353. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Office of South Asian Affairs (Adams) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Rountree)1
- Review of Our Military Aid Program to Pakistan
It is anticipated that delivery of military aid equipment to Pakistan under the Aide-Mémoire of 1954 will be nearly completed by the end of fiscal year 1960. Therefore, before July 1, 1960, we should have an agreed U.S. Government position on the level and nature of future military aid to Pakistan. As you know, a working group chaired by NEA/NR with representatives from Defense, ICA, W/MSC, and SO A has been working on a review of the military aid program.
In the meantime, the Draper Committee has visited Pakistan and is expected to make recommendations on future military aid to that country. In preparation for the visit of the Draper Committee the Country Team of our Embassy in Karachi prepared a lengthy statement on the military aid program in Pakistan which it has submitted to the Department under cover of Despatch No. 762, dated February 26, 1959.2 In this statement the Embassy has made a number of penetrating observations regarding our future military aid policy towards Pakistan.
Two central themes run through the Country Team review. These are that:
- It is not possible to formulate a rational policy on future military aid to Pakistan until our military planners decide in specific terms what our strategic objectives are in Pakistan. These objectives must then be translated, with the concurrence of all affected agencies, into attainable and realistic force goals which the United States is willing to support financially.
- Substantial reductions in our military aid program to Pakistan and in its own defense burden would be politically feasible only in the context of greatly improved relations between Pakistan and its neighbors, India and Afghanistan, particularly the former.
SOA agrees with this thesis and is of the opinion that any conclusive review of our military aid program should have as its starting point a clear statement by our military authorities of our minimum security objectives in Pakistan with a listing of the forces and facilities which such objectives require. At present there exists some uncertainty regarding the attitude of the United States towards the size and character of the military establishment which Pakistan should maintain. An example of this uncertainty is the fact that the United States has the following different sets of “force goals” for Pakistan in various contexts:
- MAP force goal and JCS “Strategic” force goal—5½ divisions.
- Approved BP force goal “for planning purposes”—8 divisions.
- At the BPMC meeting in the tall of 1958 our military representative reportedly concurred in a proposal for 6 divisions as a BP force goal.3
Under these circumstances it is natural for the Pakistanis to press for U.S. financial support for the largest of the approved force goals regardless of the original context in which these goals were formulated.
Another example of uncertainty is our attitude towards non-MAP supported forces, i.e., anything in excess of 5V2 divisions. One of our stated MAP guidelines has in the past been to “encourage the Government of Pakistan to eliminate or substantially reduce forces in excess of United States strategic force objectives for Pakistan.” Although this guidance for MAAG/Pakistan is being modified for FY 1961, the pressure to get Pakistan to reduce its non-MAP supported forces continues in various quarters of the U.S. Government. At the same time we do not support, nor do we permit MAP material to be used by, Pakistan Army units in East Pakistan or along the Kashmir Cease-Fire Line.
Inasmuch as we recognize (1) Pakistan’s right to maintain military forces in East Pakistan for internal security and legitimate self-defense and (2) Pakistan’s obligation under existing United Nation’s arrangements to maintain an armed force of a certain size (about 6,000 regular troops) along the Cease-Fire Line in Kashmir, we could hardly require that Pakistan eliminate her army units in those areas unless we are prepared to have them replaced by MAP-supported units, which in turn would reduce by two divisions the effective “strategic” force for defense against communist aggression.
Inconsistencies of this kind make it difficult to formulate a rational military aid program for Pakistan. We must recognize the possibility that a reassessment by our military of the role which Pakistan occupies in our strategic planning might result in recommendations for force [Page 721] goals lower or possibly higher than those now being supported. This would present us with difficult decisions: (a) if lower, whether we should, for political reasons, continue to support forces in excess of our strategic requirements in the face of economic pressures to reduce military expenditures; or (b) if higher, whether we should, for military reasons, support larger armed forces in Pakistan which would add to the economic burden and heighten area tensions.
Given the importance of the decisions which must be made in the near future with regard to future military aid to Pakistan, we thought you would be interested in reviewing the principal points made by Ambassador Langley and his staff in Karachi’s Despatch 762 of February 26, 1959, and we have prepared an edited summary, attached for your convenience.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790D.5–MSP/5–559. Confidential. Drafted by Poullada on May 4. Copies of this memorandum were sent to NEA/NR and W/MSC.↩
- Despatch 762 is printed as Document 344. The attached Country Team presentation is not printed.↩
- Documentation on the Baghdad Pact Military Committee meetings is in Department of State, Central File 780.5.↩
- Confidential. Drafted by Poullada on May 4.↩