oversight

Activities of the Research and Development Center - Thailand, Advanced Research Projects Agency

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-29.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                        lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
                              LM095445
                                                     7



-Activities Of The Research And
Development Center - Thailand,
Advanced Research Projects
Agency     8-167324




Department of Defense




UNITED  STATES
GENERAL  ACCOUNTING            OFFICE
                                   UNITED      STATES GENERAL ACXCXJNT!NG OFFICE
                                                   WASHINGTON,     D.C.    20548


DEFENSE    DIVISION




          B- 167324



          Dear        Mr.   Secretary:         7

                This is our              report   on activities     of the Research             and    Development    J,. d”7     %”
    T_ Center-Thailand,                  Advanced    Research       Projects  Agency.                                 3 “$ r, /

                    This report      contains     a recommendation          for clarifying      the Agen-
          cy’s overseas        mission.       The   recommendation          is  subject    to the  provi-
          sions     of section    236 of the Legislative         Reorganization         Act of 1970.      Ne
          shall appreciate        receiving      copies   of the statements         you furnish     to the
          specified     committees        in accordance      with these provisions.

                   Copies     of this report         are being      sent to the Chairmen           of the House
           and Senate     Committees            on Appropriations;          the Chairmen        of the House          ‘8 ; 7 J
          and Senate      Committees            on Armed       Services;      the Chairman        of the Senate      .- . . ..I
           Committee      on Foreign          Relations;      the Chairman         of the House       Commit-        Z “?. _I
          tee on Foreign        Affairs;        the Chairmen         of the House      and Senate      Commit-       ‘. ‘! ‘*_’
                                                                                                                          1). r)
          tees on Government             Operations;         and to the Chairman,          Foreign      Operations     7
     .;                                                                                                                1; I..)/
          and Government           Information         Subcommittee,          House    Committee        on Gov-
1   ,’
          ernment      Operations.           Copies      are being sent also to the Secretary               of
          State;   the Director,         Office     of Management          and Budget;     and the Director
          of Defense      Research         and Engineering.

                                                                     Sincerely        yours,




                                                             For     Director,        Defense         Division

          The    Honorable
          The    Secretary        of Defense




                                             50 TH ANNIVERSARY            1921-    1971
GENE&d ACCOUNTINGOFFICE                              ACTIVITIES OF THE RESEARCH ANDDEVELOPJvlENT
REPORTTO THE                                         CENTER-THAILAND, ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS
SECRETARYUF DEFENSE                                  AGENCY
                                                      Department        of Defense         B-167324


DIGEST
_-----

WHYTHE SURVEYWASIQlDE

      The operations      of the Research         and Development     Center-Thailand          were sur-
      veyed to obtain       information     on the overseas       research     activities        of the
      Advanced    Research      Projects  Agency (ARPA), a component            of the Department
      07Defense      (DOD).      These activities      were undertaken       in conjunction         with
      ARPA's Project      AGILE which was created           in 1961 to conduct          research    and
      development     in remote area conflict.

      The Center  is the ARPA component    of an organization  operated    jointly       by
      the Thai and United   States  Governments.    Costs for operating    the Center,
      including  contractor  costs,  totaled about $15 million    for fiscal       years
      1968 and 1969.

      The primary     objective       of the General       Accounting       Office        (GAO) survey    was to
      evaluate    the selection,        management,       and utilization            of   research  projects
      conducted     or sponsored       by the Center.

OBSERVATIONS

      GeneraZ

      The U.S. Mission         has been providing          to Thailand        both military      and non-
      military    assistance       directed      toward meeting the Communist threat.                   The
      U.S. Military       Assistance        Command/Joint       U.S. Military       Advisory     Group-
      Thailand    is responsible          for military       assistance,       and the Agency for Inter-
      national    Development        (AID) is responsible            for major     nonmilitary      assis-
      tance;   both are subject           to the coordination           and supervision        of the Ambas-
      sador.    AID applied most of its resources                    to programs     which promoted        in-
      ternal   security      and rural       development.          These programs      included     considerable
      support   of the Thai National             Police    Department       whose responsibilities           in-
      clude internal       security       and border      control.        (See pp. 7 to 9.)

      Nature of research

      The Center's      research     since 1966       has involved     all aspects      of counterinsur-
      gency--the     social,     economic,  and       political,    as well    as military.        It ap-
      pears to GAO that the broad scope                 of the Center's     activity     was influenced
      by the liberal       funding of ARPA's          program,    contrasted with the limited            funds
      available    to the Embassyand AID              for research.




Teae Sheet
                                                                                                                    I

There is potential         military        utility       for the projects,         but many seem to be '
more relevant        to the needs of nonmilitary                  elements     of the U.S. Mission            and   I
the Thai Government.             For example,          the Center      financed     a $1.1 million         proj-
ect to develop         and apply techniques              for assessment        of the impact        on counter-
insurgency       of economic,       social       and political        programs.       The first      programs
assessed      were from the Community                Development      Department,      the National        Po-
lice     Department,     and the Office            of Accelerated        Rural Development,          all non-
military       Thai organizations.             Although      financed      by the Center,       this    proj-
ect was under the direct             control         of the Ambassador's          Special    Assistant
for Counterinsurgency.

The nonmilitary         aspects     of counterinsurgency           are largely     the responsibility
of the Department          of State       and AID.     The Ambassador's        Special      Assistant      for
Counterinsurgency          informed       GAO that he had been compelled             to rely on the
Center      for research       support     because the Embassy had not been furnished                    with
research       funds.    GAO believes         it preferable      that research       related      to respon-
sibilities        of the Department         of State and AID be funded,            as well       as‘ planned
and directed,         by them.      This activity        thus would be subject           to the scru-
tiny      of those committees          and subcommittees       of the Congress         concerned      with
the activities         of the Department          of State    and AID.      (See pp. 10 to 18.)

In its report       on "Need for Improved            Review and Coordination            of the Foreign
Affairs   Aspects      of Federal       Research,"      issued May 27, 1971, GAO stated                   that
the State    Department        had a very small external          research      program        and depended
largely   on other      agencies      to support      research   bearing     on foreign         policy.
GAO believed      that   the Department         should establish       a research         program       of a
scope commensurate         with    its responsibilities        in foreign       affairs        and should
develop   a comprehensive          statement      of its external      research       policy.         In re-
ply the Department         commented that         it was hoping     to increase         substantially
its funds for external           research.

Effectiveness        of research

The Embassy believes         that   certain   of the research        projects     conducted   by
the Center    have made an important          contribution        to the counterinsurgency
effort   in Thailand.        GAO believes,      however,     that   some of the research        could
have been more successful           in terms of cost and effectiveness               if the Thai
Government     had participated        more fully      in the planning       of the research     and
if contractor     assistance      in planning      and directing       the research      had been
provided    to the Center       on a timely     basis.      (See pp. 23 to 35.)

Management of research            projects

GAO believes     that the contractors     would              have been controlled         more effec-
tively    had the Center    been given greater                responsibility       and commensurate
authority    for the direction     of contractor                research     in Thailand.

 In GAO's opinion,    the Center's            surveillance        of research       projects      needed
to be improved     and the Center            needed to
I




              i-develop       a systematic        approach          for      gauging        the efficency        and effec-
                  tiveness     with which        contractors              conducted         their   efforts,

              --follow       the   instructions        of ARPA headquarters                       regarding     review    of
                  contractor       research     efforts,    and

              --ensure    that      all significant               actions  under            the    contracts     were    made
                 a matter    of     record.      (See       pp.      37 to 41.)

          Construction         of facility
          ARPA committed      $150,000     in 1963 to participate                with the Thai Government
          in the cost of constructing            a joint     office       building      in Bangkok.       Also
          ARPA was spending        an estimated       $486,000      of research         and development        funds
          for construction       of an addition        to this      facility.         Title   to these facili-
          ties  is vested     in the Thai Government.               In view of the unusual            circumstances,
          GAO believes     that    the appropriate        congressional            committees   should     have
          been advised     of the facts       regarding      this matter.            (See pp. 43 to 46.)

          Suggestions

          In a draft       report    GAO suggested     that there was need for a reassessment            and
          definitization          of ARPA's overseas        mission   and for full   recognition-of    the
          responsibilities          and funding    authorities      of U.S. military     and civil  agen-
          cies.


    AGENCYACTIONS, UNRESOLVED
                            ISSUES
    AND RECOMMENDATIONS

           DOD said that ARPA had measured          each project    against      the legitimate        in-
           terest     of DOD relevance.      DOD concurred,    however,      that means to fulfill
           research      needs of the U.S. Mission      should   be developed       further,     particu-
           larly    those not closely    related    to DOD responsibilities.              (See p. 19.)

          With     regard     to   the   other    matters          discussed           in   the    report,      DOD:

              --Agreed     that     improvements        would         be made in            the    management      of research
                 projects.         (See p. 41.)

              --Disagreed      with GAO's view that         congressional     committees       should    have
                 been given advance notification             of the construction          of facilities
                 in Thailand.       DOD agreed that      Congress      would be notified         of similar
                 construction      events    in the future,      however,    because      of the House
                 Committee     on Appropriations'       desire     for all construction          funded with
                 research     and development      funds to be clearly        identified.           (See p. 46.)

           ARPA's appropriation         for fiscal    year 1970 was less than requested.           The
           Congress    directed   it to apply a significant           part of the reduction    to Proj-
           ect AGILE.       In May 1970 the Director          of ARPA reported    to the House Committee
           on Appropriations      that,     as a result     of the budget     cut and an ARPA evalua-
           tion of the AGILE activities            in Thailand,    he, with the concurrence      of the


     Tear Sheet
                                                                      3
                                                                                           i


Ambassador     to Thailand, had reduced   the   effort in Thailand   to $4 million     1
in fiscal    year 1970 and to $3.6 million      in 1971.

GAO subsequently       was advised      by ARPA that in 1971 the U.S. Ambassador
expressed     the view that the planned         ARPA withdrawal from Thailand could
be accelerated      and that    in the process     a transition to a long-term U.S.
advisory role could be effected.             The new arrangement will   provide U.S.
advice    and assistance in the research and development area as part of the
general    U.S. military     assistance     effort in Thailand.

The U.S. Military    Assistance Command-Thailand, formally assumed the ad-
visory role on July 1, 1971, while the Center continued to provide tech-
nical  and financial   support until October 1972. The Center's role was to
terminate at that time.

Recommendations

The Secretary of Defense should consider clarifying    ARPA's overseas mission
to avoid authorization  of research into areas which are more closely related
to the missions and programs of nonmilitary  agencies.    The cost of research
conducted by ARPA at the request of other agencies should be reimbursed
by the requesting agencies.    (See p. 21.)




                                        (L”
                         Contents


DIGEST                                                       1

CHAPTER

  1       INTRODUCTION                                       5
              United States     activity   in Thailand       7

  2       NATURE OF RESEARCHPERFORMED                       10
              First phase-- 1961 through 1965               10
              Second phase--l966   to 1969                  12
              Third phase-- Beginning in 1969               15
             Agency comment and our evaluation              19
              Recommendation                                21

  3       EFFECTIVENESSOF RESEARCH                          23
              Highlights    of Border Control Systems
                Project                                     23
              Highlights    of Border Area Security
                 Evaluation    Project                      28
              Program planning and direction     problem
                recognized but not corrected                32
              Evaluation    difficult  because required
                 appraisals    were not made                33
              Embassy believes research was valuable        33
              Conclusion                                    35
              Agency comments and our evaluation            35

   4      MANAGEMENTOF RESEARCHPROJECTS                     37
             Division   of management r'esponsibilities     37
             Need for improved surveillance      of proj-
               ects                                         38
             Need for improved documentation                39
             Approval for publication    of research
                reports                                     40
             Conclusion                                     41
             Agency comments                                41

   5      FACILITIES                                        43
              Existing  facilities                          43
              Planned facilities                            44
CHAPTER                                                        Page

               Conclusion                                       46
               Agency comments and our evaluation               46

       6   SCOPE OF SURVEY                                      48

APPENDIX

       I   Letter    dated September 25, 1970, from the
              Director    of Defense Research and Engi-
              neering to the General Accounting Office          51

  II       Principal     officials      of the Department of
              Defense responsible         for administration
              of activities        discussed in this report     56
                            ABBREVIATIONS

AID        Agency for   International      Development

ARPA       Advanced Research Projects       Agency

DOD        Department   of Defense

GAO        General   Accounting   Office
GENl&AL ACCOUNTINGOFFICE                              ACTIVITIES   OF THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
REPORTTO THE                                          CENTER-THAILAND,    ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS
SECRETARYOF DEFEJSE                                   AGENCY
                                                      Department   of Defense   B-167324


DIGEST
_-----


WHYTHE SURVEYWASMADE
     The operations      of the Research         and Development     Center-Thailand          were sur-
     veyed to obtain       information     on the overseas       research     activities        of the
     Advanced    Research      Projects   Agency (ARPA), a component           of the Department
     of Defense     (DOD).      These activities      were undertaken       in conjunction         with
     ARPA's Project      AGILE which was created           in 1961 to conduct          research    and
     development     in remote       area conflict.

