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

055342. For Ambassador Galbraith from Asst. Secretary Green.

You may have noted today’s Phnom Penh broadcast declaring Cambodia’s adherence to neutrality and spirit of Bandung, and informing international community of necessity “to accept all unconditional foreign aid from all sources for national safety.” In your estimation, would GOI be willing to assist Cambodia, even in small token way? What would be GOI’s attitude towards US-financed Indonesian assistance to Cambodia on a covert basis? What are the chances of keeping such a transaction covert?
Since Cambodian Army (FARK) utilizes AK–47 rifles, we would be particularly interested in knowing whether Indonesians might have any AK–47’s and ammunition which could be made available for Cambodia. (We understand Indonesia manufactures AK–47 ammunition.)2 FARK?
Would appreciate your information and opinions on above queries soonest. Foregoing should not be discussed with GOI.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 CAMB. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Green on April 14, and cleared by Under Secretary Johnson, Director Dirk Gleysteen (S/S-S), and Kissinger at the White House.
  2. The Washington Special Actions Group (WSAG) considered possible types and quantities of assistance to Cambodia in a meeting on April 14. According to the minutes of the meeting, Johnson raised the question of possible “Indonesian sources” for AK–47 rifles and ammunition. Green stated that the Indonesians had “a small factory in Bandung” that produced AK–47s and some ammunition, but he did not know “whether the production is in excess of their own needs.” William Nelson of the CIA added that Indonesia was “the only possible sizable source within reach of Cambodia” and that they had “about 15,000 AK–47s issued to their own troops.” Kissinger stated that if the Indonesians were to give AK–47s to Cambodia, “we would have to replace them with American rifles.” He then asked how long it would take “to get delivery from Indonesia” and how “the rifles would be routed to Cambodia.” Nelson replied, “If the shipment were to be completely covert, we could make arrangements with the Indonesians less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. They could arrange commercial air shipment to Cambodia.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1969 and 1970)