23. Telegram From the Embassy in Afghanistan to Department of State0

1066. For the Secretary from Byroade. Deptel 7151 comes as a great shock to this post—so much so that we wonder whether it was erroneously sent or if it failed to receive high level consideration. To us it seems inconceivable that our policy of trying preserve neutral nation on borders of USSR should be rendered ineffective and unresponsive to clear US interests in Asia by the application of pure economic theory alone, divorced from consideration of history our relations with this country and its neighbors as well as from the realities of the international situation or indeed, from the actual situation here as reported by the Embassy.

I earnestly request that the policy enunciated in that message not be accepted as final until our comments thereon are received and given full consideration.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 789.5-MSP/5-2261. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Document 21.
  3. Byroade elaborated upon his objections in telegram 1072 from Kabul, May 25. (Department of State, Central Files, 789.5-MSP/5-2561) In telegram 739 to Kabul, June 2, Talbot responded that the policy outlined in telegram 715 to Kabul would have to stand as policy until there was a more substantial basis for the conclusion that a long-term commitment to Afghanistan’s program for economic development was warranted. (Ibid., 789.5-MSP/6-261)