157. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson 1

In response to Mr. Bundy’s memorandum of July 6,2 I have explored the suggested options which might be taken in the intelligence field pursuant to your desire for an orchestrated U.S. Government effort to convince Pakistan of our dissatisfaction with its current posture. The Director of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, has also participated fully in USIB deliberations on this subject. A copy of the current USIB study,3 together with the State Department’s comment on it, will be available to you separately.

I agree with you that the whole question of our intelligence relationships with Pakistan must be subject to the most searching examination. This question involves a variety of complex and interrelated factors. I believe, for example, the Government of Pakistan puts great weight on the importance of our intelligence facilities in terms of our massive assistance program and that their official statements on the discomfiture which they feel over these installations are designed to increase their leverage with us. Nevertheless, the possibility of an ouster remains.

I welcome the view expressed in the USIB paper that all elements of the Government should bend their efforts in close cooperation to develop any feasible alternatives for our intelligence installations in Pakistan. I believe this effort should include thorough exploration of [Page 316] the possibilities for space and seaborne facilities, as well as installations in Iran [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].4 Despite the formidable technological and budgetary problems involved, it seems to me that the development of alternatives is a matter of the highest importance which must be pursued vigorously irrespective of our current problem with Pakistan.

I can conceive of circumstances (especially as we get further along in our development of alternatives) in which it may be possible and useful to use our intelligence facilities in Pakistan to help convey a message to that Government. This might, depending on circumstances, be done by either reducing or expanding present activities. However, in view of (1) the actions we are taking or considering in the political, military, and economic fields, (2) Pakistan’s reaction to these to date, and (3) the importance of the intelligence acquired from the facilities, I do not consider it necessary or desirable for us to reduce existing facilities at this time.

We also face the question of whether or not currently planned improvements at existing facilities in Pakistan should be carried out according to the present schedule. We will want to make certain that any such improvements will not re-emphasize to the Pakistanis our dependence on the Peshawar complex. Such an interpretation could complicate our efforts in other fields to establish a more desirable relationship with Pakistan. I recommend therefore that no further additions or improvements to the facilities be undertaken at this time.

There is a final problem. I understand that one major improvement, i.e., construction of an addition to the operations building and new dormitories at the Peshawar installation, is already underway. This work, which was authorized before our present policy initiative was undertaken, is likely to be conspicuous. We will need to examine carefully whether or not it too should be suspended temporarily. I believe a final decision on this subject should be reached after the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence have had a chance to present their views on it to you.

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Pakistan, Vol. III, 12/64–7/65. Top Secret/Sensitive. Received in McGeorge Bundy’s office at 1:19 p.m.
  2. Document 143.
  3. Not found.
  4. On July 27 Ambassador Bowles discussed with DCI Raborn the possibility of [text not declassified]. (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80–B01285A, DCI Files, DCI Memos for the Record, 22 July–3 Nov 1965)