Report by the SANACC Subcommittee for the Near and Middle East 2
Appraisal of U.S. National Interests in South Asia
1. To re-examine U.S. national and strategic interests in the countries of South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India,3 Burma, Nepal and [Page 9]Ceylon), and to determine the measures which should be undertaken in the implementation of established U.S. foreign policy for cooperating with these countries.
facts bearing on the problem
2. See Appendix “A”.
3. See Appendix “B”.
memorandum from joint chiefs of staff
4. See Appendix “C”.
(The Joint Chiefs of Staff have expressed general agreement with the following conclusions which have military implications, i.e. 5.a, c and d (2). Paragraph 6. adopts essentially the JCS statement of our basic strategic objectives in South Asia. See Appendix “C”.)
5. The political, economic and strategic importance of the emerging South Asian countries to the U.S. is such that our national interests require:
- The orientation of South Asia toward the U.S. and other Western democracies, and away from the USSR. To this end we should endeavor, through diplomatic channels and through the media of our cultural and informational programs, to convince the South Asian governments and peoples that our international objectives are compatible with their national interests and worthy of their support. We should also, whenever possible and consistent with our global policies, endeavor to cooperate with the South Asian governments in the achievement of their legitimate international objectives.
- Economic development in South Asia of a type which would not only help to provide foundations for more stable and democratic governments, friendly to the U.S., but also assist these countries to contribute to economic recovery in the Far East and throughout the world. To this end we should ascertain, as specifically as possible, and as contemplated in point four of the President’s inaugural address, the economic needs of South Asian countries and the extent to which our economic, technical and financial assistance to them can or should be broadened, with particular reference to increased food production, improved transportation facilities and additional exports of goods required for U.S. strategic stockpiling or to meet requirements for commodities in world short supply.
- The maintenance of internal security within the countries of South Asia and their freedom from Communist domination. To this end we should re-examine our capabilities of providing military matériel to South Asia in the light of over-all requirements for U.S. military assistance. At the minimum we should endeavor to meet the legitimate requirements of spare parts and replacements for military equipment of U.S. origin already possessed by South Asian countries. See JCS comments contained in pars. 2 and 3, Appendix “C”.
- Collaboration with the British in South Asia. To this end
after determining our capabilities to extend economic and
military assistance to the South Asian countries, we should
discuss with the British
- The economic position of South Asia, and the desirability and practicability of co-ordinated U.S. and U.K. economic policies with respect to the area, it being understood that no delimitation of spheres of influence or division of markets is contemplated.
- The military requirements of the South Asian countries for the maintenance of internal security, the extent to which the British can meet such of these requirements as must be provided from outside the area, and the implications for U.K. strategic interests in South Asia of possible U.S. military assistance to the countries of the area.
- Cooperation among the nations of South Asia for constructive purposes. To this end U.S. assistance which may be extended to the South Asian countries should be utilized as far as practicable as an instrument to effect cooperation within the region, and we should endeavor to guide any regional or Asian movement which may develop in the direction of constructive participation in UN activities.
6. The basic strategic objectives of the U.S., with respect to the South Asian countries are:
- To prevent Soviet encroachment or domination;
- To prevent the USSR from obtaining military support or assistance from these nations either directly or through the use of their facilities. (The problem of Soviet access to strategic resources in the area requires further study on a global basis);
- To develop, without commitment to military action on our part, a cooperative attitude in these countries which would facilitate obtaining the use of areas or facilities which might be required by the Western democracies … for military operations against the USSR in the event of war; and
- With reference to Pakistan, to favor commercial arrangements which would in emergency, facilitate development for operational use of base facilities in the Karachi–Lahore area.
7. It is recommended that SANACC approve the foregoing conclusions and transmit them to the National Security Council for consideration.
8. It is further recommended that the conclusions of this study be considered in conjunction with similar appraisals of U.S. national [Page 11]interests in other areas related to South Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.4[Page 29]
- Lot 52 M 45 is a comprehensive collection of documents, minutes, agenda, memoranda, and related correspondence of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC) and the State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating Committee (SANACC) for the years 1944–1949.↩
- Prepared in collaboration with the SANACC Subcommittee for Rearmament.↩
- For documentation on United States interest in efforts to resolve the dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, see pp. 1686 ff.↩
- By informal action of May 31 SANACC approved the conclusions
of SANACC 360/14 with certain
amendments that are incorporated in the text printed here. The
record of actions by the National Security Council, dated June
16, states that the paper, together with amendments proposed by
the Secretary of Defense, was referred to the NSC staff for use in the
preparation of a study on United States policy toward Asia
NSC (Miscellaneous) Files, Lot
66 D695, Record of Actions).
In a memorandum of June 17, the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Souers) circulated to the Council the amendments proposed by the Secretary of Defense; neither printed (S/S NSC Files, Lot 63 D 351, NSC 48 file).
Lot 66 D 95 is a collection of administrative and miscellaneous National Security Council documentation for the years 1947–1963, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State. Lot 63 D 351 is a serial master file of the National Security Council documents and correspondence and related Department of State memoranda for the years 1947–1961, also maintained by the Executive Secretariat.
The NSC staff study in the form of a draft report on “United States Policy toward Asia,” dated December 23, 1949, was circulated in the Council as NSC 48/1. The report included several sections on South Asia, particularly paragraphs numbered 19 through 22. The text of NSC 48/1 is printed in Department of Defense, United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1971) Book 8, p. 226.
After discussing NSC 48/1, the Council sent to President Truman a report numbered 48/2 and dated December 30, consisting solely of the conclusions of NSC 48/1, as amended and approved by the Council. The President approved the report the same day. For text of the report, see vol.↩
vii, Part 2, p. 1215.
- Some documentation on this subject is
vii, Part 1, pp. 119 ff.↩
- The full text of
telegram 3304 is printed in
Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. iv, p. 624.↩
- For documentation
on this subject, see
Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. iii, pp. 172– 174 ff.↩
- Does not include princely state forces numbering some 110,000, and Territorials (National Guard) numbering approximately 120,000. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- Does not include police levies, numbering some 18,000, raised by the Burma Government from its Socialist adherents. [Footnote in the source text.]↩
- For text, see
Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, Part 2, p. 597.↩
- See Secretary Marshall’s
memorandum of March 11, 1948, to President Truman,
Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. v, Part 1, p. 496.↩
- For the memoranda of conversations, see
ibid., pp. 501 and 506.↩
- For the discontinuation of the embargo on the shipment of American arms to India and Pakistan and the limitation placed on future shipments of arms to these countries, see telegram 264, March 31, to New Delhi, p. 1696.↩
- Memorandum of conversation, not printed; hut see footnote
Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. v, Part 1, p. 513.↩
- For the Department of State’s
decision on this matter, see Mr. Satterthwaite’s memorandum
of November 10, 1948, to Mr. Lovett,
Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. v, Part 1, p. 519.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Not printed.↩
- The addressee of this memorandum is not indicated in the source text; presumably it was the State–Army–Navy–Air Force Coordinating Committee.↩
documentation on the participation by the United States in
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in efforts for
European integration, see
iv, pp. 1 ff.↩