     The Center  is the ARPA component      of an organization    operated   jointly       by
     the Thai and United   States  Governments.       Costs for operatina    the Center,
     including  contractor  costs,  totaled     about $15 million   for fiscal       years
     1968 and 1969.

     The primary     objective        of the General   Accounting            Office        (GAO) survey    was to
     evaluate    the selection,         management,   and utilization                 of   research  projects
     conducted     or sponsored        by the Center.

OBSERVATIONS

     General

     The U.S. Mission         has been providing           to Thailand        both military         and non-
     military     assistance       directed      toward meeting         the Communist       threat.        The
     U.S. Military        Assistance        Command/Joint       U.S. Military      Advisory         Group-
     Thailand     is responsible          for military       assistance,       and the Agency for Inter-
     national     Development        (AID) is responsible            for major nonmilitary             assis-
     tance;   both are subject            to the coordination           and supervision         of the Ambas-
     sador.    AID applied         most of its resources              to programs    which promoted           in-
     ternal   security       and rural       development.          These programs      included        considerable
     support    of the Thai National             Police    Department       whose responsibilities              in-
     clude internal        security       and border      control.        (See pp# 7 to 9.)

     Nature of research

     The Center's      research      since  1966       has involved      all aspects      of counterinsur-
     gency--the     social,      economic,   and       political,     as well    as military.         It ap-
     pears to GAO that         the broad scope           of the Center's      activity      was influenced
     by the liberal       funding      of ARPA's       program,    contrasted      with   the limited      funds
     available    to the Embassy and AID               for research.
There is potential         military        utility       for the projects,         but many seem to be
more relevant        to the needs of nonmilitary                  elements     of the U.S. Mission            and
the Thai Government.             For example,          the Center      financed     a $1.1 million         proj-
ect to develop         and apply techniques              for assessment        of the impact        on counter-
insurgency       of economic,       social        and political       programs.       The first      programs
assessed      were from the Community                Development      Department,       the National       Po-
lice     Department,     and the Office            of Accelerated        Rural Development,          all non-
military      Thai organizations.              Although      financed      by the Center,       this    proj-
ect was under the direct             control         of the Ambassador's          Special   Assistant
for Counterinsurgency.

The nonmilitary          aspects     of counterinsurgency           are largely     the responsibility
of the Department           of State       and AID.     The Ambassador's        Special      Assistant      for
Counterinsurgency           informed      GAO that he had been compelled              to rely      on the
Center      for research        support     because the Embassy had not been furnished                    with
research       funds.     GAO believes         it preferable      that research       related      to respon-
sibilities        of the Department          of State and AID be funded, as well                  as planned
and directed,         by them.       This activity        thus would be subject           to the scru-
tiny      of those committees           and subcommittees       of the Congress         concerned      with
the activities         of the Department           of State    and AID.      (See pp. 10 to 18.)

In its report      on "Need for Improved              Review and Coordination                of the Foreign
Affairs   Aspects     of Federal         Research,"      issued     May 27, 1971, GAO stated                  that
the State Department           had a very small external               research      program        and depended
largely   on other      agencies       to support      research       bearing     on foreign         policy.
GAO believed     that    the Department          should     establish       a research         program      of a
scope commensurate         with its responsibilities                in foreign       affairs        and should
develop   a comprehensive          statement       of its external          research       policy.         In re-
ply the Department         commented       that    it was hoping         to increase         substantially
its funds for external           research.

Effectiveness        of research
The Embassy believes         that certain     of the research       projects      conducted   by
the Center    have made an important          contribution       to the counterinsurgency
effort   in Thailand.        GAO believes,      however,    that some of the research           could
have been more successful           in terms of cost and effectiveness               if the Thai
Government    had participated        more fully      in the planning        of the research     and
if contractor     assistance      in planning      and directing      the research       had been
provided    to the Center       on a timely    basis.      (See pp. 23 to 35.)

Management of research projects

GAO believes     that the contractors     would               have been controlled         more effec-
tively    had the Center    been given greater                 responsibility       and commensurate
authority    for the direction     of contractor                research      in Thailand.

In GAO’s opinion,    the Center's              surveillance        of   research     projects      needed
to be improved    and the Center              needed to




                                                   2
       --develop       a systematic        approach       for      gauging        the efficency         and effec-
          tiveness      with which        contractors           conducted         their   efforts,

       --follow       the   instructions        of ARPA headquarters                    regarding      review     of
           contractor       research     efforts,    and

       --ensure    that      all significant            actions under             the    contracts      were     made
          a matter    of     record.      (See       pp. 37 to 41.)

    Construction        of faciZity

    ARPA committed      $150,000     in 1963 to participate                with the Thai Government
    in the cost of constructing            a joint     office       building       in Bangkok.    Also
    ARPA was spending        an estimated       $486,000      of research         and development      funds
    for construction       of an addition         to this     facility.          Title  to these facili-
    ties  is vested     in the Thai Government.                In view of the unusual circumstances,
    GAO believes     that the appropriate           congressional            committees    should  have
    been advised     of the facts       regarding      this matter.             (See pp. 43 to 46.)

    Sugps    75077s

    In a draft       report     GAO suggested     that there     was need for a reassessment       and
    definitization          of ARPA's overseas        mission   and for full   recognition   of the
    responsibilities           and funding    authorities     of U.S. military     and civil   agen-
    cies.


AGENCYACTIONS, UNRESOLVED
                        ISSUES
AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    DOD said that ARPA had measured         each project    against      the legitimate        in-
    terest     of DOD relevance.     DOD concurred,    however,      that means to fulfill
    research     needs of the U.S. Mission      should   be developed       further,    particu-
    larly    those not closely   related    to DOD responsibilities.             (See p. 19.)

    With    regard     to   the   other    matters       discussed           in   the    report,      DOD:

      --Agreed     that      improvements        would     be made in             the    management      of     research
         projects.          (See p. 41.)

       --Disagreed      with GAO's view that congressional             committees       should    have
          been given advance notification             of the construction          of facilities
          in Thailand.       DOD agreed     that Congress      would be notified          of similar
          construction      events    in the future,     however,    because       of the House
          Committee     on Appropriations'       desire    for all construction          funded    with
          research     and development      funds to be clearly        identified.           (See p. 46.)

    ARPA's appropriation       for fiscal    year 1970 was less than requested.          The
    Congress    directed it to apply a significant           part of the reduction   to Proj-
    ect AGILE. In May 1970 the Director              of ARPA reported    to the House Committee
    on Appropriations    that,     as a result     of the budget     cut and an ARPA evalua-
    tion of the AGILE activities          in Thailand,    he, with the concurrence     of the



                                                           3
Ambassador     to Thailand, had reduced   the        effort   in Thailand     to   $4 million        '
in fiscal    year 1970 and to $3.6 million           in 1971.

GAO subsequently       was advised       by ARPA that     in 1971 the U.S. Ambassador
expressed      the view that the planned          ARPA withdrawal    from Thailand   could
be accelerated       and that    in the process      a transition    to a long-term   U.S.
advisory     role  could be effected.          The new arrangement      will provide U.S.
advice    and assistance      in the research       and development     area as part of the
general    U.S. military      assistance     effort    in Thailand.

The U.S. Military       Assistance   Command-Thailand,        formally    assumedthe ad-
visory     role   on July 1, 1971, while   the Center        continued    to provide   tech-
nical     and financial     support until October      1972.      The Center's    role was to
terminate       at that  time.

Recommendations
The Secretary     of Defense     should    consider  clarifying      ARPA's overseas      mission
to avoid authorization        of research      into areas which are more closely           related
to the missions      and programs of nonmilitary          agencies.       The cost of research
conducted    by ARPA at the request         of other   agencies     should   be reimbursed
by the requesting      agencies.       (See p. 21.)




                                            4
                              CHAPTER1

                            INTRODUCTION

      The Research and Development Center-Thailand      is a
field unit of the Advanced Research Projects      Agency, an or-
ganization  within  the Office of the Director,    Defense Re-
search and Engineering,    Department of Defense.

      The Overseas Defense Research Program--hereinafter            re-
ferred to as Project AGILE-- was created in 1961 in response
to a Presidential   directive     approving the recommendations
of the Director   of Defense Research and Engineering          to or-
ganize a program for research and development activities              to
be concerned with those forms of conflict          in remote areas
of the world ranging from incipient        subversion    to invasion
by large conventional     forces.    TheoriginalProject      AGILE
assignment was stated as:

      "1. Research and development in field          conflict
          techniques with special reference           to remote
          areas and local military      forces.      Research
          and development capabilities       will be applied
          to the study of vital    military      problems in
          distinctive  environmental      conditions,      e.g.,
          the tropics  or mountainous areas.

      "2. Research investigations       and analysis      of such
          matters as mobility,      logistics,       communica-
          tions,    and firepower   will be undertaken        in
          the U.S. and in the field         to determine the
          relationship      between varying levels of con-
          flict    and the environment.        Results provided
          by the research will be used to identify             ef-
          fective    remote area field      conflict    tech-
          niques."

In 1967 the statement      of mission    was changed to:

      ‘Research and development supporting      the DOD's
      operations in remote areas, associated       with the
      problems of actual or potential   limited     or
       subversive wars involving          allied   or friendly
       nations in such areas."

       After the creation    of Project AGILE, ARPA established
combat development and test centers in the Republic of
Vietnam and the Kingdom of Thailand,        each jointly operated
by ARPA and the host governments.         The Thailand center, ac-
tivated     in November 1961, was later named the Military     Re-
search and Development Center.         The Research and Develop-
ment Center-Thailand      is the ARPA component of that organi-
zation.

      According to the memorandum of understanding         between
the two Governments, the Thai-United        States organization
was established      for the purpose of conducting research,      de-
velopment,    testing,   and engineering  in support of the com-
mon military     defense efforts   of the two Governments.      The
memorandum sets forth the objectives        as follows:
       "**     the United States and Royal Thai Government
       seek to develop a facility              capable of conducting
       research,       development,      testing   and evaluation    in
       fields     relevant     to the defense efforts       of par--
       ticipating       governments through the application
       of available        scientific     and technological     re-
       sources.       Special emphasis is placed on
       strengthening        the counter-insurgency       capabili-
       ties of the Royal Thai Government and in develop-
       ing practical        applications       of RDT&E." (Under-
       scoring supplied)

        In recent years the major part of the Center's          re-
search effort     was carried   out through U.S. contractors.
Fiscal year 1968 and 1969 funds for U.S. contractors            to-
taled over $11 million       whereas other costs of the Center's
operations    for these two fiscal     years totaled    less than
$4 million.      As discussed in chapter 2, at the time of our
survey the Center was cutting       back on the use of contrac-
tors.    DOD advised us that fiscal      year 1971 funds for U.S.
contractors    were reduced to $1.6 million,       whereas funds for
other costs were increased significantly.
      There were about 570 persons involved in the Thai-
United States organization  and U.S. contractor operations
in July 1969. A breakdown of the personnel by organization
and type follows.

