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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Johnson Administration > Volume XXVI
Foreign Relations 1964-1968, Volume XXVI, Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines  
Released by the Office of the Historian


Documents 165-183

 

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

Djakarta, November 1, 1965, 1200Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Exdis; Immediate. Repeated to Bangkok. Upon receipt at the Department of State, passed to the White House.

1288. Ref: [1 line of source text not declassified]./2/

/2/These telegrams reported that Sukendro asked for medical supplies, tactical communications equipment, rice, and raised the possibility of obtaining small arms, see Document 168.

1. Reftels [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] mark first instance of a senior Indonesian Army official asking us specifically for assistance. Sukendro's approach entails questions which we are still not in a position to answer satisfactorily. For example, does Sukendro represent Nasution-Suharto in this approach? To what extent does he have approval of at least friendly civilian authorities here? To what extent should we grant assistance to the army behind the backs of the civilian authorities? Could such assistance be concealed? Or if it became revealed how damaging would it be to the army and to ourselves?

2. At same time, we remain in the dark regarding army's future planning and capabilities on a broad range of issues and until we know more about their intentions and capabilities it would be hazardous to be drawn into any extensive assistance to military. (This problem was subject of Embtel 1271.)/3/

/3/In telegram 1271 from Djakarta, October 30, the Embassy suggested establishing informal contact with a key figure in the military, not from the top leadership for reasons of conspicuousness, but someone who was close to the "so-called Army Braintrust" led by General Sukendro. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL INDON-US)

3. On one hand, we have to bear in mind army leadership continues to knock US policies and play the same old tired records against NEKOLIMs. Confrontation continues and Indo military evidently feel that any concession in our direction (e.g. our oil properties) would be politically damaging. Hence there seems to be little prospect of break-through on a range of major issues of interest to US at least in near future.

4. On other hand, we have seen important changes past month that could foreshadow further major gains from our viewpoint. Nasution seems at long last to have been spurred to act on and, in tandem with Suharto and other [tough?] deeply motivated military leaders, is moving relentlessly to exterminate PKI as far as that is possible to do. Military and police here face precarious situation, outcome of which means much to free world and where we clearly have a stake. US, along with other like-minded countries, including Japan, have good reason to lend a helping hand to the extent that that help is really needed and to the extent that that help does not compromise army or detract from our interests.

5. If this Embassy, through its various channels, can establish fact that Sukendro is acting at behest of Nasution-Suharto, then I believe we should do what we can as soon as we can, to meet request for medical supplies. Cost is not prohibitive and quantity is such that both financing and shipping could probably be handled covertly. In the event that word were to leak out, adverse reaction would be largely mitigated by humanitarian nature of material provided.

6. As to request for communications equipment, we could tell army that we would give sympathetic consideration to providing certain types of equipment in reasonable quantity but that we would have to have a more explicit statement of army's needs and of purpose to which equipment is to be put before we can proceed. (Presume we would want to consult with UK and Australians on all of foregoing.)

7. As to provision of small arms I would be leery about telling army we are in position to provide same, although we should act, not close our minds to this possibility. There is a chance that situation in central Java might take such a turn for the worse that we would wish to move quickly with packages of certain types of arms. Mean- while, we could explore availability of small arms stocks, preferable of non-US origin, which could be obtained without any overt US Government involvement. We might also examine channels through which we could, if necessary, provide covert assistance to army for purchase of weapons.

8. As for providing rice, I note that Sukendro does not specifically ask our assistance in this regard. He is merely explaining problem and stating his intentions. Our view on rice question already submitted in Embtels 1164 and 1238./4/

/4/In telegram 1164 from Djakarta, October 23, the Embassy explored the range of possible economic assistance to Indonesia. (Ibid., POL AID (US) INDON) Regarding telegram 1238 from Djakarta, see footnote 3, Document 163.

9. Unless you perceive objection we will check through contacts here to determine whether Sukendro's approach reflects wishes of Nasution-Suharto. Would also appreciate having your comments on foregoing.

Green

 

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

Washington, November 1, 1965, 8:10 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Underhill, cleared by William Bundy, and approved by Berger. Repeated to Bangkok.

562. Ref A: Embtel 1288;/2/ Ref B: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]; Ref C: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified];/3/ Ref D: Embtel 1271./4/

/2/Document 165.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 165.

/4/See footnote 3, Document 165.

1. We share your view reflected para 1 Ref A that Sukendro approach [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] surrounded by complex of unanswered question relevant to our continuing relationships with Indonesian Army. We have now established contact with Army [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] but, as you bring out in Ref D, political contact through Galbraith to senior officer under Sukendro would close third side of triangle providing essential perspective on Army's program and intentions.

2. Before we become involved in furnishing assistance, we will want to establish through this political channel basic framework our relations with the Army as distinct from Indonesian Government. Secondly, will want to set up single reliable channel through which requests for aid would be submitted. Finally, we must bring home to Army that while we want to be helpful, our ability to be of assistance will depend in turn on the ability of the Army to influence Indonesia's foreign and domestic policies that have put so great a strain on our relations.

3. Concur that you proceed immediately to check through your contacts to determine whether Sukendro's approach reflects Nasution-Suharto wishes. At same time suggest you proceed with effort establish discreet link at political level as proposed para 5 Ref D.

4. Following thoughts, in addition to questions noted Ref A, suggested by Sukendro approach:

A. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] Does Sukendro not have reliable subordinate in Djakarta whom he trusts?

B. Request for medicines, which not considered of sufficient priority this year to warrant allocation foreign exchange, appears somewhat calculated effort appeal American sympathies. Parenthetically, we find it curious that funds available for Martidinata aero-commanders, but not for medicines.

5. While Sukendro has placed November 3 deadline on response his request we are disposed proceed cautiously. Your reporting thus far indicates no other element urgency and for time being we are disposed give him temporizing reply that his request is under consideration. We are proceeding analysis and costing of medical request so that we can move rapidly if situation warrants.

Rusk

 

167. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs (Cuthell) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, November 3, 1965.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, EA/Indonesia Files: Lot 68 D 467, POL 23-9, 30 September Movement. Secret. Drafted by Underhill. Printed from an unsigned copy.

SUBJECT
Indonesian Army Attitude Towards the United States Government

1. Ambassador Green has noted that we are now dealing with two Indonesian governments. The first is the established, Sukarno-led Dwikora Cabinet. The second is the Indonesian military. There is evidence that the Indonesians see a somewhat comparable split image when they look at the United States, and this memorandum presents an estimate of the Indonesian Army's view of the American Government.

2. The Indonesian Army sees itself as dealing with three American governments. With some over-simplification for the purpose of rough identification, they may be described as the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department. Recognition of the separate military, intelligence, and political aspects of the American governmental structure is not in itself remarkable. What is striking is the degree to which the Army feels it can keep its relationships with each in separate compartments, and deal with each on a separate plane in isolation from the other two.

3. The relationship with the Pentagon is a friendly, professional association developed at Ft. Leavenworth, Fort Benning and Fort Sam Houston. It is a service-to-service tie between military men which transcends political differences between the governments. It is an association founded on trust, respect, and a network of deep personal friendships.

4. [11 lines of source text not declassified]

5. The Army's relations with State have not been extensive. The Army has in the past regarded this manifestation of the American Government as the proper province of the civilian branch of the Indonesian Government. While not regarded as hostile to the Army as such, State is identified in the Army mind with policies and actions inimicable to Indonesia's basic national objectives.

6. The Army knows that all three United States governments approve of its actions against the PKI, and that all three are disposed to help the Army in this effort. The basic problem which now confronts it is how this American desire to help can best be exploited, first in the interests of the Indonesian Army, and, second, in the interest of Indonesia. (The Army naturally sees these two objectives as almost identical.)

7. Help from the Pentagon, i.e., large amounts of arms and material in a MAP pattern, for the time being is foreclosed because it cannot be concealed, and is therefore politically unacceptable. Non-military assistance from State also could not be kept covert and has therefore the same major political drawback. [5 lines of source text not declassified]

8. Looking beyond its current campaign against the PKI, the Army is undoubtedly aware of the problems it will have with State before any large-scale resumption of American assistance is possible. Among these are the following:

a. The Army opposes western military presence in Southeast Asia.

b. The Army favors continuation of confrontation. It may have some differences with Sukarno and Subandrio on tactics, but not on basic policy. Confrontation provides a desirable unifying influence. It provides a foreign enemy against which to channel popular hostility. It provides a rationale for continuing sacrifices from the civilian population and it justifies a continuing lion's share of the budget for the military establishment.

c. The Army opposes our policy in Viet-Nam. It considers our military presence as western intervention encouraging rather than deterring Chinese intervention in Southeast Asia.

d. The Army is strongly nationalistic in economic orientation, and favors the takeover of western economic interests. We could be seriously mistaken if we believe that the Army does not favor a takeover of the American oil industries. It has undoubtedly calculated very carefully the repercussions of such a takeover and may have already made careful preparations with the Japanese and other powers to compensate for any ill effects. Transportation and marketing would obviously be the main problems confronting a national oil industry, and the Japanese are in a position to help on both. The Army may be quite prepared to force Stanvac and Caltex out, go ten or twenty cents per barrel below the world market price in return for Japanese cooperation, and pocket the remainder of the company's share of the profits. On this basis the Army may calculate that Indonesia's foreign exchange position would be improved rather than damaged by a takeover. From the political point of view, such a strongly nationalistic action would be applauded by virtually all Indonesians. It would cut the ground from under the PKI and establish the Army as a firm foe of NEKOLIM.

e. The Army has a major stake in continuing good relations with the Soviet Union. These relations, they feel, will probably survive the current campaign against the PKI, but might suffer serious damage through any highly visible rapprochement with the United States. The Army has a tremendous investment in Soviet hardware, and without spare parts this hardware becomes a pile of junk. The Army's prestige and its position as a major military force in Southeast Asia depends on continued functioning of this equipment. The Army must persuade the Soviet Union that it is anti-Chinese and that despite its actions against the PKI it will continue with policies that will serve Soviet interests in Southeast Asia.

