assistance in improving communications with units and assigning civic tasks to military forces. (Ibid., DEF 19–8 US-MOR)
  2. The Joint State/Department message provided guidance for handling requests from the Moroccan Minister of Defense for closer ties with the United States. It included U.S. strategic interest in Morocco, guidance on handing requests from General Oufkir dealing with issues of military organization, command and control systems, civic action, and increased advisory effort.