378. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1

Mr. President:

The attached note from Marvin asked for my analysis of Eugene Locke’s letter to you. (Tab A)2

Locke argues that if we do not provide Ayub with military equipment he will turn to China.
This would have the following effects:
  • —Give China a base south of the Himalayas;
  • —Put pressure on India which would lead her to ask for a U.S. military guarantee.
He meets the argument that military dependence does not necessarily mean alliance by citing the fact that Pakistan is more vulnerable to becoming an ally of China than, say, Indonesia, because of Pakistan’s fear of India.
With respect to India, Gene argues that the bad effects would only be temporary. India badly needs our aid and our role as a balance to Russian influence, on the one hand, and the Chinese threat, on the other.

In general, he regards the spare parts issue as critical to our relationship with Pakistan and urges that he be permitted to inform Ayub that we will proceed. Only in the last paragraph does he say, “Of course what I have said about Pakistan’s military needs is said in the context of reaching understandings at the same time about limitations on arms from China and about an attempt to reach some arms limitation understanding with India.”

Comment: In some ways Gene Locke’s view is the mirror image of Chet Bowles’ who argues that if we supply spare parts to Pakistan, we will throw India still deeper into the arms of the Soviet Union. Chet will also recall the following facts:

  • —India is 5 times as large as Pakistan and our major interest on the subcontinent;
  • —India stands against our enemy—Communist China;
  • —He correctly warned that a Soviet military relationship with India would come about if we did not meet India’s military requirements a few years ago.

I talked with Sect. Rusk this morning about where he stands on this problem. He urges the following, with which I strongly agree:

We must urge Chet to use maximum influence on India to negotiate an arms limitation deal with Pakistan and be prepared to listen to the Paks on Kashmir. It is not good enough to threaten Washington with a deepened India-Soviet arms relation. There is no future unless India-Pak relations improve and we keep for India a moderate Pakistan. This is basically an Indian responsibility. Therefore, Chet should concentrate on bringing it about.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Pakistan, Vol. VII, Memos, 10/66–7/67. Confidential.
  2. Attached was an undated letter to President Johnson from Ambassador Locke, with a September 27 covering note to Rostow from Special Assistant Marvin Watson.