Framed: America's Patsy Tradition
The New Doctrine: Special Forces
and the Penetration of the Mutual Security Program
THE MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAD BEEN modestly launched as aid to Greece and Turkey in 1947. It was expanded to include military aid to NATO, Iran, Korea, and the Philippines in 1949. Since 1951 it has been absorbed into the annual Mutual Security Act, which is an omnibus legislative enactment covering military aid, developmental aid, technical assistance, and a contingency fund. Over the years, military assistance has been provided to more than forty countries, and in most, if not all of these arrangements, the CIA has been a key factor.
According to the U.S. Army, it is a basic tenet of American foreign policy that Soviet piecemeal aggression must be stopped wherever it occurs so that the balance of power will not shift to the Communists. The most obvious means of carrying out this policy is providing military assistance to our allies so that they will be able to defend themselves. It is further postulated that a recipient's capacity to contribute significantly to resisting active aggression is maximized by building up adequate standing forces and arsenals, and secondly, that the recipient's capacity to maintain internal order and to control subversion is emphasized.
The Army states that there are various goals for the Military Aid Program, depending upon the country and the general region in which it exists. "Aid to Asia is intended to help Asiatic recipients resist internal subversion and perhaps to a more limited extent to resist open aggression." As an internal matter, the Army looks at Military Aid as a program that "straddles the areas of responsibility of the Department of State and of the DOD . . . The development of the MAP involves many agencies."
The program in each country was developed and is controlled by a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG). The CIA places both military and civilian personnel within these MAAG offices. In some places the number of Agency personnel exceeds the number of military personnel who were assigned. Of course, if the Agency or the DOD were queried about this by a member of Congress or other Government official, they would deny the existence of these people and justify their denial on the basis that the agents in the MAAG had been "declared to be military" by some paperwork cover, usually kept in a highly classified file back in Washington, in the Agency and the service concerned. Thus they could say, "Yes, everyone in that MAAG is a member of the military establishment." But the truth requires them to add, "and some of them are really CIA employees who are military simply as a function of a cover arrangement." However, they never add that, and no one ever asks them in those specific words.
The important thing about the Military Assistance Program is that it brought with it some new definitions of the role and responsibility of the armed forces of the nation. In the first instance, these definitions seemed quite correct and served to make the Military Assistance Program more meaningful to Americans. However, as the years passed and the MAP work became routine, and as these earlier doctrines became part of the "military language" for both countries involved -- the United States and the host country -- they began to produce subtle changes in the role of the U.S. military. This led to a very sophisticated form of direct intervention in the internal affairs of the forty host countries, and in some cases, it resulted directly in the separation of that nation's armed forces from its political control through practices that will be explained. In this sense the elaborate statements of mission of the mutual security programs are a refined cover story. The military assistance program becomes the means by which the ST may, whenever it finds or suspects "communist-inspired subversive insurgency", increase its role in the armed forces and political organizations of the host country until the trouble becomes an outbreak of open hostility. Thus the "fireman" becomes the man who sets fires rather than the one who puts them out.
One source of this doctrine was the Civil Affairs School at Fort Gordon, Georgia. This Army school dates back to World War II, when it was the training ground for the Civil Affairs and Military Government (CAMG) program. It was the function of those specially trained men to go into countries like Italy and France, which had been under German military domination for several years, and to assist with the rebuilding of the local government in the wartorn areas. As a result, these men had been trained in political functions more than in the military tactical profession. Their record in World War II was outstanding, and after the war the school, although cut back as was most of the military, continued, prospered, and found a new life in working up a curriculum based upon the post-strike phase of a nuclear war. It was in this phase of work that the CAMG school and its doctrine played so prominently into the hands of the CIA by underscoring the potential of the Agency during peacetime for establishing contact in denied areas and for setting up clandestine contacts with the agent, underground networks that would be established. This led the CIA into the war planning function of all major military headquarters, and from its success with this, into its logistics buildup.
