What was the Mutual Security Agency (US)?


The Mutual Security Agency (1951-1953) was a US agency to strengthen European allies of World War II through military assistance and economic recovery.

Brief History

The Mutual Security Agency was established by the passing of the Mutual Security Act by the United States Congress on 10 October 1951.

The purpose of the agency was, in the words of the Act, to organise:

“military, economic, and technical assistance to friendly countries to strengthen the mutual security and individual and collective defenses of the free world, to develop their resources in the interest of their security and independence and the national interest of the United States and to facilitate the effective participation of those countries in the United Nations system for collective security”.

The agency superseded the Economic Cooperation Administration, which had only oversight over economic aid. The new agency was responsible for development and administration of those military and economic assistance programmes not administered by the Technical Cooperation Administration.

Reorganisation Plan No. 7 1953 (67 Stat. 641) abolished the Mutual Security Agency on 01 August 1953. The federal organisation functions were transferred to the new Foreign Operations Administration.

Directors of the MSA

The Directorship of the Mutual Security Agency was a Presidential appointment, approved by the United States Senate.

  • William Averell Harriman (19 October 1951 to 20 January 1953).
  • Harold E. Stassen (27 January 1953 to 01 August 1953).

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