"Building to the Final Confrontation: John F. Kennedy vs. The CIA"
Barely two months after the humiliating defeat of the Cuban-exile Brigade on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs, President John F. Kennedy attempted to put a halter on the maverick CIA. On June 28, 1961, three top-level White House directives, National Security Action Memoranda (NSAM), were published.
One of them, NSAM #55 entitled, "Relations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President in Cold War Operations"  was signed by Kennedy and sent directly to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer. This was a most unusual intra-governmental procedure. Ordinarily it would have gone to the Chairman via the Secretary of Defense, with copies to the Secretary of State and the Director, Central Intelligence, because of its subject. Without doubt, this directive was the most important single act of the first year of the Kennedy presidency. He had determined to limit the CIA's role in clandestine activities...perhaps eliminate it altogether. This was the first in a series of such highest-level policy directives issued by Kennedy that culminated in NSAM #263, issued one month before his murder.
These papers, and their actual authorship were concealed for years. Although parts of them appear in the so-called "Pentagon Papers," they do not appear there as a unit, nor with their correct titles and language. As far as I know, they have never before this work been linked with their source document, the Cuban Study Group report contained in a "Letter to the President" from General Maxwell Taylor to John F. Kennedy dated June 13, 1961. This is discussed in greater detail elsewhere in this book.
The White House did make a copy of NSAM #55 available separately to the Secretary of Defense. No copy was sent to either the Secretary of State, or to the Director, Central Intelligence. Kennedy's no-nonsense policy directives marked the first steps in his ambitious plan to change the course of Cold War operations which, for the most part, had been made the responsibility of the CIA since that agency's creation in late 1947. Those remarkable documents led directly to the later Reagan decision to do away with Eisenhower period "plausibly deniable" covert operations and to come out into the open with overt Cold War operations, such as his action against Grenada and the overt F-111 air strikes against Libya. The Bush administration has continued this "overt" policy with its attack on Panama, and the Desert Storm operation.
Whether or not this new military policy has been formally proclaimed the official guideline of the United States, it is being practiced today as evidenced by the Gulf War against Iraq in the Middle East. This policy means, in effect, that national sovereignty no longer exists and that a nation's independence and its borders are no longer sacred.
As this newer doctrine becomes more widely implemented, the traditional family of nations will dissolve into a shambles of raw power. From now on, no one will be safe. There is no sanctuary. Everyone, everywhere, is someone's potential target. There is no place to hide.
This doctrine, quite literally adopted from the writings of Mao Tse-tung, first attained prominence and a measure of legitimacy under the signature of John F. Kennedy, who clearly and unhesitatingly stated his intentions in the opening sentences of NSAM #55 to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: (To clarify, this directive was not written by JFK. We learned later that it was written by General Maxwell Taylor who was familiar with the studies done in the U.S. Army in Mao's writing.)
"I wish to inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff as follows with regard to my views of their relations to me in Cold War operations:
a) I regard the Joint Chiefs of Staff as my principal military adviser responsible for initiating advice to me and for responding to requests for advice. I expect their advice to come to me direct and unfiltered.
b) The Joint Chiefs of Staff have a responsibility the defense of the nation in the Cold War similar to that which they have in conventional hostilities."
As used in these directives, the term "Cold War operations" generally referred to covert operations, although it was not entirely limited to secret activities. What was new about this policy was that the President was bringing the experienced military Chiefs of Staff into an area of operation that traditionally, as under the terms of the March 15, 1954, NSC Directive 5412, had been declared to be outside of the scope of the uniformed services in peacetime. A first step in this direction had taken place in 1957, when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was made a member of the NSC 5412 "Special Group" that had been empowered to approve clandestine operations.
It must be noted that these policy statements that JFK signed, arose directly from a study of the Bay of Pigs operation. President Kennedy had directed an essential, covert air strike against Castro's last three combat aircraft. As noted, that strike did not take place. Others, unwitting of the stipulations of NSC 5412, have charged that Kennedy ought to have provided US military "Air Cover" for the Cuban-exile Brigade on the beach, when it came under attack by Castro's last three jet aircraft. Those who make this charge do not realize that the NSC had prohibited the utilization of regular military forces in support of clandestine activity, and that prohibition had established the parameters of the over-all strategy.