It was not unusual, then, to find the CIA returning to the Civil Affairs School during another trying period in an effort to breathe new life into Agency operations, which had been seriously curtailed after the Indonesia fiasco of 1958. MAP was an ideal place for the Agency to operate. As we have said, the CIA had by 1959 become well entrenched in all parts of the U.S. Government. Through MAP, the Agency now was able to establish itself quietly in up to forty foreign countries in ways that its usual civilian and diplomatic cover would not permit. All assistance programs needed recruiting and the CIA volunteered to take over the task of helping the services with recruiting in the host country. If some Iranians were to be selected to attend an electronics course in the United States for six months, someone had to select the men who would go. MMG military personnel who had been selected for their assignments, usually on the basis of their tactical and professional background, were not generally well informed about the people with whom they would be working. The Agency supplied men who spoke the languages of and wherever possible were experts on the host country and who already may have had underground contacts there. They were ideal, then, to take over the responsibility and the chore of selecting the men from the host country who would go to schools in the United States.
This gave the Agency a valuable tool for exploitation. Whereas the MAAG may have looked upon this selection in purely professional terms, the CIA looked upon it in political and rather pragmatic terms. The Agency knew well that any Iranian selected to go to the United States for six months, with extra pay and other allowances such as the ability to purchase a new U.S. automobile at low "diplomatic" prices, was going to leap at the chance to go. Thus if the selection were made wisely the Agency could make some valuable contacts and friends in that country. Needless to say, many of the men who reported to the electronics school didn't know the first thing about electronics and didn't care.
The CIA parleyed these contacts into close friendships in these countries and became in many instances very close to the chosen recipients of "military aid". The next thing was to cultivate the soil in order that both the military and the Agency would benefit from these windfall relationships. This was done by carefully relating the Military Assistance Program to the old slogan, anti-Communism."
The Civil Affairs School curriculum, which was to provide background information on the Military Assistance Program, began with an elaborate summary of a course called "Communist Techniques of Aggression". It laid the groundwork for reflexive anti-Communism by telling all students that "local Communists gradually took over [these countries] under the threat of the military domination of the Red Army at their border," and went on to tell them "how important a tool military power is for shaping men's minds in conditions of conflict short of open warfare." It further characterized the kind of Communism they were talking about by saying, "Diplomacy is the classic means of carrying out relations between nations, and hence is not a typical Communist technique . . . the Russian embassy in a foreign country is always used as the center of espionage activity in that country." Then, as the text became more specific in terms of areas of the world where the United States might have an interest, it took into consideration the problem in Vietnam before Dien Bien Phu: "The French did not dare to form an armed force of members of the indigenous population for fear that it would defect to the Communists." This made good instruction as far as the Army was concerned in those formative days. It sugar-coated the cover story. But as we know, the French did try to Vietnamize their war just as we have been trying to Vietnamize ours.
After many more pages of "analyzing" Communism and Communist techniques, the Army lesson goes on to say that in taking over governments, the Communists seek to control "the key positions. . . the Ministry of Defense, which controls the Army, and the Ministry of Interior, which controls the Police. "It adds that the Russians carry on espionage with a worldwide organization: "The information they seek is not only military intelligence but also reports on political and social matters which will guide the Kremlin in its worldwide planning. . . ."
In doing this, the lesson insists that the espionage network operates completely separate from other foreign channels of the Soviet high command, and that "the ambassador, who is the nominal head of the legation, may not even be permitted to set foot in parts of his own embassy."
This legitimate curriculum on the subject of Communism and its ways has been, over the years, lifted almost in its entirety and neatly inserted into other curricula that were used to train United States and foreign nationals how they should operate in a peacetime operation situation; in other words, "Do as they do." When men have been taught that this is the way the enemy does it and the only way we can defeat the enemy at his own games is by copying and emulating him, then it becomes easy to insert into the normal training programs bits and pieces of this doctrine. After years of hearing this material used at first for clandestine orientation and later for less than clandestine operations, these ideas begin to seem right in our own service.
