307. Memorandum From John H. Holdridge of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Further Points for Your Meeting with General Sumitro

General Sumitro arrived in Washington late yesterday, and his aides, General Latief and Colonel Soekeng, got in touch with me today. General Sumitro hopes for an early meeting with you, and does not want to talk with anyone at State or Defense beforehand. I have not given any assurances of when the meeting will be arranged, but assume that you will want to talk to him as soon as it is convenient. I assume also that the party can be flown out and back by Jetstar.

Meanwhile, a number of additional points have developed in my conversations with State and Defense which you might wish to bear in mind in your discussions with Sumitro:

  • —Defense hopes that the Indonesian offer of rifles to Cambodia can be held to 15,000, at least for the time being. The rationale in part is that making up stocks will be difficult (M–16’s would need to come from new production at $150 each; M–14’s are in short supply as stocks are being used to re-equip the National Guard). In addition, if the Indonesians turn over all 33,000 AK–47’s in their possession there will be no requirement in Indonesia for the AK–47 ammunition produced by the Bandung ammunition factory.
  • —A way can be found to replace quickly the rifles Indonesia sends to Cambodia, however. Defense is thinking in terms of a loan of 15,000 [Page 662]M–14’s with a promise to replace them later with M–16’s out of the Indonesian MAP.
  • —Military assistance funds are extremely tight due to the extra burden which Cambodia has imposed. Defense is already cutting into MAP for other countries to take care of Cambodia, and the need to pick up Indonesia imposes yet an additional burden. This is over and above the replacement of rifles, which is being treated as a separate item. Defense believes it can locate funds to maintain Indonesian MAP at a level of $15 million as already agreed, but will find it very difficult to add more. Defense hopes that you can firmly but gently get this point across to Sumitro. ($15 million should be enough, especially if Defense is not held to $70 million annually on what it can provide from U.S. excess.)
  • —For their part, the Indonesians probably have high hopes for much more than $15 million. Suharto wants to standardize the arms of the entire Indonesian Army—which means U.S. help, since he can’t get anything from the Communists. There is talk in Indonesia of setting up an Armalite or M–16 plant. The other services will want their share, too. The Indonesians desire a firm U.S. commitment.
  • —There is no enthusiasm whatsoever in State and Defense for the Indonesian technical mission to be headed by General Umar. They feel that this mission will tend to reinforce Indonesian hopes, in that it might go home with inflated ideas of what we can do if technical talks actually take place. State tried to turn the mission into just a protocol visit limited to Umar, his wife, and two aides. I told them that this simply wouldn’t wash—your talks with Alamsjah and the President’s talks with Suharto endorsed the technical mission concept, and that it simply cannot be turned off. (You may be hearing more on this, though, from Marshall Green.)

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 101, Backchannel Messages 1970, Indonesia, HAK/Sumitro 1970 [1 of 2]. Nodis. Sent for action.