With this in mind, Kennedy emphasized this factor when he stated that "the Joint Chiefs of Staff have a responsibility for the defense of the nation in the Cold War similar to that which they have in conventional hostilities." He was making it possible, when necessary, to turn to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for just such purposes as had previously arisen at the time of the Bay of Pigs operation.
Thus his NSAM #55 is an important statement, and much could be said about it as it has re-appeared during following administrations. During conventional hostilities, as defined by Clausewitz  or in the traditional sense, the military establishment takes over from the diplomats and is made responsible for total war against the citizens, territory, and property of the enemy in every possible way. Converting this doctrine for application during time of peace, albeit during a Cold War, has the effect of raising the Cold War to a higher and more overt level; and prescribes a role for the U.S. military that it has never had before. When these three directives hit the Joint Staff,  the wheels within wheels of the Pentagon began to grind. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that no immediate explanation for this significant policy change had reached the CIA or the Department of State.
Within the bureaucracy, whenever a major shift in policy occurs, the first thing that is done is to dispatch secret investigators in all directions to discover the origin of the new policy and to determine what the change means. A new President and a new presidential staff rarely come equipped with insiders of sufficient experience to produce such major changes on their own in one swift stroke. It was thought that Ted Sorensen, the President's counsel, and Bobby Kennedy must have been the source of these directives. This was not so.
The Pentagon, the CIA and the Department of State -- each for its own reasons -- probed the White House. They were unable, however, to find any person, or any prior work, which gave clues to the origin of these very special papers. The problem was made worse by the fact that very few copies of these NSAMs had been made available to anyone. The true source was not discovered for many years, and therein lies a story of great importance, one that threaded its way through the Cold War era for more than 35 years. During this period the whole concept of warfare, the role of the military, and the nature of the modern nation-state have been drastically altered at a cost, to United States citizens alone, of no less than $3 trillion.
In the process of attempting to implement the policy he had promulgated with these three directives on June 28, 1961, President Kennedy created an explosive force within the environs of the government and its allies such that the resulting mass went critical on the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963.
It all began with one of the best-kept secrets of World War II. As this secret is exposed, it will reveal how it happened that select elements of the U.S. Army and their CIA associates became interested in the undercover warfare tactics written and practiced by the Chinese Communist leader, Mao Tse Tung.
This secret began with the fact that while historians have openly revealed that Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt had gone to the Teheran Conference in late November 1943 to meet with Josef Stalin for a discussion of grand strategy for the prosecution of the war against Nazi Germany, they have failed to note that Chiang Kai Shek and his wife May Ling and a special Chinese delegation had accompanied them from Cairo  where Churchill, Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek had been meeting. This was a most important Summit Meeting, not only for the purposes of advancing war planning in Europe; but for much longer range planning in the Far East, planning that has spilled over into the Cold War era with the Korean and Indochina warfare of later years.
This select Chinese delegation had a delicate task to perform that involved Stalin and could not be made public for several reasons. Whereas the Soviets, British and Americans were locked in battle against Germany in Europe, and the Chinese, British and Americans opposed the Japanese on the mainland of China and in the Pacific, the Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek had a more complex problem. While Chiang was faced by an external force from Japan, his men were threatened also by the formidable Chinese Communist army under Mao Tse-Tung. The British and Americans wanted Chiang to put more pressure on the Japanese on the mainland. But if he moved troops facing Mao Tse-tung, in China, to engage the Japanese, he would expose the rear elements of his army. Therefore, he could not move his army from its positions against Mao Tse Tung's forces in order to aid the Allies against the Japanese and hope to survive the threat of the Chinese Communists.
The other part of the problem was that, as British and American forces were moved in increasing strength into the mainland of China to help Chiang against the Japanese, it was inevitable that somewhere along the line they would encounter Chinese Communist forces which were ideological allies of the Soviets, who were, in turn, the military allies of the British and Americans.
Such complex affairs do not digest well in time of war when the friend vs. enemy situation is supposed to be as clear as black and white. This is why the four powers could not meet publicly at one time in one place, and this explains why there had to be two conferences, one in Cairo and one in Teheran. And it further explains why the Chinese met secretly with Stalin in Teheran and how the three Pacific allies, the USA, Great Britain and Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese, won a concession from Stalin to have him prevail upon his ideological ally, Mao Tse-tung, to withhold his forces from further pressure on Chiang, at least until the war with Japan ended. (Mao finally defeated the Nationalists in Nanking in 1949.) Such intricate diplomacy in the heat of the war demanded true statesmanship all around.