                                       Profes-
                                        sional   Clerical     Total

Center:
     U.S. civilian                        13              4      17
     U.S. military                        14              3      17
     Thai civilians                     JiJ          94        155
                                                               -
          Total                         J3J          p&        J8J

U.S. contractors:
    U.S. civilians                       73           27       100
    Thai civilians                      67           119       186

          Total                         140          146       285

          Total                         228          247       475

Thai component                          (a>          (a>       - 95

          Total                                                570

aNot available.

DOD informed us that, about a year later (September 19701,
Center personnel had increased from 189 to 207 and that
contractor  personnel had decreased from 286 to 137.

UNITED STATES ACTIVITY IN THAILAND

       U.S. assistance     to Thailand was the subject of a clas-
sified    report that we issued to the Congress on December 9,
1969 (~-133258).       That report provides a background of in-
formation     against which the ARPA activities     discussed in
chapter 2 may be considered.         The report deals with assis-
tance activities      that were carried    out in Thailand under
the Foreign Assistance       Act of 1961. ARPA activities     were
not carried out under the authority         of the Foreign


                                 7
Assistance     Act and therefore    were not discussed in the re-
port.    Pertinent   information    from that report follows.

       The U.S. economic and military   assistance programs to
Thailand are administered   by the U.S. Mission,   headed by
the Ambassador.    Agencies represented   in the U.S. Mission
include:

      U.S. Embassy
      U.S. Operations   Mission of the Agency for International
        Development
      United States Information   Agency
      U.S. Military   Assistance Command/Joint U.S. Military
        Advisory Group-Thailand

      Executive Order No. 10893 of November 8, 1960, set
forth the responsibilities      of the Ambassador for coordina-
tion and supervision      of the functions of all U.S. agencies
abroad.    Section 201 provides     that:

      "The several Chiefs of the United States Diplo-
      matic Missions in foreign        countries,     as the rep-
      resentatives     of the President       and acting on his
      behalf,     have and exercise,    to the extent permit-
      ted by law and in accordance with such instruc-
      tions as the President       may from time to time pro-
      mulgate, affirmative       responsibility      for the coor-
      dination     and supervision    over the carrying     out by
      agencies of their functions         in the respective
      countries."

      In Thailand,    the Ambassador's Special Assistant          for
Counterinsurgency     coordinates  and supervises   the
counterinsurgency     activities  of the U.S. Mission.

        Both military    assistance     and nonmilitary    assistance  to
Thailand have been directed          toward meeting the Communist
threat.     The U.S. Military      Assistance     Command-Thailand is
responsible     for military     assistance    and the U.S. Operations
Mission of the Agency for International             Development is re-
sponsible for major nonmilitary           assistance;   both subject to
the coordination      and supervision       of the Ambassador.



                                    8
       AID applied most of its resources   to programs which
promoted internal    security  and rural davelo?ment.    These
programs included considerable     support of the Thai National
Police Department whose responsibilities      include internal
security   and border control.




                                9
                              'CHAPTER 2

                   NATURE OF RESEARCHPERFORMED

        After the Center's  establishment   in 1961, its       opera-
tions    went through three distinct    phases.

        --From 1961 through 1965 major emphasis was on develop-
           ing and testing equipment and materiel   and on devel-
           oping the Thai military  capabilities  in this area.

        --From 1966 to 1969, pursuant to ARPA's expansion of
           the Project AGILE mission and in response to Thai-
           land's mounting difficulties      with Communist insur-
           gents, the Center undertook a broad, long-range         re-
           search program aimed at helping the U.S. Mission and
           the Thai Government cope with the insurgency         in Thai-
           land, as well as contributing      to a better understand-
           ing of the general problems of countering        insurgency
           in developing countries.      This effort,   which empha-
           sized the use of contractors,      involved operations     re-
           search, systems analysis,     and social and behavioral
           science capability.

        --In 1969, after a number of the long-range          projects
            had been completed or curtailed,       emphasis was placed
            on performing     short-term   studies in support of the
            counterinsurgency      efforts  of the U.S. Mission and in
            developing Thai research and development capability.

       The broadening of the Center's program in 1966 was es-
pecially   significant   because it resulted    in the Center be-
coming involved in research into aspects of counterinsur-
gency that,    in GAO's opinion,   were nonmilitary    in nature or
were more relevant     to the current information     and related
needs of nonmilitary     elements of the Thai Government and the
U.S. mission.

FIRST PHASE--1961 THROUGH1965

      The initial   direction  of the Center's  efforts   was set
forth in a February 10, 1962, memorandum of understanding
between ARPA and the Commander in Chief, Pacific,        for the
implementation    of Project AGILE in the Pacific.      This docu-
ment covered ARPA's activities      in Thailand and Vietnam.
                                 10
     The memorandum stated          that      AGILE's   mission       in Southeast
Asia was

      --to provide direct        materiel  and nonmateriel    research,
          development,     test,  and evaluation  support to the
          armed forces of selected countries       to assist the
         countries     in securing themselves against attacks by
          insurgents     and guerrillas   and by conventional     forces
          and

      --to assist the armed forces of these countries           in de-
          veloping their     research,  development,    test, and eval-
          uation capabilities      for their self-defense.

      With respect to Thailand,      the memorandum stated that
AGILE's specific    mission was to orient    on long-term.field
research and tests applicable      to countersubversion,      counter-
insurgency,  and limited    warfare throughout    Southeast Asia.
In addition,   tests were to be performed that could not be
done in South Vietnam because of the lack of secure areas.

       The agreement noted that the focus of the initial        work
in Thailand was to be on materiel,         although it stated that
nonmateriel     projects   were to be phased in as problem areas
were identified      accurately   and scientific   personnel became
available.

        Little     effort   was devoted to nonmateriel    research prior
to 1966. Effort           had been directed   instead to developing and
testing      military     equipment and materiel.    .Examples of the
types of projects          carried  out during this phase were

      --an evaluation    of the       use     of dehydrated          rice      in Thai
         combat rations,

     --an      evaluation   of a tunnel-detector            probe,

     ---an operational       demonstration        and evaluation             of a
        flexible-wing       glider,

     --tests      and an evaluation        of a "Hover       truck"         vehicle,
         and

     --tests      of seismic-intrusion         detectors.

                                         11
SECONDPHASE--l966         to 1969

       By 1966 the primary thrust of the research in Thailand
changed direction,     being concerned principally    with the
problem of counterinsurgency,      although materiel   developing
and testing   continued to be performed.      This reorientation
of the research program appeared to have been attributable
primarily   to ARPA's decision    in 1964 to redirect    the empha-
sis of Project     AGILE from the development of hardware to a
broad examination     into the nature of insurgencies      and means
of countering    them.
      According to ARPA, Project AGILE's primary objectives
during its first      3 years, 1961 to 1964, were (1) to provide
the quickest     possible application   of technology     to the needs
of remote area conflict       and (2) to explore the widest pos-
sible spectrum of devices and techniques having any likeli-
hood of contributing      to effective  counterinsurgency.      In the
future emphasis was to be placed on researching           two new ar-
eas of interest,

        "(1)   The fundamental and perhaps dominant impor-
               tance of human behavioral  factors in insur-
               gent conflict,  and

        "(2)   The need to obtain a systems perspective            by
               the selective       combination    of technology   and
               behavioral      factors   in integrated,
               functionally-oriented,         counterinsurgency
               programs."

Rural    Security    Systems Program

       Regarding the Center's      activities   in Thailand,    the re-
orientation      of Project AGILE was reflected.in      the Rural Se-
curity    Systems Program which was conceived by ARPA in 1965.
The stated purpose of this program was to provide increased
knowledge of the effectiveness         and cost of existing    and pos-
sible counterinsurgency       programs for Northeast     Thailand.     It
was to serve the needs of the U.S. Mission and Thai Govern-
ment for improved program planning and was to contribute             to
a better understanding       of the general problems of countering
insurgency     in developing   countries.


                                       12
       The program's first         year plan stated that it was envi-
sioned that the activities           undertaken might fall within the
following   four functional         groups.

         1. Prevention     of outside     infiltration        of insurgent      sup-
            port.

         2, Attainment     of internal     security.

         3. Establishment  of the presence               of the central      govern-
            ment at the local level.

         4. Local   economic and social         development.

         It appears to us that the first         two of these groups are
of a military        nature and thus clearly       relevant   to the Cen-
ter's      program.     The third,   establishment     of the presence of
the central       government at the local level,         would appear to
be of a political         nature and therefore      primarily   a respon-
sibility       of the Department of State rather than DOD. Sim-
ilarly      local economic and social development would seem to
involve areas of primary interest             to the U.S. Operations      Mis-
sion which administers           the assistance    programs of AID.

         Examples of the types of projects  that were undertaken
during     the Center's second phase were,as follows:

         --The development of a village-information           system which
            involved identification       of Thailand's  numerous vil-
            lages, and the design and implementation          of a system
            for the reporting      of insurgent   and counterinsurgent
            activity at these villages.

         --A study of insurgent         psychological    operations      which
            involved research into (1) the kinds of insurgent                 psy-
            chological    recruitment     and training    activities      and
             (2) villager    attitudes    and environmental       factors which
            influenced    joining     and supporting   the insurgency.

         --The development of a manual, in Thai and English,          con-
            taining  information    on the NAKHONPHANOMarea of Thai-
            land where the insurgents     had been active.     The man-
            ual included volumes on physical      environment,   social
            environment,    economic environment,   and public adminis-
            trative  environment,
                                         13
--A study    to determine the socioeconomic and attitude
   effects   of providing   a bulldozer  for building a road
   network   between isolated    rural communities.

--A project       undertaken to develop a system for inhibit-
   ing infiltration        effectively    across the Mekong River.
    (See ch. 3 for a detailed          description  of this proj-
   ect,)

--A project      to study the effects    of introducing   tele-
   vision    into eight remote villages     and to determine
   the potential     of television    as a means of influencing
   attitudes     in support of the counterinsurgency,




                             14
THIRD PHASE--BEGINNING IN 1969

       At the time of our survey in late 1969, the Center's
research program was in a transitional       stage. Most of the
 long-range   projects  associated with the Rural Security    Sys-
tems Program had been completed or curtailed.       This action
was the result     of a decision to deemphasize the development
of systems and to place more emphasis on serving the immedi-
ate needs of the U.S. Mission rather      than the long-range   ob-
jectives    of Project AGILE.

         This change is evidenced by     an August 1969 letter   from
the Director      of the Center to the    Ambassador wherein the Di-
rector stated that he was taking         steps to orient  Center ac-
tivities      to assist more directly    in the achievement of over-
all U.S. Mission goals.

      The Director     stated that he was reducing significantly
the number of U.S. contractor       personnel deployed in Thailand,
many of whom'had been working on Rural Security         Systems Pro-
gram tasks,     With this reduction     in the effort  of contrac-
tors, greater reliance       was to be placed on performing    re-
search projects     with Center personnel.

       The objectives  of the Center in later 1969 were (1) to
obtain data on counterinsurgency      of importance to the United
States,   (2) to provide research support to the Embassy and
other U.S. Mission agencies in their efforts       to assist the
Thai to counter the insurgency     threat,  and (3) to help build
the Thai research and development capability.

       These three objectives,     to a certain   extent,    repre-
sented the direction    of the Center's     prior efforts.       Rela-
tively    more effort, however, was to be directed         to the sec-
ond and third objectives--     serving the needs of the U.S. Mis-
sion and helping the Thais build a research and development
capability.

