8. Memorandum on the Substance of Discussion at the Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff Meeting, Pentagon, Washington, January 10, 19581

[Here follows a list of persons present.]

1. India–Pakistan

Mr. Meyer, at the request of Mr. Murphy, outlined in broad terms the Department’s proposed plan for the reduction of tensions between India and Pakistan. The Department is contemplating a “basket solution” which would involve a number of elements, some of which contain military components.2 Mr. Meyer pointed out that some elements of the solution would be more favorable to one nation, while other elements of the solution might be more favorable to the other: The Kashmir settlement might be somewhat in favor of the India position, while the problem of the disposal of the Indus waters might be somewhat more favorable to Pakistan. Broadly speaking, the military element of the plan involved the limitation of arms of both parties by mutual consent.

With regard to the problem of arms limitation, Mr. Meyer made the following points:

There is no intention to dismantle the Pakistan capabilities.
No intention to cut off U.S. military assistance to Pakistan.
General agreement between India and Pakistan would release for collective defense purposes those Pakistani forces pinned down on the Indian border. Both nations are currently spending too much money for armament. Basic agreement between them would release funds for economic development.

In response to a question from General Twining as to whether the proposal would maintain present Pakistan forces, Mr. Meyer replied that the U.S. would honor its present commitment to Pakistan for military assistance. General Lemnitzer pointed out that Pakistan is a key member of the Baghdad Pact and that he had the impression that the State Department approach does not afford adequate consideration of the Soviet military threat.

Mr. Murphy explained that basically the Department is seeking to create a better climate between India and Pakistan, to fortify their economies, and to relieve apprehensions in Pakistan regarding India.

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Mr. Meyer reiterated that no reduction in fixed U.S. commitments to Pakistan is contemplated or any diminution of the present military establishment. He suggested, however, that if agreement could be reached, it might be possible for both India and Pakistan to reduce their military establishments. This point evoked comment from General Lemnitzer and Admiral Burke, who emphasized that they would not wish any reduction of Pakistan forces as the result of pressure from the U.S. Mr. Meyer stated that we would not force Pakistan to reduce its forces against its will, but that the Department hoped to work by and through India and Pakistan to achieve this reduction. Mr. Murphy emphasized that no pressure would be exerted. In response to Mr. Murphy, General Lemnitzer replied that in light of the current threat against the Baghdad Pact nations he considered the present level of Pakistan forces essential.

Mr. Meyer explained that we wished to avoid any further expansion of arms strength, but we hoped to negotiate a military balance which would prevent an arms race. Mr. Murphy emphasized that the Department is searching for ways and means to bring about a general agreement between India and Pakistan, including a solution to the Kashmir problem. He said that the Department also would hope to have India and Pakistan establish arms programs with which they can live within the framework of the economic capabilities of their countries.

General Twining expressed the opinion that anything voluntarily agreed to by the respective parties would be satisfactory, but warned that the U.S. should not undertake to guarantee their borders against aggression.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to India and Pakistan.]

  1. Source: Department of State, State–JCS Meetings: Lot 61 D 417. Top Secret.
  2. Reference is to a proposed “package” program for easing tensions between India and Pakistan. On November 30, 1957, Assistant Secretary Rountree forwarded a memorandum to Secretary of State Dulles outlining the proposed package program; in Dulles’ absence, Acting Secretary of State Herter approved the memorandum on December 16. A telegraphic summary of the package program is printed in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. VIII, p. 144.