The Military Advisory Missions
For the United States-a newcomer to Middle Eastern affairs, invited to the Persian Corridor to undertake a war-born enterprise in aid of its British and Soviet Allies-the strengthening of Iran developed aspects and problems only dimly foreseen when, in March 1942, Iran was declared eligible for lend-lease aid. The program to strengthen Iran had two objectives: first, to ensure immediately local conditions under which the Russian-aid program could succeed; second, eventually to enable Iran to be master in its own house. The two objectives, which might have been complementary, were often rendered mutually contradictory by the peculiar circumstance of Iran's situation during the war years, while at the same time the ability of the United States to render effective aid to Iran was complicated by American regard for the rights enjoyed under the Tri-Partite Treaty by the occupying powers. American efforts in Iran's behalf were therefore cautious, perhaps even haphazard. Some of the reasons have been explored in Chapters IX and XX. Only slowly did it become apparent that the political, economic, and military health of Iran, essential to the success of Russian-aid operations, was a matter of life or death for Iran itself; that, in fact, the second objective overshadowed -the first; that the problem of Iran was monolithic.1
Although this realization was reflected in the clarification and firming of American policy respecting Iran which occurred after the Tehran Conference, one basic consideration precluded adoption of comprehensive measures for shoring up Iran's weakness. This was the matter of controls. The imposition upon a sovereign state of all-embracing controls sufficient to ensure needed reforms in its government, economy, and military establishment would inevitably substitute a semicolonial status for the independence which those reforms were
designed to buttress. Reform may be assisted from without but it must be adopted and supported from within. In the case of the Millspaugh economic mission, for example, the comprehensive powers granted to Millspaugh by Iran ultimately proved unworkable under existing circumstances. Thus ended that phase of American economic aid. American assistance to Iran's military establishment, on the other hand, did not, during the war and the five years following V-J Day, involve such sweeping grants of authority to foreign advisers. Partly for this reason the American advisory missions to the Iranian Army and Gendarmerie survived into the postwar period as evidence of American support of the sovereignty of Iran. The full story of the missions and the evaluation of their work must remain for the historian of the future unhampered by closeness to the event and considerations of international policy. The value set upon the missions in the early postwar period was evidenced when President Truman told the Congress on 1 June 1950, "That Iran remains an independent country in spite of continuous Soviet pressure is due in part to the strong support of the United States."
The security forces of Iran consisted of local police under centralized control from Tehran; the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie, under the Minister of Interior, which served as a national constabulary for internal security; and the Army, formally under the Minister of War, but whose control was subject to fluctuations as such state officers as the Shah, the Chief of Staff, the War Minister, or the Prime Minister gained temporary ascendancy over it. During the greater part of its existence the Gendarmerie had been the poor relation of the Army, subsisting on the scraps that fell from the budget table and generally unhonored. In accepting Iran's invitation to provide technical advice for the Gendarmerie and reorganization of the supply services of the Army, the United States had declined the alternative suggestion that it establish a large mission to train and reorganize the Iranian Army as a whole. Even the less ambitious alternative which was undertaken bristled with difficulties inherent in two organizations seething with political complications. General Ridley, therefore, in undertaking to reorganize the Iranian Army supply services, accepted neither an offered post under the Shah nor one under the War Minister. Colonel Schwarzkopf began his service as head of the Gendarmerie Mission under the direction of the American Minister at Tehran, Louis Dreyfus.
Early in 1943, after Schwarzkopf had spent some months sizing up the situation and formulating recommendations in an informal capac-
ity, negotiations were begun for a contract between the United States and Iran to formalize his status. While these were in the preliminary stages, the talks were widened, upon the recommendations of General Ridley and General Hurley, to include a contract for the Army Mission. It was thought that a contractual relationship would provide the authority necessary to enforce reforms and achieve results. After prolonged exchange of views between the governments and among officials of the Departments of State and War, agreed terms, having been authorized by an act of the Iranian Majlis on 21 October 1943, were signed at Tehran by Minister Dreyfus and Mohammad Sa'ed, Iranian Foreign Minister: that for the Army Mission on 3 November, effective as of 22 March 1943, and that for the Gendarmerie Mission on 27 November, effective as of 2 October 1942.2
General Ridley, who was continuously under War Department control, had been provided in September 1942 with a Letter of Instructions. The authorization of the missions by the Iranian Majlis enabled Colonel Schwarzkopf to receive analogous status and he was therefore given a Letter of Instructions, relieved from his assignment to the American Minister, and returned to the supervision of the War Department.3 The letter defined Schwarzkopf's primary mission as the improvement of the efficiency of the Gendarmerie, "thus facilitating Russian supply." It exempted the Gendarmerie Mission from the command of the commanding generals of USAFIME and PGSC, and made it also independent of the Army Mission, but enjoined it to co-operate with those agencies. A provision which never came into force was that if "the British, who are responsible for the security of the communications in southern Iran," should employ the Gendarmerie to maintain that security, then Colonel Schwarzkopf, in his capacity as an officer of the Gendarmerie, would come under British command. The letter also cautioned Schwarzkopf against becoming involved in matters of a purely diplomatic nature, a caution also carried in Ridley's Letter of Instructions, arising from the experience of his predecessor, General Greely.
