Created: 5/21/1961

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible



Maxwell Taylor

Iemorandum, dated ZO May, on paramilitary activities prepared by Mr. Bieeell ln consultation with various members of his paramilitary staff. m In basic agreement with this ganaral presentation, subject to two observations,

A. Once high policy approval has been obtained for the planning or conductajor paramilitary activity, either in supportriendly government or directed towards hostile or unfriendly areas, which calls for C. I. A. support, theDefense should have the direct and primary responsibility, in consultation with C, I.or developing the plana for tbe overt actions to be taken by Defense and the complementary oractivitiesovert nature to be run by. Aa regardi all actions run by C.elieve that the closest liaison should be maintained throughout, with the Department of Defense and wherever appropriate. Department of Defense personnel should be assigned to rovtew and approve all military features of the covert action.

B. ncludes the recommendation that the Development Projects Division (DPD) ofhould be enlarged to meet requirements in the field of land and sea paramilitary activlttea. elieve that the Department of Defense should assume primary responsibility for these activities, any present enlargement of the DPD Division for their conduct should be largelyadreo facilitate effective planning,o permit the earmarking of assets to be made available both through existing DOD and C. I. A. facilities or through the recruitment of volunteers and "soldiers of fortune" whose proficiencies andbad been previously detsrmlned. Ino not favor any present Increases In C. I. A. personnel In this field except as needed for planning, for the development and maintenance of techniques and assets, and for general cadre use.

elieve It would bo desirableoint. I. A. study should ba immediately made In order to submit recommendations as to the chain of command for all reasonably foreseeable paramilitary oporations and for the provision, in both DOD and C. I.or the moot rapid and efficient marshalling of assets for any foreseeable emergency in the paramilitary field.

Subject to theeel that the attached paperatisfactory basis of approach to the paramilitary problem aa far. la concerned.





aud logically the CIA has responsibilitiesto paramilitary activities only because, aod to tho extentbave to be carried on either Io true secrecy or in such aofficial U. S. support of them can be plauolbly disclaimed. Into determine what should be the extent of tbia Agency'sand, mora broadly, bow the U. S. Government should betha conduct of these activities. It is necessary to considerit ie that needs to be done covertly (orisclaimabloundor what elrca&aotancss.

kinds of paramilitary activities have at ooo time or

another had to be porforcnedovert or disclaimablo manner, in-


eluding the following:

Recruiting and organisation of military forcea. Training.

Provision of U. S. and third nationalspecially communicators, trainors and tactical advisers.

Logistics support (in training and ln combat).

Operation and maintenance of transport aod tactical aircraft.

Provision of air and sea lift for personnel and materiel.'


Exercise of de- facto command control.

the above functions bave been performed with reapect toperatlonalassic resistance type, (b) goerrLUaand (c) very small scale conventional warfare.

3. It ahoold be emphasized that very few altuatlona havo historically, or aro likely prospectively, to require covert or unofficial performance of all of the required functions. In thla reapect, thereasic distinction between two typos of sltaations in which covert techniques aro required: (a) those in which tho U. S. isriendly and legally recognised

government to conduct paramilitary operatlona, and (b) those ia which. la workingebel group seeking to overthrow either aor ate facto government. In tho former type of aituation.

organisation, training and at leaat Initial equipment of tho forces being sapported can be carried out in friendly territory and, for Una moat part, perfectly overtly. . support of these forces most be covert oVaim able only aftsr they aro committed to combat la enemy terrlfaiy. Moreover, the friendly government In greater or leaser degree furnishes cover for. aupport. On the other hand, when the objective ia, the overthrowo facto government or tho supportebellion against it, aa in Guatemala, Indonesia and Cuba, there la apt totrong desire to conduct. activitiesisclaimablo manner.

4. As recent events have demonstrated with distressing clarity.

however, thereimiting sUe and scope beyond which lt is simply impossible to keep an operation plausibly disclaimablo, lot alone truly covert. It waaistake In the Cuban operation to attempt to maintain the pretense that certain activities were being conducted covertly though they were in fact widely known and reported in tbs press. Tho consequenceacrifice of various features which determine military effectiveness la the effort to buy an Inevitably unreal diaaasoclatlOD. support. In any fatare operations of this type, those activileo that exceod the limit of what can plausibly be disclaimed should presumably bo acknowledged openly, even though their ultimate porpoaa may still have to be officially denied until after the paramilitary operation is launched. If the fact that certain things are being done can be openly

recognised, no sacrifices that redoes effectiveness need bo made. Then also the responsibility for these acknowledged act!Titlee can bo placed ln Defense or State and both tha U. S. Government and tha Agency will avoid the anomaly of pretending to conceal what everyone knows.

