315. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State 1
Djakarta, November 21, 1970, 0430Z.
8770. For Assistant Secretary Green from Ambassador.
- We have had some pretty good indications last few days that contrary some previous reports debate is still going on within Indonesian Government over question of seeking Soviet assistance for rehabilitation of Soviet military equipment (or has been reopened as a result of a new and presumably more attractive Soviet offer). My hunch is that foreign office plus certain elements in military concerned both with Indonesian nonaligned image and with importance of Soviet [Page 683]equipment in air and navy (and this does not include apparently chiefs of staff of these two services) are pressing Suharto to seek Soviet assistance in military field. We have also received indication from member of staff of Chief of Air Force Suwoto that Soviet Ambassador has in last few days given President Suharto rosy picture of possible future Soviet military assistance. I have agreed to meet informally and privately with Chief of Staff of Air Suwoto this coming Monday evening at his request to discuss this matter, his purpose apparently being to seek my reaction and to enlist my efforts to emphasize to Suharto U.S. intentions in military assistance field in way which would counter Soviet approach.
- I talked with new Director General for Political Affairs, Foreign Ministry, Djajadiningrat, yesterday I was asked whether I didn’t agree that Indonesia should seek support from Soviets for rehabilitation Soviet military equipment. I said this was decision for GOI but that from my point of view if price was right and Indonesia could preserve its independence of action I saw no objection.
- I would appreciate reassurance2 that line I took with Djajadiningrat is correct one, particularly if, as we suspect, Soviets are raising the ante.