One area with which American servicemen had been totally unfamiliar was what is called the paramilitary organization. A course in such organization has become very formative in the indoctrination of a new generation of military and their civilian counterparts, along with the tens of thousands of foreign military and civilians trained in MAP projects. The following is an official U.S. Army definition of paramilitary forces as extracted from a standard lesson guide.
"We Americans are not very well acquainted with this type of organization because we have not experienced it in our own country. It resembles nothing so much as a private army. The members accept at least some measure of discipline, and have military organization, and may carry light weapons. In Germany in the 1920's and early 30's the parties of the right and the Communists had such organizations with membership in the hundreds of thousands. It is readily apparent what a force this can be in the political life of a country, particularly if the paramilitary forces are armed, when the supremacy of the Army itself may be threatened."
In the beginning these lessons were used to train forces to go out and work with the native forces of other countries, and in many of these other countries the U.S. Army role was submerged and covered in the CIA mechanism. The CIA, rather than train the legitimate army of a host country, would train the paramilitary force to create a structure within the country that could balance the army or even overthrow it.
In many cases the CIA would work with the national police rather than with the paramilitary forces. The results were the same. The thinking as stated by the U.S. Army in this doctrine was that with U.S. guidance and help, the politico-military actions of the [host] armed forces can be decisive in building strong, free nations, with governments responsive to, and representative of, the people." This was the doctrine, but it would be most difficult to find a single case of the armed forces of any such nation being truly representative of, and responsive to, the people. In most cases the situation has been exactly the opposite.
Even as far back as the mid-fifties the U.S. Army doctrine, had a strong overtone of CIA assistance and was preaching "pacification". Pacification, as it is carried on in South Vietnam, can be shown to date back to the Fort Gordon course, where it was taught that "the operational doctrine for the take-over of zones evacuated by the [rebels] was known as Pacification." The doctrine adds, "The two largest pacification campaigns [in Indochina] were undertaken in the early months of 1955, in Camau in the far south and in Quang Ngai-Binh Dinh provinces of the central coast region . . . As a result of good planning, training, and operations by the military, effective government and security were quickly established in the pacification areas, much of the war torn economy was rehabilitated, and the Communist organizations left behind were revealed by the population, along with a great many hidden caches of arms and equipment." This was the U.S. Army lesson guide of 1959-l960 about minor operations in 1955, which by now has been proved to have been so terribly wrong.
Remember, this was the doctrine the school was teaching key people who eventually became the MAAG officials in forty foreign countries. This was also the basic doctrine used to rejuvenate the long dormant U.S. Army Special Forces program. As it continued, it wandered far from its original theme of Communist cold war techniques to talk more about American activity and specifically the type of activity that was most unconventional for the American Army, the use of civilians, foreign nationals, and foreign military in U.S.-sponsored, third-country projects that were essentially clandestine, as extracted from U.S. Army lesson guides.
"During the pacification campaigns, the Vietnamese army learned to work closely with two notable civilian organizations, which are worth mentioning here as an indication of teamwork employed to bring stability to a free nation. The organizations were 'Operation Brotherhood', involving the International Jaycees, and the Vietnamese Government's 'Civic Action' teams. These two organizations of volunteers brought high morals and ideal, unselfish spirit to the campaigns . . . 'Operation Brotherhood' was originally staffed by Filipino volunteers. . . ."
Looking at this with the hindsight of ten to fifteen years of bitter experience in Vietnam, one wonders at the real meaning and intent of such subject matter. As the lesson continues it states that the same Filipinos' Operation Brotherhood was operating in Laos, then it discusses similar projects in Burma. Before leaving the subject of pacification, this Army lesson guide quotes a French officer in Algiers: "The pacification authority cannot be the old one, for the mayors and civilian councilors and some French Moslems, preoccupied with their own interests, are regarded with suspicion by the vast majority of Moslems." The conclusion was that the army must throw out the old regime, the old ways, the old customs, and come up with new villages, new pioneer spirit. "The army turned itself into a social revolutionary forces in the same way that the Chinese Red Army had done during the struggle with Chiang Kai-shek. Every army command started a far-reaching scheme for full civilian employment." In other words, the local army was the new order, and the U.S. Army was being indoctrinated and trained by CIA instructors to do the same thing.