Meeting   U.S. Mission   needs

      The Center was particularly  responsive to the require-
ments of the Ambassador's Special Assistant   for Counterin-
surgency.   We were informed by the Special Assistant   that
he was compelled to rely on the Center for research support
because the Embassy did not have funds for this purpose.
                                  15
       The Special Assistant,    who had the diplomatic      rank of
Minister    Counselor,   was the focal point of all U.S. counter-
insurgency    activities   in Thailand.     He was responsible       for
coordinating     and supervising   all U.S. activities,     military
and civil,    that were directly    related   to the problem of in-
surgency in Thailand.

      Examples of research that the Center performed at the
request of the Special Assistant   for Counterinsurgency are:

      --A study    entitled      "Youth        in Ethnic   Thai Village."

      --A study    of the feasibility   of developing                a tribal      ed-
         ucation   center in the North.

      --A search    for   information           on land tenure      in Thailand.

      --A study    of clan      relationship        among the Meo tribesmen.

      --A preparation         of a Thailand        insurgent     infrastructure
         manual.

      --A study    of Thai counterinsurgency               air   support.

Some of these studies,   such as the first four listed                       above,
appear to be related   more closely to the activities                       of non-
military  United States and Thai agencies.

       The Center's role in meeting the research needs of the
Mission was also illustrated    by a $1.1 million  project   en-
titled   "The Impact of Economic, Social and Political     Action
Programs,l' which was started  in 1968 and was active during
the period of our survey.     Specifically the contractor    was

      --to develop techniques     for assessing different  counter-
          insurgency programs and alternative   patterns  of pro-
          gram implementation,  in terms of their actual impact
          on public support and

      --to apply these techniques       to the assessment of a va-
          riety  of Thai counterinsurgency      operations    to gener-
          ate programming guidelines      of immediate utility      in
          Thailand and of potential     application     to insurgencies
          in other parts of the world.

                                          16
At the time of our survey, three assessments were under way
involving  programs of the following Thai Government agencies.

      1. The Community Development Department
      2. The Thai National  Police Department
      3. The Office of Accelerated  Rural Development

These assessments involved       activities     that, on the U.S.
side, were the operational       responsibility      of AID.

       The $1.1 million    project     is also of interest    because of
the Embassy's role.       The contractor       was working primarily
under the direction      of the Special Assistant        for Counterin-
surgency, rather than for the Center.             At the time of our
survey, the Center did not have a program manager assigned
to this contract.       The Division     Chief who was nominally      re-
sponsible    for the contract      informed us that the contractor
had received very little       direction     from the Center, since
the Special Assistant      for Counterinsurgency        had approved
this project    on the basis that he would provide immediate
direction.

Developing Thai research      and
development capability

        We noted that a joint   committee had been set up to for-
mulate a plan to phase the Center out of the Thai component
operations     within  5 years after adoption of the plan.         At
the time of our survey, the committee had arrived            at an
agreed statement of functions       for the Thai Center.       Center
officials     could give us no firm date when this phaseout
would be completed.       They advised us that, after the Thai
Center became self-sustaining,        there was a possibility      that
the Center would continue in existence        to serve United
States research needs.

       Some progress had been made in developing          the Thai or-
ganization's     research and development capability.         For ex-
aWe,      the Thais   were   taking over  an  aerial reconnaissance
laboratory    that had been established       by a Center contractor.
This contractor      had been training    Thai personnel.     The lab-
oratory was to have been turned over on January 1, 1970, to
the U.S. Military      Assistance   Command-Thailand,     for funding
under the military       assistance  program; however, because of

                                    17
a delay in receiving certain equipment,            the transfer     was re-
scheduled to March 31, 1970.

       Also the Thais were in the process of taking over the
Electronics    Laboratory.     The purpose of that laboratory       had
been to create a capability       in applied research and develop-
ment in communications      and electronics     within   the Thai mili-
tary forces.     The Center had provided a facility          and support
through a U.S. contractor.        The Center was in the third       year
of a 5-year plan to transfer        the operation     of that labora-
tory to the Thais.       Center support was to terminate        in Au-
gust 1972.

      There were indications         that the Thais had not been con-
vinced of the usefulness         of systems analysis       and operations
research     in solving counterinsurgency         problems and that,
from the Thai standpoint,         the Center's     principal    contribu-
tions were in the area of equipment and material                testing   and
evaluation.      This attitude      appeared to account,      in part,    for
the difficulty      in obtaining     desired levels of budgetary sup-
port for the Thai organization           from the Thai Government.          We
were informed by the Center Director            that the Center had
been attempting       to raise the stature     of the Thai organiza-
tion in the eyes of the Thai Government to enable it to ob-
tain the needed support.          We were advised that progress had
been made in that direction.

     Assistance    to the Thai research and development effort
also involved   the construction   of facilities in Thailand.
This matter is discussed in chapter 5.




                                     18
AGENCYCOMMENTAND OUR EVALUATION

        In commenting on these matters,       the Director    of Defense
Research and Engineering      stated that ARPA had measured each
project    against the legitimate    interest    of DOD relevance,
Also the Director     suggested that,    in commenting on ARPA as-
sistance to the Embassy, GAO had confused the responsibili-
ties of the Embassy and that ARPA was of assistance             in en-
abling the Embassy to carry out its functions            as the coor-
dinating    staff  of the Chief of the U.S. Diplomatic         Mission
in Thailand when the proposed work clearly           was relevant    to
the DOD and ARPA mission.

        We agree that research in cou.nterins,urgency      is relevant
to ARPA's interpretation        of its mission.   We believe,    how-
ever, that,     in interpreting     its mission, ARPA has not given
adequate recognition       to the missions of other agencies, par-
ticularly    the State Department and AID.       For example, the
search for information        on land tenure in Thailand and a
study of the feasibility        of developing a tribal   education
center appear to be more relevant         to the missions of the De-
partment of State and AID.

        It appears to us that the Center's activities               were
shifted    from research and development in clearly              military-
oriented     fields  to the broader area of counterinsurgency,
which involves economic, social,           and political      factors,     as
well as military       factors.     The broad scope of the Center's
activities      undoubtedly was influenced      by the availability
to it of substantial         funding as contrasted       to the limited
funds available      to the Embassy and AID.

       The Acting Director,     ARPA, informed us that,      in recog-
nition   of the complexity     of the counterinsurgency      problem,
ARPA fully    endorsed our suggestion that the Department of
State take action to obtain and provide research funds needed
by its Embassies to carry out their foreign          assistance    and
other responsibilities      properly.

The Department      of State,    in its    comments,    stated   that:

      'The Department of State has reviewed the GAO
      draft report on the activities  of ARPA's Re-
      search and Development Center in Thailand (RDC-T).

                                      19
     In general,     the recommendations are sound and re-
     flect  the most salient       problem areas,      Among the
     several conclusions,       we particularly     concur with
     the concept that the foreign affairs           aspect of
     Government involvement primarily           comes under the
     aegis of the Department of State.            Certainly    any
     future   effort    to delineate     separate responsibili-
     ties,  and ultimately      separate appropriations,        be-
     tween U.S. military       and civil    agencies should be
     undertaken with that basic premise uppermost in
     mind."

The Department    of State    stated        also   that:

     "By its very nature and operational            setting,     of
     course, counterinsurgency         is a hybrid figure--
     part military,     part sociopolitical.         Research
     programs for counterinsurgency          purposes have,
     in large part, inherited        the same mixed char-
     acter and consequently       the same taxonomic ques-
     tions.    Delineations     of responsibilities        along
     this line would, therefore,         seem to have more
     to do with a basic need for clarification               in
     such transcendent      areas than with a fault          pe-
     culiar  to Jr** [the Center]."

      We agree with the view of the Department of State that
counterins,urgency   has a mixed character.     It seems, however,
that uncertainties    regarding the appropriate    limits   for DOD
research would be minimized if DOD projects       were limited    to
those essential    to the rendering  of assistance    to the mili-
tary elements of foreign governments.

       ARPA's appropriation      for fiscal     year 1970 was less than
requested.      The Congress directed       it to apply a significant
part of the reduction       to Project AGILE. In May 1970 the
Director    of ARPA reported to the House Committee on Appro-
priations    that,    as a result of the budget cut and an ARPA
evaluation     of the AGILE activities        in Thailand,  he, with the
concurrence     of the Ambassador to Thailand,         had reduced the
effort    in Thailand to $4 million       in fiscal    year 1970 and to
$3.6 million       in 1971.



                                       20
      We subsequently   were advised by ARPA that in 1971 the
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand expressed the view that the
planned ARPA withdrawal     from Thailand could be accelerated
and that in the process a transition       to a long-term    U.S.
advisory role could be effected,       The   new arrangement   will
provide U.S. advice and assistance       in the research and de-
velopment area as part of the general U.S. military          assis-
tance effort   in Thailand,

      The U.S. Military     Assistance     Command-Thailand,         formally
assumed the advisory role on July 1, 1971, while the                   Center
continued to provide technical          and financial     support     ,until
October 1972.   The    Center's    role   was  to  terminate    at     that
time.

RECOMMENDATION

      We noted that in 1968 a panel on Behavioral          Sciences,
Defense Science Board-National       Academy of Sciences, found
that DOD, the Department of State, AID, and others shared
many research needs in the behavioral          and social science
field but that agencies other than DOD had not sponsored so-
cial science research in any significant          amount or with any
obvious enthusiasm.        The panel found also that,     in part be-
cause DOD had been willing       to underwrite    social science re-
search in the foreign       area and in part because departmental
responsibilities      in this sphere were ill-defined       and over-
lapping,     DOD probably had sponsored work that, under other
circumstances,     might have been sponsored by other agencies,

        We recommend that the Secretary  of Defense consider
clarifying     ARPA's overseas mission to avoid authorization     of
research into areas which are more closely related       to the
missions and programs of nonmilitary     agencies including    the
Department of State and AID. The cost of research performed
by ARPA at the request of other agencies should be reimbursed
by the requesting     agencies.

        In our report on "Need for Improved Review and Coordi-
nation of the Foreign Affairs      Aspects of Federal Research,"
issued May 27, 1971, we stated that the State Department had
a very small external     research program and depended largely
on other agencies to support research bearing on foreign
policy.     We believed that the Department should establish     a

                                     21 !
research program of a scope commensurate with its responsi-
bilities  in foreign affairs   and should develop a comprehen-
sive statement of its external    research policy.  In reply
the Department commented that it was hoping to increase its
funds substantially  for external    research.




                              22
                               CHAPTER3

                     EFFECTIVENESSOF RESEARCH

       In attempting to assess the effectiveness      of the
Center's research program, we concentrated       our efforts on
projects   that were undertaken  in connection    with the Rural
Security   Systems Program (see p. 12), to which a substantial
part of the Center's resources had been committed,

HIGHLIGHTS OF BORDERCONTROL
                      -     SYSTEMSPROJECT

      The largest   systems project undertaken by the Center
was the Border Control Systems Project.       This project was
terminated   before its completion  and after the expenditure
of several million    dollars.

        The Border Control Systems Project was a U.S. Mission-
initiated    effort to develop a least-cost  border control sys-
tem for implementation     by the Thai Government.

        The contractor     selected for this project         had been en-
gaged from April 1964 in work concerning surveillance                 re-
quirements for counterinsurgency             in Southeast Asia, partic-
ularly    concerning the insurgent         situation     in South Thailand.
In connection with an invitation            for comments on the con-
tractor's    proposed 1967 work program, the Commander of the
U.S. Military     Assistance      Command-Thailand submitted a request
in February 1966 to the Director            of the Center, essentially
for investigations       into the background traffic          levels on the
Mekong River-- a highly traveled           500-mile border with Laos--
and for an examination         of specific     surveillance     equipment
which could be used in surveillance              of the Mekong.

       The Center agreed to undertake a study as part of the
existing   surveillance    program, but in a much broader context
than requested.       Our review of the information  available   on
this project    revealed no explanation    for ARPA's interest   in
expanding the scope of the Military       Assistance Connnand-
Thailand request other than its general interest        in develop-
ing comprehensive counterinsurgency       systems under its Rural
Security   Systems Program.      (See ch. 2.)



