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

2645. For Asst Secretary Green from Ambassador. Ref: A. State 55342;2 B. Djakarta 2631.3

Within few hours after dispatch ref B, Sudjatmoko on instructions from Pres. Suharto reiterated to me Indonesia’s willingness to assist Lon Nol Government with small arms if U.S. willing replenish and said Suharto awaiting US reaction. Sudjatmoko obviously not in complete agreement with his President’s position but dutifully carried out instructions.
According to Sudjatmoko President told him this morning that Cambodia must be helped and that Indonesia should do its best to be of assistance since, because of historical background, Thailand would have difficulty and, to preserve Cambodia’s neutrality, US should not become directly involved. Indonesia only logical country available and Suharto willing to provide training within Indonesia, and small arms. Lon Nol has asked GOI specifically for small arms for two to three divisions. Indonesia might be able to help with small arms for brigade but could not supply quantities required without replenishment by the United States. Arms for Cambodia would not be of US manufacture and Sudjatmoko said to Suharto that Indonesia could handle transport by air, ferry and sea. In response to my query Sudjatmoko said that, while President did not specifically say so, he had implied GOI supply of arms to Lon Nol government would be open although replenishment by US would be kept confidential.
Sudjatmoko raised with Suharto the implications for Indonesian non-alignment if such collusion between US and Indonesia became known. He also said he had explained to Suharto the cautious hedging of both the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communists in their support for Sihanouk and effect on entire Indo-China conflict if Indonesia were to become so openly involved. Suharto apparently undeterred by Sudjatmoko cautions but told Sudjatmoko that he had informed Lon Nol to go slowly in shift from monarchy to republic and [Page 620]that he had urged Lon Nol to try to use Sihanouk or Queen Mother to neutralize their supporters, somewhat in the fashion he had used Sukarno’s supporters after 1965 coup.
Sudjatmoko intends to discuss this whole matter with Malik either in Djakarta or Bangkok Friday or Saturday. It’s our impression that neither Malik nor others in FonDept had, before Suharto talked to Sudjatmoko, been cut in on Suharto’s plans to assist RKG.
In light of what appears to be specific request from Lon Nol to Suharto and Suharto’s willingness to be forthcoming, it appears GOI would be amenable to move ahead along lines ref A with some assurance US approved of such action and would be willing to provide replenishment for arms given to RKG. However, when Malik returns, he may try to slow down Suharto.
Sudjatmoko’s task was to be sure I got message and reported it to you which I assured him was case.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 CAMB. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. Document 286.
  3. Telegram 2631 from Djakarta, April 15, reported Suharto’s indications of his willingness for Indonesia to support Cambodia. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 531, Country Files, Far East, Indonesia, Vol. II)