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

Dear Mr. Parsons: Reference is made to your letter dated 8 September 1959 concerning the development of a long-range plan for Indonesia.1

During the past months CINCPAC has developed a long-range plan of military assistance for Indonesia based upon a five-year requirement. The plan, as recommended by CINCPAC, envisages increasing the capability of the Indonesian Armed Forces to maintain internal security and combat Communist activities, as well as insure the continued effective contribution by the military to the development of a stable and independent Indonesia.

The program objectives for each military service provide for:

Army: A program objective initially to develop a small, well-equipped mobile force for employment in maintaining or restoring control areas threatened or seized by Communist inspired subversion, insurgency or uprising and to re-equip selected units with U.S. equipment, recognizing that the Indonesians will continue to maintain additional units with currently available equipment. Initial equipment offered should consist primarily of light weapons, ammunition, communications and minimum transportation items to avoid dissipation of available funds on non-essential or luxury items.
Navy: Naval program objectives provide for the qualitative improvement of the Indonesian Navy. The coastal patrol capabilities should be enhanced by the selective replacement of non-effective craft and modernization of others. A modest amphibious lift and logistic support capability, as required for internal security, should be provided. A harbor defense, mine counter measures and air/sea ASW capability to prevent submarine intrusion should be provided on a long-range basis, Technical and matériel assistance for the improvement of Indonesian naval schools and facilities should be provided to the maximum extent possible.
Air Force: A program objective to develop U.S. oriented and equipped Indonesian Air Force capable of providing a modest airlift and air support for Indonesian forces, limited reconnaissance and air defense capability and an air sea rescue capability for both military and civilian requirements.

With respect to the current program, the United States approved two separate military aid programs for Indonesia, based on Presidential [Page 453]Determinations made in 1958 and 1959 which provided a total of $22 million. Shipments under the first increment of the program ($7 million) were essentially completed by December 1958. Army shipments under the second increment ($15 million) will be completed during the first quarter of FY 1960, and it is expected that the Navy program will be completed by the end of FY 1960. The Air Force portion of the program which totals $2.2 million was submitted by the Department of the Air Force to the field for review and refinement. Review of the USAF program was temporarily delayed at the request of Indonesian Air Force (AURI) officials pending the return of AURI representatives touring USAF installations in the U.S. for the purpose of orientation on USAF methods, equipment and training. Indications from the U.S. Military Technical Advisory Group (MILTAG) in Djakarta are that AURI has not confirmed the acceptability of the items recommended by the Department of the Air Force. The equipment which is primarily of a communications and electronics nature will provide, for the first time, good communications for four airfields.

The programs of military aid approved during the past year contributed significantly to improve U.S.-Indonesian relations. Developments in Indonesia indicate the wisdom of continuing a program of military aid to Indonesia during Fiscal Year 1960 in consonance with the long-range plan developed by CINCPAC.

Based upon the fact that Ambassador Jones has informed the Minister of Defense and other Government of Indonesia officials that “subject to the availability of funds, the U.S. is planning to continue the government-to-government sale of military equipment and services to Indonesia in FY 1960,” it is deemed appropriate that action be initiated at this time to develop a firm program of military aid for FY 1960.

The proposed FY 1960 program currently being developed will include items such as selected artillery items, small arms, ammunition, vehicles, communications, electronics, engineering and medical equipment, small vessels, helicopters and air sea rescue equipment, Air Force supporting equipment, services, training (including training teams) and training equipment and aids.

It is assumed that the assistance and services proposed herein will be offered to Indonesia on the same basis as that previously rendered (i.e., token payment in either dollars or local currency) and therefore will be tantamount to grant assistance as far as the United States is concerned.

Accordingly, it is recommended that the Department of State initiate action requesting the President, pursuant to Section 451(a) of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, to make the necessary determination which will authorize the provision of military assistance and services in FY 1960 to Indonesia, from funds appropriated by Section [Page 454]101(b) of Public Law 80–76,2 as amended, in the amount not to exceed $20 million, with expenditures therefrom to be charged to the appropriation made available under Section 451(b) of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended.

The foregoing program would be separate from and additional to a program of training of Indonesian Armed Forces personnel in FY 1960 not to exceed $1.5 million. It is also understood that a request for Presidential Determination pursuant to Section 451(a) of the Mutual Security Act of 1954, as amended, covering world-wide training and including $1.5 million for Indonesia is now in process.

Sincerely yours,

John N. Irwin II
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/11–1859. Secret.
  2. Not found.
  3. Reference is to the Second Deficiency Appropriation Act of 1947, passed on May 26, 1947; for text, see 61 Stat. 106.