9. If the foregoing analysis of the Army's position is valid, it has the following implications for U.S. policy:

a. In the life and death struggle which has finally been joined with the PKI, the Army deserves our support.

b. For the time being we should accept the fact that the best we can hope for is a more truly non-aligned Indonesian Government still hostile to the United States in many ways, but also hostile in many respects to the interests of both the Soviet Union or Communist China.

c. For the time being we must accept a minor role in influencing the course of Indonesian events. The United States has been too firmly established as the enemy of Indonesian national hopes and ambitions to permit Indonesian individuals and organizations to work publicly with us. We can, however, play an important supporting role with the Japanese and other acceptable foreign governments, and we have an obvious contribution to make in selecting small-scale covert assistance.

d. With the passage of time a more truly non-aligned Indonesian Government may gradually come to recognize that American and Indonesian interests are in harmony and not in opposition. Under these circumstances our investment in training of Army officers under MAP, and civilians under a variety of AID programs will bear fruit. This is, however, a process which must proceed at its own pace and any well-meaning efforts to hurry it are likely to have the reverse effect.

 

168. Memorandum From the Assistant for Indonesia (Nuechterlein) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Friedman)/1/

I-36462/65

Washington, November 4, 1965.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 5127, Indonesia, 000.1, sensitive, 1965. Top Secret; Sensitive. Also sent to Blouin.

SUBJECT
Indonesia Working Group

The second meeting of the Indonesia Working Group took place on 3 November in Mr. Cuthell's office at State. Present were Mr. Cuthell, Mr. Underhill and Mr. Goodspeed from State; Mr. Friedman and Mr. Nuechterlein from DOD; Mr. [name not declassified], CIA; and Mr. Thompson, White House Staff.

The major subject for discussion was the request of General Sukendro, General Nasution's apparent emissary, for medical supplies, tactical communications equipment, rice and possibly small arms to assist the Army in dealing with PKI dissidence during the next few months. As Sukendro's request was [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] stated in somewhat vague terms, State has queried Embassy Djakarta in order to determine whether Sukendro is acting with full support from General Nasution and if so, whether the Embassy believes that the USG should agree to financing all or part of this limited assistance./2/ At the time of the meeting, no reply had been received from Djakarta. Neither had there been any reply to the Joint State-Defense request of October 29 asking for an appraisal of the kind of military assistance that might be requested by the Army in case of PKI insurgency./3/ There was considerable discussion over whether it was in the interest of the USG to make limited medical, economic and military assistance available to the Indonesian Army without conditions. State is of the view that Sukendro's request for assistance was an opening wedge designed to find out how willing the United States is to grant aid and on what conditions. State therefore believes that before committing itself to aiding the Indonesian Army, the USG should have a better idea than it presently does of what future Army policies are likely to be. DOD and the White House Staff believe that the USG should not attach conditions initially because they feel it is important to assure the Army of our full support of its efforts to crush the PKI, which is the basis of Sukendro's request. It was decided [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Sukendro should be advised his request is being considered in Washington. If we determine from Djakarta that Nasution supports Sukendro's request, we will then decide what items should be made available and the extent to which the USG will pay for them.

/2/See Document 166.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 164.

There was considerable discussion of the desirability of consulting at a high level with the Japanese Government to enlist its support for a policy of aiding the Indonesian Army. One problem is that the Japanese prefer to work with a government headed by Sukarno and it is not certain at this point whether Sukarno will eventually be persuaded to work with the Army against the PKI. However, the Japanese show signs of disenchantment with Sukarno's leadership, and it may be possible to get their support for an aid program that would support the Army's position. State will look into the possibility of a high-level approach to the Japanese Government. The meeting also agreed that it might be desirable at some point to bring the Thai Government into the picture, in view of its good relations with Indonesia and because it could serve as transit point for assistance we might wish to give the Indonesian Army.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] now has the report of its communications specialist who was sent to Djakarta to determine the needs for tactical communications equipment. These needs are not large and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] will be able to fill them without difficulty if a decision is reached to proceed. DOD will consider the possibility of augmenting [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] funds if requirements for covert assistance become large.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] has alerted its contacts to report any increase in commercial shipping headed for Indonesia that might be carrying arms to the PKI. This information will be made available to Embassy Djakarta for possible transmittal to the Indonesian Army. There is no requirement as yet for DOD to augment surveillance over shipping in the vicinity of Indonesia; but this may be desirable if the security situation in Java becomes critical.

Another meeting of the Working Group is scheduled for November 10. However, it may be called sooner if a decision is required immediately on some of the items requested by General Sukendro.

D. E. Nuechterlein/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

 

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

Djakarta, November 4, 1965, 0845Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD. Upon receipt, passed to the White House, CIA, NSA, and USIA.

1326. Ref Embtel 1271./2/

/2/See footnote 3, Document 165.

1. DCM saw contact mentioned reftel in informal, easy-to-talk setting and achieved some clarification on army's thinking about current problems as well as being able plant idea that dialogue between this Embassy and someone close to Nasution and Suharto on future political, economic and foreign problems and policies of Indonesia would be useful to both sides. Emerging from discussion were following salient points:

2. Suharto, not Nasution, is one who gives orders, conceives his own strategy and faces Sukarno directly. But he and Nasution are close, Nasution advises him, and there is general understanding that they will not permit wedge to be driven between them as happened in case Nasution and Yani. Source said, "We are saving Nasution for later."

3. DCM probed at some length to discover whether there any civilian political figures especially close to army with whom it would be useful to discuss future. If there are any civilian political figures working closely with army now, other than some of Cabinet ministers in their respective fields, it is being carefully concealed. Only name source proposed as civilian spokesman close to army was Suwito. He said Suwito had been completely disillusioned about Subandrio. DCM said his experience with Suwito had not shown latter to have very friendly or cooperative attitude towards Americans but we of course glad to talk to anyone army felt they could trust.

4. In Central Java army (RPKAD) is training Moslem youth and supplying them with weapons and will keep them out in front against PKI. Army will try to avoid as much as it can safely do so direct confrontation with PKI.

5. With top PKI leadership most of whom are in Djakarta, army is avoiding frontal attack. While carefully limiting their freedom of action and movement, army is letting groups other than army discredit them and demand their punishment, and awaiting developments. Smaller fry being systematically arrested and jailed or executed.

6. Similarly indirect tactic being used with Subandrio. Army discussed removing him but decided against frontal attack, instead is keeping in background and letting other groups attack and slowly demolish Subandrio's image. It requires more time to do it this way but it runs less risk of alienating Sukarno from army.

7. Suharto recently had a three hour discussion with Sukarno trying to convince Sukarno that firm measures army taking against PKI correct and necessary. Sukarno appears to have been convinced (another well-informed source told DCM same thing evening of Nov. 3) that Suharto should have his support. Both these sources believe that Sukarno now accepts Suharto, mainly however in sense of force majeure. DCM asked source whether Sukarno had really accepted Suharto's approach or was merely pretending to do so. Source said he wasn't sure.

8. With reference to solicitation of aid, Sukendro and Sukendro alone speaks for Nasution-Suharto now. Procurement of rice particularly is exclusively concern of Sukendro. Rice is not to be procured by private entrepreneurs.

9. Although Suharto is moving slowly and as much as possible through parties and mass movements in Djakarta and much of Java, in outer islands local military commanders have free hand to take direct action against PKI and they are doing so.

10. Army confident it can break back of PKI attempted insurgency before it get[s] too serious.

11. Army is not thinking purely in military terms or intending turn political future of Indonesia over to civilian elements. Army is moving its people into all aspects of government and organizational framework with view keeping control on political trends and events.

12. Atmosphere of sloganeering aimed at West generally and US particularly would be subject to gradual change but it could not be done all at once. (DCM has made strong point that there would have to be drastic change in this atmosphere before it would be possible for US representatives to work effectively with army or other Indonesians.)

