UNRECOGNIZED POTENTIAL IN THE MILITARY ATTACHES

Created: 4/1/1960

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TITLE: Unrecognized Potential In The Military M

VOLUME: 4 ISSUE: Spring

STUDIES IN

INTELLIGENCE

A collection ol articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ol tnteU.gence.

All statements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of

the authors They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Government entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an articles factual statements and interpretations.

CONFtBlNTIAL

Afficer givesersonal views on how tothe valueilitaryasset.

UNRECOGNIZED POTENTIAL IN THEB. Kirkpatrick

The system. militaryorldwide liaison service which today Is accredited toountries. Including five

behind the Iron Curtain, is one of the least well

of the Government's mteUigence arms. Probably because

this lack of understanding its great potentialities remainuntapped.

The military attaches have produced and are

large amounts of intelligence information, and certain

tache reports have been of significant strategic value. attache in Tel Aviv correctly Interpreted theof6ar measure and determined

tbe direction of the attack against Egypt. His prompt

ey item in the Intelligence which enabled the

Committee to alert the President to the impending Suez

could be counted byufficient justification for the

tache system's entire budget for the year. Servicebehind the Iron Curtain has also been of Incalculable

value, and that from many other areas has providedof Importance.

As the attache systems become recurrently the target

economy drives in the Department of Defense, however,of knowledge in the proper places as to what the attaches

produce for the mtelligence community grows apparent.

tache reports are not often singled out for distribution

bigh departmental policy levels. Most of them are in

sptcuous elements of the routine reporting which keeps

military service up to date on the corresponding services'

other countries. They contribute to toe "finished

f the encyclopaedic National tatelhgenee Surveys;at the policy level are unlikely ever to look at

Miliary AffcdJ

until,risis.bits, they nave an immedlate^jieccata on the Lebanese army or the Indonesian navy, and eve then they do not necessarily remain conscious of the tact ua it was the attaches who supplied these data. Nor is it alwa; obvious at the policy level that thereignificant cotun button from the military attachsystem In nearly everytional Intelligence Estimate,

It seems clear that the social rather thanect of the military attaches' work is weighed too heavily si certain levels in the Pentagon. Hence the attaches are crib clzed as "cookie-pushers" assigned to duty on the cocktailIt is true that the nature of the job In many capital requires considerable social activity. In Washington Itself the papers abound with accounts of parties for ory the service attaches of the various foreign embassies.ay also be true that the attache1 staffs occasionally includ* some too socially conscious or ambitious of&cers who devoti themselves too assiduously to the kind of intelligencethat is donelass. But that sort of thing can happen In any organization; it is something that can bequite quickly and easily by command action.

It Is importantew dignity be given to the attache systemeserved respect accorded it. It is important that the still untapped reservoirs of information needed by the Government which are available to military attaches be recognized and exploited. There are new areas that need to be covered, and old ones that should be covered better. There are new horizons of opportunity, and new approaches that can be used to obtain intelligence of utmost value.

Coverage and Cross Accreditation

Today there. staff personnel serving in thesystems of the Army, Navy, and Air .Force overseas. The Army3nlisted men, andhe7he Air5 officers,nlisted men,here are armyaccredited toountries, air attachesnd naval attachesrray attaches are actually stationed Inountries, air attachesnd naval attaches

.*

Jhw Military Attaches

Has been th?pc41cyvto accredit orS^a'tiaene to more than

one country in order to economize in manpower, because tbe activities of some countries in some military fields are limited. For example, there are army attaches in Costa Rica, Elador, Honduras and Nicaragua; but Air Force interestshese four countries are handled by the air attache inand naval matters in all five republics plus Britishare the responsibility of the naval attach* in Mexico City. There are other variations in service practices around theaval attache Is stationed in the Dominican Republic, but the ah* attache accredited to Cludad Trujillo Is stationed in Venezuela, and the army attache comes over from Cuba. Haiti, on the other hand, has an army attach* in Port au Prince but is covered by the air attach* from Caracas andhe naval attach* from Havana.

While there is certainly not enough work: under present conditions in many of these places to keep separate attaches fully occupied, the system of cross accreditation does create some peculiarities. Thus in Havana, where the Air Forcecovers only Cuba, the Navy's covers Haiti inand the Army's the Dominican Republic. Our military expertise on the Dominican Republic is partitioned among Ciudad Trujillio, Havana, andegionalould have to be called to get the consensus of ourpot representatives about the over-all strength of the Trujillo i

the changing currents of international relations create some curious situations in this representation from outside, and changes have to be made in accreditation. Atone point the United States had no service attaches In the Sudan, the representatives of ail three services in Egypt beingalso to Khartoum. With the Sudanese moreittle suspicious of Nasr's designs on their struggling young nation, this doubling raised obvious problems.'Today'there is an army attach* inmostilitary junta running theair affairs there are covered by tbe air attach* In Ethiopia.