                                     23
Expansion     in scope of protect -
       The project    officer's       April 1966 memorandum indicated
that the border effort          envisioned no more than 10 man-years
of contractor      support.      The study was initiated       in May 1966,
by which time its scope had been expanded to include not
only equipment, as requested by the Military               Assistance
Command, but also forces and tactics               which would have the
best chance of identifying             insurgent   traffic crossing   the
river.
       The scope of the study was expanded further               in Novem-
ber 1966 to include interception,               as well as detection,    of
insurgent-related      river     traffic.

       During the February to May 1967 progress reviews by
ARPA, it was decided that the scope of the study should be
expanded further      to cover land-area  concepts for control     of
the Mekong border as well as river-oriented        concepts.   In,
addition,    during June and July of 1967, a small border air
surveillance     investigation  was added.

      For the contract    year started November 1, 1967, the
contractor    was tasked to design and plan the implementation
of a border control     system for the Mekong River border that
would encompass the control        of insurgent activity in the
total   border environment    (air,   land, and river).

        The contractor's      research plan, as approved by ARPA in
May 1968, structured        the research so that each of the
subsystems (air,       land, and river)     would be designed sepa-
rately.     Thereafter     cost and effectiveness       trade-offs   would
be made between the subsystems, to determine an effective,
least-cost    border control       system incorporating      elements of
the individual      subsystems.
Proiect     discontinuation

      In October 1968, after over 2 years of effort           and after
expenditures    of several million     dollars,  the Embassy dis-
approved the proposed continuation         of the project,    which
terminated   the study prior to its completion.           As a result
the comprehensive system of border control          earlier   envisioned
by ARPA was not realized.       Instead only the river       subsystem
of the proposed system had progressed far enough to warrant

                                      24
a separate contractor  report.  The Ambassador informed the
Center that to devote the large research resources proposed
for developing  this system was not in the U.S. Mission in-
terest.

        In a November 1968 memorandum explaining      this decision,
the Center Director     reported    that it was the opinion of cog-
nizant staff members of ARPA-Washington and the Center, as
well as of members of the U.S. Operations        Mission of AID,
that the detailed-systems       approach to border control   would
require    too many resources over a period of time too long
to follow through to a timely conclusion.         This was also
acknowledged in a memorandum by the ARPA-Washington project
director.

Thais not significantly        involved in
initiation and planning        of proiect

        The project    was initiated     on the assumption that the
system would be implemented by the Thais.                The project    of-
ficer's    February 1967 memorandum stated that the rules which
applied to the study when it began and which continued                  to
apply had stipulated         that the system was for the Thais; that
is, adapted to their capabilities--personnel,                logistics,     and
financing.      We found, however, that'the           Thais had not (1)
participated     significantly       in the initiation      and planning of
the project     or (2) given ARPA reason to believe that they
would implement it when developed.

        To monitor the research and assist      in coordination,    a
U.S. Mission steering        committee was formed under the aus-
pices of the Embassy. The U.S. Military          Assistance    Command-
Thailand,     the U.S. Operations     Mission, and the Center were
represented     on the committee;     there was no Thai representa-
tion.     The contractor's     work generally  was done under the
Center's    direction,     and guidance was received from the com-
mittee.
      During the steering    committee meeting of July 1966, it
was noted that the implementation       of the system would be up
to the Thai Government and the importance        of getting    early
Thai participation    was emphasized.     The question was asked
as to whether there were any ARPA plans to encourage imple-
mentation    of the system by the Thais.      ARPA representatives
stated that the responsibilities      for encouraging the Thais

                                     25
to use the results        of the study        rested   with   agencies   other
than ARPA.

       The minutes of the meeting showed that one Mission of-
ficial   had commented that the goal should be to find ways
to help the Thais do a better job, rather than to impose
upon them an alien system.     As of January 1967, however, it
remained a problem of the committee as to how and at what
point study findings    should be introduced to various ele-
ments of the Thai Government.

         The minimal participation        by the Thais in the program-
ming and direction        of the project      is indicated      by the pro-
ject officer's      February 1967 memorandum in which he laid
out plans for briefing         the numerous elements of the Thai
Government to seek their          cooperation    in field     testing      the
proposed system.         He stated   that   the  test   plan,    so   far,    of,
ficially     represented    only the views of the U.S. Mission ele-
ments and that further         progress hinged on Thai Government
acceptance and support.

       Skepticism over Thai implementation    of the system was
reported by the contractor    in October 1967.     According to
the contractor's   October 1967 report,    the Thai National   Se-
curity   Command, which had responsibility    for border control,
feared that the system would be too complex and too expen-
sive for implementation.

       In disapproving       continuation     of this project       in Oc-
tober 1968, the Ambassador expressed an interest                  in assisting
in a different     border area security         plan which was being de-
vised by the Thais, because it represented                  Thai, rather than
United States,     initiative.        The Ambassador pointed out that
it was not in the U.S. Mission interest               to devote significant
resources to develop a U.S. position             on the best system and
procedure for inhibiting          cross-border     traffic.

        We believe that a survey effort   by an appropriate  ele-
ment of the U.S. Mission to assess the need for a cost-
effective    border control  system might have been appropriate;
however, before embarking on the costly      design and develop-
ment of such a system, it seems only reasonable that signifi-
cant Thai participation     and support should have been obtained.


                                         26
Benefits   derived

      The ultimate     objectives     of the project     were not
achieved,     We were informed by the Director           of ARPA, how-
ever, that benefits       were derived from it.         First,   the test
unit became an operating         unit which actively       surveyed the
river in a limited       area.    In a recent month it captured
three infiltration       craft carrying     military    equipment.
Second, the project       brought together       into an effective    work-
ing unit elements of the Thai Navy, Border Patrol Police,
Provincial     Police,  Customs and Emigration,         and Communist
Suppression Operations         Command. Third,       and most important,
it demonstrated that the Thai Navy could plan an effective
counterinsurgency      role on the river.




                                    27
HIGHLIGHTS OF BORDERAREA
SECURITY EVaUATION
                 -I__ PROJECT
     The Border Area Security Evaluation    Project was to eval-
uate the Thai-devised   plan for border control.    (See pe 26.)
The Center expanded a proposal for a modest level of assis-
tance to Thai researchers   into a million  dollar  endeavor.

         In-rejecting    ARPA's request to extend the Border Con-
trol Systems Project         for an additional    year, as discussed in
the preceding section,          the Ambassador indicated    in October
1968 that he would approve, on a modest level and under Thai
direction,        an ARPA project   to aid in the evaluation      of the
Thai Government's border security           operation.    He informed
ARPA that the Thais were interested            in having about 40 Thai
researchers        work with the advice and guidance of not more
than two American experts;          however, after ARPA and contractor
discussions        with the Embassy, the plan for this project         in-
creased the number of American researchers             to seven.    We were
informed that the plan had received the support of the Ambas-
sador because it represented          Thai, rather than United States,
initiative.

       The contractforthis       project was signed on January 8,
1969.    It  called   for  a lo-month   performance period and al-
lowed for an additional        2 months for report review and for
the closing of the contractor's         facilities  in Thailand.    The
contract    provided nearly $700,000 for the first       10 months.

       The Border Area Security     Evaluation    Project redirected
ARPAvs research efforts    in border control       systems; however,
the basic objective,    the development of basic recommendations
for improving the Thai Government's border control            capabil-
ity, remained the same. The program was redirected              to take
advantage of the implementation       of the Thai-initiated       border
control   system.   The approach changed from that of mounting
an American test program, involving         the commitment of exten-
sive U.S. research resources,       to that of utilizing      the Thai
plan as a test vehicle.      U.S. participation       was to be lim-
ited to providing    the contractorvs     professional    data analy-
sis support to work with data collected         by the Thais on
their plan.

      The border security plan which the contractor was to
evaluate was designed by the Thai Governmentvs Communist
                                    28
Supression Operations      Command. It called for the recruit-             '
ment of local villagers       to identify,     report,     and apprehend
Communist infiltrators,        ARPA's program called for an opera-
tions analysis     approach to the evaluation          of the Thai plan.
The contractor     was to evaluate operational          field  tests by
the Thai forces in a test area, make recommendations for im-
provement, and assess the applicability            of the plan to other
Thai borders.      The contract,    as written,     was necessarily
tied to the Thai field      exercises.

       The Thais originally     were scheduled to begin implemen-
tation   of field   test exercises    in April 1969.      The contrac-
tor planned to obtain data on the test exercises             between
April and August and was to submit a draft report to ARPA
by October 31, 1969.        The field   test exercises were not held,
although the Thais did perform other field           exercises.     None
of these exercises,      however, included actual infiltration
simulation    to test the effectiveness      of the Thai forces or-
ganized under the plan,

       The Chief of the Center's     Security    System Division  in-
formed us that,     late in November 1969, the tests still       had
not been held and that no report had been submitted by the
contractor,    although the contract     period had expired.     He
stated that no meaningful     evaluation     could be made until    the
tests were held,

       During this period, when the delay of the implementation
of the Thai field    test exercises    had been recognized,   ARPA
extended the performance period of the contract         for 2 addi-
tional months, which brought the funds available         under the
contract    to about $870,000.    Center officials   informed us
that ARPA was considering,      at an additional   cost of about
$250,000, a 7-month extension      of the contract   beyond Decem-
ber 1969, in the hopes of obtaining       the test data required
for completion    of the project.

Premature   implementation

      The contract    was signed and the project   was started
early in January 1969 before a copy of the Thai plan had
been received officially,      before formal meetings with cog-
nizant Thai officials     had been held, and before the work
program had been approved by the Thai Government.         We were

                                   29
informed that, before work on the project           began, preliminary
copies of the plan had been received and informal           discussions
had been held.    The program manager informed us, however,
that, during the preliminary       discussions     with Thai officials,
they had stated only that they wanted the Center's            help in
making an evaluation    and that he had assumed only that they
wanted an operations-research-type         evaluation,

      A review of the contractor's monthly reports clearly
showed that the project  had been started prior to establish-
ing the necessary ground work with the Thai authorities    and
that this had led to program slippage.

       On February 10, 1969, a month after the project          had
started,   the contractor  reported to ARPA that the request
for permission    to hold discussions    with Thai officials      had
not yet been approved.     The  contractor    commented   that:

      'I**  the long delays in obtaining          Thai approval,
      and the fact that discussions          had not yet been
      held with Communist Suppression Operations            Com-
      mand officials      have resulted     in slippages,   the
      seriousness    of which we are not yet able to as-
      sess.    Aside from the reduction        in scope and/or
      depth of field      testing   that may have been caused
      by the slippage,        the dominating problem Jrfc* is
      possible    constraints     ** on design of tests and
      data collection."

       It is clear that the informal    discussions    held in No-
vember and December 1968 were insufficient        for meeting the
requirements    of the researchers   or for permitting     them to
proceed on schedule with the project.

      When a meeting finally   was held in February 1969, it
was apparent to the researchers       that they could not meet
their objectives.    The contractor's       report of March 1, 1969,
stated that the meeting had made clear that the Thai plan to
be evaluated was a long way from full          implementation and
that there was no hope of looking at the full environment
described    in it. The report stated that, because the eval-
uation of the plan was necessarily        tied to its implementa-
tion,   there was no solution   to the problem of delay at that
time.

                                   30
        We believe that   the project  was initiated   prematurely,
which    caused project   costs to increase substantially.

Project    benefits

      We were informed by the Director  of ARPA that ARPA's
recommendations had been implemented by the Thais in three
border provinces and that a synthesized   plan was being con-
sidered by Thai agencies for wider application.




