340. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

In November you tentatively approved a recommendation from Sect. Rusk, McNamara and Raborn for establishing contingency alternatives for our intelligence facilities in Pakistan. But you felt we ought to hold final decision until after you talked with Ayub. Then we held further until after Tashkent and the Indian visit.

Now State, Defense and CIA have reviewed their October recommendations and (with minor updating) feel we should go ahead. They emphasize that this is not a proposal to relocate most of the present activities from Pakistan or to duplicate them. They propose to develop minimum space and install basic equipment so we can diversify some of these activities and be in a position to move them all on short notice with little intelligence loss if need be.

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To refresh your memory, they recommended we: (a) increase existing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] facilities in Embassies Tehran and New Delhi; (b) add one floor to a planned warehouse in the embassy compound in Tehran; (c) acquire land outside Tehran for eventually developing a more satisfactory permanent installation (including dependent quarters) if needed; and (d) explore the possibility of developing facilities in India.

Costs of (a) and (b) would be about $1.5 million; time about 9 months. Cost of (c) is approximately $5 million with eventual cost depending on how extensively we develop that site; time about 18 months. Cost of (d) is uncertain until we have a concrete plan but less than the $8–36 million they projected last fall when they suggested shipborne coverage in the Bay of Bengal (which did not prove out in a later test).

As general guidelines, they recommend (a) no further investment in Pakistan; (b) as new facilities come into being, we transfer some of those now in Pakistan to reduce the leverage any one country holds over us; but (c) unless you decide otherwise or the Paks kick us out, we retain a substantial portion of our present Pak activities.

They also recommended certain sweeteners for Iran to develop the favorable political climate essential to expansion. Your recent approval of the new military sales package has brought those up to date.

The balance of payments impact would be minimal; all equipment would be US-built. One-time real estate and construction costs would be about $6 million, and annual recurring costs about $750,000 (much of which would be offset by reduction of Pak facilities).

I believe it makes sense to go ahead with this program now. Since we no longer have the kind of close relationship with Pakistan we had prior to the Chinese attack on India, we would be well to reinsure.

If you still approve, I recommend you sign the attached. 2

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAMs, NSAM 348, Alternatives to U.S. Facilities in Pakistan. Top Secret; Sensitive. Another copy is ibid., Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 5, May 27–June 10, 1966.
  2. Johnson wrote “OK” on the memorandum and signed the attachment, which was issued on May 30 as National Security Action Memorandum 348. NSAM No. 348, addressed to the Secretaries of State and Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, was entitled “Alternatives to US Facilities in Pakistan,” and reads as follows:

    “I have reviewed your 22 October 1965 Memorandum to me in response to NSAM 337 as updated by the Department of State’s 17 May 1966 Memorandum to Mr. Rostow and by my approval on May 23 of the new military sales package for Iran.

    “I approve your recommendations as updated subject to the usual review by the Bureau of the Budget before expenditures are authorized.” (Ibid.) For text of NSAM No. 337, see Document 168. Rusk’s October 22, 1965, memorandum to Johnson, and Benjamin Read’s May 17, 1966, memorandum to Rostow, both of which contained recommendations for the implementation of NSAM No. 337, are in the Johnson Library, National Security File, NSAMs, NSAM 348, Alternatives to U.S. Facilities in Pakistan. For Johnson’s approval of a sales package for Iran, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, Vol. XXII, Document 144.