13. DCM made clear that Embassy and USG generally sympathetic with and admiring of what army doing. We felt it essential that we not get involved in any way in present struggle fearing to do [so] would handicap effort army making. We thought it would be well, however, if we could find some way to carry on dialogue with someone or preferable more than one, including civilians, as close as possible to thinking of Nasution and Suharto. Objective would be to lay foundation of understanding between us. This would involve no commitment by either side but would make it easier for us to act effectively if at some future date army should want help from US. There were problems between US and Indonesia which, if not handled in context good understanding between us could grow to proportions which would make it harder rather than easier for us to help Indonesia if in future assistance of any kind desired. One such problem was position American oil companies. Source, who is among most articulate and comprehending of Indonesian Army officers in English, indicated understanding and said he would think it over, consult with his colleagues and be in touch with DCM later.

14. DCM makes following conclusions:

A. On basis this conversation Suharto is much more important political as well as military figure in fact as well as in minds of those around him than DCM, at least previously thought. It is also reflected in other evidence that at least in minds public Suharto is more and more emerging as strong man in Indonesia.

B. Although this is highly speculative, it seemed implied that there is longer term as well as short term army strategy (army, probably wisely, is saying as little about that as possible) which involves plan to make Nasution candidate for the top position after Sukarno.

C. Implication of saving Nasution for later (para 2 above) seems to mean that Suharto will assert carefully applied army pressure and control government but will not, if he can avoid it, take over in name so long as Sukarno is alive.

D. DCM speculates that Nasution-Suharto strategy is for Suharto to activate and instill confidence in Moslem elements. But not to bring Moslem leaders into limelight now. In the post-Sukarno era, Nasution may well play leading political role with Moslem support. People like Hatta, Adam Malik and others, whom we know CAS and other reports are in contact with army leaders, also probably being saved for post Sukarno era.

E. In typically Indonesian, if not Javanese fashion Suharto strategy calls for extreme patience and slow moving time framework. It will require an equally patient approach on part of US if at any point we are to mesh our efforts with army's. Army being very careful not to move too fast, probably out of concern for Sukarno but also because it is Indonesian way.

F. Not much thought has apparently been given yet to what army's conception of future relations with US are to be, or army is for moment keeping that carefully concealed.

15. We believe we have planted seed that may lead to useful political dialogue with army and we think we should continue to cultivate this garden being careful, however, not to overwork soil around still delicate plant constructive potential for us in Indonesia.

Green

 

170. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Thailand/1/

Washington, November 4, 1965, 7:34 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Cuthell, cleared in draft with William Bundy and with Henry Koren, Deputy Director for Intelligence Coordination, INR, and approved by U. Alexis Johnson. Also sent to Djakarta and repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD and DOD for the Office of Secretary McNamara. U. Alexis Johnson sent a memorandum to the 303 Committee explaining the Army's request for medical assistance and submitting a draft of this telegram for approval. McGeorge Bundy approved the draft with minor changes, CIA gave its approval directly to Koren, and Vance telephoned U. Alexis Johnson with Defense approval. (National Security Council Files, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Subject Files, Indonesia) The 303 Committee noted on November 4 that these approvals were obtained by telephone. (Ibid., 303 Committee Minutes, 11/16/65)

749. Ref: Djakarta's 1333./2/

/2/In telegram 1333 from Djakarta, November 4, Green stated that he was "completely satisfied as to General Sukendro's credential as a spokesman for Nasution-Suharto on aid matters." Green recommended urgent action on limited covert assistance, especially Sukendro's request for medicines--"a one shot operation involving relatively small amounts of money"--while holding back on long term aid. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON)

1. In view assurances reftel re Sukendro's role, agree we should proceed to process request for medical supplies, both because request explicitly made and because medical supplies relatively innocuous if fact of our assistance surfaced.

2. We are looking separately into question of communications equipment passed from Djakarta [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], prefer to keep this subject in Djakarta-Washington channel, and do not believe subject should be discussed with Sukendro. If he raises it, we would, however, like to know more precisely what he has in mind.

3. We do not have specific request from Sukendro for anything else. Apart from medical supplies, what he has done to date is to give us general outline of supply problem which Army faces and general outline his prospective shopping list. Since other questions such as supply of arms would present us with additional serious problems not involved in medical supplies issue, we do not wish to pursue subject with Sukendro for the present.

4. We understand Sukendro still in Bangkok. Mission should approach him through established channel and tell him following:

A. We are willing to act on his request for medical supplies, and are now reviewing list in terms availabilities, locations, means of covert purchase and pricing. We are having trouble with some items on list which we cannot identify by nomenclature given, and would like keep in touch with Sukendro or someone he designates for clarification. If Sukendro wishes to handle personally, we would like to know where he will be in next few days so that list of questioned items can be sent to him.

B. When we have completed study of package we will communicate again with Sukendro and will inform him re size of package and any large discrepancy in time of availability of component parts. In meantime we would like Sukendro's views as to preferred method and place of delivery.

5. In delivering foregoing message would like to be sure our representative does not speculate about possibility favorable action any further items other than to indicate our general willingness to consider Army requests for small-scale covert assistance. Representative should also tell Sukendro that we will be glad to talk to him outside Indonesia about limited covert assistance, but that before Washington can consider any substantial assistance it will need to know more about Army's political views and intentions and Army's attitude toward US- Indonesian relations. Representative should add that in order obtain this information he understands we are attempting to set up political contact with Indonesian Army in Djakarta through our DCM.

Rusk

 

171. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State/1/

Bangkok, November 5, 1965, 1200Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Djakarta and CINCPAC for POLAD.

920. Ref: A. Deptel 750;/2/ B. Deptel 749;/3/ C. Deptel 748./4/

/2/In telegram 750, repeated to Bangkok and sent to Djakarta as 576, November 4, the Department of State informed the Embassy in Indonesia that it had authorized informing Sukendro that the United States was prepared to furnish medical supplies. (Ibid.)

/3/Document 170.

/4/Not found.

1. CAS Bangkok acting on authority contained para 1 Ref A conveyed the substance para 4 and 5 Ref B to General Sukendro on November 5. The meeting was necessarily short in view of Sukendro's then pending departure for Rangoon. Sukendro was obviously pleased with the favorable response to his request on behalf of the Indonesian Army leadership. There ensued a discussion of the covert arrangements to be made for the Indonesian Army's obstensible purchase of the medicines and a review of the medical list by Sukendro's doctor, a Col. (Dr.) Achmad Soemantri. The revised list and proposed covert arrangements will be reported in CAS channels.

2. Although the guidance contained in the referenced messages was strictly adhered to, Sukendro specifically stated the Indonesian Army leadership does desire to pursue further in subsequent discussion here the possibility of covert limited provision of weapons and communications equipment. General Sukendro specifically asked, and it was felt unwise to question the propriety of his request, that there be further discussion in Bangkok on possible covert provision of additional limited covert assistance to the Indonesian Army.

3. Sukendro advised that Col. Firmansjah is to arrive in Bangkok early next week. He stated the Colonel is being sent here to dis- cuss the Indonesian Army small arms requirement. (This had earlier been approached by Sukendro as reported para 5, CAS Bangkok 0256/5/ and presumably has reference to para 4, Ref C.) He further stated police Colonel Soebianto is scheduled to arrive by the beginning of the week with the list of communications equipment needed by the army. There was no discussion of the planned arrival of these officers nor any discussion relative to assistance for the pro- vision of communications equipment or weapons. It was felt best not to be drawn into a discussion of what we could or could not consider in terms of support beyond that presently approved. It was additionally believed unwise to attempt to discuss the propriety of further substantive discussions here in view of Sukendro's repeated statements that the army wishes to handle these matters here on a covert basis and security circumstances in Djakarta are not in their opinion conducive to working out details inherent in the provision of such support.

/5/Not found.

4. Sukendro will be returning from Rangoon on either 6 or 8 November in view of information which he had just received from his advance party in Rangoon to the effect that there is no additional rice available for export from Rangoon beyond that already committed for next year.

5. In view of Sukendro's apparent intention to pursue further the possibility of U.S. Government covert assistance in obtaining communications equipment and small arms to arm Moslem and nationalist youths in Central Java for use against the PKI, we necessarily need more explicit guidance as to how this matter is to be handled here./6/ This is particularly important in view of Sukendro's early return to Bangkok and the fact that he will perforce be here for a very short period of time within which the basic arrangements will apparently need be made before his departure for Cairo. His present schedule will require his departure on about 10 or 11 November for Cairo. He stated that he plans to leave his senior aide here to work out the implementing details of any mutually agreed assistance.

