156. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson1


  • Pakistan

Yesterday you told me that you would like to get a message to the Paks either through a letter to Ayub or a talk with the Ambassador—making it very clear indeed that you do not propose to talk about assistance programs until they have been authorized and appropriated by the Congress. I spoke to Dean Rusk about it. He said that this message had been communicated over and over, but that he thought it would be good to do it again. He is drafting a Presidential letter to Ayub, and he will make the point again to Ahmed next week himself. He and Ahmed had an unsatisfactory conversation Friday,2 and the Secretary is very fearful that the Paks may “overreact” in the next few days. My own impression is that there is a contest between the bad Bhutto and the good Shoaib, and that Ayub will not do anything final in the next little while.

Meanwhile, I think it is getting more urgent that we get beyond the immediate tactical point—that we can’t do business until the Congress has acted—and get as clear an understanding as we can of what you really want from the Paks. McConaughy certainly, and Rusk probably, do not really know what you want, and with the best will in the world, their ignorance may lead to complicate the problem. Even your White House troops may fall into the same error.

For this reason I venture to offer for your consideration the attached paper prepared by Bob Komer’s very bright Asian hand, Hal Saunders.3 The first four pages are all you really need to read, although the supporting papers on Pakistan behavior in the last three years is instructive. If the policy Saunders outlines is somewhere near your own view, it might well be wise for us to draft a memorandum from you to the [Page 315] Secretary of State which would spell out your views. If Saunders is way off base, then we need to know it.

I don’t quite know how to offer a set of choices for your answer on this one. If you could write just one line of your own views, it would be a great help, or, alternatively, I can ask you for a reaction sometime in the coming week.

McG. B.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 12, 7/1/65–9/65. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the memorandum reads, “ret’d from Pres. Has seen 7:45 a.m. 19 July 65.”
  2. July 16.
  3. Reference is to a 4-page memorandum, dated July 16, entitled “What Do We Want In Pakistan.” Saunders supplemented his memorandum with a 14-page chronology, also dated July 16, entitled “Pakistani Transgressions of US Friendship.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Pakistan, Vol. III, Memos and Miscellaneous, 12/64–7/65)