This was heady doctrine for an Army that had just seen its Chief of Staff retire in disgust after what he had termed unfair treatment for the U.S. Army by the JCS, the Secretary of Defense, and the Commander in Chief himself. Finally, the lesson guide with this potent doctrine got to the real subject it had in mind when it started talking about Communist techniques. It ended with a long treatise on the Military Assistance Program. It set forth as an objective of this program, "First, a recipient's [of U.S. military aid] capacity to contribute significantly to resisting active aggression is maximized by building up adequate standing forces and arsenals. [And in this context this doctrine meant paramilitary and police forces as much as it meant military forces.] Second, the recipient's capacity to maintain internal order and to control subversion is emphasized . . . Aid to Asia is intended to help Asiatic recipients resist internal subversion and, perhaps to a more limited extent, to resist open aggression."
Before this indoctrination concluded, it made the key point that MAP "straddles the areas of responsibility of the Department of State and of the DOD . . . The development of the MAP involves many agencies."
This very long (twenty-nine pages) typewritten, single spaced, doctrinal lesson guide was the work of key men dedicated to the reconstruction of the U.S. Army along lines being visualized by General Maxwell Taylor in his book, The Uncertain Trumpet. While he was writing about his problems with the Eisenhower Administration regarding the army and the other services, and while he was outlining his thoughts in terms of what he called "A New National Military Program of Flexible Response", a team of strong-willed and opportunistic men was plowing up new ground for the U.S. Army. This was to nurture the seeds planted by the Army and the CIA along with powerful assistance from the other services and such other places as the Executive Office Building at the White House and from the Department of State.
This Civil Affairs curriculum was taken from Fort Gordon without the knowledge of the intervening next higher command at the Continental Army Command headquarters at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and was brought into the Pentagon where a select team of CIA-experienced officers and civilians worked it over into the new curriculum for the U.S. Army Special Forces school at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
At the same time, action directly related to the above-mentioned projects was taking place at the highest levels of government. A special Presidential committee had been formed early in 1959 to study "Training Under the Mutual Security Program" and to "provide instruction [to recipient countries] in concepts or doctrine governing the employment of the military instrument, in peace and in war." The Presidential committee's report went on to note that "the committee's principle concern -- and consequently the subject of this paper -- is that training objectives have been so severely circumscribed, so inadequately related to the full sweep of our own national interests and of the recipient countries as well." Early on, the committee reported, "The International Cooperation Administration has yet to recognize the potential of the MAP training base for the furtherance of technical assistance objectives." In other words, this committee was laying it right on the line that the Government should be stepping into the Mutual Security program with "military" training, including the development of paramilitary capability in the recipient nations. The only way this could be carried out would be to mount clandestine operations in every country where this was to apply. By this period the CIA knew that it was ready, equipped, and in a position to do this in any "counterinsurgency-list" country, as it had been digging its way firmly into the MAP since the earliest days of the Greek and Turkish aid programs.
The Agency did not take any chances with this vital, to the CIA interests, report. Like the report from Fort Gordon that was being worked on by a team of CIA-experienced officers and civilians, the authors of this report of the President's committee were also CIA-experienced, but not known to be by those with whom they were working. They were under cover within the White House itself! Both primary authors of this report, although recognized throughout this period only as an Army general and an Air Force general, had served for many years with the CIA and then for many more years in service assignments directly supporting the CIA. After they wrote these formative and most influential documents, both of these generals saw considerable service in Southeast Asia, all in conjunction with the CIA. By 1959 and 1960 the CIA was so well entrenched in the Government -- and for that matter in the governments of the some forty recipient nations -- that it could pull the strings even as far up as in Presidential committees. Once a report as important as this one had appeared, with the imprimatur of the Executive Office Building, the rest of the road was clear sailing. Even Presidents themselves would not question its validity. Actually, its authors were frequently called to the White House as Presidential advisers on such matters.