/6/In telegram 762 to Bangkok, November 6, the Department of State authorized meeting with Sukendro or his representatives at his initiative, listening to what he had to say and reporting to Washington. There was to be no implication of providing anything more than medical supplies already authorized, but the U.S. officials could ask questions to clarify any Indonesia requests for additional aid. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9) According to notes of the November 8 meeting of the Indonesia Working Group, this reply went out before comments of the Embassy in Djakarta were received. (Memorandum by Nuechterlein, November 8; Washington National Records Center; RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 5127, Indonesia 000.1, sensitive, 1965)

6. Although circumstances did not permit a discussion in depth of the army's political views, intentions and attitudes toward Indonesian-U.S. relations the following impinges on this subject. When substance of guidance contained in para 5, Ref B conveyed to Sukendro he responded by stating that he fully appreciates the U.S. concern and need to have the earliest possible exposition of Indonesian Army policy on these subjects. He made it clear however that any discussion on this matter would in his opinion necessarily be academic at this point; that the army must of necessity first succeed in eliminating the PKI, Subandrio and all others in positions of leadership and authority who are responsible for the present Indonesian policy. He stated that until and unless the army succeeds in this, it is not possible to change or openly advocate a change in Indonesian foreign policy. He stated there is no question as to the army's desire to normalize relations and this will follow naturally and automatically with the elimination of these elements. Sukendro stated that he and others of his group have discussed their hopes and plans for Indonesia so often in the past and they are embarrassed to discuss this now in view of their obvious inability to take those actions./7/

/7/In telegram 1353 from Djakarta, November 7, Green commented on telegram 920 from Bangkok with a reiteration of his views expressed in Document 165. As for communications equipment, he believed that low visibility equipment covertly provided would have maximum immediate utility to Indonesian armed forces. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON)

Wilson

 

172. Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency/1/

Washington, November 9, 1965.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Indonesia, 1963-1965. Secret.

SUBJECT
Covert Assistance to the Indonesian Armed Forces Leaders

1. The requests of the Indonesian military leaders for covert assistance in their struggle against the Partai Kommunis Indonesia (PKI), create a definite risk for us of deliberate assistance to a group which cannot be considered a legal government nor yet a regime of proven reliability or longevity. Early assessment of the political direction and longevity of this military leadership must be accomplished and, before any overt or readily visible assistance could be offered, its legal authority as well as its de facto control must be confirmed explicitly. As long as Sukarno fights a clever rear-guard delaying action politically, this is not likely soon to occur.

2. On the other hand, the Army leaders appear determined to seize the opportunity of the current confused circumstances to break the organizational back of the PKI, to eliminate it as an effective political force, and to prevent emergence of any crypto-Communist successor party. Recent intelligence from within the PKI party ranks clearly indicates that the PKI has begun to abandon hope of salvation through Sukarno's political legerdemain and has therefore decided it must, however ill-prepared and disorganized, fight back against the Army. Despite the overwhelming military superiority of the Armed Forces, the roots of Communism, of PKI membership, and of mass support nurtured for years by the constant flood of pro-Communist media, are so deep in many areas that the Army is very likely to be faced with a lingering insurgency situation. Specifically, much of Central Java is in very poor shape. Hard intelligence on the area shows a sizeable potential for resistance, and PKI sources indicate plans for a redoubt area there. Considering the economic problems Army leaders will face as they gradually assume more and more authority under their own program for a non-Communist future, the law of rising expectations is against them; they cannot divert popular attention from economic ills as Sukarno has for many years, and the weight of several years neglect of economic problems and realities may fall upon them. Therefore if the PKI can build even small areas of resistance in Central Java and West Sumatra, they will have the ideal bases from which to mount campaigns of harassment, subversion and sabotage as the emergent non-Communist government attempts to grapple with responsibilities already close to overpowering.

3. In addition, the Army must find some formula for continuing its relationship with Sukarno in a way that will retain real control for themselves without necessitating a preemptive hostile move against Sukarno which might cause him to defy or deny them, and thus provoke divisions in their own ranks. In this insurgency situation therefore, the Army has no real guarantee of ultimate success; hazards to its survival are many and varied.

4. One of the Army's major needs will be civilian support. They have instituted psychological warfare mechanisms, control of media prerequisite to influencing public opinion and have harassed or halted Communist output. They have also mobilized certain bases of mass support, especially among Moslems. Unfortunately in these areas where the PKI has been able to initiate an insurgent campaign or local resistance, as in Central Java, the Army has not been able to protect those anti-Communist civilians who have fought the PKI and pro-Communist rebel troops. If this situation continues, the populace in some of these areas may be intimidated from affording aid to the government forces regardless of their convictions, or they will be decimated.

5. True, the future policy of the Indonesian Army if it should succeed in controlling or eliminating Sukarno as an effective factor is not entirely clear. Two probabilities do however seem fairly significant about its future stance:

a. It will certainly be less oriented towards Asian Communist Bloc and will be decidedly Nationalist (though not without some Marxist and anti-Western concepts), perhaps with a strong neutralist flavor and hopefully with a concentration upon Indonesia's internal welfare.

b. Its future attitude regarding the West and the U.S. in particular will certainly be affected favorably by the degree to which the U.S. can now provide what limited aid the military leaders feel they require in their struggle to survive.

6. In short, we must be mindful that in the past years we have often wondered when and if the Indonesian Army would ever move to halt the erosion of non-Communist political strength in Indonesia. Now that it has seized upon the fortuitous opportunity afforded by the PKI's error in the 30 September affair and is asking for covert help as well as understanding to accomplish that very task, we should avoid being too cynical about its motives and its self-interest, or too hesitant about the propriety of extending such assistance provided we can do so covertly, in a manner which will not embarrass them or embarrass our government.

7. In reviewing the types of assistance which can be provided covertly, we believe that mechanisms exist or can be diverted or created to extend either covert credits for purchases or to deliver any of the types of the materiel requested to date in reasonable quantities. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] The same can be said of purchasers and transfer agents for such items as small arms, medicine and other items requested. [1 line of source text not declassified] wherein we can permit the Indonesians with whom we are dealing to make desired purchases and even indicate to them where items may be purchased without our being in on the direct transaction. Some degree of control can be exercised through these accounts to insure that the letters of credit cannot be misused for other than specified purposes. [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] which can be made available on very short notice. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] equipment would be more expensive and would require a little more time to deliver. It would however probably be more appropriate if equipment is to be handed by Indonesian Army officers to selected civilian auxiliaries.

8. We do not propose that the Indonesian Army be furnished such equipment at this time. This should be determined only after exhaustive conversations with Sukendro and his associates and, to the extent securely feasible, with Nasution's subordinates at Djakarta. In these we would probe for necessary details, e.g., precisely why they need additional arms, how they intend to use them, to whom they intend to give them, how they intend to control the release and registration of weapons and to control the groups who receive them, and many other questions.

9. If the Indonesian Army leadership continues to insist to us that they need this type of assistance to crush the PKI, and even if they furnish the above details, we would still be incurring political risk and the possible risk of loose handling of the arms in satisfying the request. These risks, however, must be weighed against the greater risks that failure to provide such aid which the Army claims it needs to win over the PKI might result in reduction of the Army's future political position and concomitant erosion of what may be a unique opportunity to ensure a better future for U.S. interests in Indonesia. It is difficult to predict definitively that aid of this type is absolutely vital to that future. If the Army leaders justify their needs in detail, however, it is likely that at least will help ensure their success and provide the basis for future collaboration with the U.S. The means for covert implementation, either of transmittal of funds for necessary purchases or delivery of the requested items themselves in discreet fashion, are within our capabilities.

 

173. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State/1/

Bangkok, November 11, 1965, 0614Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Djakarta and CINCPAC for POLAD.

951. Ref: A. Djakarta's 1353 to SecState, 120 to Bangkok;/2/ B. Deptel 762 to Bangkok, 585 to Djakarta./3/

/2/See footnote 6, Document 171.

/3/See footnote 5, Document 171.

1. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] 10 November met with General Sukendro at latter's request. This meeting immediately preceded Sukendro's departure for meeting with Malaysian Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dato Ghazali and Sukendro's subsequent departure for Cairo.

2. Implementation details for the covert provision of the medicines per Deptel 750/4/ and our Embtel 920 to Washington and 63 to Djakarta/5/ were reviewed with Sukendro at this time to insure the latter's full understanding and approval of the arrangements being made with Sukendro's designee--Col. (Dr.) Achmad Soemantri. As earlier noted Soemantri has been ordered by Sukendro to remain in Bangkok to act as his liaison officer to work out the details for the covert implementation of medical agreement. Sukendro continues, of course, to be quite pleased with the expeditious and favorable responses to the Indonesian Army's request for covert medical assistance. He stated he has reported to Generals Nasution and Suharto that arrangements were being made for the early delivery of the requested medicines. He has additionally reported in his capacity as head of the purchasing mission to President Sukarno on the arrangements for the purchase of rice and medicines. Naturally the latter report is on the basis of this being a straight commercial transaction negotiated by his mission.

/4/See footnote 2, Document 171.

/5/Document 171.

3. Sukendro again referred to the army's urgent need for communications equipment. He specifically requested that arrangements be made for the covert procurement and provision to the Indonesian army of a limited amount of commercially available communications equipment. He noted that the army while hoping and working for the best must nevertheless be prepared for the worst. Despite that which has been accomplished in the past five-six weeks in crushing the PCD, he believes the army has a long way to go.

