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Letter to William H. Draper, Jr., Regarding the Second Interim Report of the President's Committee To Study the U.S. Militaryÿ Assistance Program.

June 24, 1959

Dear Bill:

I want to thank you and the other members of your Committee for the thoughtful Second Interim Report of the President's Committee to Study the U.S. Military Assistance Program, which was summarized in the letter of June 3, 1959, submitting the report.

Let me say first that I fully concur in your Committee's judgment as to the high importance of assuring that the Military Assistance Program is organized and administered as efficiently and effectively as possible. Your exploration of these aspects of the program has been most useful and timely.

Your Committee in its June 3 letter unanimously recommends acceptance of two basic concepts:

(1) The strengthening of the position of the State Department on the policy level of military assistance planning and an increased assurance of the conformity of the Military Assistance Program to foreign policy and to related assistance programs.

(2) The focusing of responsibility on the Department of Defense for planning, programming and execution of military assistance within the framework of policy guidance laid down in the National Security Council and by the Department of State. I am fully in agreement with these concepts.

I also consider the principal recommendations outlined in the letter of the Committee for effectuating these basic concepts to be valuable and well reasoned. Two of these recommendations, providing for a continuing authorization of military assistance and appropriating for military assistance as part of the Department of Defense budget, require legislative action. In transmitting copies of your report to the Congress, I am indicating my support of these proposals. I have also approved the substance of a legislative proposal to clarify the respective responsibilities of the Departments of State and Defense in the Military Assistance Program.

The remainder of the principal recommendations contained in your letter of transmittal largely pertain to administrative actions which could be taken within the Executive Branch without additional legislative authorization. These proposals as I interpret them are acceptable to me, and the appropriate executive agencies are now making a detailed study of these proposals and will give to me, for my early consideration, recommendations with respect to their implementation.

I am in complete accord with your conclusion as to the necessity for continuing reappraisal and critical evaluation of our military assistance programs to assure that such programs do not tend to continue simply through their own existing momentum beyond the period of their real need.

May I once again thank you and the members of your Committee for the earnest study of and constructive suggestions about our vital Military Assistance Program. In these troubled times I can think of no more important problem upon which the devoted attention of outstanding citizens is needed. As I have noted many times, our Military Assistance Program is a vital part of our total security effort.



Note: See note to Item 136.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to William H. Draper, Jr., Regarding the Second Interim Report of the President's Committee To Study the U.S. Militaryÿ Assistance Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235050

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