342. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) and Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson0
The attached paper from Rusk, McNamara, and Bell recommends a major initiative toward India. Its genesis was a proposal by Bowles that since we were probably going to be giving India substantial military aid against the Chicoms anyway, why not package it in such a way as to get the maximum from the Indians? So he suggested trading an informal indication of our longer-term MAP plans for Indian assurances that they would limit their own buildup, not divert too much from development to defense, and not lean too heavily on Soviet military aid. We fear Khrushchev may be coming to India shortly with some military goodies, so would like to start moving first.
The chief risk is a tough Pakistani reaction, unless we handle the transaction with skill. But we cannot afford to give the Pakistani a veto on our Indian policy, when we have a major opportunity to move India closer to us. Moreover, to mollify the Paks we would plan on a similar long-term MAP commitment to them, if they undertook to behave themselves vis-à-vis Peiping.
This thoughtful paper speaks for itself; we urge that you approve it. In fact, we’d go somewhat further than cautious State and DOD—perhaps to as high as $65 million MAP a year including high performance [Page 697] aircraft, if needed as an added sweetener to get the Indian response Bowles hopes to get. We propose a meeting to discuss this enterprise with you at 11:00 Thursday.1
- McG. B.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, India, Vol. I. Secret.↩
- President Johnson postponed the meeting proposed for December 12. Telegram 1241 to New Delhi, December 14, indicated that President Johnson was interested in the modified Bowles proposal put forward December 11, but decided to delay any decisions concerning it until after he had received General Taylor’s advice, following Taylor’s impending trip to India and Pakistan. (Department of State, Central Files, ORG 7 JCS) A December 20 memorandum from Komer to Bundy indicated that the meeting to consider proposed military assistance programs for India and Pakistan would have to be rescheduled in January 1964. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, India, Vol. I)↩
- Enclosure 1 is the November 12 memorandum by Bowles cited in footnote 1, Document 337.3↩
- Enclosure 2 is an undated 3-page “scope paper” that lays out the background and objectives of Taylor’s trip to Pakistan. No drafting information is provided.↩
- Enclosure 3 is an undated 2-page “scope paper” that lays out the background and objectives of Taylor’s trip to India. It was drafted on November 25 in DOD/ISA/NESA by Colonel Miller.↩
- Rusk’s initials appear in an unidentified hand, indicating Rusk initialed the original.↩