                                    31
PROGRAMPLANNING AND DIRECTION PROBLEM
RECOGNIZED BUT NOT CORRECTED

        Our survey showed that there was early recognition               that
the Center needed assistance         in planning and directing         the
projects      to be undertaken   for the Rural Security        Systems
Program.        Rather than increase the in-house management ca-
pability     of the Center, the decision was made to hire a con-
tractor     to assist the Center Director       in managing the pro-
gram. A 5-year program was expected.              The original     con-
tract covered 21 months at a cost of $1.5 million               and was
later    increased to cover 33 months at a cost of $2.4 million.

        The proposal submitted by the contractor            did not sat-
isfy the Center Director.          In a letter    to ARPA headquarters
dated April 3, 1967, the Center Director              stated that the
proposal was basically        for providing     work that would dupli-
cate what other contractors         alreadywere     doing, rather than
for providing     the overall    planning and technical        direction
which the program needed.         The Director      also pointed out
that the personnel proposed did not have the necessary qual-
ifications     to do the type of work required.            He commented
that the desire to get the contractor            started may have ob-
scured the fundamental reason for the project.

       The Director,    although expressing reservations  about
the contractor's     proposal noted that "*** with the time
that's   been lost already we can do little     else but accept
them, I suppose, or give up."

       The Director's      reference     to lost time reflects        what
we consider to be a significant            deficiency--the      failure    to
provide for the needed program planning and technical                   direc-
tion on a timely basis.           We believe that       the contractor     pro-
viding this capability          should have participated        from the
time the program was initiated.             As it was, by the time the
contractor    arrived     in Thailand,     the direction     of the program
already had been largely          fixed and work already had been
started    by other contractors        on some of the program's major
projects,    including     the Border Control Systems Project and
the Village     Information      System.




                                      32
      The result   of this situation   was that the contractor
did not fulfill    the role envisioned   for it but, instead,
was considered and used as another source of systems analysis
capability.     We were informed that the contractor     had per-
formed effectively     in these other areas.    The contractor    did
not, however, supplement the Center's management capabili-
ties and therefore     did not act as the Center had intended.

      We 'are hopeful that bringing   this matter to DOD's atten-
tion will aid in the prevention     of similar    occurrences   in
the future.    In view of the singleness     of the occurrence,
we have made no recommendation on the matter.

EVALUATION DIFFICULT BECAUSE
REQUIRED APPRAISALS WERENOT MADE

        Our ability     to gage the research effectiveness            was
hampered by the fact that, to the time of our survey, the
Center had not been formally           evaluating      the performance of
contractors,       contrary   to the instructions         of ARPA. On
June 20, 1968, the Director           of Project AGILE issued a memo-
randum requiring         (1) evaluations    of the technical        quality
of each contractor's         product,    (2) a statement as to whether
the product met the terms of the contract,                  (3) an indica-
tion of whether the product would be useful,                   and (4) a de-
scription     of the action taken or planned on the report's                re-
sults.     The Center's      implementing     instruction       was issued on
November 28, 1969, after          the major projects          in the Rural Se-
curity    Systems Program had been completed or curtailed.

       Because of the absence of such appraisals,               our evalua-
tion of research effectiveness   was based on (1)               statements
obtained from U.S. Mission officials     regarding            their   opin-
ions of the research done by various contractors                 and (2) in-
formation   available in Center, contractor,     and          Rnbassy files.

EMBASSYBELIEVES RESEARCHWAS VALUABLR

      We requested the Ambassador's Special Assistant     for
Counterinsurgency  to provide us with U.S. Mission evalua-
tions of the work done under two major contracts.       We were
informed that, under one contract,     requesting  each Mission
element to comment in depth would be unduly burdensome due
to the number of contractor   reports,    research memoranda, and

                                      33
technical   notes--a       total of 67. Therefore we received an
overall   evaluation       of the contractor's   work from the stand-
point of its value         to the Special Assistant   for Counterin-
surgency.

      The 67 reports      covered four major areas of
counterinsurgency-related        research:  insurgency  in South
Thailand,    surveillance    devices and systems, communications,
and border security,        These projects,  which cost the Govern-
ment over $5 million,       include the Border Control Systems
Project discussed in this chapter.

         The Special     Assistant    concluded    as follows     in his    evalu-
ation,

         "Overall,     the *** work has been pertinent            and in-
         formative     from the SA/CI [Special Assistant              for
         Counterinsurgency]         point of view.       It repre-
         sents a real contribution        to the body of U.S.
         knowledge on the insurgency          in Thailand which
          is applicable    here and elsewhere.         It exceeds
         the type of reference        work available       in these
         subject areas which was available           at a compa-
         rable stage of development in Vietnam.               While
         some of the reports may not have been of the
         highest urgency,      or outstanding     in their      liter-
         ary or scientific      quality,    in general *** [the
         contractor's]     capability    here has been produc-
         tive and will be difficult         to replace in the
         areas where it is being phased out by ARPA."

       Regarding the other contract,          which cost in excess of
$1.5 million,      the Special Assistant        stated that the reports
which were of interest          to him were a counterinsurgency        sys-
tems manual series;        reports    on insurgent    psychological    op-
erations,     insurgent    basing and support mechanisms, and
counterinsurgency       intelligence     applications     in Northeast
Thailand;    and several monographs.

       The counterinsurgency     systems manual is a comprehensive
inventory    of the various programs by which the United States
and Royal Thai Governments are attempting        to ensure the in-
ternal    security  of Thailand.     The Special Assistant  stated
that these reports were useful for day-to-day         staff work

                                        34
in the U.S. Mission and that, with the necessary provision
for updating- and processing  information, the manual could
form the foundation   for an improved U.S. Mission counterin-
surgency support information    system.

      The Special      Assistant   also   stated   that:
      “me   **3;  con t ractor's]
                   [                 staff has represented       a
     considerable     professional      expertise     on insur-
     gency situations        and operations      throughout
     Thailand.     In the case of their monograph on
     insurgency    in North Thailand,         they were in a
     unique position       to respond to Mission require-
     ments for a better understanding              of evolving
     developments in the North and did so in a
     timely and effective         manner.     This kind of cap-
     ability   was not otherwise        available     in the Mis-
     sion and thus proved to be very useful at a
     critical   time."

CONCLUSION

       From the statements     of the Ambassador's Special Assis-
tant for Counterinsurgency,       it appears that certain      of the
research projects     conducted by the Center made an important
contribution    to the counterinsurgency     effort    in Thailand.
We believe,    however, that some of the research could have
been more successful      in terms of cost and effectiveness        if
the Thai Government had participated        more fully    in the plan-
ning of the research and if contractor        assistance    in plan-
ning and directing     the Rural Security    Systems Program had
been provided to the Center on a timely basis.

AGENCY COJ?iMEXTS
                AND OUR EVALUATION

      The DOD reply (1) acknowledged that there were serious
problems in coordinating    research with the Thai Government
and (2) agreed that there was a need to ensure application
of the results   of ARPA research and advised that procedures
were being reviewed to bring about improvement in the area.

      DOD stated that Thailand had made significant    progress
after establishment    of the Center but still  was considered
a developing   country short of the educational   base and

                                     35
resources necessary to stand alone.     ARPA recognizes     that
U.S. agencies are guests of, and are operating      in, a sover-
eign country having its own culture    and national    sensitiv-
ities   to interference in internal affairs  by outside influ-
ences.

       We believe that these are good reasons for involving
appropriate     elements of foreign      governments in the selec-
tion and development of projects          designed to assist them.
The Director      of ARPA advised us that he concurred fully       that
ARPA projects--     the results    of which were intended for use
by foreign    governments--     should  be undertaken only when host
governments had (1) expressed agreement on the need for the
research and (2) indicated         their intention   to apply the re-
sults.     Our survey indicates,       however, a need for greater
emphasis on the implementation          of this concept.




                                  36
                                  CHAPTER4

                   MANAGEMENTOF RESEARCHPROJECTS

DIVISION    OF MANAGEMENTRESPONSIBILITIES

      Responsibilities     for management of ARPA projects     con-
ducted in Thailand were divided among the Army Missile          Com-
mand, ARPA-Washington, and the Center.        Their respective
duties and responsibilities      are discussed below.

Army Missile     Command
        ARPA does not have a contracting              element within        its
organization;      it  relies     on   agencies    within     the  military
services,such      as the Army Missile          Command, to award and
manage its contracts         on the basis of orders issued by ARPA.
The responsibility        for procuring        services     of U.S. contractors
to conduct projects         in Thailand usually was assigned by
ARPA to the Army Missile           Command. In addition            to performing
procurement contracting           officer    responsibilities,          the Mis-
sile Command had certain           responsibilities         relating      to on-
going projects.        The contracts       provided that the Missile
Command be responsible          for formal acceptance of all techni-
cal reports,     data, and other material             required by the con-
tracts.     Contractor      performance of technical             aspects of
these contracts       was also the responsibility               of the Missile
Command,

        On the other hand the contracts        provided that all tech-
nical direction     to the contractor      be furnished      by a duly
authorized    contracting   officer's    technical     representative.
At the time of our survey, ARPA-Washington retained                the tech-
nical representative's      authority    for the work in Thailand,
except for one contract.         The contracts     stipulated    that no
changes which would affect        a change in any term, provision,
or cost of a contract      be made except by a modification            exe-
cuted by the Missile      Command. Finally        all material     intended
for release under the contract        was to be submitted        to the
Missile    Command for review.




                                       37
ARPA-Washington      and the Center

       Management responsibilities         of ARPA-Washington and the
Center were outlined        in a directive     published      by the Direc-
tor,   Overseas Defense Research, ARPA. This directive                  states
that,    once the contract       has been signed, ARPA-Washington
and Center program managers will collaborate                 to ensure that
the contractors       have moved to the field        to undertake     the
work expeditiously.        The Center program manager assumed cer-
tain responsibilities         for the technical      direction     and ad-
ministration     of the contract.       We were advised, however,
that the Center did not have the authority               to give effective
technical    direction    since final     decision     authority    was re-
tained by ARPA-Washington.

      A Center official      described      the Center's  role as that
of a technical    monitor,    which he characterized        as being "the
eyes and ears of ARPA-Washington."             He stated .-that the Cen-
ter monitored    the day-to-day       actions   of the contractors   and
provided   information     and suggestions      to ARPA-Washington,
which made the final       decisions.       If a decision   resulted in
a contract    change, ARPA-Washington informed the Army Missile
Command to amend the contract.

       Center officials      expressed to us dissatisfaction     with
this arrangement because they believed         that they were held
responsible     for the conduct of the work without        having the
necessary authority      to carry out these responsibilities.
Also both the Center and the contractors          expressed to us
dissatisfaction     with the length of time it took to get con-
tracts    amended since the approving authority,        ARPA-Washington,
and the contracting      officer    were both some 12,000 miles away.

       Center officials        had asked to be designated         as the con-
tracting    officer's      technical    representative,      which would
give them the authority           to direct    the contract,     but had been
unsuccessful      until    the time of our survey, when the Center
was designated        as the technical      representative     on a newly
awarded contract.

NEED FOR IMPROVED SURVEILLANCE OF PROJECTS

       Our survey indicated       a need for improved       procedures
for   appraising contractor       performance.


                                       38
        We discussed with Center officials       the need to formu-
late a systematic       approach for reviewing    contractors'       per-
formance that would indicate        whether a satisfactory        job was
being done.       These  officials  agreed  that   it would    be   desir-
able to define and formalize        their review procedures.          They
pointed out that, although this would improve the appraisal
process,     they had been alert    to the effectiveness       of con-
tractor    performance.

       Our survey also showed that, contrary      to the instruc-
tions of ARPA-Washington, the Center had not been formally
evaluating    the research results  of contractors.     The Center
offered no explanation     for this omission.

        Center officials      expressed to us their recognition         that
appraisals     of completed projects       were desirable.     One offi-
cial characterized       the failure     to make such appraisals       as
a weak link in the system.           He stated that much effort        and
direction     went into    the inception    of projects    but that, once
completed,     local appraisals      were not made as a matter of
course.      On the other hand we were informed that evaluations
would be difficult       to make locally     because of the involve-
ment and identification         of the Center staff with the proj-
ects; in effect,       evaluations    would require the staff       to
evaluate their own work.

