311. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)0
I hear that USIB will press Special Group tomorrow to review our Pak/Indian policy, and at least give more MAP to Paks, for obvious reasons. USIB naturally runs perennially scared, but I find it hard to judge how much Paks running power play on us vs. how much real trouble is ahead.
I too feel we should be more active in both reassuring Paks and reminding them of how much they’d lose if they went too far. But I doubt whether another Iranian style panic offer of more MAP is the solution. Paying this blackmail would not be enough to stem the tide, yet get us in a costly ante-raising posture where every time we gave “X” to India Paks would expect “Y.”[Page 623]
Much more interesting is WPB’s idea of revealing privately to Paks our 3-year MAP intention, with strong caveat that this not a commitment but assumes continued good alliance relationship. This would do more to reassure Paks we weren’t switching to India than anything else. Chief problem is that program includes two squadrons of F-5A’s for 1965-68. If this leaked (as it would), it would fire Indian desire for supersonics. But Indians will try to get supersonics anyway sooner or later, if not from us then from Soviets. In fact, F-5’s for Paks would help cover giving them to India.
I also feel need for revived high-level dialogue with Paks (McConaughy acts mostly as a mailbox). Perhaps JFK should write Ayub again; we ought to have a public statement too; I got State to whomp one up for today, but I see it got scrubbed.
In sum, I see many ways to handle Paks without being unduly defensive—which would only sharpen Pak appetite. And keep in mind that throughout recent strain on US/Pak relations, they’ve not raised even a finger about Peshawar.1