[National Security Action Memorandums (NSAM)]
Washington, July 18, 1962.


TO:      The Secretary of State
       The Secretary of Defense
       The Attorney General
       The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
       The Director of Central Intelligence
       The Administrator, Agency for International Development
       The Director, United States Information Agency
       The Chairman, Special Group (Counterinsurgency)

SUBJECT: Interdepartmental Field Visits

I feel that there is a need for accelerating our programs for underdeveloped countries and for effecting a closer tie between the County Team planning in these areas and the Washington departments which participate in these programs. It would seem to me that the technique of interdepartmental team visits used last fall in South Viet-Nam and early this year in certain Latin American countries could be broadened and applied to this requirement.

To this end, I would like to have organized a program of field visits by senior interdepartmental teams, under State Department chairmanship, to a number of selected countries, with particular attention to Latin America. These teams would consult with the Ambassador, his staff and local officials, would review the Country Team plans, and would form a judgment as to their adequacy, their consistency with United States objectives, and the reliability of the intelligence upon which they are based. Upon return to Washington, the teams would submit appropriate recommendations to me, through the Secretary of State, for strengthening United States activities in the countries visited which, when approved, would receive the same kind of intensive implementation as that being accorded the current South Viet-Nam program.

I would like the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Special Group (Counterinsurgency) to initiate as a matter of urgency a program of visits of the kind outlined above.

Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM No. 173. Confidential. Declassified.