NEED FOR IMPROVED DOCUMENTATION

        Our survey indicated    that there was a need,for   better
documentation     of the actions taken by ARPA under the con-
tracts.     We believe that this is especially     necessary due
to the frequent      turnover of supervisory  personnel at the
Center.

      The contracts    that we reviewed required         that a schedule
of project  milestones     be submitted by the contractors          within
30 days after contract      initiation.        The actual progress in
achieving milestones      was to be reported monthly,         and'devia-
tions from initial     objectives       and the reasons for the devia-
tions were to be noted.

       Our review showed that the Center did not have all the
original   milestone reports or the management reports which
were to describe the progress in meeting the milestones.


                                      39
For example, a contract     awarded in May 1968 stated that the
Center was to receive copies of the contractor's       quarterly
management reports;    however, Center officials    could locate
none of these.     It was not until   we requested the reports
that Center officials    followed up and ascertained     that they
were not receiving    the reports   due to an error in the dis-
tribution  list,

         We believe that this lack of documentation          is especially
critical     where there are numerous changes in personnel,           as
at the Center.        One contract    had three program managers in
18 months.        The files    should be complete if new personnel
are to effectively         discharge their responsibilities.

APPROVAL FOR PUBLICATION OF RESEARCHREPORTS

      ARPA's contracts   for research in Thailand stipulate
that, prior to publication,     drafts of contractor reports be
submitted  to the Center, the Army Missile     Command, and ARPA-
Washington for review and approval.

        The Center distributes  copies of draft reports          to U.S.
Mission agencies involved in counterinsurgency           activities
and requests     comments on the contents,   classification,        and
utilization    of the reports.   If appropriate,      copies also
are sent to the Thai organizations       to obtain the views of
the Thai Government.

        The contractors    consider the comments and make such
changes as are considered warranted.         The contractors    are
usually    responsive    to the suggestions,  possibly because of
their desire to have the reports published and their aware-
ness that the Center can refuse publication         or restrict   dis-
tribution     of reports   that do not have its approval,

       Some contractors    have been critical    of this review pro-
cess ; they stated that inordinate       lengths of time often were
required   and that the suggested changes often were not of
a substantive    nature,   but merely editorial.      At the time of
our survey, the situation      was aggravated by the facts that
several contractors      were phasing out at the same time and
the Center, according to a Center official,         was being swamped
with so many reports      that proper review of them on a timely
basis was not possible.


                                     40
        We are hopeful      that bringing   this matter to ARPA's
 attention   will   be of     assistance  in making any improvements
 that ARPA feels are        necessary.    In view of the limited  in-
‘formation    developed,     we have made no recommendations on the
 matter.

CONCLUSION

      We concluded that the Center should be given greater
responsibility   and cormnensurate authority   for the direction
of ongoing contractor    research in Thailand.

       Also the Center's      surveillance     of research projects
needed to be improved.         First,    in our opinion,      there was a
need for the Center to develop a systematic               approach for
gauging the efficiency        and effectiveness       with which contrac-
tors conducted their efforts.            Second, there was a need for
the Center to follow       the instructions      of ARPA-Washington
regarding    review of contractors'        research reports       for ap-
praising    the usefulness     of the contractors'        work.     Third,
the Center should have ensured that all significant                  actions
under the contracts      were performed as required           and were
made a matter of record.          This should assist       in the orderly
turnover   of management responsibilities           from one program
manager to another.

AGENCY COMMENTS

         DOD concurred    that the Center should have greater               re-
sponsibility       and commensurate authority             for the direction
of ongoing contractor-performed               research in Thailand.         DOD
stated that action had been taken to shift                   to a better    bal-
ance between field       and ARPA-Washington responsibilities.
DOD pointed out that,         after     the conclusion       of our survey,
two contracts       had been made in Bangkok with the contracting
officer,     the contracting       officers'      representative,      the con-
tracting     officers'   technical        representative,       and the pro-
gram manager on the scene in Bangkok.

       ARPA has instituted    procedures    to improve methods and
approaches to gauging performance of the contractors           and is
requiring   the Center to adhere to existing        ARPA procedures
for review of the contractor       work as reflected    in the con-
tractors'   reports   or other final    products,   such as hardware
prototypes.

                                         41
       ARPA established     procedures for the preparation   of
quarterly   project    status reports and for the conduct of
quarterly   program reviews,      a primary means by which the Di-
rector of the Center is advised periodically        of the status
of all Center programs.         These procedures should improve
the deficiencies     in documentation.




                                 42
                                 CHAPTER5

                               FACILITIES-

EXISTING FACILITIES

       At the time of our survey, the Center's             activities
were being carried         out in three Bangkok facilities          having a
total   area of 70,777 square feet.           These facilities        ccn-
sisted of (1) the Thai Center building             containing      38,389
square feet,       (2) three fl oors of the Sirinee Building,             con-
taining     27,222 square feet, and (3) a building            housing the
electronics      laboratory,     containing   5,166 square feet.          The
latter    two facilities      were leased by the Center, whereas
the Thai Center building          was constructed    with funds contrib-
uted by the United States and Thai Governments.

Thai Center     building

        Construction     of the Thai Center building     was completed
on December 5, 1964, at a total           cost of $227,750, including
an United States contrib,ution        of $149,450 and a Thai con-
tribution     of $78,300,      The construction   costs were shared
according to the formula contained in a "Memorandum of Un-
derstanding,"       dated December 27, 1963, between the Thai
Government and ARPA.

       Pursuant to the agreement the construction          site was
furnished    by the Thais.    The agreement provided that ARPA
supply laboratory     equipment, test instrumentation,         and as-
sociated expendable supplies and that the Thais supply of-
fice furniture     and nontechnical     equipment.    In addition,
the Thais agreed to maintain the facility           and grounds and
to provide ,utilities    and facilities      support personnel.‘

       MPA's construction        contribution     of $149,450 was drawn
from funds initially        appropriated      for advanced research
projects    and subsequently      transferred     to the military   con-
stuction    appropriation     pursuant to authority       contained in
the Military     Construction     Act of 1958, approved August 20,
1958 (72 Stat. 659).         Section 401, title      4 of this act,
provided as follows:



                                      43
       "The Secretary      of Defense may establish         or de-
       velop installations       and facilities     required     for
       advanced research projects           and in connection
        therewith  m,sy acquire,     construct,    convert,    reha-
       bilitate,   or install     permanent or temporary pub-
       lic works, including       land acquisition,       site prep-
       aration,   appurtenances,      utilities,    and equipment
       in the total amount of $50,000,000."

      The funds authorized      by the above act were appropri-
ated by the Military      Construction  Appropriation    Act of
1959, approved August 28, 1958 (72 Stat. 10961, which spec-
ified   that the $50,000,000 be derived by transfer        of funds
available    to the Office of the Secretary      of Defense for ad-
vanced research projects.

Sirinee       Building

       Because the Thai Center building   could not accommodate
all its personnel and Center and contractor       personnel,    ad-
ditional   space was leased in an office   building    in downtown
Bangkok.    The top three floors of the seven-story      Sirinee
Building   were being leased by the Center at the time of our
survey at a cost of $96,240 annually.      Two floors were oc-
cupied primarily    by contractor personnel and one floor pri-
marily by Center personnel.

Electronics        Laboratory

       There were two leases involved for the electronics
laboratory--    one for a building  containing    5,166 square feet
and the other for 5.6 acres of unimproved land where the
laboratory's     antenna field and other facilities     were situ-
ated.    The annual lease costs of $9,000 and $6,000 for the
building     and the unimproved land, respectively,     were borne
by the Center.

PLANNED FACIUTIES

      At the time of our survey, con<"IL YbCIVII
on an annex to the Thai Center building.         wa3 uL1uc:L way
                                             The annex, which
was to contain 19,000 square feet, was estimated     to cost
$486,000.


                                    44
       The Center planned that, when the additional             space be-
came available,     it would release two of the three           floors
leased at the Sirinee Building      and the facilities          at the
electronics    laboratory.

        In contrast    to the construction     of the basic Thai Cen-
ter building,       the Thais were not sharing the costs of con-
structing     the annex.     Records indicated    that the Thais had
informed ARPA that obtaining        funds for the project    would be
very difficult.

       The agreement with the Thais provided that the Center
have full use of the annex for 10 years, although,              as with
the first    building,   title     was to be vested with the Thais.
The escalation      of construction      costs is illustrated     by the
fact that the original         38,389.square-foot     Thai Center
building    was constructed      for $227,750 whereas the 19,000-
square-foot    annex was estimated to cost $486,000.

      The funds for constructing   the annex were to be funded
with monies appropriated   for research and transferred   to
construction   pursuant to congressional  authorization,  as
was the case with the original    Thai Center building.

      The project   justification         submitted for approval to
the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
covered construction       of a five-story        annex building   contain-
ing 39,200 square feet at an estimated cost of $600,000.
It was stated in the justification            that about $190,000 of
costs would be avoided annually by releasing               all previously
leased space and by eliminating            or reducing the costs in-
curred for transportation,        utilities,       guards, and janito-
rial service.     The projected       cost avoidance would have al-
lowed recovery of the annex construction              costs in about
3-l/2 years.

      Subsequently,     however, the project    was rescoped to its
present form--a two story building        containing    19,000 square
feet.   As a result     it no longer is possible     to release all
the previously    leased space.     Center personnel were unable
to provide us with a revised calculation          on the investment
recovery period,     although they informed us that one had
been prepared.



                                     45
       We therefore       prepared a revised estimate of the cost
differentials        between the old and new arrangements.           The
estimate      indicated    that the cost avoidance might range from
as much as $80,000 to $100,000 annually.               Therefore we con-
cluded that the payoff period would be significantly                 longer
than that originally          contemplated.    Nevertheless     the con-
struction      costs --without     considering  interest    costs--might
be recovered over a 5- or &year period.

CONCLUSION

       These facilities      were constructed    in a foreign    country
to be shared with Thai personnel,          and the host government
has title    to the facilities.      Furthermore    the entire    cost
of constructing       the annex, almost $500,000, was to be borne
by the United States.         In view of these unusual circum-
stances, we believe that the appropriate           congressional    com-
mittees should have been given advance notification.

         We noted in this connection   that the House Committee
on Appropriations,      in its report on the DOD Appropriation
Bill of 1970, had indicated       its desire that all proposed
major improvements to, and construction        of, Government fa-
cilities     funded in any manner with procurement and re-
search, development,      test, and evaluation    appropriations be
identified      clearly in budget requests.

AGENCY COMMENTSAND OUR EVALUATION

       DOD's reply to our draft report stated that, at the
time the facilities   were constructed,    there was no indica-=
tion from the Congress that notification       was desired.  As a
result   of House Report 91-1163, however, DOD will notify      the
Congress of similar   construction   events as they occur.

        The DOD reply also pointed out that, although the
Thais had not contributed          directly      to the construction
costs of the annex, they had participated                 by furnishing
land for the site,       constructing        other facilities      for the
Thai Center use, and acquiring             right-of-way      for, and con-
structing,      access roads to the site.            The total    contribution
by the Thais was estimated as approaching the U.S. contribu-
tion;    therefore    the building     truly was a cooperative           en-
deavor by the two countries.

                                         46
       It should be noted, however, that the land used for
the annex was part of the initial       building  site and that
the other Thai contributions,       to our knowledge, applied more
generally    to the site than directly    to the annex.   The U.S.
contribution    of about $500,000, however, was concerned
solely with construction      of the annex,

      In view of DOD's announced plan to notify    the Congress
of similar   construction events in the future,   we are making
no recommendations on this matter.




                                47
                                CHAPTER 6
                                ---

                            SCOPE OF SURVEY

       Our survey was limited   in scope and duration,           being
directed   at obtaining  some insight  into the nature           of the
projects   being conducted by the Center.