4. Sukendro identified essentially three basic communications requirements. He cited two as being particularly urgent and requested US Government covert assistance in bridging what the army considers a serious communications gap. He stated the senior army leaders in the Djakarta area have no voice radio communications facilities. The army leaders need portable voice equipment to provide communications from one to the other and to perhaps two of the military units in the Djakarta area. They have in mind perhaps a dozen sets which would be assigned to Nasution, Suharto, Umar, Sukendro and other senior military leaders plus the Para Commando Unit and possibly one of the guard battalions in the metropolitan area.

5. The second requirement specifically identified by Sukendro as a significant gap in Indonesian army communications has to do with the establishment of an army voice circuit based in Djakarta and connecting the army commands at Medan, Palembang, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Makassar and Bandjermasin. Security conditions permitting, they will probably want to position another set at Jogdjakarta and possibly one other principal command location. Sukendro noted the army has no long range voice communication net. The intent here is to establish a controlled quick-reaction emergency backup to the existing army CW system and commercial telephone and telegraph. Sukendro stated the deficiencies in voice communications equipment available to the army has been further aggravated by destruction of communications equipment in the course of the 30 September incident and subsequent actions.

6. He stated the army's experiences since 30 September have made them acutely aware of the inadequacies of the communications facilities presently available to them. The senior army leaders feel particularly exposed by their lack of voice communications for their personal protection, particularly in the Djakarta area. Hence the request in para 4 above. They believe in a fast moving, fluid situation such as they are now confronted with, their ability to talk immediately to the commander on the spot could be of tremendous assistance. In emergencies they recognized that time often does not permit the use of CW and the telephone system is both vulnerable and unreliable.

7. The third communications area of concern to the Indonesian Army leadership is in the area of more effective communications on the tactical unit level in the Central Java area. This problem is the subject of a staff study by Col. Soebianto in Djakarta. Soebianto however was not able to get to Bangkok prior to Sukendro's departure. Sukendro did not pursue this problem area other than to make passing reference. He specifically identified their request for equipment as having to do with the requirements set forth above. He neither stated nor implied that there would be a subsequent request for support in addition to that noted in the preceding paragraphs.

8. The army does not have funds available to purchase this equipment. If the decision is made to accede to their request it will necessarily have to be on the basis of covert procurement and delivery [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] from which point Sukendro assures the army's capability to receive and arrange onward movement to Indonesia. Sukendro stated this will not present a problem for the army. Presupposing that the equipment is sterile and commercially available the army does not believe this would present a problem of security or potential embarrassment given the requirements as identified above.

We suggest consideration might be given to the covert procurement of commercially available stock items as set forth in our immediately following telegram./6/ The estimated cost of these units which are believed to be fully adequate to the requirement and would additionally provide a CW as well as voice communications capability, would be approximately $40,000. Gen. Sukendro's liaison officer is locally available to follow through on this request as appropriate./7/

/6/Telegram 952 from Bangkok, November 11. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON)

/7/In telegram 1427 from Djakarta, November 12, the Embassy strongly recommended providing this communications equipment on the grounds that it was "critical in current, delicately balanced struggle between Army and Sukarno and cohorts." The Embassy added that the importance of the equipment to the Army far outweighed its "relatively minor costs." (Ibid., POL INDON-US) In telegram 373 to Canberra, November 12, sent also to Djakarta, London, Wellington, and New Zealand, the Department reported that Berger had informed the Australian, New Zealand, and British Embassies that the United States had agreed to send $100,000 of medical supplies and was seriously considering giving the Indonesian Army Command $50,000 worth of commercial communications equipment. (Ibid., DEF US-INDON)

Wilson

 

174. Telegram From the Consulate in Medan to the Department of State/1/

Medan, Indonesia, November 16, 1965, 0115Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 INDON. Confidential. Repeated to Djakarta.

65. 1. Two officers of Pemuda Pantjasila separately told Consulate officers that their organization intends kill every PKI member they can catch. November 14 Secretary Medan City Pemuda Pantjasila said policy his organization is to ignore public calls for calm and order by Sukarno and other leaders. He stated Pemuda Pantjasila will not hand over captured PKI to authorities until they are dead or near death. He estimated it will take five years to eradicate all PKI. Similar statements were made few days earlier by leader North Sumatra cultural arm of Pemuda Pantjasila.

2. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] sources indicate that much indiscriminate killing is taking place (FNM-1516)./2/ [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Consulate sources have connected some of this violence with declaration "holy war" against PKI by local Moslem leaders. While press has carried relatively little on such violence, November 10 newspapers carried account of "revolutionary youth" cornering and beating to death PKI member North Sumatra legislature.

/2/Not further identified.

3. Press has also in recent days carried reports of five mutilated bodies discovered in Medan streets. PKI terrorists blamed. Commenting on these reports, above sources stated it is press policy to play up deaths of anti-Communists in order justify attacks on PKI members.

4. Same sources indicate strong hostility toward PNI and expressed determination "clean up" that organization.

5. Secretary Medan Pemuda Pantjasila at one point said bitterly that only way solve Indonesia's problems is to shoot dead both Subandrio and Sukarno. His companion agreed. Other Pemuda Pantjasila leader said on separate occasion that if Sukarno refuses ban PKI he likely be overthrown. Comments by other Consulate sources suggest growing hostility toward Sukarno generated by his evident reluctance ban PKI. Worth noting that Medan press to date has carried no word of Sukarno's recent attacks on U.S.

6. Comment:

(A.) Attitude Pemuda Pantjasila leaders can only be described as bloodthirsty. While reports of wholesale killings may be greatly exaggerated, number and frequency such reports plus attitude of youth leaders suggests that something like real reign of terror against PKI is taking place. This terror is not discriminating very carefully between PKI leaders and ordinary PKI members with no ideological bond to the party. FNM-1515/2/ suggests that army itself is officially adopting extreme measures against PKI with plans to put many thousands in concentration camps.

/2/Not further identified.

(B.) PNI was out in force on both November 9, when they presented statement to General Mokoginta, and on November 10 heroes day celebration. PNI avoided endorsement of demand for ban on PKI on both occasions. PNI remains large and apparently strong here and there is real possibility of violence between PNI and militant anti-Communist groups. (Pemuda Pantjasila and PNI youth clashed briefly on November 2, and Pemuda Pantjasila members reportedly carried knives and clubs to November 10 mass meeting in anticipation of clash with PNI.)

Heavner

 

175. Memorandum Prepared for the 303 Committee/1/

Washington, November 17, 1965.

/1/Source: National Security Council, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Subject Files, Indonesia. Secret; Eyes Only.

SUBJECT
Supply of Communications Equipment to Key Anti-Communist Indonesian Army Leaders

1. Summary

The purpose of this operational proposal is to assure that certain key anti-Communist Indonesian Army leaders will have adequate communications equipment for use in their fight against the Communist insurgents. Such equipment is in insufficient supply in Indonesia. This lack has, in consequence, imperiled the personal security of important anti-Communist Army leaders and has jeopardized their effectiveness in combating the Communists' efforts to eliminate non-Communist influence favorable to us in their Government.

This request for equipment by several leading Indonesian officials has the support of the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and is concurred in by the State Department's Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs.

There are some risks in the delivery of this equipment, but [1 line of source text not declassified] with proper precautions in making deliveries to the ultimate recipients will minimize such risks. The Indonesians cannot now ostensibly nor actually purchase this equipment in the U.S. without exception being made to U.S. export license controls, thereby implying U.S. Government collusion. Any exposure of this activity would embarrass not only the U.S. Government, but certain high Army officials in the Indonesian Government. Much care will be taken in this regard.

The cost of the requested equipment is approximately [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. The supplies themselves come to [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] will be required to package and ship.

On 5 November 1965 the 303 Committee approved a similar request to send medical supplies to Indonesia./2/ This operation is proceeding on an urgent basis. It is hoped that the 303 Committee will approve the above program, which it is expected will proceed with the same urgency.

/2/See footnote 1, Document 170.

2. Problem

The immediate need is to provide on an urgent basis the present Indonesian Army leadership with secure voice and CW communications. Such equipment will provide a continuity of communications among the various Army units and their anti-Communist leaders and between certain of these leaders and U.S. elements. Given the uncertain loyalties within various Army commands and within Army communications proponents, existing communications equipment cannot be relied on to satisfy this need.