It is not within the scope of this book to venture into the areas of diplomacy and political intrigue that grew from this most important meeting. Rather we shall pursue its impact upon the development of a new trend in U.S. military doctrine that emerged and shaped itself during the Cold War years. Elements of this doctrine became evident in the NSAM #55, #56 and #57 series of presidential directives that John F. Kennedy issued in June 1961 as he initiated his objective to bring the CIA under his effective control by putting the military into the "Peacetime Operations" (clandestine) business.
Following the Teheran and Cairo conferences, American military aid to and participation with the Chinese on the mainland increased enormously. A group of B-29 Super Fortress bombers was flown from the United States via Africa and the Middle East to bases in the Assam Valley wartime airport complex of eastern India. From there they were flown to advance bases in China for direct operations against the Japanese home islands.
It was during the post-Teheran Conference period that selected American military leaders ran up against conditions in China which were totally uncharacteristic of the military practices and doctrine of the United States. In China, military force was deeply involved in a political role at the same time as it was fighting a conventional war against the Japanese and a civil war with Mao. This somewhat political role of the military opened the eyes of the more traditional U.S. military observers.
The United States had sent a number of its finest military leaders to China. The army was under the command of General Joseph W. Stilwell. The air force units were commanded by the legendary General Claire Chennault of "Flying Tigers" fame. A number of these officers and their key subordinates came home from the war in Asia deeply impressed with what they had experienced in Asia. Two things stood out above all others: the impact of the atomic bomb and the writings and revolutionary military doctrine of Mao Tse-tung.
Looking back to World War II, and even before it, U.S. military men -- to the greatest extent reservists -- regarded warfare as something that took place overseas beyond our borders. They viewed military service as a totally non-political function. This, they found, was generally true in the military tradition of our British and French allies in Europe, until the closing period of the war. Then things began to change.
After the surrender of Italy, the U.S. Army began to help the Italians, who had been under Fascist totalitarian rule for a generation or more. They needed help not only to obtain food, shelter, and clothing; but also to restructure local government.
The U.S. Army began a program of "Civil Affairs and Military Government." American servicemen, making use of their civilian skills, pitched in to get public water supplies flowing again, to get transportation rolling, and even to form a political structure that could take over the local administration. This function spread all over Europe as cities and towns were liberated, one after the other, by the advancing U.S. armies.
The U.S. Army was getting into politics. But it was someone else's politics. This new role for an American army came at a fortuitous time. Two cities had been totally leveled by atomic bombs in faraway Japan. If the future of warfare was going to face up to reality, it would have to recognize that whole countries, at least major regions of countries, would be totally devastated by nuclear weapons and their lethal fallout.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the war colleges, where military doctrine is developed, began the study of the nuclear weapon and its immense power with the idea of placing these weapons into wartime Grand Strategy. If the entire span of the evolution of warfare had created a spectrum based upon weaponry from hand held clubs at one end across to the B-29 bomber at the other end, then it might be said that the nuclear weapon extended that spectrum of power almost to infinity.
The curriculum of each of these schools for senior officers contained major segments on nuclear warfare. "War Plans, those very formal and fundamental plans designed to implement Grand Strategy and used in the budgeting process to assure the men, money and materiel essential to carry out and fulfill those plans in time of war, were being developed to contain major segments dedicated to "post-strike" activity.
This new nuclear-age strategy recognized a type of warfare initiated by a sudden exchange of nuclear weapons, followed by a time of shock and stagnation. The urban areas of the Soviet Union, it was contemplated, would be devastated, and transportation and communications would be totally disrupted. The daily activities of the surviving population would be at a standstill with no voice of leadership from the Kremlin. The survivors would be on their own. War Plans forecast that the first nation that could introduce, by airlift, its military forces into this shocked and devastated area and that could re-establish law and order along with a new political and economic system would seal the victory.
For this purpose the, newly established CIA was brought into this war planning activity and visualized as a Fourth Force in wartime. The CIA was asked to oversee the development of these special activities in peacetime and to manage their operation in time of war. Similarly, the Air Force was ordered to create a huge, global air transport system to be rapidly augmented at the outbreak of war by CRAF (Civil Reserve Air Fleet) aircraft from the airlines. This huge air armada would airlift the Army and essential supplies into enemy zones that had been specifically avoided by nuclear strikes to be sanctuaries and rallying zones following the nuclear deluge.
