140. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State0

467. Department pass AFCIN–1A1, CNO, ACSI. CINCPAC also for POLAD. ARMA and ASTARMA informed Lt. General Nasution at 1300 today of items paragraph 1 Deptel 255.1 Colonel Jani and Major Jusuf were present. After explaining US decision furnish arms support on phased basis, additional schooling spaces and agreement to use counterpart funds for barracks construction, General Nasution appeared delighted and said, “I am very happy to hear this good news”. With reference to US military representative coming to Djakarta, Nasution said, “the sooner the better”. He also indicated that speed was of essence in obtaining equipment and said he preferred air delivery. Replying to ARMA query as to Nasution’s opinion on publicity this matter, he stated, “no publicity at this time”. He explained he wanted to make biggest impact possible with US aid and enthusiastically welcomed suggestion it be flown in. He had earlier indicated when equipment starts to arrive, he plans meet first plane personally. He then explained he was acting as a policeman trying to offset hostile pressures (such as PKI and DI). Nasution stated there are certain groups who would like to turn Indo-nationalism into anti-westernism, and also “group of Indonesians that would like to sabotage US arms support”. If equipment started arriving soon he would be in position to prevent such adverse action. That would be the time for publicity. ARMA commented on possibility of leaks and Nasution said he recognized this was always possible.

Turning to Irian problem, Nasution stated Army has no plans for military action against West Irian and that Prime Minister Djuanda has so informed Parliament. He said “the useful thing about Irian is the uniting force it provides, which is something we need at this time”. Nasution said sooner or later Indonesia will get Irian back through the UN or other political means.

In view of the above I recommend:

That no publicity be given this matter until further notice.
That CINCPAC representative (CINCPAC 020328Z)2 come to Djakarta immediately.
That equipment be despatched by air soon as possible upon signal from the CINCPAC representative after talks with General Nasution.3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–558. Top Secret; Niact. Also sent to CINCPAC.
  2. Telegram 255, August 4, authorized Jones to have Cole see Nasution and inform him that the United States was (a) prepared to supply Indonesia with military equipment (without mentioning the kind of equipment or the total amount of the aid); (b) providing additional slots for Indonesian officers in U.S. military schools; and (c) providing for the use of counterpart funds for the construction of an Indonesian Army barracks. (Ibid., 756D.5–MSP/8–458) See Supplement.
  3. Not found.
  4. In telegram 470 from Djakarta, August 6, Jones reported that he met with Djuanda that morning, who was “most gratified” to learn about the U.S. military aid package. “Prime Minister commented that he had been confident in his own mind that US and Indonesia would cross this bridge to improve relations sooner or later,” Jones noted in part, “but he had not thought this development would come so soon.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–658) See Supplement.