203. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan1

835. From Ambassador Hildreth. In talks with Defense Department took position Aide-Mémoire last October created triple obligation, namely time element, equipping 5½ Divisions and 171 million dollars. Joint Chiefs Staff apparently cabled you decision which Department not yet seen limiting obligation to $171 million. Defense sending team 3 officers arriving Karachi about next Sunday2 whose mission may include instruction Karachi MAAG and Brown they not to stretch US obligation beyond dollar limit.

Suggest Brown, Gardiner and Daspit describe to visiting team difficulties resulting from any failure to meet reasonable Pakistani interpretation of commitment. You might urge Defense team report by cable to DOD their views with copy available to State and then [Page 446] you summarize in your own cable to State Department GOP basis for alleging US failing on its obligation and brief summary of feeling of key GOP officials (see Embtel 686, Lahore’s 413), and your recommendation of minimum worthwhile additional program if differs substantially from proposals Embtel 630.4 I will try to beg additional program from Gray and Radford prior my return using political arguments of ill-effects in area of failure meet Pakistani expectations as well as internally of having a GOP government controlled by pro-West military men disillusioned (rightly or wrongly) about US commitments and objectives in area.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/10–1055. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Hildreth and approved by Jones.
  2. October 16.
  3. Telegram 686 not printed. Telegram 41 is supra.
  4. Document 201.
  5. In telegram 782 from Karachi, October 21, Gardiner pointed out that the interpretation of the intent of the October 21, 1954, aide-mémoire as a promise to Pakistan of $171 million of military equipment within a specified time period “regardless of what that sum would accomplish toward meeting approved force goals appears to us as most dubious debating point unbecoming dignity USG and having no place in discussions problem with GOP.” He added that the Pakistanis sincerely believed that the force goals cited in the aide-mémoire, not the dollar figure, defined the scope of the program. Gardiner suggested instead that the United States continue its military aid program to Pakistan at the present annual level of approximately $70 million. “This seems to us,” he concluded, “minimum consistent with maintenance dynamic program capable making ultimate contribution area security. Also seems minimum needed obviate charges bad faith such as recounted in Lahore’s 41 which if given general currency would be most damaging US position throughout Middle East.” (Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/10–2155)