Cross accreditation is of course economical, and It can be satisfactory In certain Instances. But we should be aware

that In this era of rising nationalism the armed services of

Th* Miir/ory

CONFIDENTIAL

those countries not accorded resident attaches may

themselves slighted and so feel more

the major powers that do keep attaches In' dence. It would be wasteful, to be sure, to assign naval taches to the Sudan or Switzerland, but the most and influential nation on earth should be able to afford least one appropriate service attach* in every country thaiilitary force, however embryonic. That thereore than enough to keep such officers actively and profltabhope the following paragraphs will demonstrate

New Horizons

One need only look at the number of countries where th military are today in full control,ominant position or at least exercise considerable political influence, inee the ascending potential of tbe role of the service attach* Taking the world region by region and noting only the men Important examples of this situation, we find In Europe Gen eral de Gaulle master of France, General Franco ruruunj Spain, and Marshal Tito ruling Yugoslavia, all of them de pendent in one degree or another on support from the army in the Middle East Egypt's Nasr and Iraq's Kasem, army off fleers brought to power by military coups; in Africa Halle lassie of Ethiopia relying on the loyalty of his imperial body guard and the Sudan runilitary Junta; in Asia tb governments of Laos, Pakistan, and Burma subject to the wil of the military and Indonesia pivoting on the keybe army; in Latin America the army not the dominant lac tor In domestic politics only by exception from the rule

In such countries, and hi countries where the military in future emergeowerful political force, the officers the military servicesrime intelligence source target. The VS. service attache has as his first" obligation of course, the development of contact with officers on th chief-of-staff level of the service to which be Is accredited But the circumstances of tbe coup in Iraq point up the new for getting to know also the ambitious and rising young of fleers who througfiabllity or good fortune may achieveat some future time. The attaches could by this mean. insure, not an advance warning of all future coups, but thai there would be fewer surprises.

In* Military Affoches

It Is acknowledged that In manyoo obvious or aggressive cultivating of friendships with military personnel by TJ.S. attaches would be viewed withrecognized for the surreptitious probing that it was. Some ingenuity and long-range planning would be required bare. Initially the attache might be able only to spot up-corning young officers who should be approached later,by others, particularly since in many countries those thatolitical thrust are kept in provincial garrisons away from the capital. Sometimes the embassy, using the country-team system, could have people outside the attache's Immediate office make the initial contact, develop tberapport, orelationship which had been es-tahushed.

ain avenue of long-term approach to future wielders of power starts in the United States. Every year hundreds of foreign military officers attend TJ.S. service schools.aps not all of these will reach chicf-of-staff level, butxpectation that they will achieve senior rank is implicit in their selection for the expensive visit to the United States. Consider, for example, that Admiral Larrazabal, who headed the junta that governed Venezuela between the overthrow of the Perez Jimenez regime and the election of Betancourt, had attended tbe OS. Naval War College at Newport.

We have thus an ideal opportunity to establish personal relationships that could in the future keep us Informed on affairs of critical mtelligencem not talking about recruitment of these officers as agents; itatter ofthe conviction In a" foreign officer that his, your, bis country's, and the United States' Interests are aU identical, or so very close that ft would be to his country's advantage,or at least not to its detriment^ for him" to confide In you.

First, there ahouldhorough, methodical system at(he school for developing biographical data on each IndividualJust the usual personal history statement orsketch, but knowledge of the likes and dislikes of the man and what makes him tick."Did Ids father fight with the Khalifa against Kitchener at Omdurman? Does he drink -heavily, have occasional sprees or amatory adventures? Is he ashamed he cantetter home, feel be cant enter-

The Military Attachi

tain Americans? What are his culturalGoethe, chess? Has he been discximinated againstis race? Where does he want to endtaff? as constitutionally elected president? asrofessional officer who has served his country well And how does he see the future development of his own coun try? Which great powers does he think can best help it?

Much of this Information can be assembled by the facult of the school In question. But intimate Insightharacter, and especially the establishmentapport tha would yield continuing inteUigence dividends, would requir that as often as feasible and practical. officer destinet to be assignedountrylassmate of its poten tially Influential students. service school. The Iden tity of interest among classmatestrong bond.

oreign officer. school It can be assume* that his English is passable. But this should not lead to an; relaxing of the attache's effort to acquire fluency In theof the country to which he Is assigned. The psycho logical advantage of knowing the language is tremendous. An intelligence officer's objectives are much easier to reach if hi foreign contact senses in himuperficial, self-seeking interestrue and deep understanding based uponof the country's language, history, and customs and an appreciation of its people. Such specialization, it is true. Imelatively long assignment at the post in question.

The full Implications of this long-range approach for the personal careerilitary attache may appear rather for midable in terms of present-dayear or two spent learning language, area, andear or moreervice school to cultivate the friendshiporeign officer and atouble tour of duty to onemay add uphirdalf of 'the VS. officer's entire active military career. But if we are serious about our Intelligence effort, thisay to give new significance and worth to tbe attach* system, and the long-term benefits should certainl; be high.

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