The contracts for the Army and Gendarmerie Missions provided in
detail for functional and administrative matters. The American officer-members of the missions were to serve in the Iranian Ministries of War and Interior respectively, through their chiefs of mission, and were to outrank all Iranian officers of their rank. The government of Iran was to bear the expenses of the missions, including salaries for the American members of the missions in addition to their American Army salaries. Appointment of American members to the missions was to receive Iranian as well as American approval. The chief of the Army Mission was to be appointed Military Adviser by the Iranian War Minister through an Imperial General Order and to receive broad powers, including access to "any and all records, correspondence and plans relating to the administration of the Army needed by him," as well as the power to investigate, summon, and question "any member of the Army" in "matters which in his opinion will assist him" in his duties. He was also empowered to recommend to the Shah removals, promotions, and demotions of Iranian Army officers. Under the Gendarmerie contract, the Minister of Interior was to appoint the chief of the mission as his adviser in charge of Gendarmerie affairs, a provision which carried with it the attributes of command.
Two stipulations common to the contracts, though somewhat differently worded in each, safeguarded the sovereign integrity of Iran: American members of the missions were perpetually bound not to divulge any secret or confidential matters of which they would become cognizant; and the government of Iran was empowered to cancel the contracts of any individual members of the missions who were duly and competently proved to be guilty of interference in the political affairs of the country or of violation of the laws of the land. A third provision, common to both contracts, stipulated that Iran would not employ any foreign personnel in or for the Army or Gendarmerie during the life of the contracts without approval of the respective missions.
The Work of the Missions
In the first months of his duty, in the fall of 1942, Colonel Schwarzkopf visited the Gendarmerie posts to familiarize himself with problems, including that of employing Gendarmerie personnel in the patrolling and guarding of the railway. He reported his findings to the Minister of Interior and presented to the Prime Minister a plan for the reorganization of the Gendarmerie.4 By August 1944 he had estab-
lished training schools for sergeants, motorcycle riders, and truck drivers, and had planned six others. He had arranged to obtain from the United States a radio engineer to install over the next two years a communications system for the dispersed posts. This was a modest installment of his plan, but he had found the work of his mission beset with conditions of intrigue and inefficiency marked by a succession of eleven ministers of interior during the two years after his arrival.5 In 1945, faced with the possibility that the United States would withdraw the mission, Iranian officials indicated acceptance of nine demands embodying longfelt needs for the Gendarmerie. These included a status independent of Army interference, a separate and adequate budget, pensions, establishment of an elite corps, genuine government support of the mission's efforts, and elimination of graft, red tape, and delay in accomplishing reforms.6 Although the spirit was willing to translate these demands into action, the flesh proved weak, and at the end of the war period many of the reforms were yet to be accomplished.
The achievements of the mission up to that time were nevertheless far from negligible, the most striking being the improvement of the condition of the ranks and the creation among them of an esprit de corps which became notably apparent in the political crisis of 1946 following departure of the Allied forces from Iran. Starting with human material handicapped by illiteracy and opium addiction, Colonel Schwarzkopf was in time able to report progress against ills long associated with abuse of office. The Gendarmerie rank and file moved steadily toward a better sense of discipline and a respect for businesslike, honest, and efficient procedures.7
The Army Mission was no less plagued than was the Gendarmerie Mission by a lack of continuity in War Ministers and Chiefs of Staff, by budgetary inadequacies, and a host of problems, political and human, that sprang from Iran's essential weakness. Change and improvement in the Gendarmerie had been impeded by the organization's ,virtual friendlessness, its status as poor relation of the powerfully intrenched Army; but the privileged position of the Army was an equally effective impediment to its change and improvement.
