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LTC Dave Hughes - THE - Assistant for Counterinsurgency

I had been working so intensly 'selling' the completed Study to all those who had heard about it and wanted me to explain the entire thesis in 'simple words' (a doctorate level thesis) that I don't even remember when or where I got promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel. Whether still on the Army staff in 1965, or early in the offices of the Secretary of Defense in 1966. I sure can't remember any promotion 'ceremony' which is usual in Army culture. Too much important stuff  (we were fighting a real war) was going on.

I also had been working so hard that wife Patsy just had to cope with raising our three children pretty much on her own out of our home on Bradley Circle in Annandale, Virginia.  I remember that over one 30 day - month - stretch, I was up and into the Pentagon before sunrise and left well after dark for the drive home. Since, when I was in the Army staff there were no windows in the 'inner ring' I actually went 30 days never having seen daylight while working in the Pentagon. Even though I was not reponsible for current war operations, but only for tutoring the minds of those who would be involved in future wars.

Still, moving to the Secretary of Defense's offices was less pressure filled, even when I was willing to take turn in the 24hour Situation Room, where I was able to monitor the real-time classified conversations between the Secretary of Defense and the Naval ship the "Turner Joy" that got caught up in the 'Tonkin Gulf' incident which led to the controversial Congressional Tonkin Gulf Resoultion that became the legal foundation for the US to deploy conventional US military force to directly confront North Vietnam in open warfare. 

I found out when I got there that I was given the office which had been occupied by two CIA officers - who were let go from the SecDef staff after the botched Bay of Pigs effort to overthrow Castro. 

 

Refining the Thesis

 

One thing that I immediately had access to, was information and data held in many other Washington Federal agencies and offices. In particular I was able to get reports from the Secretary of State's 'Intelligence and Research' staff on all the ongoing political violence in nations around the world. Much of that data was classified, however much also was not. So I was able to update the lists we had the year before in the Army staff.

I also had access to DoD's graphic design staffs, who could turn my data into clear and impressive charts, graphs, and annotated world maps. And whenever a senior official made a speech or started an initiative, the Public Affairs office of DoD, made sure every news outlet and Pentagon reporter had the text of those pronouncements. 

A number of Pentagon staff officers wanted me to be able to explain to them 'in simple words' what our study revealed. Yeah, a Doctorate Level of Politico/Military analysis in 15 minutes or less.

Some of my meetings were with the International Security Affairs core planners. My immediate superior was a Maj General Signeous - who, like me, had been called to the Secretary of Defense's staff from the Joint Staff. The overall civilian head was Adam Yarmolinski, about as far left politically as can be. But very intelligent, and listened carefully to, not only my analysis of political violence in the world but also my recommendations on how more than the Defense Department should be involved in effective 'counterinsuregencis,'

He obviously briefed McNamara periodically. I became aware that McNamara really like my statistical data. For after all he had been a 'numbers man' at Ford, and was always trying to fit warefare into a series of data boxes.

 

The Major Speech

 

So I was called in one day to McNamara's office. His regular speechwriter was there, as was John T McNaughton, very close advisor to McNamara. He acknowledged the value of the study we had done in the Army staff, then said he was going to speak on May 18th to the North American Newspaper Editors. And wanted a speech that laid out the modern and projected history of insurgencies and what policy the US needs to deal with them. 

There was going to be more in the speech than just the world view the data revealed. But it was up to me to provide the key data for its core message and its meaning.

So I drafted a nunber of complete sections as his regular speechwriter struggled to understand this 'new' way of characterizing warfare, and find the words to express it.

The brilliance of the speech was McNamara's focussing , not just on the picture of violence, but what the US should be doing in such conflicts to win them but within American values, and view of Man.

At its core, I gave voice to the e=mc2 formula for American resistance to violent insurgencies. That formulation was that:

"Security IS Development"

You can read that speech in clear text by clicking on this link. 

http://www.oldcolo.com/McNamara/mcnamara.txt

In the next item here about my Pentagon Years, I will describe what a major reaction that speech evoked. Even in foreign countries. 

Nice birthday present - for it was delivered on my 38th birthday - May 18th, 1966. 

 

 

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