13. National Security Action Memorandum No. 2791


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • Military Assistance to India and Pakistan

I have no objection to going forward with exploratory approaches looking toward possible five year MAP programs for India and Pakistan under the conditions described in the Secretary of State’s 16 January memorandum to me.2

However, I do not believe that we should yet discuss MAP levels with either country. Until we have a clearer idea of the prospect for the FY 1965 aid program, it seems to me premature to indicate to India or Pakistan how much military aid they might be able to count upon, regardless of how tentatively we put it. Instead, we should indicate to both governments that they should prepare austere minimum five year programs. Then, as their plans mature and as we get a better reading on Congressional attitudes, we can make a final decision on what MAP to provide.

Furthermore, in the course of these discussions I desire that the following precautions be observed: [Page 27]

We should make clear to both countries what we expect of them in return for prospective long-term military aid. As to India, we particularly want it to hold foreign exchange diversions from development to defense to a reasonable level, lest we end up indirectly helping finance an excessive defense effort via aid which we provide for quite another purpose.
In the case of Pakistan, our MAP help should be appropriately linked to satisfactory performance with respect to its alliance obligations and to our intelligence facilities.
Both governments must be made to understand that no irrevocable five year MAP commitments can be undertaken by the US, both because aid levels each year will depend on Congress and because our actual aid each year will depend on continuing Pakistani and Indian performance.
Our approaches to India and Pakistan should be timed for optimum impact. For example, I do not believe that we should initially approach Pakistan until we have assessed the results of the Chou En-lai visit.

With these caveats, I approve proceeding along the lines of the Secretary of State’s 16 January proposals.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAMs, NSAM 279, Military Assistance to India and Pakistan. Secret. Copies were sent to the AID Administrator and the Director of Central Intelligence.
  2. Document 3.