General Ridley's job was to improve the efficiency of the Army without becoming involved in Iranian political matters. Swimming was
permitted, provided he hung his clothes on a hickory limb but did not go near the water. In reviewing his mission's accomplishment to the end of the war period, Ridley recalled his early diagnosis of the Army's situation in 1942, an analysis which had much in common with Minister Landis' economic prescription the next year for food, adequate transport, and an efficient system of doing things. Ridley found upon his arrival that the inflation had rendered officer salaries, and the budget generally, inadequate; that of serious equipment shortages, those in transport were drastic; that the organization and functioning of the supply and auxiliary departments were unsatisfactory; but that for all tasks likely to be imposed upon the Army during the war period, 1942 tactical methods and training were in general sufficient. In a report submitted in 1942, at the request of the Shah, to the Minister of War, Ridley specified four necessities as basic to Army reorganization: limiting total strength to 88,000; retaining only the best officers; providing a reasonable scale of pay; and providing adequate motor transport.8
Though promptly approved by the Shah and published to the Army, few of these recommendations had been carried out five months later; but reports from December 1943 forward reveal considerable positive accomplishment along the recommended lines, reflecting changes of personnel in the government of Iran which provided high-level support for reform.
Much attention was devoted to reorganization of the supply and auxiliary branches of the Army-those to which, except by specific Iranian request, Ridley's mission was to confine its attentions. After something more than a year of operation the mission had set up a depot system of supply with centralized responsibility for procurement, distribution, and troop payment. The new depot system supplanted one in which, with the exception of clothing and individual soldier equipment
centrally procured and distributed, everything, including troop payment, had been locally administered through each regiment. Too much opportunity was offered for inefficiency, irregularities, graft, and injustice. The revised system substituted, along with centralization, adequate financial accounting, standardization of procurement, and reorganization of the Offices of the Quartermaster General and the Chief of Finance. A factory to produce shoes and clothing was established and from time to time training schools in administration, engineering, medicine, finance, and quartermaster problems were operated. In 1943-44 the entire Army was inoculated against typhus with vaccine from the United States, the first time such a step had ever been taken. Malaria control was instituted experimentally at an Army post under technical instruction supplied by the Persian Gulf Command.
Ridley reported in May 1944 no progress in administrative reform in two fields-recruitment and the administration of justice-where "the inherent conditions are such that there is no hope of improvement under any further plans the Mission can devise." He took no hand in the unsavory recruiting department of the Army, where exemption of those who could buy themselves off, faking medical examinations, and enlistment of unfit persons were among "widespread practices that seem impossible to correct until the whole law-enforcement policy and moral sense of the country are radically revised." The Justice Department of the Army also seemed to Riley to offer no hope of accomplishing results.
By the middle of 1944 an impasse in the Majlis over the size of the Army threatened to cut off budget appropriations. In this question Ridley, who had recommended an army of from eighty-eight to ninety thousand, found himself on middle ground between the Shah, who desired an army of 108,000, and Dr. Millspaugh, whose budgetary appropriations, in Ridley's belief, would have had the effect of cutting the Army in half by reducing its field force to only 30,000, a figure only slightly larger than that of the Gendarmerie when Schwarzkopf took over. Millspaugh stated that he felt a large army would be unnecessary in Iran if the tribes were justly treated and the Gendarmerie made adequate to police the country. In fact, subject to those two rather fundamental if's, Millspaugh preferred no army at all.9 The head of the American economic mission insisted upon a budget which would take from the Army and give to agricultural and social projects. Ridley's figure was strongly supported by the British Ambassador as providing an army sufficient for Iran's defense and security. Millspaugh's figure prevailed while his financial powers survived; but his insistence
upon a small army hastened his downfall, after which a strength basis was reached somewhere between the figures supported by Ridley and the Shah.10
Lack of motor transport for the Army was no less serious than Schwarzkopf had found it to be for the Gendarmerie, or Landis for the Iranian economy as a whole. General Greely in July 1942 had informed General Marshall that, starting with a few trucks, he could reorganize the Army into an efficient force. Ridley found the Army "practically immobile," with almost no vehicles, equipment, or drivers. By the end of May 1944 he was able to report the establishment of a motor transport organization with regular operating schedules; the institution of repair and maintenance shops at Tehran, Isfahan, and Kermanshah; the arrival from the United States of 600 trucks procured on lend-lease requisition from the War Department; the establishment of schools for training drivers and mechanics; and the reorganization of the Army's Transport Department-all of which was noted as "an outstanding accomplishment of the Mission, of great value to the Iranian Army." But only a year later Ridley reported that ,the program in transport had "suffered greatly" through frequent changes in the head of the Transport Department.11 Any accomplishment represented not only achievement of parts of the plan for the Army but also a victory, if only temporary, over internal conditions.
