87. Note Prepared by Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff1

In principle, I am thoroughly in favor!2 As our overt leverage on, and links to, Indonesia decrease, this is all the more needed.
We are entering a period of major flux in Indo politics, which could become a struggle for power especially if Sukarno dies. We can’t begin too soon to lay groundwork for playing a role in this if we can.
Paper focuses on main threat to US interests, which is not really Sukarno or Sukarnoism, but the PKI. Indo is too important to lose to PKI, which is most likely prospect at present.
I’m not sure how much impact recommended program would have. The brief gives no order of magnitude of effort. But it’s worth a try if following question satisfactorily answered.
Key question is whether we can do what’s proposed really clandestinely without burning our fingers. If Bung or PKI really caught us at this game, we’d probably lose more than we’d gain.
In sum, I’d fully endorse if those who are closer to Indo scene than I will undertake that this can be launched discreetly and with reasonably low risk of a backlash.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Indonesia, Nov 63–Mar 66 [1 of 3]. Secret. There was no recipient of this note, James C. Thomson’s initials appear at the top of the page.
  2. Reference is to Document 86.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.