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Editorial Note on U.S. Military Policy toward Brazil
Intensifying demands for United States forces globally led to a fundamental change in War Department military policy toward Brazil in the spring of 1942. Following an enhanced lend-lease agreement on March 3, the Brazilian government approved unrestricted flight privileges and the construction of facilities for additional United States Army maintenance personnel in northern Brazil. Brazilian political and military leaders had drafted a defense arrangement by March 11 that was acceptable to the War Department. To expedite final approval, the army recommended that conversations promptly take place in Rio de Janeiro. The delegation, led by United States Ambassador Jefferson Caffery and including officers from the Army Air Intelligence staff and the Records of the Operations Division (OPD), negotiated a new agreement by April 18. The agreement signed on May 28 called for the establishment of two joint military commissions—one in Washington, D.C., the other in Rio—to prepare defense plans for northeastern Brazil and to upgrade the combat readiness of Brazilian forces. The War Department’s “original conception” of a major ground and air presence had given way to the new idea that the United States would train, supply, and “collaborate on the preparation of defense measures to be carried out by the Brazilian armed forces.” (Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, a volume in the United States Army in World War H [Washington: GPO, 1960], pp. 317-19.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 193.