Priorities and Policy
There were also important external conditions which affected the program of strengthening Iran, and specifically its Army and Gendarmerie. Some of these, incidentally involving the two missions as parts of the general program and as agencies affected by lend-lease procedures followed by the American and British commands in the Corridor, have been touched upon in the previous chapter. But the question of lend-lease supplies for the Iranian Army and Gendarmerie required also the determination of the respective importance of the two missions as instruments of a developing policy toward Iran. In this matter, although the Department of State moved well ahead of the War Department, it eventually succeeded in persuading the War
Department to place Iran's military lend-lease needs on a par with those of other beneficiary countries. Meanwhile, until June 1945, when the War Department took its last step in that direction, caution marked its attitude, and slowness and tediousness the provision of supplies for the Iranian Army and Gendarmerie. The result was often embarrassment for Ridley and Schwarzkopf and mingled feelings on the part of the Iranians, puzzled to reconcile American protestations of friendship with the modest fruits which came trickling from the cornucopia of lend-lease. And this situation was bound to continue so long as the War Department entertained doubts as to the effective use by the Iranian services of American grants-in-aid.
Even before he left Washington General Ridley was alert to the psychological aspects of gift bearing. He expressed his apprehension lest the Iranians, denied their request for a large training mission and disappointed in their hopes of obtaining bountiful supplies for their Army, might react unfavorably to Ridley's mission. He urged the War Department to encourage the Iranians by promptly delivering to the Iranian Army some two hundred much-needed trucks asked for by General Greely and already in Iran, though on lend-lease consignment to the British and Russians.12 Trucks were eventually provided; but in July 1943 Connolly was still having to explain to Ridley that the Russian-aid program could not be interrupted at the truck assembly plants even to accommodate the relatively small number of vehicles he asked for. In August, as the TAP's adjusted their schedules, General Scott notified Ridley that he could sandwich some fifty Iranian Army assemblies into the Russian-aid assemblies every twelve days.13
July brought encouraging word that 400 trucks allotted by lendlease for use in the Iranian harvest were at sea; but Ridley reported that he had heard nothing about other items on a heavy list of requisitions which, after checking with the British military attache, the American Embassy, and the Millspaugh mission, he had sent to Washington the previous March. The news from Washington about the list was interesting. The list (with the exception of items, like Palm Beach cloth, not carried in the regular U.S. Army procurement program) had been approved by the War Department and sent on to the Munitions Assignments Board, which had the last word. OPD heard that 100,000 pairs of shoes had been dispatched overseas (a further requisition was disapproved). But in July the Deputy Chief of Staff ruled that the Army
Service Forces might not recommend filling any requisitions beyond those on Ridley's initial March list unless the articles requested were clearly surplus and not needed in the American war effort.14
If Ridley experienced troubles in obtaining items he felt needful for the Army, Schwarzkopf found the going even tougher in behalf of the friendless Gendarmerie. Soon after Minister Dreyfus-exasperated by Connolly's inability to find, within his interpretation of his instructions, the means of assisting in the missions' programs-had protested to Secretary of State Hull, Colonel Schwarzkopf went to Washington and personally outlined the problem to harried officials there to whom Iran was a vague spot on the map and the problem of preserving its sovereignty through grants of trucks and shoes not at all a realistic one. But when, in October 1943, Schwarzkopf's Letter of Instructions was issued to him by the Deputy Chief of Staff it embodied the same principle that had been established the previous July for Ridley's requisitions:
If it appears that supplies or equipment not available in Iran are needed, you may make recommendations to the War Department giving full reasons for the need, being careful to give no undue hopes or expectations to the Iranian Government. No U.S. supplies will be provided unless they are clearly surplus and not needed in the war effort.
