National Security Action Memorandum No. 132, "Support of Local Police Forces for Internal Security and Counter-Insurgency Purposes," 19 February 1962


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 2, pp. 666-667


THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington

NATIONAL SECURITY ACTION MEMORANDUM NO. 132

TO: The Honorable Fowler Hamilton
The Administrator
Agency for International Development

SUBJECT: Support of Local Police Forces for Internal Security and Counter-Insurgency Purposes

As you know, I desire the appropriate agencies of this Government to give utmost attention and emphasis to programs designed to counter Communist indirect aggression, which I regard as a grave threat during the 1960s. I have already written the Secretary of Defense 'to move to a new level of increased activity across the board" in the counter-insurgency field.

Police assistance programs, including those under the aegis of your agency, are also a crucial element in our response to this challenge. I understand that there has been some tendency toward de-emphasizing them under the new aid criteria developed by your agency. I recognize that such programs may seem marginal in terms of focusing our energies on those key sectors which will contribute most to sustained economic growth. But I regard them as justified on a different though related basis, i.e., that of contributing to internal security and resisting Communist-supported insurgency.

I am further aware that police programs, as a relatively minor facet of the functions of the aid agency, may have tended to receive little emphasis as a result. Therefore, I would like you to consider various ways and means of giving the police program greater autonomy within AID, if this seems necessary in order to protect it from neglect. I fully recognize that police programs must be looked at on a case-by-case basis and that in some instances they can indeed be cut back or eliminated. I simply wish to insure that before doing so we have taken fully into account the importance of the counter-insurgency objective as I view it.

In sum, I should like AID to review carefully its role in the support of local police forces for internal security and counter-insurgency purposes, and to recommend to me through the Special Group (Counter-Insurgency) what new or renewed emphases are desirable.

(signed) John F. Kennedy

Information Copy to:

The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Attorney General
Director of Central Intelligence
Director, Bureau of the Budget
Director, Peace Corps
General Maxwell D. Taylor


Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Vietnam War Page