166. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia 1

562. Ref A: Embtel 1288;2 Ref B: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]; Ref C: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified];3 Ref D: Embtel 1271.4

We share your view reflected para 1 Ref A that Sukendro approach [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] surrounded by complex of unanswered question relevant to our continuing relationships with Indonesian Army. We have now established contact with Army [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] but, as you bring out in Ref D, political contact through Galbraith to senior officer under Sukendro would close third side of triangle providing essential perspective on Army’s program and intentions.
Before we become involved in furnishing assistance, we will want to establish through this political channel basic framework our relations with the Army as distinct from Indonesian Government. Secondly, will want to set up single reliable channel through which requests [Page 348]for aid would be submitted. Finally, we must bring home to Army that while we want to be helpful, our ability to be of assistance will depend in turn on the ability of the Army to influence Indonesia’s foreign and domestic policies that have put so great a strain on our relations.
Concur that you proceed immediately to check through your contacts to determine whether Sukendro’s approach reflects Nasution-Suharto wishes. At same time suggest you proceed with effort establish discreet link at political level as proposed para 5 Ref D.
Following thoughts, in addition to questions noted Ref A, suggested by Sukendro approach:
[1–1/2 lines of source text not declassified] Does Sukendro not have reliable subordinate in Djakarta whom he trusts?
Request for medicines, which not considered of sufficient priority this year to warrant allocation foreign exchange, appears somewhat calculated effort appeal American sympathies. Parenthetically, we find it curious that funds available for Martidinata aero-commanders, but not for medicines.
While Sukendro has placed November 3 deadline on response his request we are disposed proceed cautiously. Your reporting thus far indicates no other element urgency and for time being we are disposed give him temporizing reply that his request is under consideration. We are proceeding analysis and costing of medical request so that we can move rapidly if situation warrants.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 INDON. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Underhill, cleared by William Bundy, and approved by Berger. Repeated to Bangkok.
  2. Document 165.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 165.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 165.