275. Memorandum From John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- Indonesian Request for Arms Aid
I attach (Tab A) Djakarta’s 7460,2 which describes an approach made by General Sumitro to the Ambassador’s Special Assistant for arms aid. Sumitro said that President Suharto had authorized him to approach the Embassy, to explain the situation as they see it, and to request that we study the possibility of equipping the Indonesian armed forces over the next 5–7 years.
Sumitro said he recognized that Congressional approval of new major MAP programs is probably two or three years away. He hopes, however, that a program can be sketched out and that personnel can be trained to use the equipment which they might plan on receiving some years hence. Consequently, he hoped for “some modest increase” in professional training in the current MAP budget, plus transport aircraft and naval spares to meet specific requirements.
Sumitro said that the Indonesians have completed their list of requirements. The list does not constitute an immediate request, but they are looking for an indication that the US will in the future assist them in replacing Soviet equipment. Sumitro said that this will be a major topic when Suharto meets the President next spring.
Sumitro said that he planned to raise the same points with Admiral McCain during his forthcoming visit.
You will recall that General Sumitro some weeks ago passed you a similar request for arms aid through the Indonesian Military Attaché, General Suhud. It would appear that President Suharto has now decided that he had better begin to hit the US Government at different levels with his request.