Within these limitations supplies went forward under lend-lease for the Army and Gendarmerie Missions. By August 1944 Schwarzkopf could report that, of 1,200 motor vehicles ordered for the Gendarmerie, 297 were in Iran and 450 more had been approved in Washington. He had also obtained, among miscellaneous items, 23,000 pairs of shoes and 150,000 yards of woolen cloth which was made into uniforms at the rate of 300 a day, in time to smarten up the Gendarmerie for a review on the Shah's birthday in November. By the end of 1944 the Gendarmerie had received lend-lease supplies to the value of $962,981.02, and the Army to the value of $2,382,474.17. In view of the fact that the annual cost .to the Iranian Government of the Army Mission alone was estimated at more than $123,000, the lend-lease grants were not exactly reckless. Caution was still the word.15
Too much so to please the Department of State. For some time the War Department, discouraged by the obstacles within Iran to the reform programs of its advisory missions, had been considering withdrawing them. The Department of State, on the other hand, preferred them to continue, and coupled with the question of their continuance the matter of supply. On 25 October 1944 Stettinius, then Acting Secretary of State, wrote as follows to the Secretary of War:
A primary consideration in this government's stated policy toward Iran is a desire to strengthen that country so that it may maintain internal security to avoid dissensions and weaknesses which breed foreign intervention and aggression. A most practical way to implement this policy is to strengthen Iran's security forces.16
In December, after General Ridley had journeyed to Washington and had conferred with officials of the War and State Departments, the Secretary of State wrote as follows to the Secretary of War:
The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Secretary of War and has the honor to refer to Mr. Stettinius' letter of October 25, 1944, setting forth the urgent political reasons for the continuance of the American Military Mission to the Iranian Army.
At a meeting held at the State Department on December 18, 1944, between officials of the War and State Departments and attended by Major General Ridley, the political and other reasons for the continuance of the military mission beyond the date already set for its termination, March 1, 1945, were reviewed. General Ridley made it clear that the mission could not attain the objective desired by the Department of State in consonance with the United States policy toward that country, unless high priority could be given by the joint Chiefs of Staff for the shipment to Iran of certain essential military supplies.
The Department desires to urge that high priority be given to the shipment of these military supplies for the Iranian Army. It is realized that the War Department is being pressed to supply arms not only for urgent war needs but also for the use of postwar armies. It is considered, however, that the Iranian case differs in several essential respects from that of many other countries. American policy in Iran is based specifically on the Declaration on Iran, signed at Tehran on December 1, 1943, by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Marshal Stalin. This Declaration recognized the sacrifices made by Iran in the interests of the war effort and pledged Allied assistance to Iran both during and after the war. A prominent implementation of this policy has been the American adviser program, under which this military mission has so successfully carried out its duties. Protection and advancement of our interests in Iran require that we give the military mission the tools with which to work. Furnishing the Iranian Army with essential supplies is in line with the Department's basic policy toward Iran, which envisages strengthening the Iranian security forces to the point where they can maintain order after the withdrawal of Allied forces. The United States can contribute substantially to world security by assisting to create a strong Iran, free from internal weakness which
invites foreign intervention or aggression. To carry out this policy requires strong and well-equipped security forces.
Iran is perhaps the most prominent area of the world where inter-Allied friction might arise. Such friction would grow out of the chaos and disorder in Iran which would result from a weak Iranian Army. It is in our interests to prevent this from happening.
For these reasons it is urgently recommended that the American military mission to the Iranian Army be continued for an indefinite period beyond March 1, 1945, and that a sufficiently high priority rating be given to General Ridley's request for military supplies to enable him to continue his mission in Iran with reasonable assurance of success.17
To the formulations of American policy toward Iran since January 1943 this statement was a forceful addition. The Secretary of War soon after, citing the "cogent reasons" in the Secretary of State's letter, and recognizing "that the protection and advancement of our interests in Iran will require the strengthening of the Iranian security forces so that order may be maintained in this area, where world security might be threatened, after the withdrawal of Allied troops," consented to "present to the joint Chiefs of Staff for their consideration the request for a priority for these military supplies."18 An OPD memorandum which followed in February recommended that "Iran be placed in the same category as other United Nations," because of "the changed United States policy toward Iran"; but there had been no change. That the fuller formulation of policy struck the War Department as a new policy may possibly throw a small beam of light on its reluctance hitherto to back the missions' programs with adequate material encouragement. Even when it finally moved, the War Department first placed only the Iranian Army on a par with the armies of the other United Nations. It took a further appeal from the Department of State, pointing out that the Gendarmerie was "of equivalent importance with the Iranian Army," to bring about in June the amendment of Schwarzkopf's Letter of Instructions which recognized that fact in so far as supply under lend-lease was concerned.19
But the improvement in priorities came too late to prevent the psychological repercussions that accompanied shortages and prolonged
delays in the arrival of items ordered more than two years previously.20
And much hard feeling was engendered in Iran by the consequences of the sudden stoppage of lend-lease after V-J Day.21 The programs of the advisory missions thus had little opportunity to benefit from the liberalization of priorities before V-J Day cut off their source of supplies. But by that time Iran's mounting crisis was forcing new American decisions in the making of which supply was the least of worries.
