346. Action Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (Bartholomew) to the Under Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology (Nimetz)1
- FY 80 IMET Reprogramming
Whether to reprogram $25,000 for Suriname and $18,000 for Ecuador in FY 80 IMET, by utilizing $43,000 from the IMET programs of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Bahamas.
The Surinamese Minister of Defense2 has requested FY 80 IMET training for five members of the naval arm of the Surinamese Defense [Page 856] Force, which would cost $25,000. Our Embassy in Paramaribo strongly endorses this request.
Since the February 25, 1980 military rebellion which forced the previous government out of office, our policy has been to support and encourage the restoration of the democratic process to Suriname. An interim civilian government was appointed to office on March 15 in accordance with constitutional procedures, and elections are planned in 1982.3
As part of our policy we are seeking to increase our influence with the young, naive Surinamese NCO’s responsible for the revolt. A small IMET program to assist the Surinamese Defense Force, at this very formative stage when it has no officers and is run by the NCO’s, would aid greatly in this effort. It would also diminish the chances of Suriname accepting training from Cuba and other leftist countries; Cuba has already offered training and has been turned down, but Cuba is likely to persist in its efforts.
Since we did not request any funds for Suriname in the FY 80 CPD, fifteen days advance notification to Congress of this reprogramming would be required. In addition, before any IMET may be furnished, the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary will have to determine, as required by section 620(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the FAA), that Suriname “is not dominated or controlled by the international Communist movement.” We will proceed with the fifteen day notification to Congress and the section 620(b) determination if you approve this reprogramming.
ARA and PM recommend that the $25,000 be reprogrammed from Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. Our Embassy in Bridgetown has recommended that all of the $30,000 allocated to these Eastern Caribbean mini-states ($10,000 each) be reprogrammed. St. Lucia and St. Vincent have no defense forces per se and the restrictions on assistance to police under section 660 of the FAA make it difficult to furnish IMET to these countries as their forces are currently structured. (The Embassy indicates that it would not be feasible to restrict any trainees to internal security or national defense roles for a period following their training, as we require in order to ensure compatibility with the limitations of section 660.) Dominica has a small defense force, but the Embassy feels it would be unwise to offer that country an FY 80 IMET program because of political sensitivities connected with next month’s elections and because of our inability to carry out IMET programs in St. Lucia and St. Vincent.[Page 857]
We requested $352,000 in IMET for Ecuador in the FY 80 CPD, but cuts by Congress and its failure thus far to enact an appropriations bill have forced us to fund the Ecuador program under the continuing resolution at a level of $255,000. This reduced funding level has resulted in deferring training for many students in Ecuador, which returned to democratic government last year after many years of military rule. In particular, $18,000 is needed to fund training for a fast-rising Army colonel in the U.S. Army War College’s International Fellowship Program. ($23,000 is actually required, but $5,000 is still available within Ecuador’s current allocation.) The Ecuadorian colonel has been promised the training, which is scheduled to begin July 7, and he has already initiated certain actions such as putting up his house for rent. No notification to Congress of this reprogramming would be required, since it would still leave Ecuador well below the FY 80 CPD level.
ARA and PM recommend that the $18,000 be reprogrammed by utilizing the $5,000 remaining in the Eastern Caribbean mini-states’ programs and by taking $13,000 from the Bahamas’ FY 80 allocation of $60,000. The Bahamian Prime Minister has indicated that his country will only utilize a small portion of the $60,000, so we can reduce the Bahamas program to $47,000 now. It is likely that we will be able to reduce the Bahamas program further and reprogram funds to other countries once we have a firm estimate of FY 80 requirements for that country.
(1) That you approve the reprogramming of $25,000 in FY 80 IMET funds to Suriname from Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent. (If you approve, we will proceed with the fifteen day notification to Congress and the section 620 (b) determination.) (Supported by ARA, PM, DOD, S/P, and NSC).
(2) That you approve the reprogramming of $18,000 in FY 80 IMET funds to Ecuador from the residual of the Eastern Caribbean funds and the Bahamas. (Supported by ARA, PM, DOD, S/P, and NSC).4
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P800109–1266. Confidential. Drafted on July 1 in PM/SAS; cleared in OMB, DOD/ISA, DOD/DSAA, ARA/RPP, S/P, HA, H, L/PM, SC, PM/SAS, and D.↩
- Edward Ruimveld.↩
- National elections did not occur in Suriname in 1982.↩
- Nimetz checked the approve option for both recommendations on July 3.↩