320. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)0


  • Feasibility of Deployment of a Carrier Task Force in the Indian Ocean

In connection with the discussion at the White House last Monday, concerning measures that might be taken to convince Pakistan of our capacity to respond effectively to an Indian attack (or vice versa if the case should ever arise), the State Department has particularly raised the question of possible deployment of a carrier task force to the Indian Ocean, either as a temporary measure or eventually as a permanent deployment.

I therefore request that the Joint Chiefs of Staff review this question, comparing the feasibility, effectiveness, and comparative costs of deployment of a carrier versus alternative methods of bringing U.S. power to bear in the area. This question may be considered as part of your response to the generalized request for courses of action that would serve to convince Pakistan of our capacity to respond, or you may if desired wish to take it up in a broader framework.1

Robert S. McNamara2
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 3131, India 381 (10 Jul 63), Indian Ocean Task Force 63. Secret.
  2. In a September 25 memorandum to McNamara, the Joint Chiefs responded that the intermittent deployment of a carrier task force in the Indian Ocean was feasible if politically desirable. (JCSM 735-63; ibid.)
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates McNamara signed the original.