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

1368. MAAG Chief has just received Department Army request for programming data which indicated DOD submission by FY 57 MDAP Pakistan will provide only $30 million for Army. MAAG Chief assumes AF and Navy programs will be $11.2 million and $3.7 million respectively, as previously indicated, bringing total FY 57 program request to $45 million. AF and Navy programs at indicated levels will permit satisfactory progress. Army program at $30 million will leave deficiencies in five and one half divisions US committed to fill totaling more than $300 million. Projecting future fund availabilities and deliveries at rate maintained over first three years of program, in theory approximately 15 years required to reach objective originally set for achievement in three and one half years. In fact, program would never be completed, since equipment delivered early years of program would become obsolete before final deliveries effected.

This program figure indicates reversion to slow-down and stretch-out tactics which have plagued MDAP to Pakistan almost from beginning, made that program source of constant irritation in US-Pakistani relations, and raised questions US good faith in minds our best friends here. Only two months ago situation reached crisis proportions when Pakistanis learned of $171 million ceiling placed on program by DOD, action they considered in clear contravention commitments of aide mémoire, October 1954. Unfortunate developments narrowly averted as Pakistanis received assurances I was authorized provide, and Pakistani confidence largely re-established as result Admiral Radford’s genuine show of interest in success of program.

Assurances referred to were those provided in formula I worked out with Deputy Assistant Secretary McGuire and incorporated in my letter to him of November 11.2 (Copy left Department.) As agreed this formula I told Pakistanis: “We are still anxious to achieve filling of five and one half divisions,” and further, “Intent is [Page 455] still same as year ago, namely, to move as rapidly as we can and I am satisfied we are doing everything possible in this respect.”

I do not see how Army program figure provided MAAG Chief, carrying implications cited paragraph 1, can be held to meet either letter or spirit of this agreed position and I can only conclude that those who produced it were either inadequately informed of this position, or did not fully appreciate these implications. Given recent official assurances to Pakistanis and whole background military aid program here, including aide-mémoire, October 54 in my opinion FY 57 MDAP figure indefensible unless it of dimension which on projection would permit effectuation five and one half division objective within reasonable period of time—say additional three to five years. This would require Army program at least $60 million, bringing total MDAP FY 57 to at least $75 million.

Failure of executive branch plans to provide anything approaching this level cannot be long withheld from Pakistanis. Minister Finance already inquiring of Embassy re level military aid for Pakistan on basis reports of President’s budget message. I am distressed by anticipation of impression such information will make on GG, PM and CinC to whom I imparted assurances of agreed formula less than two months ago. I am at a loss as to what could be told them by way of explanation, particularly in view over-all dimensions MDAP request and known fact level substantially raised over earlier plans. My concern intensified by recent indications of Pakistanis alarm at their deteriorating international position which they attribute in large part their adherence to Baghdad Pact, and increase of propaganda here for neutralism as policy which really pays off. (Embtels 1310,3 13374). If this information reaches Pakistanis before SEATO conference,5 its effect added to other factors cited Embtel 1310 will produce markedly unfavorable atmosphere for Secretary’s visit.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/1–1956. Secret.
  2. In this letter to E. Perkins McGuire, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Hildreth explained that he would inform Pakistani officials that there was no change in the U.S. position regarding military assistance to Pakistan, and that the United States was still anxious to achieve the filling of the deficiencies in 5½ divisions. He stated that he also would inform them that the figure of $170 million mentioned in the aide-mémoire of October 21, 1954, was not a limitation on the U.S. program; however, it would be necessary to get additional appropriations each year from Congress. (Ibid., NEA Files: Lot 58 D 545, Pakistan)
  3. Dated January 13, not printed. (Ibid., Central Files, 396.1–KA/1–1356)
  4. Dated January 16, not printed. (Ibid., 689.90D/1–1656)
  5. The second SEATO Council meeting was scheduled for March 6–8 in Karachi.