The Question o f Continuing the Missions
With the crisis over Azerbaijan in 1946, Iran dramatically fulfilled President Roosevelt's expectation that it might serve as a testing ground for the Atlantic Charter and the good faith of the United Nations. The two American military missions were still in the service of the Iranian Government. They were not there because the War Department felt the Iranian Government had given them adequate support at all times, or because of continuing military necessity for them. That the two missions survived several strong impulses of the War Department to abolish them was due to political factors which outweighed the military in the question of continuance, just as it had done when the two missions were originally established.
The contract of the Army Mission (not signed until November 1943, but effective as of March 1943) provided that the mission would continue through the war or period of war emergency; that it could be extended thereafter by mutual agreement; and that it could be terminated at any time by either party on three months' notice. The Gendarmerie Mission's contract (not signed until November 1943, but effective as of October 1942) provided for a two-year term, with extension thereafter by agreement. General Ridley cautioned in March 1943 that improving the efficiency of the Iranian Army "to make it an effective security agency to facilitate Russian supply" was likely to prove a long task. By July he reported pessimistically that low Army morale, outlying tribes in constant revolt, and a weak and corrupt central
government posed heavy obstacles to a thoroughgoing reorganization. The situation, he said, was "worse than it has ever been since my arrival here." Noting that "a strong man, backed by the highest authority, could possibly change all this in a year," Ridley nevertheless felt that there were two criteria for continuing the mission: reasonable expectation of progress in reform and support of the mission by the high command. Providing that the obstructions which came from lower levels did not reduce the effectiveness of the mission's work "to the point of futility," Ridley was willing to go ahead. It is noteworthy that this view was expressed months before the negotiations, then pending, culminated in the signing of the contracts for the two missions.
In December it was decided to increase the authorized strength of the Army Mission by nine officers as a compromise between the War Department's desire not to increase the mission at all and Iran's desire to add thirty officers.22 In the following spring of 1944, after some months of operation under the contract, Ridley again raised the question of continuance of his mission. On 31 May he stated that "all practicable major plans and investigations that can now be foreseen will have been completed and put into operation under guidance of the Mission by November 1, 1944," and suggested, if agreeable to the Iranians, withdrawal of the mission after that date. The recommendation was based upon such considerations as the removal of the threat of German invasion, Iran's declaration of war against the Axis, and the presence of British and Soviet troops in Iran which, together with the Iranian Army in its present state of training and equipment, would provide, he felt, adequate power to deal with problems of internal security. The War Department notified the Department of State that in its opinion "There exists no military necessity for this mission," but requested the views of State.23 The Department of State consulted the Iranian Government and reported that the Iranians wished the mission to continue indefinitely. State and War agreed upon a compromise which would positively end the mission on 1 March 1945.24 When this decision was made known to the Iranians, the Shah and the Minister of War urged extension of the closing date to 1 November 1945 or, preferably, to 1 March 1946. State feared that "the withdrawal of the Mission at this time when the Iranian Army is about to meet its
crucial test in view of the imminent withdrawal of foreign armies from the country might have unfortunate political and psychological repercussions." Ridley suggested on 8 November 1945 that, in view of the fact that his mission was not the sole key to Iran's troubles and if it was retained after 1 March 1945, its strength be reduced by the nine officers added previously at Iranian request. The question was settled after the conferences in Washington which Ridley attended in December. The mission was to continue indefinitely after 1 March 1945 subject to the contractual right to terminate it at three months' notice.25
In the summer of 1944 Iran expressed a desire to continue the Gendarmerie Mission for one year to 2 October 1945. Colonel Schwarzkopf told the American Ambassador at Tehran that plans for reorganization of the Gendarmerie were then complete and that if the mission were to carry on further it should do so only to create a really effective security organization, and that this decision should be taken not as a temporary expedient but "only if the interest of America is deep and lasting in Iran." A thoroughgoing reorganization might take from five to ten years. "In the post-war period," Schwarzkopf wrote, "security in Iran bears importance directly comparable to American interests in Iran."26 The same question had been raised a year earlier by General Connolly in connection with the broadening of his directive to permit him to give economic assistance to Iran. It was now answered for the Gendarmerie Mission by the decision, taken in August, to renew the contract for one year. This step, anticipating by some months the decision not to terminate the Army Mission, gave additional reality to the increasingly forceful expressions of State Department policy toward Iran which were issued during 1944.
