287. Telegram 3140 From the Embassy in the Dominican Republic to the Department of State1 2

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1. Division of Special Operations (DSO) of Dominican police in our combined judgment is the only existing security force able to cope in the initial stages with a rural-based subversive threat should one develop here. Thanks to USG support and intensive training effort, DSO today has highest morale and is most effective of all police units. It is a crack outfit. Its reconnaissance and civic action programs in rural areas are considered to have made an important contribution to peace and order in the Dominican countryside.

2. The DSO currently receives support of $58,850 and AID support of about $50,000 annually. Proposed termination as of June 30, 1971 [text not declassified] cannot, we are informed, be compensated for by increased USAID assistance because of restrictive aid regulations. Transition from present almost total USG support (salaries and POL are now sole GODR expenditures,) to full GODR funding is desirable, but should be carefully phased to avoid jeopardizing past USG investment in training and support. Abrupt reduction of USG assistance to DSO by more than 50 pct [text not declassified] as of June 30, would in our judgment inevitably result in a serious and early decline in the DSO’s capability to carry out its mission. GODR is already wrestling with anticipated balance of payments deficit this year and with consequences unexpected termination US follow-on military assistance support.

3. Although rural threat which DSO was designed to counter seems less imminent now than might have been expected some years ago, potential for sudden appearance of such problems continues to [Page 2] exist. Several local extremist groups are aware of this potential and are active in attempting to exploit it. Major drop in USG support will almost certainly result in drastic reduction DSO rural patrol and civic action operations which could turn lead to deterioration of what is at present fairly satisfactory internal security situation in non-urban areas.

4. Based on foregoing, Ambassador recommends that strong effort be made to obtain agreement in Washington for USG support [text not declassified] to DSO to continue at current levels through FY-72, and at declining levels thereafter until an orderly phase out of USG assistance and its gradual replacement by GODR funding can be assured.

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Santo Domingo, 1963–1979. Secret; Roger Channel. In telegram 201095 to Santo Domingo, December 10, the Department responded that AID funding for the DSO would continue in FY 1972, but that it would be phased out and replaced by GODR funding. (Ibid.) In telegram 1969 from Santo Domingo, May 26, 1971, the Embassy reported that AID had phased-down police assistance and would eventually phase out such assistance entirely. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–8 DOM REP)
  2. The Embassy recommended continued support for the Dominican Police Division of Special Operations (DSO) through the end of FY 1972 since it was the only security force capable of coping with the initial stages of a potential rural-based subversive threat.