Early in this detailed thirty-three page report the committee made a key point. It stated that the new training programs would "reflect substantial increases over previous years." The latter included a first entry into the undergraduate study field. Meanwhile, the geographic emphasis of the International Educational Exchange Service shifted away from Europe to the underdeveloped countries. Note that the ST was turning from the direct confrontation of the Communist bloc to the softer underbelly of the underdeveloped world for its action. The Agency and the military had established their positions in and around the recipient countries, and now they were going to exploit those positions at will.
One begins to find the term "subversive" sprinkled throughout these and other related reports. Many have thought that the "subversive insurgency" doctrine was an outgrowth of the Kennedy era. It came to the surface during Kennedy's Administration; but Kennedy and his young, inexperienced staff inherited the whole idea of subversive insurgency and the role of counterinsurgency from this inside dissident group that had begun to surface toward the end of Eisenhower's term, after the U-2 affair and the destruction of the summit conferences. It should be pointed out that this was not a doctrine endorsed by Eisenhower, although the Deputy Secretary of Defense at the time did find himself in the position of unwittingly putting his blessing on some of the activities crucial to the beginning of this new movement.
A broad hint at the new rationale came near the heart of the report itself:
It is not enough, however, to restrict leadership inputs to United States 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 acquire qualifications and attributes beyond the criteria which identify the successful commander in combat.
More important, tens of thousands of Americans served in the MAP programs, which openly taught and practiced this doctrine. To them, this was the only military they knew, and this was the teaching they received. This was American doctrine, not Communist. Recall that more than three million Americans have been rotated through Indochina during the operations there since 1954 most of these men know only the Army of this doctrine. The impact of this dogma and doctrine, and of these changes in traditional military philosophy, has been tremendous. It is beyond estimate and comprehension at this time. It certainly relates to a considerable degree to the problems that exist in the generation of returned veterans that had not existed before, especially with so many Special Forces Green Beret veterans in our municipal and state police forces.
We said earlier that this doctrine proposed that the CIA assisted in the selection of trainees from the recipient countries. This same proposal was framed in the President's Committee report, and it was cloaked in the following language so that the uninitiated would not be aware of it: "MAP can assist in the identification of officers who should be trained for key responsibilities in the civil sector." Since the CIA was well placed in the MAP, it frequently became the function of the Agency to select these officers "for duty in the civil sector." This was usually unknown to the officers so selected, at first. However, on occasion the Agency did share some of its plans with some of the recruits. In this manner men like Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam and many others who have become quite prominent around the world, got their first real training and made firm friends with American acquaintances. For example, Ky became a fast friend of an Air Force officer who years later "happened" to be in Vietnam when the government was overthrown. He was in a senior position, able to suggest to Ky that he should step forward and assume control. Many of these contacts were of long duration, and the ST saw to it that they remained so. General Loan, the infamous police chief of Saigon, had been so selected for a course at M.I.T.
Of course, things did not always work out smoothly. One afternoon at about 4:00pm in Vientiane, Laos, the "U.S. Army" contact man with Kong Le left him with a promise to meet later at the officers club. Within two hours Kong Le was leading a Pathet Lao column against the government. Of course, his troops were called "Pathet Lao" because they were the opposition. There was little evidence that Kong Le ever embraced Communism, even the brand of Communism attributed to the Pathet Lao. It was not too long after that when news reports had Kong Le back at the head of "Neutralist" forces marching against the Pathet Lao into the Plaines de Jarres. Kong Le, like so many others, had received U.S. training and CIA indoctrination.
Another part of the President's committee report continued, "The stakes for which we contend justify attention to every possibility to improve the competence and influence the orientation of the officer corps of these nations. The attach personnel should be so instructed; and the special efforts involved [this means the Agency efforts] in securing Presidential determinations [this is a cautious reference to the NSC approval required for training in the U.S. or third countries accepted]." There could be little question that the intent of this project was to direct the efforts of the Agency and the entire ST effort toward the orientation' of friendly countries to bring about political, social, and economic ends.
