10. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to Acting Secretary of State Herter0

SUBJECT

  • Contingency Paper on Indonesia

There is attached a paper on “Possible Contingencies in the Indonesian Situation” prepared at your request by a special working group consisting of representatives of State, Defense and CIA, with Mr. Howard Jones as Chairman.

At the meeting in which it was decided that such a paper should be prepared,1 the question of referring it to the NSC Planning Board was discussed but no decision was reached. In view of the sensitivity of the subject I believe it would be better not to pass this paper to the NSC Planning Board but to discuss it only with those of its members who must have this information.

Attachment

POSSIBLE CONTINGENCIES IN THE INDONESIAN SITUATION

I. The dissidents repudiate all Central Government control without formal declaration of independence

or

Declare themselves to be the legal Indonesian Government

or

Declare an independent Sumatra State

Assumptions:

1)
The dissidents are able to maintain control of the areas presently under their jurisdiction even in the face of Central Government military pressure.
2)
There is no outbreak of open hostilities.

U.S. Courses of Action:

a)
Pending an assessment of the situation, continue to recognize the Central Government at the same time maintaining such relations [Page 17]with the regional authorities as generally accorded a de facto regime but without extending them de jure recognition.
b)
Urge American-owned interests operating in the areas under the control of the regional authorities to maintain similar relations with the regional authorities.
c)
Extend overt economic aid to the regional authorities.
d)
Continue present programs of technical and economic assistance.
e)
[2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
f)
Encourage a reasonable settlement of differences between the Central Government and the regional authorities which would lead to the accession to power of a Central Authority prepared to reduce Communist influence in Indonesia.

II. The present Government or one resembling it remains in power; the outer islands take no further steps to establish separate political identity nor claim to represent the legitimate Government of Indonesia; there are no significant outbreaks of armed violence; Sukarno continues to maintain his power and influence.

U.S. Courses of Action:

a)
Maintain our relations with the Central Government.
b)
Continue our technical assistance and economic development programs with special emphasis given to projects in the outer islands.
c)
Seek to encourage the growth of anti-Communist strength on Java.
d)
Encourage discreetly the political and economic development of the outer islands.
e)
Employ all feasible means to strengthen the determination, will and cohesion of the anti-Communist forces in the outer islands.
f)
Withhold military assistance from the Central Government.

III. A new moderate anti-Communist Government, which is prepared to seek a reasonable settlement with the dissident elements and to take action against the Communists, comes to power.

[U.S. Courses of Action]

a)
Continue and be prepared to expand economic assistance to the Government, concentrating as much as possible in the outer islands.
b)
Encourage a reasonable settlement of differences between the Central Government and the regional authorities which would lead to the accession to power of a Central Authority prepared to reduce Communist influence in Indonesia.
c)
Through strengthening of the government, seek to exploit any tendency Sukarno may have to adjust himself to the situation and/or reduce his influence.
d)
Extend token military assistance and be prepared to negotiate for the sale of military equipment to the Indonesian Government.
e)
Seek a settlement to Dutch-Indonesian problems, including the West New Guinea issue.
f)
Encourage the government to take action against the Indonesian-Communist party.
g)
Continue, and as appropriate expand, other programs of assistance and cooperation, e.g. education, leader grants, etc., with the Indonesian Government.

IV. Civil War.

U.S. Courses of Action:

a)
Consider extending de facto recognition to the regional authorities.
b)
[1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
c)
Pending an assessment of the situation, continue to accord recognition to the Central Government.
d)
Consult with the U.K. and ANZUS on military measures which might be necessary.

(Note: The extent of U.S. action under this contingency will depend on the assistance, if any, given by the Soviet Bloc.)

V. The Central Government is taken over by the Communists.

U.S. Courses of Action:

a)
Encourage the outer islands to declare themselves as the legitimate Indonesian Government and extend to this government de facto or if necessary de jure recognition.
b)
In case of de jure recognition seek the support of other governments for the new government.
c)
Extend all necessary assistance to enable this government to maintain this position.
d)
Encourage anti-Communist elements on Java to rise against the Red regime.
e)
Consult with the U.K. and ANZUS on military measures which might be necessary.

VI. The Central Government purchases from the Soviet Bloc arms of a kind and in such quantity as to endanger the position of the anti-Communist forces in Indonesia.

(Note: This contingency could either precipitate a breaking away of the outer islands and the outbreak of civil war or could follow such action should the Central Government seek to reestablish its control by force.)

[Page 19]

U.S. Courses of Action:

a) Maintain the position of the outer islands to resist military pressure from the Central Government.2

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Indonesia. Top Secret. Drafted by Mein and concurred in by Howard P. Jones, Cumming, and Reams. On February 3 Max V. Krebs, Special Assistant to Under Secretary Herter, transmitted the contingency paper to Cutler at the request of Herter. His note indicates that the paper was not circulated to all members of the NSC Planning Board but that it was available to the Defense and CIA representatives on the Special Working Group.
  2. No record of this meeting was found.
  3. This contingency plan was discussed at a luncheon meeting of the OCB on February 5. According to informal and preliminary notes on that meeting by Arthur L. Richards, the Operations Coordinator, Murphy responded to Cutler’s question regarding action required by the plan “that the Contingency Plan was exactly that; that no action was to be taken by anyone at this time; that action would be taken only if one or more of the contingencies should arise.” (Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, Indonesia)