Those army "Special Forces" units, created for this purpose to work with the CIA and its "stay-behind" assets, would begin to create a government that would include a new economic and political system. As the lead element of these forces, the U.S. Army was directed to create, in peacetime, a Special Warfare section, to train Special Forces; and, once trained, to disperse them in strategic locations around the world. The CIA had been directed to do everything possible to establish foreign agent networks, in peacetime, far behind the borders of potential enemy countries. With the outbreak of war the CIA would activate these "stay-behind" networks in preparation for the arrival of US Armed Forces.
The Air Force created Air Re-supply and Communications (ARC) Wings, vast flying organizations trained and equipped to work with the Army Special Forces, and the CIA. These ARC Wings possessed airborne printing facilities that could be operated in flight. They were able to make area-wide blanket leaflet drops to provide the psychological warfare edge and a communications substitute required to reorganize a stunned and disorganized populace. This was the grandiose plan that emerged out of the merger of the World War II atomic bomb and "Civic Affairs and Military Government" experiences of World War II. On reflection, it is amazing see how these two widely divergent concepts became a Grand Strategy war plan; and then, by adding the superlative ingredient of elements of the Mao doctrine, how they were shaped expertly to become the Cold War doctrine and tactics of the Vietnam era, among others. For example, this planning was behind the "Strategic Hamlet" concept.
It is even more fascinating to see how all this has been shaped in the hands of later administrations and applied as a main theme of the military action concept of the 1980s and 1990s. Yet, with all this development, there was one thing lacking. This new doctrine needed eyes and ears and, if possible, reliable contacts within the denied areas of Soviet, or other potential enemy territory.
The relatively new CIA, concentrating for the most part on its mission of intelligence, had none of the bases, military equipment, manpower, storage sites, etc., required for such a task. Faced with this dilemma: on the one hand it sorely wanted to be the Fourth Force, but it did not possess the wherewithal to pull it off, the CIA made a characteristically clever and self-serving decision.
The agency placed the burden of support right back on the military system. As the years passed, the CIA amassed enormous stockpiles of "War Plans" authorized equipment in warehouses, ostensibly to await either a military exercise to flex their muscles, or the real thing. This is the way the CIA got its toe in the door to flesh out its early clandestine operations.
It is an old military truism that "if you have the weapons, they will be used," and, indeed, as the years rolled by, these weapons were used, by the CIA.
These two strategic concepts, one from the China of Mao Tse-tung and the other that arose from the war-time devastation of Europe, began to merge with the nuclear reality. American military officers with Asian experience began to soak up the European concept of Civic Action and Special Warfare. This change of direction became the central theme of the warfare in Indochina during the 1960s and 1970s and later became the dominant theme of President Reagan's military policy, as evidenced in Central America, Africa, the Middle East.
In earlier days, such "Peacetime Operations" were secret, and every attempt was made to keep them that way. Today they are called "covert," but they are as overt as the attacks on Libya, and they are, of course, easily attributable to the United States. This situation marks the end of the principal that honored national sovereignty among the family of nations. By 1958, senior military officers at the Army War College heard lectures on these subjects presented by the new breed of U.S. military strategist. An excerpt from one such lecture given by Edward G. Lansdale follows:
"Mao Tse-tung explained the importance of the Communist politico-military forces in the new modern warfare. Their main purpose deals with the army-people relationship for winning over people to unite with the armed forces. They can be adopted by all other armies and especially guerrilla forces. There are those who cannot imagine how guerrillas could survive for long in the rear of the enemy. But, they do not understand the relationship between the people and the army. The people are like the water and the army is like the fish. How can it be difficult for the fish to survive when there is water?"
This is straight out of Mao Tse Tung's "Little Red Book" In other words, all of a sudden the teaching of Mao, the Chinese Communist leader, had become part of the doctrine of the new U.S. military strategy. This example of the "fish in the water" was repeated thousands of times in thousands of lectures. The voice of Mao was raised again and again at the Army War College, to wit:
"There are often military elements who care for only military affairs but not politics. Such one-track-minded military officers, ignoring the interconnection between politics and military affairs, must be made to understand the correct relationship between the two. All military actions are means to achieve certain political objectives while military action itself is a manifested form of politics. There are of course differences between political and military affairs each with its special characteristics, but the one should not be disconnected and isolated from the other.