In due course the question of A second renewal of the Gendarmerie Mission contract arose with the passage by the Iranian Council of Ministers of a decree authorizing its extension for one more year, or until 2 October 1946. As many seemingly insurmountable local obstacles had raised doubts as to the wisdom of continuing the mission and as during the negotiations the Iranians showed reluctance to commit themselves to American demands for reform, the Acting Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, instructed Ambassador Murray that, if the desired assurances were not given and, after trial, transformed into effective action satisfactory to him and to Colonel Schwarzkopf, Murray was authorized to terminate the mission. Acheson added that the
department regretted the necessity of such a course of action at the time, but that it would be "futile and undignified" to continue with "little hope of positive accomplishment or reflection of credit" on the United States. The suggestion of futility echoed that made in July 1943 by General Ridley and underlined the difficulty of helping the Iranians to help themselves through a purely advisory program. The assurances were duly offered and the mission's contract renewed for one year.27
At about the same time it was decided once more not to abandon the Army Mission. Ridley had reopened the question on 1 June 1945 and added in a July report that it was now a question whether the Iranian Army, without American guidance, could preserve order in the country. In his progress report of 11 September he touched once again upon the question of continuing the mission:
Enclosed is a statement on the work of the Mission to date. Perusal of this statement will show that the primary work of the Mission under the contract is practically finished. Future work will consist only in helping them, so far as they will permit, in routine administration and operation under the plans already made for them. Due to lack of money, and to the inherent lack of business and administrative ability, laziness, dishonesty, or general low quality of a large part of the personnel available for the work, the execution of the plans is generally mediocre, and in spots unsatisfactory and discouraging although there are some bright spots.
From a technical viewpoint I see little value in keeping the Mission here. However the Iranian Minister of War has told me that he wants the Mission to remain in some form, and I understand that our own State Department also wants it to remain as a matter of public policy.
The decision, in which the War Department concurred, was that the mission would be terminated at the end of the war or a period of declared national emergency unless renewed by further agreement.28 In December the Department of State publicly declared that "existing arrangements do not project the functions of the missions [Army and Gendarmerie] into the normal peace-time era."29
But, as the normal peacetime era was slow in returning to the world, both missions were extended from time to time by mutual agreement. At ,the end of 1950 they were still on the job at Tehran after some
changes in personnel and contractual provisions.30 Both were capable of extension a year at a time by an exchange of notes. A new Army Mission contract, signed at Tehran on 6 October 1947 by Ambassador George V. Allen and Mahmud Jam, Iranian Minister of War, replaced the 1943 contract.31 In 1948 a revision prohibited the chief of the mission from giving Iran any advice on tactical or strategic plans or operations against an enemy of Iran. Under the original contract and Ridley's Letter of Instructions, such advice was permitted, if sought by Iran, and given after consultation with the War Department. In 1948 also the Gendarmerie Mission contract was amended to supplant the command functions of the chief of the mission by advisory functions only.
In 1949 an experimental redistribution of Gendarmerie strength was made by the Iranian Government with a view to reaching a policy decision on the ultimate duties of the Gendarmerie and its relationship to the Army. The desire in certain quarters of Iranian officialdom to subordinate the Gendarmerie to the Army or even to extinguish the Gendarmerie altogether was a hot potato of Iranian politics sedulously avoided by American advisers. Yet the poor-relation status of the Gendarmerie doubtless influenced thinking at certain desks in the American War Department where it was feared to take sides even indirectly in the controversy by making supplies available. This opinion may have been a factor in the delay until June 1945 in putting the Gendarmerie's supply through lend-lease on a basis comparable to that of the Army. For its part, the Department of State's championship of the equal importance of the Gendarmerie and the Army merely recognized that conditions during the Allied occupation placed the internal security functions of the two forces on the same basis for the duration of the war; and this position was maintained without prejudice ,to the relative merits of the internal squabble over the two services in Iran. Although the War Department acceded to the Department of State's predominant voice in setting policy on supply and the continuation of the missions, there were those in the War Department who persisted, even after V-J Day, in viewing the Gendarmerie Mission as of less importance than the Army Mission in the whole program of strengthening Iran.
Illustration may be furnished, as a postscript to the story of the missions, by reference to the decoration and promotion which came to Colonel Schwarzkopf after the end of the war. On 19 November 1944 General Connolly recommended to The Adjutant General a Legion of Merit for Schwarzkopf ; but the reason he gave, that Schwarzkopf had co-operated with the PGC by furnishing gendarmes to accompany raiding parties of military police "to confiscate and repossess stolen United States property," was not considered by a decorations board which met on 5 December 1944 as indicating exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service.32 The next year, by a letter to The Adjutant General, Col. Alfred D. Starbird, Chief, European Section, Theater Group, OPD, recommended Schwarzkopf for the Distinguished Service Medal; but this, too, was disapproved by an awards board on 13 November. It considered the Gendarmerie Mission "much lower in degree of importance and responsibility" than the Army Mission. It should be noted that General Booth and General Ridley had both received the Distinguished Service Medal, and that in the previous June the War Department had liberalized its supply policy for the Gendarmerie on assurances that the Department of State considered the two Iranian services as of equal importance. The awards board forthwith recommended Schwarzkopf for a Legion of Merit, noting his "great responsibility" for the 21,000 officers and men of the Gendarmerie.
