322. Editorial Note

General Nasution visited Washington November 24–30, 1963, primarily to attend the funeral of President Kennedy, who had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22.

In telegrams 1050 and 1053 from Djakarta, November 9, Galbraith provided background for the Nasution visit. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 INDON) The Department of State recommended that President Johnson see Nasution, offering the following assessment:

  • “Aside from Sukarno himself, Nasution is the most influential person in Indonesia, and one whom we have come to rely on as the chief counterweight to Sukarno’s more extreme policies. He is by far the most likely successor to Sukarno, either as President or as the power behind a civilian figurehead. While he is a strong nationalist and has taken a hard line in Indonesia’s dispute with Malaysia (which we are trying to modify during this visit), he is the closest thing we have to a friend in Sukarno’s court. We are anxious to strengthen our influence with him at this particular time in Indonesia’s development. If Indonesian public order were to deteriorate sharply, he would control the power necessary to contain the communists and would use it.
  • “He has come to Washington from a week in Moscow, where he was given red-carpet treatment including a dinner hosted by Khrushchev.” (Ibid.)

The Department of State also submitted to Bundy talking papers for the President’s discussion. (Ibid.) The Central Intelligence Agency prepared a Special Report, SC No. 00618/63C, November 15, entitled “Indonesia’s General Nasution.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Indonesia, Vol. V, 10/63–11/63)

Nasution met with Under Secretary Ball on November 26 to discuss the dispute with Malaysia. (Memorandum of conversation, November 26; Department of State, Central Files, POL INDON–MALAYSIA) On the [Page 699] same day, Nasution met with Harriman and discussed Malaysia, overseas Chinese, spare parts for the Indonesia Air Force, and the civic action program. (Memoranda of conversation, November 26; ibid., POL INDON–MALAYSIA, DEF 12 INDON, and DEF 14 INDON) On November 28, Nasution met with Deputy DCI Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter, William Colby, and other CIA officials. During this conversation, Nasution gave a frank and detailed exposition of Indonesian paramilitary training of Dayak, Chinese, and Malay refugees in Sarawak. Carter assured Nasution that reports of CIA attempts to overthrow Sukarno were baseless. (Memorandum of conversation, November 28; ibid., POL 7 INDON) On November 29, before meeting at the White House with President Johnson (see Document 323), Nasution talked briefly with Harriman about Malaysia. (Memorandum of conversation, November 29; Department of State, Central Files, POL INDON–MALAYSIA) Nasution discussed the civic action program and the dispute with Malaysia with Robert McNamara at the Pentagon on November 29. (Memorandum of conversation, November 29; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD/ISA Files: FRC 66 A 4567, Indonesia 092–333, 1963)