"The world today is already in a new era of evolution and today's war is already approaching the world's last armed conflict. This is also a fact which should be understood. The majority of mankind, including the 450 millions of China, is already engaged or preparing to engage in a great, just war against the aggressors and oppressors of the entire world. No matter how long this war is going to last, there is no doubt that it is approaching the last conflict in history. After such a prolonged, ruthless war, there will emerge an historically unprecedented new era for mankind in which there will be no more wars."
These are the written comments of one of the greatest military leaders of modern times. He is defining the Cold War in terms of real war. It was heady stuff for the leaders of the U.S. Army. They knew it did not have immediate application within the United States, but they saw ways to create armies of this type in other countries, particularly in the emerging Third World nations.
The next step on the road to full implementation of this new doctrine involved the joining of the teaching of Mao with the curriculum of the Civil Affairs and Military Government School at Fort Gordon, Georgia; and the creation, from this merger, of the new Special Warfare doctrine of 1960.
From Army platforms such statements as "the kind of peace we have today is too important to entrust to the career diplomats and professional economists" became common as senior Army officials began to see "that the U.S. Army had a Cold War role." As explained by these lectures, "With U.S. guidance and help, the politico-military actions of Southeast Asian armed forces can be decisive in building strong, free nations, with governments responsive to and representative of the people."
It does not take much imagination to see the way things have been going. This new doctrine proposes that somehow a strong army, for example one under a powerful leader such as General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, is supposed to build "representative" government. This new U.S. doctrine visualized a national army suspended somewhere between the people on the one hand and the seat of government on the other -- truly the "fish" (army) in the "water" (people).
Despite the planners' optimism, they were never able to demonstrate an army that operated that way, least of all General Pinochet's. Once an army has developed the power, it uses it. The seat of government becomes engulfed by this new army, the people are subjugated. Tradition in military circles is always stronger than mere words.
Mao wrote those ideas about his army while he was the rebel leader. Once in power, and with that army under his control, the tables were completely turned. He became as dictatorial as all the rest. To those who are not students of the evolution of warfare and the history of war, some of these developments in U.S. military doctrine since World War II may seem complex and obscure. Essentially the regular armed forces of the United States have always been regarded as a base or cadre upon which the much larger forces required for overseas warfare could be built. The role of the regular armed forces, between wars, has been to train and equip themselves for war, and no more.
In the past, the United States has never used armed forces, during peacetime, for political or diplomatic reasons, other than for an occasional show of force externally. And certainly there is no role for these forces within the borders of this country, with a very few exceptions: to aid police or the Secret Service, or in the event of national disasters and emergencies. Therefore, the emergence of U.S. military doctrine tailored to the policies of Chairman Mao is quite a departure, especially when flavored with the "Civil Affairs and Military Government" concept.
The U.S. Armed Forces have, for the most part, been cautious about this role. But over the years they have associated themselves with the armed forces of Third World nations, in support of this concept of the army being the "fish" in the "water" of the populace. Tens of thousands of "Third World" country armed forces leaders have attended U.S. Military schools and colleges where they have been taught to adopt an "Americanized" version of Mao's ideas of the politico-military relationships. Where such examples have occurred, certain military elements, including U.S. Army Special Forces, have been under the direction of the CIA. This was the case in Indochina between 1954 and 1965, and this is how it happened that the tactics of the Vietnam War, as we have known it, so closely allied itself with these Maoist ideas.
In other examples, covert operations were run, as much with a blank checkbook as anything else, to build up a new, popular military leader, as in the case of Ramon Magsaysay in the Philippines. As described in earlier chapters, Magsaysay's CIA-supported rise placed him at the head of the military forces in the Philippines. The CIA knew that the military there could be relied upon to build a "strong government responsive and representative of the people." And the fact is that once Magsaysay reached that level of military power, he also became the head of state with the support of a strong army. His "fish" did not stay in the "water" for long.
