67. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson 1
- Assistance Programs for Indonesia
Attached memo from Rusk (McNamara concurs) gives joint State/AID/DOD recommendation that we suspend certain remaining aid to Indonesia, chiefly military, but continue a few minor projects (most civilian) in order to keep the door open. No new aid commitments are involved, and no public determination is needed.
We are on a sharp downward curve in US/Indo relations, largely because of the continued threat to “crush” Malaysia and our necessary opposition to it. Sukarno has now adopted a far more overtly anti-US line, which makes holding up further aid essential.
At the same time, the very fact that we’re on a slippery slope makes it all the more important not to burn all our bridges to Indonesia: (1) with Vietnam and Laos already on our Southeast Asia plate, we can ill afford a major crisis with Indonesia too just now; (2) we ought to keep a few links, however tenuous, to the Indo military, still the chief hope of blocking a Communist takeover; (3) there’s still a slim chance of Sukarno drawing back from a full-fledged push on Malaysia, and we want to keep dangling the prospect of renewed aid; and (4) we do not want to be the ones who trigger a major attack on U.S. investments there. So we urge you approve Rusk’s proposals.2
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Cables and Memos, 5/64–8/64, [2 of 2]. Secret.↩
- A check mark on the approval line indicates that the President approved. Bundy wrote the following note at the top of the memorandum: “tell Komer &State.”↩
- The Department of State copy of this memorandum and its attachments indicate that they were drafted by William Bundy on August 29. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, AID (US) INDON)↩
- The approval lines for all three recommendations are checked.↩