3. Factors Bearing on the Problem

On 13 October 1965, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] were furnished from [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] stocks for use of the guards protecting Nasution and other key Army officers. The continuing insufficiency of this equipment in the hands of leading anti-Communist Army leaders has imperiled their own personal security and could make it difficult for them in a crisis to communicate securely with each other and/or with the U.S. A [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] communications expert surveyed the needs in late October in conjunction with the Djakarta country team. The Indonesian Army does not have funds to purchase the equipment but asks that it be given to them covertly and as rapidly as possible.

a. Origin of the Requirement

The various requirements for communications equipment came [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] from the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, from the Minister of Defense Nasution's aide, and from General Sukendro.

b. Pertinent U.S. Policy Considerations

On 5 November 1965 the 303 Committee approved an operational proposal for Indonesia responding to a request for medical supplies.

c. Operational Objectives

A covert contact [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] must be maintained with certain Indonesian Army leaders who also require additional means of communicating securely among their own components in their struggle with the Communists. In the confused situation of conflicting loyalties in the Indonesian scene today, the security and personal safety of the leading anti-Communist leaders and safety of their families from intimidation and kidnapping, is of vital importance to their continuance of the struggle to prevent any return to the status quo before the 30 September coup. The possible assassination of Nasution, Suharto, Umar or a number of other generals would constitute serious setbacks for the U.S. Furthermore, in order to coordinate planning with trusted subordinates, they must have private communication facilities, frequently out of direct channels, in order to be really secure. There is equipment available within the Indonesian Army units for routine communications but recent events have shown clearly that not everyone, even in high ranks of the Indonesian Armed Forces, can be relied on to be loyal to, or even sympathetic with, the desires of Nasution and Suharto to crush the PKI, especially if in virtual defiance of Sukarno.

d. Equipment

[6 paragraphs (13 lines of source text) not declassified]

e. Risks Involved

Any publicity on this operational program would be highly embarrassing both to the U.S. Government and to the Indonesian Army leadership. Extreme care will be taken in all aspects of this operation, especially that pertaining to shipment of the requested equipment. [4 lines of source text not declassified] A covert delivery procedure has been devised to the ultimate Indonesian recipient.

f. Training

A qualified and senior Army communications officer, designated by Sukendro, would be provided [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] with special covert training at a safe site in use of the equipment. He would be required to bring with him the following necessary data: details of the several proposed net patterns, including locations of components and general concept of operations for the net; the frequencies between 45 and 52 megacycles which could be used in Indonesia (to afford maximum security from local monitoring) so that, based upon these specifications, our communicator would be able to tune the equipment to the desired frequencies and provide advice concerning a secure signal plan and communications procedures.

g. Funding

The overall cost is estimated at [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. The equipment itself will be approximately [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] for shipping and packaging.

4. Coordination

This operational proposal has been recommended by the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and has been concurred in by the State Department's Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs.

5. Recommendation

That the 303 Committee approve this program./3/

/3/At the November 19 meeting of the 303 Committee, the members believed that assistance was "highly desirable," but McGeorge Bundy thought that "the provision of this support on as non-attributable basis as possible was far more essential than simple speed of delivery." He requested that a search be made to see if Japanese or U.S. surplus equipment were available, rather than the latest U.S. equipment. Colby agreed to try, but if other sources were not available, the matter would be referred to the Committee again. (National Security Council, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Minutes, 11/19/65) At the December 17 meeting, Colby reported that CIA had located and purchased equipment similar to that already provided and thus solved the problem of attribution. (Ibid., 12/17/65)

 

176. Intelligence Memorandum/1/

OCI No. 2942/65

Washington, November 18, 1965.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. VI, 11/65-5/66. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Background Use Only. Prepared in the Office of Current Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency.

POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS IN INDONESIA'S
CONFRONTATION OF MALAYSIA

Summary

A major source of instability in Southeast Asia has been Indonesia's "confrontation" of Malaysia which began in early 1963. Following the change of political climate in Djakarta, there has been speculation that the Indonesian army might bring an end to confrontation. It is unlikely, however, that the army because of the political liabilities involved and its own anti-Malaysia orientation, is now ready to take such action. In the near future military activity against Malaysia, already at a low level, should not be significantly affected by the Indonesian upheaval.

1. Although there was a massive Indonesian buildup along the Borneo border and in Sumatra, beginning last December and largely completed by May, military activity directed against Malaysia has declined during the past six months. With few exceptions, only routine patroling and minor probing action has taken place along the Borneo border. The last Indonesian attempt to infiltrate an armed guerrilla unit into the Malayan peninsula occurred last March. Indonesian planning for demolition sabotage against the Malayan peninsula has continued but implementation has been limited. During the past two months there has been only one explosion attributed to an Indonesian agent.

2. This lag in Indonesian activity has resulted in large part from the almost total lack of success the Indonesians have had in their past operations in Borneo and in the Malayan peninsula. In Borneo, effective British cross-border operations have disrupted Indonesian planning and have placed the approximately 17,000 Indonesian troops in the area on the defensive. Since August 1963, when Indonesian infiltration attempts against Malaya began, British and Malaysian security forces have captured or killed over 500 of the nearly 700 Indonesian guerrillas involved in these unsuccessful efforts.

3. Several recent reports have indicated that the Indonesian army now intends to reach a modus vivendi with Malaysia. However, there is reason to doubt whether the army favors an end to confrontation. While opposed to many of Sukarno's internal policies and his fostering of Communist influence, the army in the past has accepted enthusiastically Sukarno's expansionist policies and has apparently been convinced that Malaysia is a British scheme aimed against Indonesia. A good example of the army's somewhat naive international view is the lingering and apparently sincere belief among the army leadership that the British, as well as Communist China, played a role in instigating the "30 September" plot against the army.

4. If the army eventually becomes the ruling force in Indonesia it will inherit a number of pressing economic and social problems compounded by the current unrest. In the past Sukarno made use of foreign adventures and international issues to divert attention from these problems. The army could conceivably feel the need to borrow a page from Sukarno and re-emphasize confrontation.

5. Even should the army want to end confrontation, it would be difficult for it to move in this direction in the near future. After two years of anti-Malaysian propaganda, the average Indonesian considers confrontation a patriotic duty. Even a hint of a conciliatory army position toward "neocolonialist" Malaysia would give Sukarno the ammunition he needs to undermine the army's attempts to maintain its present political initiative.

6. Although, for the above reasons, an early end to confrontation seems unlikely, military activity against Malaysia is likely to remain at a low ebb while the army is deeply involved in political maneuvering and suppression of the Communist Party. The current level of confrontation activity does not require the large numbers of troops now deployed around the periphery of Malaysia. One brigade of troops has recently been returned from the confrontation theater to the now critical areas of Central and East Java, and other similar redeployments can be expected.

7. Malaysian leaders, in recent statements, have indicated they have little hope for a settlement with Indonesia in the near future. However, a new generation of political leadership, more nationalistic, parochially Malay and anti-Chinese in outlook, is now emerging in Kuala Lumpur. If an Indonesia emerges in which Communist influence has been muzzled, Sukarno has been ousted from real power and more moderate leadership prevails, Kuala Lumpur, anxious to present a more "Afro-Asian" image, will be eager for an accommodation with its "Malay brothers" to the south and might take the lead in seeking a settlement.

8. The new nation of Singapore would look with disfavor upon a sudden normalization of relations between Malaysia and Indonesia which would also bring the elimination or reduction of British military presence in the area. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, noting the current anti-Chinese activity in Indonesia, has already expressed alarm over the prospects of a Malay "encirclement" of Chinese Singapore.

 

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

Djakarta, November 19, 1965, 1135Z.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, DEF 6 INDON. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to London.

1511. 1. We believe that US and allies should be extremely cautious about offering help to General[s?] at this time. In any case, our help should be contingent upon whether we believe army really intends to remain firm against Sukarno/Subandrio. There are conflicting indications as to whether army will remain firm or whether it will bow gradually to President's will. In view of Indo tendency to procrastinate and avoid hard decisions, we should take care lest premature, unconditional offers of assistance strengthen army tendency to avoid facing issues. Above all we should not provide assistance that will redound to benefit of Sukarno who remains head of state and govt. At present time, army would seem to be in general agreement with above approach (see Embtel 1479 reporting my latest conversation with Saito)./2/

/2/Dated November 17. (Ibid., AID (JAPAN) INDON)

2. At present there is conflicting evidence as to whether, when and how army will move against Sukarno. As long as Sukarno retains power army and anti-Communist will probably be inclined to maintain "anti-imperialist" and "anti-colonial" policy which has corollaries of continued confrontation of Malaysia and anti-Western posture generally (although viciousness of anti-US propaganda may be reduced as long as army can continue to exercise balance to Sukarno). We also forsee continued and probably increasing chaos as result of impasse between Sukarno and army that makes any kind of economic development program absurd unless and until one or other is eliminated entirely as political force.

3. Although US prospects may be better in long run (post Sukarno), we do not forsee any great improvement in US position in short run even if army can hold on as half of sort of triumvirate power structure. Furthermore, Sukarno counterattacks to regain his former power (or, ultimately, even more) will undoubtedly make use of anti-US themes. We have already seen evidence of this in President's 150 million rupiah charge./3/

/3/In a speech to the Cabinet on November 6, Sukarno charged that former Ambassador to Indonesia Howard Jones gave a "certain Indonesian" 150 million rupiahs for the purpose of "spreading the Free World ideology in Indonesia." (Airgram 331 from Djakarta, November 16; ibid., POL 2-1 INDON)

4. Accordingly, we recommend following line to be advanced at prospective meeting (and as basic US position):

A. We take no steps that would enhance Sukarno-Subandrio image whether desired by Indo Army or not.

B. We should not provide any significant economic assistance to Indo Army unless and until we know where they are going politically and economically. (Carefully placed assistance which will help army cope with PKI actions different.)

C. We should consider assistance to genuinely non-Communist government if there is altered atmosphere in which such assistance could be effective.