Other examples of the theoretical application of these principles have involved such countries as Iran, Chile, Guatemala, the Congo, Indonesia, Tibet, Indochina (Vietnam and Laos), and many other nations in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. In every case where the intent was to create a model "Mao-defined" army, it has failed. In spite of this, however, proponents of the doctrine continued their work.
There was a singularly economic reason for this. Since World War II, the Department of Defense had become the perennial biggest spender in the government. If such a level of spending was to be continued, Cold War or not, there must appear to be some reason for the vast procurement orders other than for actual warfare; and, perhaps even more importantly, there must be some way to consume military hardware so that it would have to be replaced from new procurement. Just to add a gratuitous comment, this is one explanation for the growing magnitude of the so-called "Black Budget."
It is quite customary to find that for every defense dollar spent on new military equipment, 10 more dollars are spent for support during its military "life of type." These same figures, perhaps even higher on the average, apply to the military hardware that is sent as "Military Aid" to other countries and maintained and consumed overseas.
On such a scale, a modest $50 million order may grow to $500 million over time. With this in mind, it is essential -- from the point of view that the industrial complex supports, and in turn is supported by the military, to have as broad a base as possible throughout the world in the armed forces of as many countries as possible. Such a situation can create many extremes.
At one time, for example, Egypt was firmly in the "communist" camp and purchased its military materiel from the Soviets. However, the Soviet manufacturers were notoriously poor managers of essential follow-up supply requirements. The CIA sent an official letter to the Defense Department suggesting that it might be wise for some armament suppliers to acquire Russian-made spare parts and to produce them for the Egyptians. It did not make any difference who was going to get military hardware or whose it was, as long as the dollars flowed through the industry.
After this "Mao doctrine" had been developed and preached at the War College level during the late 1950s by U.S. military experts steeped in Asian military lore, two of them wrote one of the most influential military documents of the past half-century as part of the work of a Special Presidential Committee for President Eisenhower. Army General Richard G. Stilwell,  who served as a member of this committee and Air Force General Edward G. Lansdale were the principal authors of this report. It was introduced into the White House, May 15, 1959, under the title, "Training Under The Mutual Security Program, (With emphasis on development of leaders.)" These two generals were sponsored effectively by Allen W. Dulles, the Director, Central Intelligence, and by the resurgent Army Special Warfare elements at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In this important Report that was intended "For the President's Committee Business Only," General Stilwell and his associates set forth the doctrine "governing the employment of the military instrument, in peace and in war." It was most influential during the Vietnam War, and for other Third World developments since that date.
During the spring of 1959, the CIA had skillfully extricated the Dali Lama from Tibet ahead of the invading Chinese Communist army (the same army that used the same doctrine that had been adopted in the White House), and the CIA was setting up a massive over-flight program of support for the Tibetan "Khamba" tribesmen, who were fighting a losing battle against the Chinese.
General Maxwell Taylor, who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, 1955-1959, had just resigned because of differences with President Dwight D. Eisenhower over Army policy matters. This was the climate in which the new U.S. military doctrine reached the White House. In deference to the general purpose civilian Mutual Security Program, this long report paid lip service to "the essentiality of properly trained and motivated manpower" without the use of the word "military," although any observant reader could see through this thin smoke-screen.
It should be kept in mind that this was the milieu of Army thinking at the time General Stilwell announced that an area to be discussed was "The exploitation of MAP [Military Assistance Program] supported military establishments in furtherance of political stability, economic growth and social change."
Here the new doctrine raised its horns. The military would be used to further "political stability, economic growth and social change" in peacetime. This was a totally revolutionary role for the U.S. military. For military forces in most Third World nations, such a function was unheard of. The doctrine was focused on the military of those countries in what the report called "the middle third of the world."
To educate its readers and to underscore this point the report stated:
"It is not enough however, to restrict leadership inputs to U.S. norms. Except in specifically defined circumstances, our Armed Forces have no operative responsibilities within national frontiers; conforming generally to the precepts of Western democracies, they are not an integral part of the mechanism for maintenance of law and order. The prevailing concept is expeditionary -- an instrument of latent power -- unentangled domestically, ready for projection abroad should the exigency arise. Not so for the great bulk of the forces of the new nations. Their role has additional dimensions and their missions are actual as opposed to contingent. They are a key element in the maintenance of internal security and are largely determinant of whether stability or instability characterizes the routine of government. The Officer Corps is perforce deeply involved in domestic affairs. Those who lead, or are destined to lead, must therefore acquire qualifications and attributes beyond the criteria which identify the successful commander, in combat.
