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


  • Military Assistance to India and Pakistan: General Taylor’s Report2

I have reviewed with General Taylor the results of his trip to India and Pakistan. He has come back with excellent ideas about future military assistance to those two countries. These supplement and refine the basic approach worked out by the Standing Group and embodied in my recommendations to you of December 11.3

General Taylor would fix responsibility on the Indians for coming up with a satisfactory five-year defense plan which would limit their force goals, hold down procurement from the Soviets and hold to a minimum the diversion of their resources from economic development. Within such a plan it would be up to the Indians to set the priorities among the competing needs of their own services. Such a plan might include a limited number of high performance aircraft from Free World sources.

I believe the foregoing course of action would permit us to follow the roughly parallel course with India and Pakistan on high performance aircraft which we believe to be quite essential for political reasons.

I recommend that you authorize us to proceed along the lines of my proposal to you as refined by General Taylor’s findings.

To move this matter ahead, the following steps are in order:

Inform the British and other Commonwealth aid donors fully about our military assistance planning for both India and Pakistan and obtain their continued cooperation and participation.
Tell the Indians that:
  • —we are willing to provide longer run military assistance if they work out a satisfactory five-year defense plan, as defined above;
  • —this plan would assume a mutually acceptable political framework (i.e., Indian policies towards Pakistan and China);
  • —for the purpose of preparing their plan they could use a planning figure of about $50 million MAP annually4 from the United States which, of course, is subject to Congressional appropriations;
  • —we look to them to make the initial decision on priorities among the competing needs of their services, bearing in mind that an acceptable plan must not excessively strain Indian resources;
  • —we intend to continue with an interim program over the next year at roughly current levels while they work out their plan.
Tell the Pakistanis that:
  • —we are willing to support a satisfactory five-year Pakistani military plan within a mutually acceptable political framework (i.e., fulfillment by Pakistan of its obligations to CENTO, SEATO and the United States);
  • —we are willing to work with the Pakistanis in developing the priorities of this plan;
  • —we want to resume discussions looking towards the expansion of our facilities.
Keep both the Indians and Pakistanis generally informed of our assistance activities in each country. General Taylor has already done much of this job with Ayub, drawing a surprisingly mild reaction. However, a long-term military program for India, including possibly some supersonics, and the provision of additional supersonics to Pakistan will very possibly create an initial storm in each country about our policy in the other. We shall have to find ways of riding this out.

Dean Rusk
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAMs, NSAM 279, Military Assistance to India and Pakistan. Secret.
  2. For the report submitted by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor on December 23, 1963, to Secretary of Defense McNamara concerning his trip to India and Pakistan in December, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XIX, Document 348.
  3. See ibid., Document 342.
  4. In his report to McNamara, Taylor proposed a planning figure of $50–$60 million. In an assessment of Taylor’s recommendations, submitted in a January 13 memorandum to McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded that in view of the decreasing military assistance funds available, a planning assumption of not more than $50 million per year for each country was preferred. (JCSM-15–64; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 7425, 381 India) Peter Solbert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, concurred in the JCS conclusion in a January 14 memorandum to McNamara. (Ibid.) McNamara noted his approval of the revised planning figure on Solbert’s memorandum. On January 15 Robert Komer of the NSC Staff sent a memorandum to McGeorge Bundy in which he argued for holding to the original $50–$60 million proposal as offering more potential for influencing Indian policy. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, India, Vol. VI, Cables/Memos/Misc, 9/65–1/66)