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

630. Joint Embassy–ICAMAAG message. Reference Embtel 499.2 JCS paper 2099/5123 makes clear to country team for first time that $171 million ceiling on MDA program established in full knowledge that it will not permit realization approved force goals. This clarification welcome and eliminates our concern that Washington appreciation problem differed basically from ours here. Pakistanis have been informed of position and though Ayub’s reaction as adverse as anticipated and defense officials show deep concern, indications are that Governor General and Prime Minister exercising restraining influence. Mirza informed Chargé he considered air and navy allotments satisfactory and that while army allotment low and Ayub upset, he had explained to Ayub that with improvement world outlook United States could not undertake buildup forces beyond ability Pakistan ultimately support. Believe that influence Governor General and Prime Minister will be controlling that government will accept decision with good grace and there will be no immediate adverse results.

Team not so confident re long-run situation. Small size army program certain become generally known and when this happens opposition will be tempted attack government. Such purely political maneuvering probably not too serious domestically though it might have unfortunate effect on effort develop Middle East defense organization. Major domestic problem rooted in situation cited reference telegram. Army transport equipment almost completely obsolescent and major program of replacement cannot be avoided. Beginning has been repeatedly deferred and may be again but postponement inevitable day of reckoning is impairing effectiveness Pakistan Army and increasing urgency of problem.

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MAAG estimates that to maintain army at present level of efficiency essential replace on urgent basis about $85 million transport equipment of which amount only about $9 million in current MDA program. Considering age and condition present equipment MAAG convinced that absolute minimum program involves replacement about half vehicles in next two or three years after which replacement might proceed regular basis at rate 10 percent per year.

This situation of obvious concern US. Reference JCS paper and CA 2275,4 US views on Middle East defense indicate dual interest in northern tier arrangement; (1) ultimately for buildup useful defensive strength, (2) initially for contribution political stability of area. Pakistanis have important potential both fields. However, to realize ultimate military contribution accelerated deterioration army transport must be checked. View urgency and importance this problem for own security Pakistanis will be forced somehow cover requirement themselves if we withhold assistance. However, we should recognize adverse effects such action on Pakistan progress toward viability and contribution objective area stability. They would be forced choose between starting replacement program now which would mean diversion funds from economic development or accepting risks further postponing which would increase urgency and magnitude problem when finally confronted. As pointed out reference telegram injection this issue government deliberations bound have disturbing effects.

We believe these considerations justify real efforts by US cover this basic military deficiency regardless ultimate decision on regional security program. If US willing cover about half urgent replacement requirements next two or three years believe Pakistanis might have reasonable hope of handling remainder themselves.

[Here follow specific recommendations concerning the utilization of funds.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/10–155. Secret.
  2. Document 199.
  3. This paper, a report by the Joint Committee on Programs for Military Assistance, entitled Military Aid Program for Pakistan,” was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 2. It stated that the estimate of $171 million required to meet the force objectives established for Pakistan by the JCS was no longer valid. Instead, new estimates made by General Brown, and concurred in by the services, showed a requirement for $301.1 million in military aid. The report concluded, however, that “a long-range MDA Program for Pakistan which will provide assistance in excess of $171 million should not be developed at this time, but should be developed with other world wide MDA Programs as a part of the International Security Plan and in light of funds made available to support it.” (National Archives, JCS Records, CCS.092 Pakistan (8–22–46))
  4. Dated September 17, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 780.5/9–1755)