"Finally, the ranks of the Officer Corps in most less developed countries are a rich source of potential leaders of the national civil service, the professional class, and other non-military sectors. Here one finds a high degree of discipline, dedication and political moderation. Moreover, one must reckon with the possibility -- indeed probability that the Officer Corps, as a unit, may accede to the reins of government as the only alternative to domestic chaos and leftist takeover. Both considerations point to a program for selection and preparation of promising officers for eventual occupation of high level managerial posts in the civil sector, public and private.
"In the field of general education, as in the development of national leadership, the military establishments can play a significant role."
During the Cold War, the full significance of these statements may not have appeared clear to many readers, because our concern with the threat of "Communism" and the Soviet Union was all that mattered. However, as these words are read in the Nineties they take on an altogether new significance as the policy statement of the military organizations of the world under a New World Order.
This introductory material was woven into the Mutual Security Program report to create a bridge from the more normal non-military and political elements of the work to the revolutionary Cold War military doctrine. It served as a palliative for those in the civilian sector both at home and abroad. But, as the report moved along into a presentation of its military sector concepts, it began to sound more and more like Chairman Mao and his political-military army that was deeply involved in the internal affairs of the state.
This subject was significant in the Eisenhower era, and it grew more controversial and dynamic during the aborted Kennedy period. It has become even more significant during the years since then. Despite the passage of decades since this doctrine was first introduced, some of the same military officers who developed and promoted these concepts -- with the strong backing of the CIA -- are even today in high-level positions where they are able to promote it and influence high level policy more than ever before.
The quotes involving military subjects that are taken directly from this report serve as a reminder of how something novel in 1959 and 1960 has come to be taken as an accepted philosophy, especially now that the Cold War is over and the military and its industrial friends are forced to look for new fields to conquer. Although the following extracts were written in the 1958-1959 time period, they appear to have been for today's consumption:
"New Roles for the Military"
"In the past year, a number of informed and thoughtful observers have pointed out that MAP-supported military establishments throughout the less developed areas have a political and socio-economic potential which, if properly exploited, may far outweigh their contribution to the deterrence of military aggression...."
This is due, in part to...
"...the growing realization that armies are often the only cohesive and reliable non-communist instrument available to the fledgling nations....
"...armies...are the principal Cold War weapon from the shores of the East Mediterranean to the 38th Parallel (Korea)."
Then the report drives home its point that the armed forces operate in a never-never land somewhere "between government and populace."
"It is not enough to charge armed forces with responsibility for the military aspects of deterrence: they represent too great an investment in manpower and money to be restricted to such a limited mission. The real measure of their worthiness is found in the effectiveness of their contribution to the furtherance of national objectives, short of conflict. And the opportunities therefore are greatest in the less-developed societies where the military occupy a pivotal position between government and populace. As one writer has phrased it'...properly employed, the army can become an internal motor for economic growth and socio-political transformation.'"
Later in the report, that same thesis is sounded again:
"The maintenance of internal security constitutes a major responsibility of these armed forces...."
The report states:
"...a key requirement may be direct military action against armed dissidents; consequently, appropriate elements of the army should be equipped and trained for unorthodox warfare."
It reaches a climax with the following statements of U.S. military policy, concealed in 1959 behind a Third World policy. This affirmative presentation at White House level shows how thoroughly the new U.S. military doctrine -- albeit for other nations, they say -- followed the teachings of Chairman Mao. 
"Here is the ultimate test of the armed forces. Their role, in the countries under discussion, is unique. They are at once the guardians of the government and the guarantors that the government keeps faith with the aspirations of the nation. It is in their power to insure that the conduct of government is responsive to the people and that the people are responsive to the obligations of citizenship. In the discharge of these responsibilities, they must be prepared to assume the reins of government themselves."
"...we have embraced the struggle for the minds of men...."
The report continues and endorses the "Formulation of a Military Creed." It cites:
"the unique responsibilities of the military forces -- one might almost say armies -- in the development of political stability and national unity"
and it talks about:
"the relationship of the military instrument to the state and to civil power...."