D. In discussing requests for assistance with Indo groups or third countries, we would do well to mention Sukarno's condemnation of US aid and unfounded charges of US subversion, as well as lack of evidence that Indonesia prepared to make most effective use of outside assistance.

Green

 

178. Intelligence Memorandum/1/

OCI No. 2943/65

Washington, November 22, 1965.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. VI, 11/65-5/66. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Background Use Only. Prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency.

INDONESIAN ARMY ATTITUDES TOWARD COMMUNISM/2/

/2/The Office of Current Intelligence prepared related intelligence memoranda including: OCI No. 2940/65, November 8, a biographic assessment of Suharto and analysis of his role during and after the September 30 coup; OCI No. 3041/65, November 12, entitled "The Indonesian Army: Objectives and Problems"; OCI No. 2395/65, November 17, examining the Army's concern about the rice situation in Indonesia; and OCI No. 3096/65, December 2, which examined the "Leadership Prospects in Indonesia" and concluded that Sukarno would remain chief of state with the army playing a strong national political role for the foreseeable future. (All ibid., Vol. V, 10/65-11/65 and Vol. VI, 11/65-5/66)

1. For six weeks the Indonesian Army has been engaged in a major campaign against the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Party members and sympathizers are being rounded up and interned by the military; others are being purged from local government positions; and in Central Java PKI adherents are reported to be shot on sight by the army. The army has risked much of its prestige and political future on this campaign. It wants to ban the PKI and to cripple the party permanently, but its attitude toward Marxism is far more complicated than simple anti-Communism.

2. The army has a long record of opposition to the PKI as a political force. In addition, some army leaders undoubtedly view Communism as an ideology which is essentially evil, totalitarian, and alien to the "Indonesian way of life." But this view is by no means universal. Army officers and enlisted personnel, like Indonesians in all other walks of life, have for the past several years been subjected to a fairly constant barrage of pro-Communist propaganda. This propaganda, echoed and often initiated by President Sukarno, has had its effect. While some army officers' beliefs are firmly rooted in a fundamentalist and essentially anti-Communist Moslem tradition, many others, particularly in the lower ranks, equally firmly consider themselves to be Marxist socialists. Nearly all army leaders, however, are united in regarding the PKI as a rival for power within Indonesia. They are at present engaged in a power struggle, not an ideological struggle, with the party.

3. A well-placed army source recently told the US Embassy that the army was anti-Chinese and anti-PKI, but not anti-Communist. This is a good capsule summary of the military's position, for clearly a large segment of the army is by no means opposed to Marxism per se. Indeed, officially the army gives full assent to the frequently stated proposition that the Indonesian revolution is a socialist revolution. Probably few army leaders would oppose some sort of state-controlled Marxist party, even one calling itself Communist, if this party were clearly nationalistic--that is, wholly oriented toward Indonesian national interests. The Yugoslav model is instructive in this regard.

4. The army leadership at present finds itself opposed to the PKI on a variety of grounds. First, the murder of a number of high-ranking officers in the course of the insurrection on 1 October has made it clear to the army leadership that its very survival may be at stake in the present struggle. Second, the PKI, with its high degree of political motivation and discipline, has developed an independent power structure that is not necessarily responsive to the organs of government. Finally, the army believes the PKI's ties to Peking make it in effect the agent of a foreign power. For all these reasons the army finds the PKI a threat to its own power position. But it also finds in these factors useful arguments in the propaganda war it is now waging against the PKI. It is claiming the party is out of phase with Indonesian ideals and a "traitor" to the Indonesian revolution, and is emphasizing Chinese Communist involvement in the 1 October uprising. This last argument is particularly effective, given the Indonesians' general antipathy to the numerous Chinese merchants living in their midst.

5. In pressing this campaign against the PKI, however, the army has had to tread a delicate path with respect to President Sukarno, who is not only emotionally committed to Marxism, but is also convinced that the PKI, with its high degree of discipline, is a unifying factor on the Indonesian political scene, where centrifugal forces have plagued the government from its inception. In addition, the army must consider Moscow's attitude. The Indonesian military establishment is almost totally Soviet-supplied, and the army is well aware of its dependence on the Soviet Union for spare parts, replacements, and ammunition.

6. Whatever its feelings about Peking, the army certainly wants no break with Moscow. It has been careful to exclude the Soviet Union from its recent denunciations of the PKI and of the Chinese Communists. A recent report suggests that Defense Minister Nasution has worked out an understanding with the Soviets whereby Soviet arms would continue to reach Indonesia while the army attempted to eradicate pro-Chinese influence within the PKI. Nasution is said to have promised that Indonesia would adopt neither a policy of hostility to Communism as an ideology at home nor to the Soviet Union and its satellites in international affairs. Such an understanding, either formal or informal, seems likely, although it is probable that the Soviets would also be willing to assure Sukarno that relations with Indonesia would remain firm should he, rather than the army, emerge the victor in the present tug-of-war.

7. Moscow has been playing the recent events in Indonesia in a low key in its current propaganda. It has been making the minimum noises necessary when Communist Party members are being harried and shot by government forces--criticism far milder, for example, than that directed at Iraq in 1963 when similar conditions obtained in that country. Arms deliveries have continued to reach Indonesia without interruption over the past six weeks. There is no indication that they will be cut off.

8. Nasution is reported to have told Sukarno of his arrangement with the Soviets. He undoubtedly hopes to cut the ground from under any potential Sukarno allegation that the army, in its anti-PKI campaign, is exhibiting reactionary tendencies and is tied to "neocolonialism." The army leaders may also feel that continued evidence of Soviet good will, as expressed in uninterrupted arms shipments, may infuriate the Chinese Communists and lead to recriminations that the army could then use to advantage in its attempt to orient Indonesia away from Peking.

9. The embassy suggests that in reaching an understanding with the Soviets on the arms shipment question the army may leave itself open to Soviet pressure to resuscitate the PKI along pro-Moscow lines. While this is possible, it is by no means likely. The army would not be happy at the appearance of a revivified Communist Party with strong ties to a foreign power, even if this power were Moscow rather than Peking. Furthermore, it is likely that the Soviets themselves do not particularly wish to become entangled in the thickets of Indonesian politics. They have before them the clear example of Peking's involvement in this manner--an involvement which has led to a diminution of Chinese influence in Indonesia. Moscow is primarily interested in close government-to-government relations with the Indonesians, and may well feel that its virtual arms-supply monopoly affords it greater influence on Indonesian policies than would a Moscow-oriented PKI, which the army may at some future date come to consider to be as great a threat to it as it does the present party. Government-to-government relations supplemented by the leverage of continued arms shipments and the training of middle-grade Indonesian officers in the USSR, gives the Soviets the same sort of influence they enjoy in Egypt.

10. Indeed, even the rehabilitation of the PKI as a "national Communist party" would prove difficult in present circumstances. While the army might have no ideological difficulties in accepting such a party, it has the present PKI on the run and almost certainly would like to destroy the party's organizational structure while it has the chance. It has made no attempt to cultivate the less militant element of the PKI that might be expected to form the core of a new party. In practice it has made no distinction between those elements directly involved in the 1 October insurrection and other "safer" party members when making arrests and purging local government machinery. Moreover, the PKI, like other traditional Communist parties, is organized from the top down, and its members are inclined to follow the lead of its constituted leadership. These leaders have international considerations as well as Indonesian interests in mind, and if forced underground would probably take a large portion of the more dedicated rank-and-file with them. On the other hand, the PKI has a strong nationalist coloration, and some lower level party members may eventually be induced to join a tame, government-organized and sponsored party professing Marxism. The army would, however, attempt to see that such a party did not have a real voice in governmental policy making.

11. Even a development along this line, however, presupposes a victory for the army in its present attempt to influence Sukarno to accept its view of the PKI as a threat to the Indonesian state. This outcome is by no means certain; the army may yet be outmaneuvered by the politically astute President. In the end, the army may be forced by Sukarno to acquiesce in a rehabilitation of the PKI, or to accept the party almost whole but reconstituted under a different name. For that which worries the army most--the PKI's tight organizational structure--is precisely what makes it so attractive to Sukarno. And while it is true that the army has gone further in present circumstances in pursuing its own ends, it has retreated in the face of presidential pressure before and may do so again.

12. Whatever the outcome of the present scramble for power, it is unlikely that there will be a major change in Indonesian foreign policy. Should the army emerge on top, Indonesian policies would probably be more genuinely neutral in balancing between East and West, and the tendency to follow Peking's lead in international affairs certainly would be reduced. However, no break with Moscow is in the cards, and the army would find it difficult to extricate itself from present foreign policy attitudes to reach a genuine rapprochement with the West. In part this is true because the army itself believes these policies to be correct, and in part because to reach an accommodation with the West would expose the army leaders to charges of "selling out to the neocolonialists" from leftist Indonesian elements independent of the PKI. Specifically, the army is deeply involved in confrontation with Malaysia and, despite some indications that its leaders are having second thoughts about this policy, it is unlikely that they can stand down on confrontation without a considerable loss of face. Furthermore, the army leadership, like Sukarno, would probably find confrontation a useful symbol around which to unify the many divisive forces at work in the archipelago.