5. Applying this philosophy to the Cuban operation, for instance. It might bave been batter to have organised military training for Caban

volunteers In theither fairly openly in ref ogee camps or (as has

booneo the failure of the landing}pecial unit of tho Army. Likewise, on the political front. State Department might have bandied

openly certain oi the relationships with the Revolutionary Council which might have been permitted openly to raise money in the United States. There would then have been no effort at secrecy abont these activities, v, hat would have been leftto have been done clandestinely would have boon tho planning and arrangement for logistic support. Including ships and aircraft, and {If deaired) the preparationtaging base. It iethat aa the operation was conducted, these activities never did receive any advance publicity or much publicity even after the fact. Although it would bave required moat careful arrangements to move Cuban personnel to the staging base without prejudicing tbe possibility of surprise, this would not have been much more difficult than the staging operation actually carried out. Without going further into detail it is clear that to have done openly those things that could not be kept secret, or (as the event proved) disclaim able, would haveeallocation of responsibility as between CIA and the Department of Defense. It Is to ba noted that this mixture of overt and covert features during the preparatory period is feasible and establishes in advancs the benign and moral blessing of. Government for the caase wo are supporting. Thla may pre-determine that the over-all operation is not truly disclaimabla after the launching but materially raducea the Image of hypocrisy and deceit which otherwise might prevail.

6. It will still be necessary to bring the beat professional military talent, together with appropriate civilian skills, to bear on activities

rip. organized and conducted aa covert operation*. How Is this to be done? There are, it is submitted, four elementsolution:

there should be created, within theframework (for secarlty reasons) subjectdegree of joint control, an organisation properlystaffed to conduct covert paramilitary operations.

there muet be maintained, partly inand partly In the Defense eetabliahmeDt, anof the required skillu.

proper provision must be made for thethis organization and the roviow of ita plans andthe Joint Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

there should be createdntegralthisupport component capable ofpersonnel and administrative support tooperations. In addition to access toDepartment of Defense inventories, it should haveauthorities, as The Ageocy already possesses

organization should be enlarged to Incorporate personnel with parallel respOQsibllitlas for land and sea operations. These


pi. respoasifcdlitiso should Include the development and maintenance of

capabilities. The organisation thus establiahed should, however, also act aa at least the cadre for the military staff having line of command reeponoiblllty for future covert paramilitary operations. It should have as Its deputyilitary officer provided by the Department of Defense, and should be staffed in considerable degree with military officers on assignment to the Agency.

fl. The Agency alreadyool of skills in such unconventional warfare and supporting activities as sabotage, guerrilla training, agent communications, small boatnd air resupply. The Agency needs, however, to enlarge the group of career officers who possess certain of these skills.

These skills then have, tosnd advanced with the times. Similarly, the Departmentpossesses pools of complementing skills, particularly Inas tho Special Forces. Access must bo provided to utilizeas required, under procedures which would ensure thoof

?. roup of officers on tho Joint Staff'

should bo designated as having continuing responsibility on behalf of the Joint Chiefs for support and

review ol the Activities of the proposed paramilitary organization. Their review shoold cover both those activities involved in the development of paramilitary capabilities (Including trslnlng and arrangementa forand specific contingency plans or operational plana for specific operations. In addition they would servehannel through which access could be hsd for tho spotting of indigenous foreign nationals, trained for paramilitary operations under MAAG programs,'

10. Tha existing Development Projects Division contains asupport group, which includes in its duties the supervisionexisting logistics installation. This group should be expanded,experience gained from and personnel assigned to tha Cubanorder to provide adequate and timely support, for covertontinuing and important function of this group wouldensure timely forewarning to Agency and Department of Defenseof foreseeable requirements that may have to be met onbasis. It would have procurement authorities, and wouldfor sterile acquisition of items not obtainable through

U. The mode of operation, making use of these arrangementa, will always bo determined by ths characteristics of the spoclCe situation.

It is almost invariably true that where covert paramilitary activitiesfor, other kinds of covert activities are needed as well. Include propaganda, political action, and Intelligencea combined operation threatens to be of considerable scale,best be bandiedask force concept. Typically, the taskinclude sections responsible for political, propaganda,activities aa well aa pararnllitary and supportingie proposed for the future, however, that the expandedDivision would act as the military element in the taskdo line of command running through the chief of thla division,in effect serve aa commander of the paramilitary forcesthe over-all operation. To the extent necessary, these cadresto be augmentedthe temporary

assignment of additional military personnel. Through their direct and continuing relationship with tho Joint Staff, the means would exist both for joint military planning and for review of those plana by the Jointhemselves. In the case of smaller scale paramilitaryormalized task force may be unnecoasary. lnituation, the" expanded Development Projects Division could either assign personnel to the appropriate area division or take command responsibility foractivities subject to coordination by the area division concerned.

Original document.

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