199. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1

499. Joint Embassy–ICAMAAG message. MAAG has been advised by DOD that total MDA program Pakistan will be limited to $171 million, of which Army share about $75 million, Navy $30 million, Air Force $65 million. Message confirms feeling country team has had for some time now that either we do not adequately understand objectives of US policy Pakistan or Washington has radically different appreciation of factors here and actions required to achieve policy objectives. So long as this situation of doubt and confusion obtains it is obviously difficult for US Government function effectively. Purpose this message to state our understanding basic US objectives and our estimate of effect DOD decision will have on realization these objectives and to assist Ambassador Hildreth’s talks Washington. Would appreciate being advised points at which our understanding or views at variance with Washington.

Objectives. (These derive principally from OCB outline plan of operations on NSC 5409.)2 [Page 438]
Military. To realize JCS Force goal of five and one-half divisions and four fighter squadrons (OCB). This force to have mission of internal security and defense of homeland (Meyers report).3
Economic. To get firm, stable, economic, base in Pakistan, and in time make country self-supporting. Must be careful to balance military and economic aid (OCB).
Political. Want strong, stable, responsible and friendly government. Must therefore encourage and support present ruling group (OCB).
Effect of DOD decision on attainment of objectives.
Military. Chief problems relate army. Detailed analysis MAAG shows $75 million funding ceiling will enable raising two infantry divisions to effective combat efficiency. Two infantry divisions will remain at reduced strength, lacking artillery, transportation and some support and basic units. One armored division can be brought limited combat strength but will be short anti-aircraft protection, personnel vehicles for infantry and division transportation. Corps troops will be limited reconnaissance, signal, engineer and maintenance units far below level required support five and half divisions. All these units will be seriously short transportation total; total five and half division program with minimum corps supporting troops requires induction 40,000 officers and enlisted men; equipment provided under $75 million program will justify induction only 18,000 officers and enlisted men. Upon completion program within indicated funding ceiling Pakistan Army should have capability preserving internal security, provided no disturbances country-wide dimensions occur. However, will be inadequate protection homeland and borders Pakistan against attack either from north and west or south and east.
Economic. Principal deficiency not covered by projected MDAP is army transport. If Pakistanis should leave this deficiency uncovered, effect would be shortly to immobilize entire Pakistan Army. We are convinced Pakistanis cannot and will not permit this. Aside considerations minimum defense requirements which no Pakistan leader can disregard, simple fact is that present regime in large measure rests on army support. Doubtful without this support Mirza would now be Governor General.4 When faced with choice between requirements security and economic development, we believe they will have no option but to choose security. Result will be increase Pakistan defense budget and diversion scarce foreign exchange from economic to military use. Laborious plans and projects planning board, drawn on assumption that defense expenditures will not exceed present level will have to be discarded and attainment firm, stable economic base and conditions self-support will have to be deferred indefinite future or abandoned. Only alternative would be [Page 439] increase economic aid in degree sufficient compensate for Pakistan diversion of funds from economic to military sector. This seems hardly intended by OCB direction that economic and military aid should be carefully balanced.
Political. Not possible assess extent of political damage with any accuracy, but there are number probable results, all discouraging. Will place problem of major magnitude before new Cabinet now struggling hard to keep government going on constitutional basis and generate momentum economic development. Give uneasy coalition on which government based and known bias of Bengali element this problem will certainly not be disposed without friction. Strong likelihood that friction will be sufficient to kindle sparks, and in explosive political situation here, these very hazardous. Chances of present government continuing on legitimate basis and giving country adequate constitutional system, not over-bright on most favorable assumptions, will be considerably worsened. Any US plans based on prospect of significant Pakistan contribution to general political stability and to security arrangements Middle East Southeast Asia will require drastic revision.

Repeating this message Cairo for Bell’s comments.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/9–1555. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Cairo for Bell. Ambassador Hildreth left Pakistan on September 12 for a 1-month visit to the United States; Gardiner was Chargé.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 195.
  3. Brigadier General H. Meyers headed a U.S. military survey team which went to Pakistan in March 1954 and prepared a report on the proposed U.S. military aid program.
  4. Mirza was appointed Acting Governor-General on August 6 replacing Ghulam Mohammed who had taken a 2-month leave of absence due to ill health.
  5. Not found in Department of State files.