190. Letter From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Irwin) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson)0

Dear Mr. Robertson : The Department of Defense is concerned that the momentum of improved relations with Indonesia resulting from the token aid program and, more recently, the augmentation to that program, be maintained. Needed action was taken to expedite the interim program and it is our opinion that additional action is now needed to achieve realization of United States objectives in Indonesia.

As Defense is convinced that insofar as practicable further piecemeal actions should be avoided, this office, in conjunction with other elements of Defense, has been discussing initiation of an integrated long-range military assistance program of limited size. During a recent discussion of this matter with Admiral Felt, it was proposed that Mr. Robert Knight and Admiral O’Donnell of this office, who are soon to be [Page 363] in Djakarta, might at that time, in the company of the Ambassador, talk to the Indonesians about the type of limited MAP which the Indonesians would like to have developed on a long-term basis. It would, of course, be emphasized that the United States participants at this meeting could not commit the United States but were simply demonstrating friendly interest in the Indonesian armed forces and engaging in exploratory talks.

The Department of Defense recommends that guidelines governing the development of the proposed Indonesian program reflect that the program:

is politically motivated in recognition of the need that Indonesia be a friend of the United States, rather than in recognition of Indonesia’s current military significance to the maintenance of free world security; and
should be kept to the minimum cost commensurate with its purposes.

The guidelines should establish that the purposes are:

the maintenance and strengthening of existing U.S. ties with Indonesian military establishments;
the increase of Indonesian capability to maintain internal security and to combat Communist activity by providing the appropriate arms, equipment and training on a continuing basis; and
the expansion to the maximum extent practicable of the United States training of personnel of the Indonesian armed forces, and the curtailment to the extent possible of Sino-Soviet training programs.

It is presently contemplated that any such program would be carried out substantially on the basis upon which this year’s program was formulated.

We would greatly appreciate your comments with regard to the foregoing.

Sincerely yours,

John N. Irwin II
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/3–2859. Secret.