Even in the beginning it was contemplated that this program would be massive. Before the document had been put into final form and readied for approval, it said: "A price tag attaches to any such concept -- one must think in terms of several hundred million dollars over the next few years." Remember, this was more than a decade ago, and several hundred million dollars was a lot of money. It was spent, and much more with it; and yet this was always a quiet project and generally unmentioned in routine budget activity e.g., as a good case in point, the Fiscal Year 1972 budget for the Pacification Program in Vietnam, a program directed by a senior CIA official, amounted to $1 billion.
As this massive report continued it veered away from nonmilitary training and got down to the real purpose of its existence. In a section headed "New Roles for the Military", it said:
"In the past year, a number of informed and thoughtful observers have pointed out that the 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 direct military aggression . . . armies are often the only cohesive and reliable non-Communist instrument available to the fledgling nations.
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 social-political transformation."
At this time almost everywhere in the Government the word was going around that the only real stabilizing, honest, and useful force in these underdeveloped nations was the army. It could be trusted, it was disciplined, and it would keep and hold the country safely within the Western world. These were nice words, and there might have been an army or part of an army like that somewhere; but few armies anywhere, especially in the underdeveloped countries, were much more than brutal and corrupt forces. In fact, many armies are simply poorly trained groups of desperate men, beggars and bandits who have no other recourse than to submit to military service for a little food for themselves and their families. In most countries the army is the most corrupt sector of the government, and as one group governs another plots its downfall only so they can share the loot for a while.
The type of army this study describes is more like the armies pictured in Communist manuals. The Russian army and the Peoples Army of China are depicted in just the terms that are used in the paper of this Presidential committee. It is a glorious and appealing and totally unreal concept. Anyone can look around the world at countries under the control of their armies, and he will find brutalized nations under generally corrupt and backward leadership.
The report continued to try to win enthusiastic support for this new role for the foreign policy of the United States. In describing the role of the local army, it said: "The maintenance of internal security constitutes a major responsibility of these armed forces, whether assigned directly or not." In other words, if this role were not given to the army, it was suggested that the army would take it over. This is in conflict with the fact that most of the nations under consideration have nationwide national police forces whose traditional role is the maintenance of internal security.
Naturally, this philosophy led to many outbreaks in these recipient countries. The MAP-trained army began to take over the internal security role and got into trouble with the national police and with those national leaders responsible for the national police. This situation brought about friction, which frequently broke out as civil war, and of course there was nothing to do but to declare that the national police were the forces of subversive insurgency; thus the head of Communism was reared. Once these labels had been affixed, the United States would join the army's side with the banner of anti-Communism flying.
The writers of this document saw this in the offing, since they noted, "There must be comprehension of the complex nature of the subversive forces at play and of the variegated methods of Communist attack." It is almost as though the training of firemen should dwell more on the setting of fires rather than on extinguishing them.
The report goes on to say:
"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. In either capacity -- pillar or ruling faction -- the officer corps, at least, must possess knowledge and aptitudes far beyond the military sphere."
These are interesting words and interesting ideas. Burma has been ruled for years by a general. Is all well in Burma? Trujillo was in a sense the personification of this model. Who would like to have lived under the rule of Rafael Trujillo? What of the oppression in Greece at the present time under the leadership of some of the very men who received the same training exemplified in this Presidential report? Is Greece a better place to live in today because its officer corps had been trained by the MAAG in "knowledge and aptitudes beyond the military sphere"?
The report of the President's committee was unclassified. The ST frequently does this when they wish to utilize a paper freely with foreign nationals and with others who may not at the time possess Government clearances. It further underscores the fact that the ST makes use of administrative security simply as a device to meet its own ends. In this case, it was easier and much simpler to control this paper by a hand-to-hand technique than to control it by the usual classification. This was also done with the paper quoted nearer the beginning of this chapter, the "Lesson Guide", U.S. Army.