       Our objective      was to (1) obtain information        on the
Center's historical        development,    organization     and staffing,
external    relations,operating      policies    and procedures,      and
future plans and (2) evaluate to the extent possible                 the
research that the Center had conducted or sponsored, with
particular     reference     to the selection,    management direction,
and utilization       of research projects      undertaken.

      We obtained our information      through reviews of con-
tract files    and other documentation     and through discussions
with officials    of the Center, the Embassy, and other ele-
ments of the U.S. Mission to Thailand.

      As part of our survey, we examined into the audit
coverage of the Center's       activities by DOD internal    review
groups.      DOD informed us that a report was prepared by the
Office of the Secretary       of Defense (Comptroller)    in January
1965. We noted that the Center's operations           had changed
substantially      after that survey had been made.

      Our survey was made largely     in Bangkok, Thailand,   at
the offices   of the Center and other elements of the U.S.
Mission.    In addition,  information   was obtained at ARPA's
Washington headquarters     and at the U.S. Army Missile    Command.




                                      48
APPENDIXES




   49
                                                                                                                       APPENDIXI




                                                                                         25 SEP                1970

Mr.     C. M. Bailey
Director,    Defense     Division
U. S. General      Accounting                  Office
Washington,      D. C.      20548

Dear     Mr.     Bailey:

This letter       provides        our comments           on the draft     of your     proposed      report
to the Congress           on the survey           of activities   of the Research          and Develop-
ment Center-Thailand,                  Advanced       Research      Projects      Agency      (Code
86607).     To insure          recognition         of what we consider         to be some fundamental
misunderstandings               of ARPA’s         role and activities        in the report,       I would
like to emphasize            four major         items     in the body of this letter.           Other
comments        on the draft         and an acknowledgement               of beneficial       suggestions
for improvement             are provided           on a chapter     by chapter       basis   in the enclo-

sure*        1s ee GA0 note,          pm 55.1

Our viewpoint              on four     principal        allegations          of the      GAO        analysts                are        as
follows:

        a.     The RDC-T       and ARPA     have                 expanded       the RDC-T     activities
               to engage    in projects  which                  involve      matters    of a non-defense
               nature   and is now primarily                      supporting       U. S. Embassy
               research    requirements.

            ARPA    has been assigned        responsibility      for the implementation
of the following     specific  function    of the Director       of Defense     Research                                                     and
Engineering      as documented       in DOD Directive       5129.1,   paragraph      III,                                              13:

                      “In coordination           with the Assistant             Secretary         of
                      Defense     (International            Security     Affairs),         engage       in
                      programs       for assistance            to friendly         countries        in
                      military     research         and development              and in the inter-
                      change    of related         scientific        and technical          information.                               I’

and in the Overseas                  Defense       Research           (Project        AGILE)           assignment                      under
DOD Directive    5129.               33:
                                                                                      Dacles~fied   by authority       of
                                                                                      C.A. Falkenau,        Depuw   Comptroller
                                                                                      for Audi Reporte. Office Of
                                                                                       Assistant Secretary Of &fen*
                                                                                      August 25,197l.
                                                                                      H.L. Dehnbostel.       As&tent        Director
                                                                                      Deferse   Division,     General Accounting             Office




                                                              51
APPENDIX I




                          ‘Research    and Development          supporting                     the DOD’S
                         operations    in remote      areas,    associated                      with the
                         problems    of actual   or potential        limited                   or subver-
                         sive wars   involving    allied     or friendly                     nations  in
                         such areas.     ”

                  The GAO report             tracing       the evolution           of the RDC-T             program          from
  1961 to the present              date reflects         that the program               has changed            from     one
  which      involved       development           and testing          of military         equipment          and materiel
  to more        complex        research        projects        to identify        basic     elements          of insur-
  gency      including        means      to counter         early      insurgent        operations.            It should        be
  noted that some aspects                  of the Thailand              Rural     Security       Research           Program
  were      dropped       by ARPA         when it became               apparent       that these         portions        were
  not primarily           DOD oriented.           ) Within         the assigned           responsibilities             of
  assisting        the Thai in military              RDT&E           and undertaking            military         research
  on limited         and subversive           warfare,            ARPA        has measured              each project
  undertaken          against      the legitimate           interest       of DOD relevance.                   Since      the
  passage        of Section        203 of the Defense              Procurement             Authorization            Act, 1970,
  each project          undertaken         by ARPA           has documented              rationale         supporting
  DOD and ARPA               relevance.

                    The GAO analysts                apparently           confuse       the responsibilities             of the
   Embassy           in its function          as an arm of the Foreign                      Service      with its functions
   as the coordinating                 staff of the Chief             of the U. S. Diplomatic                  Mission        in
   Thailand.           Within       the Embassy             a large       part of the effort           is devoted         to the
   development,               coordination          and evaluation             of the substantive             programs           of
   the U. S. military               and civilian         agencies         operating        in Thailand.           It is in this
   latter      role that ARPA              has been of assistance                    to the Embassy            when proposed
  work       is clearly         relevant        to the DOD and ARPA                    mission.        All ARPA          research
  in Thailand            has been properly                oriented        to the spectrum           of counterinsurgency
   requirements              and specified           roles      of the Department               of Defense.            AR PA
   appreciates            and has used the U.S. Mission                         sponsored         Research          Council,
  with membership                  from      all major         military       and civil        U. S. agencies,              as an
   agency        for coordinating             actions       which       ARPA        takes in the selection              of
   research          projects.          Additional         coordination            is obtained       from       the Thai
   Government             through       the MRDC,             CINCPAC           for military        operational           implica-
  tions,       OASD (International                Security        Affairs)       and as required,             the Department
   of State.         In brief,        ARPA        of course         works      in coordination            with Embassy,
  but not -for it.

                                                                                             Declassified      by authority        of
                                                                   2                        CA.    Falkenau.       Deputy        Comptroller
                                                                                            for Audit       Reports,    Office     of
                                                                                            AssIstant    Secretary       of Defense
                                                                                            August      25, 1971
                                                                                            H L. Dehnbostel.           Assistant        Dwector
                                                                                            Defense Divrsron,          General     Accounttng     Office




                                                                  52
                                                                                                                       APPENDIX.1




       b.      Although        construction   of an annex    to the MRDC                           building     in
               Bangkok        was in compliance     with the authorizing                            and appro-
               priating      legislation,   ARPA    should    have obtained                          Congressional
               approval.          The Thai are not contributing      to the                        cost of the new
               construction.

               As indicated       in the report,       the construction        of facilities     in
Thailand       was in complete          compliance       with authorizing        and appropriating
legislation.         There    was not even an indication             from    Congress,       at that time,
that notification        was desired.          However,        as a result    of the recent        House
Report       No. 91-1163,      dated    June e, 1970,         the Department       of Defense       will
notify      Congress      of similar     construction        events    as they occur.

             While     it is true that the Thai are not contributing                        directly     to the
construction        costs of this annex,             they are participating            by furnishing          land
for the site,       constructing      other       facilities        for MRDC       use, and are acquiring
right-of-way        and constructing          access         roads     to the site.      This supporting
expense,      together      with their     initial        construction       costs,    has been estimated
as approaching          the U.S.    contribution             so that the MRDC          building      is truly      a
cooperative        endeavor      by the two countries.

        C.      There   is inadequate   coordination       of research                         with      the      Thai
                Government      [See GAO note,     Pm 55.1



                We concur          if “is inadequate”                  is replaced         by “are         serious        prob-
lems in. ” The Thai have made                              significant          progress        during       the past nine
years      but as yet have to be considered                             as a developing             country        still     short
of the educational              base and resources                     necessary         to stand alone.                The RDC-T
program          has been adjusted               to Thai progress                  and education            in R&D mat-
ters.      For example,              early      U. S. /Thai            cooperative         efforts       were       primarily
related      to such projects               as mobility            and evaluation            of equipment.                After
an initial        period      devoted       to cooperative               ventures        of this nature,             the
research          program        progressed             to more          sophisticated           research          on the
nature      of insurgency.                ARPA        recognizes,              and the Embassy                emphasizes,
the fact that we are guests                     of and operating                 in a sovereign             country        with
its own culture             and its own national                   sensitivities         to interference              in
internal       affairs       by outside        influences.               The     Royal     Thai      Government              has
been very           cooperative          in approving,              and in most          cases       contributing,
support       and providing             source        material          for research            projects        which       are


                                                                 .T                        Declassified by authority of
                                                                                           C.A. Falkenau, Deputy Comptroller
                                                                                           for Audit   Reports,   Office   of
                                                                                           Assistant Secretaw     of Defense
                                                                                           August 25,197l.
                                                                                           H.L. Dehnbostel, A&tam     Director
                                                                                           Defense Division, General Accounting      Office




                                                                  53
APPENDIXI



of interest         to the U. S. However,         this does not mean        that there   will
always      be complete         acceptance    or even effective    participation       by the Thai
in those      joint    research      projects  whose    thrust  may appear       to them to be
mainly      directed       to U. S. military     concerns.




                                   [See GAO note,      p.   55.1




                                                                         Declassifii        by authority         of
                                                                         C.A. Falkenau,            Deputy   Comptroller
                                                                         for Audit       Reports,      Office    of
                                                                         Assistant      Secretary      of Defense
                                                                         Atmust      25.1971.
                                                                         H.L.   Dehnbostel,          Assistant        Director
                                                                         Defense       Division,     Ganaral Accounting          Dffta
                                                                                                              APPENDIX I




                                   [See GAO note,      p. 55.1




       I trust   our comments      will    be helpful   in your completion             of the report.
I believe,     with changes     accounting      for these comments,             that the report
will   be both correct      and useful     to those   concerned        with ARPA         activities.
Should     you have questions       on the material       contained       in this reply,          I sug-
 gest the Director      of ARPA      be contacted     directly      for clarification.


                                     [See GAO note,        p. 55.1

                                                      Sincerely      yours,




 GAO note:       Deleted  comments pertain
                                             d >      J.
                                              to material
                                                           S. Foster,         Jr.
                                                              presented in the draft
                 report    which has been revised      or which has not been included
                 in the final report.      The enclosure    has not been included;
                 however , pertinent   parts are commented upon in the body of
                 the report.                                          Declassified by authority of
                                                                                    C.A. Falkenau.         Deputy   Comptroller
                                                                                    for Audit     Rewrts,     Office     of
                                                                                    Assistant     Seoetary     of Defense
                                                      5
                                                                                    August      25.1971.
                                                                                    H.L. Dehnbostel.         Assistant    Director
                                                                                    Defense Division,        General     Accounting   Office
APPENDIX II
                                                                                     .

                                 PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS OF

                                THE DEPARTMENTOF DEFENSE

                            RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATION

                      OF ACTIVITIES      DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT


                                                           Tenure of office
                                                           From            -To
                  OFFICE OF DEFENSERESEARCHAND ENGINEERING

DIRECTOR:
    Dr. John                S. Foster,   Jr.        Oct.      1965    Present

DIRECTOR, ADVANCEDRESEARCH
  PROJECTSAGENCY:
    Dr. Stephen J. Lukasik                          Apr.      1971    Present
    Dr. Eberhardt Rechtin                           Nov.      1967    Dec. 1970
    Dr. Charles M. Herzfeld                         June      1965    &Y      1967

DIRECTOR, OVERSEASDEFENSERE-
  SMCH:
    Mr, Donald R. Cotter                            Feb.      1970    Present
    Mr. Seymour J. Deitchman                        Nov.      1966    Oct.    1969
    Maj. Gen. Charles J. Timmes                     Sept.     1965    Nov. 1966

DIRECTOR, RESEARCHAND
  DEVELOPMENTCENTER-THAILAND:
    Dr. Robert N. Schwartz                          Apr.      1970    Present
    Dr. Philip Worchel                              June      1968    July    1970
    Dr. Richard D. Holbrook                         July      1965    June 1968




U.S.   GAO,   Wash., D.C.
                                               56
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