409. Airgram A–46 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State1

SUBJECT

  • Summary Statement on Proposed MAP Training for Armed Forces of Haiti

REF

  • (a) State 15489 (NOTAL); (b) State 33070; (c) PauP A–32 (CT CASP submission) (NOTAL); (d) C–46–75 (DATT’s POM Update Submission) (NOTAL)

SUMMARY. This mission re-affirms the need, in U.S. interests, to proceed with the previously proposed MAP Training Program for the Armed Forces of Haiti. Within the framework of the approved planning levels of $200,000 per year beginning in FY 1976, this program should be implemented so as to begin as soon as possible within FY 1976. The program should consist entirely of training within the continental U.S. and/or the Panama Canal Zone. Specific purposes of the training should be to improve the capability of the Armed Forces of Haiti to conduct sea-and-air rescue (SAR) operations and coastal patrols. The objectives are directly related to U.S. interests (see Ref. C). Relevant training in administration, management of logistics, maintenance of matériel in inventory, and related leadership skills will be necessary to achieve the specific objectives. Concurrent training which would promote civic action orientation and capabilities would be desirable. END SUMMARY.

Outline of Proposed Program

Within the modest levels of activity proposed, the training program is designed to:

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1. Improve the capability of the Haitian Armed Forces to conduct SAR operations and coastal patrols.

2. Improve related administrative and management skills so that matériel in inventory can be effectively utilized.

3. Improve related military leadership.

4. Encourage Haitian military participation in civic action projects.

For FY 76, it is recommended that courses be concentrated on basic SAR operations, maritime training, communications, and related leadership training.

For FY 77 and beyond, courses should deal more broadly with administrative skills, management of logistics, and maintenance. Improvement in each of these areas is essential if there are to be any lasting gains from the specific training in maritime safety and coastal patrolling. Also in this time frame, it is recommended that some instruction be included which would create some professional awareness in the Haitian officer corps of civic action possibilities under severe financial constraints.

Requirements and Problems

1. Having reviewed the situation and context of the proposed program, the Chief of Mission and Country Team believe strongly that the program—at least for FY 76 and FY 77—should be carried out exclusively by means of training in CONUS and/or the Canal Zone. This limitation might be reviewed in future years. Since the excellent U.S. Survey Team report of July 1972 remains available and valid, no need for additional U.S. military surveys or on-the-spot inspections is foreseen for the time being. The potential value of mobile training teams for instruction in Haiti is recognized. However, these are overriding considerations of risk involved in the presence of U.S. military instructors in Haiti, even in small numbers. Such presence would be widely misunderstood, both in Haiti and in the U.S. (in Congress as well as in the public domain). By contrast, training of the nature proposed can be readily explained and defended if confined to the CONUS and the Canal Zone.

2. Qualification of participant trainees in the English (or Spanish) language will be a substantial problem. For the time being, all persons selected for training will have to be assigned to language training in order to meet comprehension levels required to benefit from the substantive courses. Although the Haitian Military Academy does possess a relatively new language laboratory designed to accommodate 24 students, it lacks qualified language instructors as well as accessories, such as suitable course material and language tapes. The Defense Attaché will continue to urge the Haitian Armed Forces to make more effective [Page 1059]use of this facility, so as to minimize the need to devote program resources to language qualification of trainees.

The program as outlined has been under continual discussion with Haitian military leaders. It remains strongly desired by the Haitian Government and Armed Forces. The Country Team’s previous assessments that it would clearly serve U.S. interests, at modest cost, remain unchanged.

Isham
  1. Summary: The Embassy reaffirmed its recommendation that members of the Haitian armed forces be invited to take part in a limited program of training at U.S. expense.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P750057–0976. Confidential. Repeated to USCINCSO. In telegrams 15489 and 33070, January 22 and February 13, the Department provided posts guidance on security assistance objectives and on available security assistance levels. (Both ibid., D750024–0986 and D750054–0073) With airgram A–32 from Port-au-Prince, March 4, the Embassy transmitted its proposed CASP, which recommended that the United States seek to reestablish influence with the Haitian Armed Forces by offering a modest program of training to members of the Haitian military, with an emphasis on navigational and sea/air rescue capabilities. (Ibid., P750043–2158) Reestablishing U.S. influence with the Haitian Armed Forces was not listed as a major issue in the final version of the CASP, but that document did retain the draft report’s recommendation for funding of MAP training; the Department transmitted the final text of the CASP with airgram A–4431, June 27. (Ibid., P750106–1062)