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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa
(1951)

The Near and Middle East: multilateral relations,   pp. 1-342 PDF (132.2 MB)


Page 66


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 19 51, VOLUME V
                                 VIII
  ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES IN ENCOURAGING POLITICAL AND SOCIAL
    PROGRESS, AND MEANS OF EXTENDING OUR CONTACTS TO THE POPULA-
    TION AT LARGE
  A. Conclusions
    1. The United States has a high responsibility and a delicate
  political role to perform in those countries to which it is giving exten-
  sive economic aid. We are required to develop techniques of more or
  less open intervention which will insure not only that our own aid is
  used wisely and effectively, but that the general economic policies of
  the recipient governments are sound and public spirited and, if neces-
  sary, that political and governmental reforms are undertaken which
  will make it possible to carry out these policies.
    2. The Conference noted great dangers in such intervention:
    (a) Our programs may offend national pride;
    (b) There are frequent attempts at wholesale transfer of American
  practices and institutions which may be inappropriate to the local
  situation;
    (c) There is the danger of trying to change ancient habits over-
 night; the danger of building up a living standard which cannot be
 maintained in the long run on the basis of local resources; the danger
 of carrying reforms to their logical extremes before the intermediate
 steps have been assimilated; the danger of assuming such wide re-
 sponsibility that the local authorities and population- lose initiative
 and relax into total dependence;
    (d) United States intervention is certain to arouse resentment be-
 cause it attacks vested interests and infringes the authority of the
 recipient government.
   3. In administering our aid programs, we must follow a middle
 course: we should not insist on perfectionism; we should not try to
 impose our will; we can only advise and influence in the direction
 of achievements of permanent value, if we are to build the capacity
 of the people to do things in a democratic way. In addition, our ap-
 proach depends not only on adopting the proper attitude, but on
 careful choice of personnel, and on ingenious and patient adaptation.
 4. To the maximum extent possible, we have to support influences
 corresponding to our own, since our moral force is our greatest asset.
 We cannot be opportunistic. By our moral force we must attempt to
 persuade or dissuade. Where it is possible in our aid programs to
 adopt the serviclo principle, with Americans working side by side
 with the nationals of the recipient country, there is an opportunity to
 infuse our spirit into the people.
 5. The "grass roots" program set forth by the Department is a
posi-
tive and constructive approach to meeting one of the greatest needs
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