170. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Afghanistan1

188. For Ambassador Byroade. Kabul 4.2FYI. After careful consideration reftel plus previous and subsequent communications concerning long-term commitment, believe following approach to Daud represents farthest U.S. can go at this time towards meeting RGA request for precise long-term commitment.

According to proposed approach you would inform Daud that:

U.S. desires to help meet a reasonable portion of Afghanistan’s economic development requirements and he may count upon continued U.S. help. (We do not wish relate any commitment to five year plan and thus wish relate to requirements of economic development.)
We hope PM will appreciate that since plans are not yet completed and since we would have to look at plans in more definitive form before making any specific commitments, U.S. cannot be definite as to amounts.
Our record however shows that we are very much and positively interested in Afghanistan’s economic development (Deptel 30 of July 9).3
We hope Daud will accept assurance you have just given him, our past record and our efforts to expedite present programs as solid and dependable evidence of our intention to continue to be of help.
We look forward to future years of cooperation. End FYI.

Your views on Daud’s probable reaction to approach along lines of foregoing requested.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 789.5–MSP/7–360. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Donld D. Kennedy, John N. Gatch, and John O. Bell and approved by Dillon. In a memorandum to Dillon of August 29, Jones enclosed a draft copy of this telegram for the Acting Secretary’s approval. He reviewed Byroade’s consultations in Washington and noted that he had called a meeting of the Afghanistan Action Group on August 26 as a means of arriving at a new U.S. position on the Afghan aid problem. During the meeting, the draft telegram was approved, (Ibid., 789.5–MSP/8–2960) Minutes of the August 26 meeting of the Afghanistan Action Group are ibid., SOA Files: Lot 63 D 110, Afghanistan.
  2. Document 168.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 168.
  4. Ambassador Byroade replied in telegram 260 from Kabul, September 7. It reads in part: “I believe it would be tactically wiser for us to extract whatever short-run advantage there is in keeping the matter fuzzy and thereby encouraging Afghanistanis to postpone as long as possible making any final decisions which might increase their dependence on the USSR.” (Department of State, Central Files, 789.5–MSP/9–760)