This decision was protested by Lt. Gen. John E. Hull, Assistant Chief of Staff, OPD, who went with his written protest of 28 November directly to General Handy, Deputy Chief of Staff. He obtained a setting aside of the Legion of Merit award and approval of a Distinguished Service Medal by explaining that Schwarzkopf's position was independent of any other command; that he exercised command; and that "under his careful direction the Gendarmerie, while being completely modernized, performed the potentially dangerous task of maintaining order in Iran in spite of the presence of many dissatisfied elements there, and without arousing the antagonism of the British or the Russians in a country which still is a center of international friction." The medal was approved on 4 December by a board which thriftily adopted the citation already proposed by them for the Legion of Merit.33
Away back in February 1943 Minister Dreyfus had recommended Schwarzkopf's promotion to brigadier general both as a reward for good work and as an aid to his mission's work in a country where the prestige value of rank was high. General Connolly also recommended
promotion. For more than three years Schwarzkopf remained a colonel. Then in June 1946, Ambassador Allen, whose arrival at Tehran in April marked new emphasis on American support for Iran, sent a message to the Secretary of State, coupling a recommendation for Schwarzkopf's promotion with the role then being played by the Gendarmerie. He said, in part:
There persists, in spite of Soviet troop withdrawal, real danger of Iran becoming newest puppet of Soviet Union. Overthrow of government by leftist elements is easily possible, and without effective security forces, the numerous Soviet stooges and ruthless adventurers now in Iran could easily make it successful. There would probably result a totalitarian state dominated entirely by Moscow. International rivalry would be immediately intensified on the Persian Gulf, with several vital matters at stake, for example, entire Middle East oil resources. Iranian Gendarmerie constitutes important deterrent to governmental overthrow. This organization, by its promptness last month in establishing security in Caspian area as Soviet troops evacuated, deserves large degree of credit in preventing rebellion there similar to Azerbaijan uprising.34
The recommendation was communicated by Acting Secretary of State Acheson to Robert Patterson, Secretary of War. Acheson reminded Patterson that for three years the Department of State had "communicated to the War Department its approval of the work being done by Colonel Schwarzkopf, and has expressed its hope that the head of the Mission could be given general officer status." Ambassador Allen had pointed out that Schwarzkopf was handicapped in his contacts by being a colonel. Acheson concluded that, "since the events taking place in Iran are of very real significance in the general context of our foreign relations, and since the Gendarmerie Mission is playing a major role in these events, the Department hopes that the War Department will find it possible to comply with Ambassador Allen's suggestion."35 Because of an inflexible policy of reducing the number of general officers, the first reaction in the War Department was to refuse the promotion, and a letter to that effect was drafted for the signature of the Secretary of War. But OPD's successor, Plans and Operations Division, recommended to the Chief of Staff, General Eisenhower, that an exception be made. The Secretary of War then asked the President to nominate Schwarzkopf to the Senate to be brigadier general, temporary grade. The nomination was made forthwith and duly approved by the Senate.36
In a sense, this tardy recognition of the value of the Gendarmerie Mission marked a further step in the evolution of American policy as expressed through the two advisory missions. Ridley and Schwarzkopf had struggled against heavy odds in Iran to achieve aims limited by the caution of both War and State. Those departments had sought to evaluate their effectiveness: War, from the point of view of technical accomplishment, first in aiding the supply task in the Corridor, later in providing a measure of internal security in a disorganized state; State, from the point of view of the moral and political force which the missions could exert simply by existing, no matter how technically frustrated or futile. But, even as the conviction became intensified that the missions were instruments not only for the prosecution of a local objective but also of wider foreign policy, their technical helplessness as purely advisory agencies continued to constrict their effectiveness as moral or political factors. It was a dilemma whose resolution the war years delayed. After 1945, developments offered hints of how the dilemma could be resolved; but they had not resolved it by the end of 1950.
They did answer one question, posed in the first chapter of this book: Had America come to the madhouse of Middle Eastern politics as visitor, doctor, or inmate? In undertaking to strengthen Iran the United States became a doctor, one who may only prescribe and hope for the best.
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