311. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (McElroy)1


  • Recommendation on the Early Provision of a Few Light Bombers to Pakistan (C).
Reference is made to the memorandum, subject: “General Taylor’s Visit to Baghdad Pact Countries, Spain, Libya, and Ethiopia”, dated 4 March 1958, by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA), which forwarded General Taylor’s comments and recommendations resulting from his recent trip to the Middle East.2
General Taylor’s report recommended inter alia, that prompt consideration should be given to the early provision of a few light bombers to Pakistan.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have recognized that the United States is committed to providing Pakistan with a light bomber squadron under the terms of the Aide-Mémoire of 21 October 1954, and included one light bomber squadron for Pakistan in the FY 1960 Military Assistance Programming Guidance forwarded to you by memorandum dated 30 January 1958.
The terms of the Aide-Mémoire state that both the Governments of the United States and of Pakistan will do their best to accelerate the whole program of military assistance so as to accomplish its matériel, equipment, and other goals in less than the three-and-one-half years originally contemplated. The Aide-Mémoire also states that the program of military assistance to Pakistan is subject to the availability of funds and to the priorities of requirements upon the United States.
The Pakistanis may readily make use of certain portions of the Aide-Mémoire to demonstrate that the U.S. is not abiding by its agreement. In fact, such a charge was voiced by the Pakistani Prime Minister, Mr. Malik Noon on 21 February 1958, to the Chief MAAG, Pakistan, in Karachi.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have noted that current planning envisions programming the light bomber squadron for Pakistan during FY 1960, with aircraft delivery occurring 18 to 24 months later. However, in view of the commitment under the Aide-Mémoire and of stated Pakistani criticism of United States actions, the Joint Chiefs of Staff concur with the recommendation of the Chief of Staff, U.S. [Page 647] Army, for the early provision of a few light bombers to Pakistan. The priority of aircraft requirements in current USAF programs, the status of the present fighter/bomber program, the additional training required, and the ability of the Pakistanis to utilize and absorb, militate against the provision of the light bomber aircraft in 1959. However, it is anticipated that deliveries can be initiated in FY 1960.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff also have noted the commitment to the Pakistan representatives on 7 May 1958, which provides for delivery of four to six aircraft by December 1959, ten aircraft by June 1960, and the balance of the aircraft by December 1960. The U.S. Air Force can meet this commitment, insofar as the availability of aircraft is concerned, and provided early funding for ground support equipment not available in the U.S. Air Force inventory is authorized.
It is therefore recommended that:
A light bomber squadron should be included in the FY 1960 Military Assistance Program as currently planned. The originally planned delivery schedule of aircraft should be changed to provide for aircraft delivery beginning in Y 1960.
A timely training program should be initiated in order to insure availability of flight and maintenance crews consistent with the delivery of aircraft.
The delivery of aircraft should be scheduled consistent with the ability of Pakistan to utilize and absorb.
Funding be provided prior to October 1958 for ground support equipment not now in the U.S. Air Force inventory.
Pakistan should be encouraged to continue devoting a major portion of her efforts and resources towards the attainment of the Phase I Objectives (IDF/FB) outlined in the Baghdad Pact Air Study, which, as finally approved, do not include light bombers.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
N. F. Twining3
Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Files. Secret.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.