These papers, too, were circulated among those who would be properly impressed by their high-level imprimatur. At the same time, when General Taylor was working on The Uncertain Trumpet and coming up with his new National Military Program of Flexible Response, and the Agency was quietly working to rekindle the U.S. Army Special Forces program along the lines of the Civic Action curriculum, the ST was gradually getting more and more involved in subversive identification projects throughout the soft spots of the Free World.
All of this was going on while President Eisenhower was doing everything he and his Administration could to prepare for the fulmination of his two terms of office with the crusade for peace which would begin with the summit conference in Paris in May 1960. Early in January 1960, Krushchev pledged not to renew nuclear testing unless the United States did. At about the same time, the United States, England, and Russia resumed discussions at Geneva to find ways to limit or stop nuclear weapons testing. Russia announced that it was demobilizing 1,200,000 men from its armed forces. By the end of the month Eisenhower made a statement, which has taken on special meaning in later years, "there will be no reprisals against Cuba or intervention in its internal affairs." This was the President's official position, and it was the position he emphasized within the government where certain anti-Castro actions were being planned. It was not President Eisenhower who laid the plans for what later was to be known as the Bay of Pigs invasion.
During February the President made another statement in which there were some of the seeds of the later Vietnam problem: "The United States would consider it intervention in the internal affairs of the Americas if any power denied freedom of choice to any republic in the Western Hemisphere." Note that it has been this "denial of the freedom of choice" slogan that has become a battle cry in South Vietnam as one of our reasons for being there.
As the time for the summit conference approached, Eisenhower spread more oil on the waters. Secretary of State Herter pledged that the United States would not resume altitude flights in the Berlin Corridor. The Russians and East Germans had objected violently to certain high-altitude flights previously. At about the same time Eisenhower, as if to underscore his position as a lame duck, announced his endorsement of Richard M. Nixon as the Republican candidate for President. Eisenhower made this early announcement for many reasons, none of which, perhaps, was more important to him personally than to assure the world that he was attending the summit conference as a totally nonpartisan President interested solely in the welfare of the whole world.
Then a last minute round of visits, reminiscent of the bowing and scraping in a classic minuet before the main dancing begins, took place. Krushchev went to Paris to visit De Gaulle. Macmillan came to Camp David to visit Eisenhower. De Gaulle came to Washington for a last visit before the summit. De Gaulle went back to Europe and visited with Macmillan. Seldom have the chiefs of state made so many planned visits and so many formal announcements prior to a major event as took place during the month before the scheduled meeting. Then, as if to allay any other fears, Under Secretary Dillon announced, "Summit agreements will not abandon Berlin."
Everything was in readiness. It was hard to discover anyone in government not vitally concerned with preparations for this most magnificent meeting, and the hand of the President was evident in all arrangements. This was to be the crowning achievement of a long life devoted to outstanding public service. Seven years of work dedicated to this goal drew to a close as an eventful April ended.
On the first of May the Russians gathered in Red Square, as they have since the revolution, for their annual show of military might. Krushchev was on the majestic podium, along with all of the Soviet hierarchy. However, the man who was supposed to be at his right, Marshal Rodion Y. Malinovsky, was late.
The great festival had begun. All of Russia cheered its leaders, and all of Russia wished them well, for peace at last seemed to be in the Spring air. Then Marshall Malinovsky arrived at the side of Krushchev, and there was a hasty discussion. Without any delay, the Marshall delivered an impassioned speech on the theme of vigilance. He knew, and at that time Krushchev knew, that the spy-plane U-2, with Francis Gary Powers at the controls, had crash-landed in Russia at Sverdlovsk.
Seldom if ever in the history of man had an event of such importance occurred more dramatically. In the following two weeks the course of world history was drastically altered as the hopes and plans of a crusty, earthy son of mother Russia and of a courageous, gallant, and dedicated son of the Great Plains of America were shattered.