7. Telegram 1439 From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State1 2


  • Military Supply Policy


  • A. STRJ5-UW 00808 (Notal)
  • B. STRJ7-RI 01178 ((95-))
  • C. Ankara 819 (Notal)

Please pass White House

As is well known, this mission strongly recommends a liberalization of military supply policy for South Asia to permit case-by-case direct sale lethal end items as recommended reftel (A), and believes such revision ASAP is necessary for the protection of our vital interests in this area.
After nearly two years of abortive efforts which have tried everyone’s souls we still have produced not repeat not one single tank or anything else. But we have succeeded in annoying [Page 2] India repeatedly embarrassing Germany, Italy, Belgium and now repeat now Turkey: offending Iran: and estranging Pakistan.
Reftel (B) once again points up bankruptcy of present third country sale policy.
If, as stated reftel (B), it will in fact take quote approximately 15 months after GOP and GOT reach a firm agreement before the first M47’s arrive at a Pakistan port unquote then the mountain has labored to bring forth a mouse.
How do we know that GOP and GOT will ever reach an agreement firm enough for us? Certainly the GOT shows marked signs of being reluctant about this.
Why should it take 120 days to collect 60 tanks?
Why should no repeat no shipment be made until 60 have been assembled?
Why could not repeat not a token shipment be made as an evidence of good faith?
Why must collection of M48’s await paper work on MAP order amendment? See reftel (C).
How many more unforeseen slips between the cup and the lip may there be before any tanks arrive in Pakistan?
Can GOP be reasonably expected to proceed if it knew of 15 months estimate for arrival first tanks?
Why should we spend millions of dollars to get GOP 100 old tanks when we have plenty we could sell and realize some dollars for ourselves?
Longer range questions:
If first 100 tanks do materialize where do next 100 come from?
Where do the needed F–104S come from?
Down the road, where do other needed items come from?
If we are ever going to bite the bullet it seems clear it must be now repeat now.
If paragraphs 5 and 6 of reftel (A) are correct, and we strongly maintain that they are, then we must take positive action and the hour is late indeed.
If paragraphs 5 and 6 of reftel (A) are not repeat not correct, and I know of no repeat no responsible USG official who maintains that they are not repeat not, then why do we continue to invest, in this area, so much scarce economic aid sorely needed in other areas of admittedly vital importance?
By every word at my command I urge a prompt liberalization of policy in the interests not repeat not of Pakistan or South Asia but rather in the interests of the United States of America.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, DEF 12–5 INDIA. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Ankara, New Delhi, Laird, JCS, CINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA, USCINCEUR, and CINCUSAFE. Sent with an instruction to pass to the White House.
  2. Ambassador Oehlert reviewed the protracted effort to arrange for military supplies for Pakistan and urged a “prompt liberalization of policy” to expedite the process.