The Department of State, the staff of the White House, as well as the Department
of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency also played key roles in formulating and
shaping U.S. policy, and their roles are also documented. Their advice and
recommendations are found in telegrams from the Embassies, from the Military
Advisory Groups, and in intelligence assessments. The dialogue between the Embassies
and the Department of State comprises the core of this volume. Most of the finished
intelligence included in this volume relates to Indonesia during the transition of
power from Sukarno to Suharto and on the Philippines under President Marcos.
Finally, the volume covers covert political action policy in general, especially in
the Indonesia compilation.
Research and compilation of this volume was completed in 1997. The compilation on
Indonesia is divided into four sections which define the focus of the coverage. The
first, entitled, "Sukarno's Confrontation with Malaysia, January-November 1964,"
documents U.S. efforts to mediate and encourage a settlement of the dispute between
Indonesia and the Federation of Malaysia over Indonesian claims to North Borneo and
to convince Indonesia to desist from its policy of confrontation (confrontasi).
Above all, the United States sought to prevent the sporadic low-level guerrilla war
Indonesia was waging against Malaysia from escalating into more serious conflict. In
addition, President Johnson and his advisers grappled with the related problem of
whether to use U.S. aid to Indonesia to try to moderate Sukarno's campaign of
confrontasi. The next section, "Sukarno's Confrontation With the United States,
December 1964-September 1965," documents the deterioration of U.S.-Indonesia
relations and the rise of the influence of the Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai
Komus Indonesia (PKI)) within the Sukarno government. The third section, "Coup and
Counter Reaction, October 1965-March 1966," is the heart of the compilation and
documents in more detail the problems faced by the United States during a period of
great transition in Indonesia. The final section, "The United States and Suharto,
April 1966-December 1968," documents the return of U.S.-Indonesia relations to a
more conventional state and the Johnson administration's primary consideration of
strengthening Indonesia economically.
The small compilation on Malaysia-Singapore is initially an account of the U.S.
reaction to the separation of Malaysia and Singapore, which took the Johnson
administration by surprise. President Johnson was careful to maintain good relations
with both states, and he visited Kuala Lumpur in 1966. It was Singapore President
Lee Kwan Yew, however, with whom Johnson identified most closely, and he (and Vice
President Humphrey as well) developed a close personal relationship with President
Lee. This special bond is reflected in the selected documentation.
The Philippines and the United States had a special relationship. The
long-standing bilateral issues left over from World War II are covered only when
they required a Presidential decision. The question of Philippines claims to the
Malaysian territories of Sabah was a complicating factor for the United States, but
it never reached a point of actual conflict. It is handled only as a secondary
issue. The primary focus of the compilation is on a number of themes that are not
exclusive to the Philippines, but which dominated the thinking of U.S. policymakers.
The first is the fate of democracy, especially during the Presidential elections of
November 1965. The related question of corruption and reform also dominated U.S.
efforts in the Philippines. The Philippines contribution of an engineering battalion
to the war effort in Vietnam is documented in detail because the policy of "more
flags in Vietnam" became increasingly important to President Johnson. The selection
of documentation also reveals an initial enthusiasm for the newly-elected President
Ferdinand Marcos and the growing concern over his and the Philippines economic
performance. A final theme is the realization that the Communist insurgency in the
Philippines was on the rise and Marcos seemed unwilling or unable to combat it.