160. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson 1


  • The Week’s Developments in Asia

There follows a summary of significant developments in Asia during the past week. Information classifications are given in brackets.

[Here follows material on Vietnam.]

Indonesia (secret)

Events in Indonesia since the abortive September 30th coup are so far a striking vindication of U.S. policy towards that nation in recent years: a policy of keeping our hand in the game for the long-term stakes despite recurrent pressures to pull out, break relations, recall our Ambassador, etc. More specifically, they are a vindication of our post-1963 approach and the recommendations of last spring’s Bunker Report.

In the past week we have continued to grope with the obscure but very promising forces set free by the defeat of the September 30th plot. Ambassador Green’s early analysis that there are now two Indo Governments—Sukarno and the Army—still seems valid; and since each Government needs the other (or rather, is too weak to topple the other), the uneasy balance may continue for a while. The Army is showing considerable courage, and the populace is with the Army to an extraordinary degree so far. Our Embassy is performing well.

Important unknowns remain: Sukarno’s health, his degree of involvement in the September 30th plot, the whereabouts of Aidit (reportedly under arrest), anti-Chinese passions, etc. Whatever happens, we should expect no abrupt major change in Indonesia’s vocal fuzzy Marxism or in its foreign policy—regardless of who runs the country. The longer we remain restrained and discreet (and the same for our press), the better.

[Here follows material on the Philippines, Ryukyus, and Chinese representation.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 16, 10/15–11/19/65. Secret.