 

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

Djakarta, December 2, 1965.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Indonesia, 1963-1965. Secret; Priority; Roger Channel; Special Handling.

1628. For Assist. Sec. Bundy from Amb Green. Ref: Deptel 708, Dec 1, 1965./2/

/2/[text not declassified] (Ibid.)

1. This is to confirm my earlier concurrence that we provide Malik with fifty million rupiahs requested by him for the activities of the Kap-Gestapu movement. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

2. The Kap-Gestapu activities to date have been important factor in the army's program, and judging from results, I would say highly successful. This army-inspired but civilian-staffed action group is still carrying burden of current repressive efforts targeted against PKI, particularly in Central Java.

A. Malik is not in charge of the Kap-Gestapu movement. He is, however, one of the key civilian advisers and promoters of the movement. There is no doubt whatsoever that Kap-Gestapu's activity is fully consonant with and coordinated by the army. We have had substantial intelligence reporting to support this.

B. I view this contribution as a means of enhancing Malik's position within the movement. As one of the key civilians, he is responsible for finding funds to finance its activities. Without our contribution Kap-Gestapu will of course continue. On the other hand, there is no doubt that they need money. The latter, despite inflation, is in tight supply, and the comparatively small sum proposed will help considerably.

C. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] Our willingness to assist him in this manner will, I think, represent in Malik's mind our endorsement of his present role in the army's anti-PKI efforts, and will promote good cooperating relations between him and army.

D. The chances of detection or subsequent revelation of our support in this instance are as minimal as any black bag operation can be. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

Green

 

180. Memorandum From the Chief, Far East Division, Directorate of Operations, Central Intelligence Agency (Colby) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Bundy)

Washington, December 3, 1965.

[Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files: Job 78-00061R, Indonesia 2/2--State Department Liaison (1959-1966); Secret. 4 pages of source text not declassified.]

 

181. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Koren) to the Director (Hughes)/1/

Washington, December 4, 1965.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR/IL Files, Indonesia, 1963-1965. Secret. Also sent to Denny and Evans. Drafted by Koren on December 8.

SUBJECT
Mr. Berger's Meeting with Mr. Colby, December 4, 1965

PARTICIPANTS
Messrs. Berger, Cuthell and Moore for FE
Messrs. Colby, [names not declassified] for CIA
Messrs. Cooper and Thomson for WH
Mr. Stuart for INR/DDC

Indonesia

The meeting was called for the purpose of discussing the latest developments in the project to supply medicines and medical equipment to the Indonesian Army [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. Attached at Tab A is a lengthy report of conversations between [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] which were held in [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on December 1 and 2./2/ At Tab B is a short paper suggesting alternative methods for providing medicines and medical equipment to the Indonesian Army./3/

/2/Not printed. (FE-239; ibid.)

/3/Dated December 3. (Ibid.)

Mr. Berger said that as a result of his reading of the conversations with [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] he had come to the conclusion that the Department and perhaps CIA too had been "conned" into taking on this project. It was perfectly obvious that Nasution knew nothing of the financial arrangements that were to have been made as cover for the project, despite the Department's insistence that he be advised. It was clear that Sukarno had sent Sukendro out to get medicine, but hadn't given him any money. Did this mean that Sukarno was merely trying to get rid of Sukendro and had no idea that the latter would take his supposed mission seriously? There was also the possibility that this whole project was a provocation. Instead of considering alternative methods of getting medicines to the Indonesian Army, what we ought to be considering was how to drop the project. Mr. Colby attempted to counter all of these assertions, but was hampered somewhat by necessity of arguing on policy rather than on intelligence grounds. He cited a number of times our need to show the Indonesian Army that we supported them in their campaign against the PKI, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. In addition, the Army really needed the medicines. We didn't know but what a civil war was in the offing in Indonesia. The Indonesians needed to know who their friends were.

Mr. Cuthell said it was quite obvious that the Indonesian Government could scrape up a half million dollars easily if they really believed the medicines were necessary. He cited the fact that the Indonesian Navy was buying two Aero Commander planes at a cost of 575 thousand dollars, and that DC-8s which would cost 50 million dollars were also on order.

At this point Mr. Colby found support from unexpected quarters. Mr. Cooper, backed by Mr. Thomson, argued the necessity of indicating approval in a practical way of the actions of the Indonesian Army. The [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that the medicines would cost was a mere pittance compared with the advantages that might accrue to the US as a result of "getting in on the ground floor." Mr. Thomson added that he believed that the request by Sukendro offered us an unparalleled opportunity to give an earnest of our intentions toward an Indonesia in which a moderate army leadership held the balance of power.

[2 paragraphs (16-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

After considerable further discussion it was agreed on suggestion of Mr. Cuthell that we probably had to go through with this project only because it had gone beyond recall. Mr. Berger insisted, however, that nothing further be done until [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] a detailed step-by-step plan for covering the extension of the line of credit [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], and had submitted that plan for the Department's approval. Indicating that there was some urgency about getting the matter settled, since [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] was shuttling about various European capitals with considerable rapidity, Mr. Colby said that such a plan would be presented to Mr. Berger within the week./4/

/4/This was done in a memorandum from Colby to Bundy, FE-244, December 7. (Ibid.)

 

182. Memorandum Prepared for the 303 Committee

Washington, December 8, 1965.

[Source: National Security Council, Special Group/303 Committee Files, Subject Files, Indonesia. Secret. 4 pages of source text not declassified.]

 

183. Memorandum From the Director of the Far East Region (Blouin) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Friedman)/1/

I-28064/65

Washington, December 13, 1965.

/1/Source: Washington National Record Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, Indonesia, 400.73 (430 Indonesia). Secret. Drafted by Nuechterlein.

SUBJECT
Emergency rice assistance to Indonesia

Ambassador Green has reported an increasing number of approaches from high Indonesian civilian officials for USG assistance in financing emergency rice shipments "to help tide Indonesia over next few months and help Army avoid losing on economic front what it has gained on political". He asked State's views on the feasibility of arranging export credit guarantees for US and/or third country's rice, whether covert financing is practicable, and what alternative methods there might be for assisting the Army if we need "to move rapidly and effectively" to support the Army's position./2/ Subsequently, Green reported that General Achmad, recently appointed by General Suharto to head the Economic Group of the KOTI Staff, said that he wanted to alert the USG to the Army's desire to discuss US assistance in obtaining rice from Thailand or Burma on a covert basis./3/

/2/As reported in telegram 1634 from Djakarta, December 3. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, E 1 INDON)

/3/As reported in telegram 1722 from Djakarta, December 11. (Ibid., POL 23-9 INDON)

State has advised Green that it does not believe covert assistance to be practicable, that the political situation in Indonesia is still so fluid that such assistance could benefit Sukarno-Subandrio rather than the Army, and that emergency assistance for rice should not be separated from such broader political questions as Indonesian policy on Viet-Nam, confrontation and nationalization of US oil properties. Although State's instruction does not close the door to further consideration of emergency aid to the Indonesian Army, it gives the clear impression that the USG should be in no hurry to give such aid and that when we do we should tie definite "strings" to it./4/

/4/Telegram 741 to Djakarta, December 9. (Ibid., E 1 INDON)

In view of the probability that the USG will receive a firm request from the Nasution-Suharto leadership in the near future for aid in purchasing rice, DOD should formulate a position on this matter and relay it to State, (State's outgoing instruction was not discussed with DOD). I am inclined to think that emergency assistance to help the Indonesian Army consolidate its position should be granted promptly when and if a bona fide request is made by the Army leadership. Such short-term aid should be considered separately from long-term economic assistance and should not be conditional upon a commitment to end confrontation and to suspend plans to negotiate the withdrawal of American oil firms. Although covert financing probably is too risky, it should be possible to get the Indonesian Army's agreement on some method of handling this transaction that would not embarrass the leadership if it becomes known.

The real question, it seems to me, is whether the Army requires this rice to win its struggle for power with Sukarno, or whether it can cement its authority without our help. If our assistance is essential and is requested by the Army leadership, I think we should give it without strings. If the Army emerges on top politically, which now seems likely, we will get many requests for large scale assistance. That will be the time to talk about a change in Indonesian foreign policy and other conditions on our aid. In this connection see Djakarta telegrams 1712 dated 10 December/5/ and 1722 dated 11 December, which contain a firm Indo request for rice.

/5/Not printed. (Ibid.)

You might be interested to know that although Bill Bundy suggested in his letter of November 3 to Mr. McNaughton/6/ that the working group on Indonesia should meet at regular intervals to discuss contingency planning, no meeting has been held in nearly a month. Frank Underhill has told Don Nuechterlein informally that he doesn't believe the working group need be involved because this question involves only economic assistance.

/6/Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, Indonesia 320.2-400.3295 (381 Indonesia).

Recommendation

That in discussions with State Department, DOD's position on rice aid to Indonesia be as set forth above.

F. J. Blouin/7/
Rear Admiral, USN

/7/Printed from a copy that indicates Blouin signed the original.

Volume XXVI Index


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