This Eisenhower White House Report takes on full color when we recall that Chairman Mao had launched, in 1957 -- only two years before this report was written -- the Great Leap Forward, which was an attempt to decentralize the Chinese economy, such as it was, by establishing a nationwide system of people's communes.
At the same time, the CIA, augmented by the U.S. Army and the Department of State and assisted by experts from the Department of Agriculture, was working with the Diem government of South Vietnam to establish hundreds of similar communes, then called "Agrovilles" and later "Strategic Hamlets," in South Vietnam.
And in May 1959, this White House presidential committee had suggested in the same report:
"Military equipment and labor can expedite completion of village communal projects....Only thus can an enduring relationship be established among the government, the military and the people themselves."
Mao's doctrine, even in the Great Leap Forward, found itself flowing from the pens of U.S. military officers in the form of revolutionary ideas. The nations they describe are to be sliced up into three distinct entities: the people, the government, and the military. What kind of country is that? They do not say. But their new U.S. military doctrine was thrust upon the emerging government of Vietnam, and their concept of Cold War (peacetime) operations permeated the highest levels of government at the time Kennedy was inaugurated in January 1961 .
There is a strangely contrived side to all this. As Mao Tse-tung had said:
"The world today is already in a new era of evolution and today's war is already approaching the world's last armed conflict....No matter how long this war is going to last, there is no doubt that it is approaching the last conflict in history."
By the mid-1950s, significant elements of the U.S. military establishment had begun to accept the fact that a nuclear war was impossible and that the Cold War was the best scenario for those who saw some form of warfare as essential to the existence of the nation-state.
In an earlier chapter, "The Report From Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace", was cited as a work of crucial importance. It stated that a nation-state could not survive without warfare, and this novel about a top-level study, commissioned in August 1963, described an attitude which had begun to surface right after the inauguration of John F. Kennedy.
The members of Kennedy's inner circle were concerned that no serious work had been done to plan for peace in the world, and such discussions were heard in the Pentagon. The commissioning of the study which resulted in "The Report from Iron Mountain" illustrates this concern.
The reader will understand that the author, Leonard Lewin, has a perfect right to characterize his work as a "novel." I have spoken with Lewin at length. He is a well informed man who was well aware of the situation in Washington as pictured in the above Lansdale/Stilwell Report in 1959, and its progression into the Kennedy era with its Pentagon offices filled with Phi Beta Kappas and other men of experience and learning. The most interesting part of both "Reports" is the many ways in which they over-lap and agree with each other; and, even more importantly how they have survived the contrivances of the Cold War and have become thoroughly modern military doctrine.
Chairman Mao forecast all this also. Many good strategists in the U.S. military knew this, so they designed the parameters of the new type of military doctrine and a new type of constant warfare that would, for the most part, take place in the territory of relatively powerless Third World nations.
Thus, in the process of stamping out "communist-inspired subversive insurgency" or other bogeymen foes, millions of defenseless little people were murdered as though some monstrous Malthusian bulldozer had been mindlessly set in motion to depopulate Earth. A classic example of this was the massive slaughter in Cambodia, later in Iran vs. Iraq war and subsequently "Desert Storm" and other related hostilities in the Middle East.
It just happened that Kennedy put a man he had never met, General Maxwell Taylor, on the Cuban Study Group after the Bay of Pigs disaster. Taylor had been the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army when the Mutual Security Program report was written. No man was better prepared to further that philosophy. It was written in accordance with his guidance. He believed and endorsed this new doctrine developed by members of his Army staff.
The Cuban Study Group was the source of the report that had been given to the President on June 13, 1961, that in turn became National Security Action Memoranda #55, #56, and #57 on June 28. They hit the Pentagon like a thunderclap and caused a muffled roar from the State Department and the CIA. General Taylor was their author. (I have acquired a copy of the original work and these documents will be discussed in detail in Chapter 15.)
Shortly thereafter, General Taylor moved into the White House as Military Adviser to the President. This posting created a rather anomalous situation. President Kennedy had just sent NSAM 55 to the incumbent Chairman of the JCS, General Lemnitzer, saying that he wanted his advice on Cold War matters, then he placed General Taylor in the White House for practically the same purpose. That October, the President sent General Taylor to Vietnam for a military report on the situation there. One year later, in 1962. Taylor was made Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and remained there until 1964, when he left to become Ambassador to South Vietnam.
END CHAPTER TWELVE