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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 64-88

64. Memorandum From James C. Thomson, Jr., of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, August 25, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II. Cables and Memos, 5/64-8/64, [2 of 2]. Secret.

SUBJECT
Indonesia and the Tuesday/2/Lunch

/2/August 28.

We assume that the problem of Indonesia will and should be raised anew at the Tuesday lunch this week. Here is a run-down on current thinking in the U.S. Government:

1. Since Sukarno's August 17 speech and the "invasion" of Malayia in the wake of the Tower Amendment, State and Defense had been assuming a firm Presidential decision to cut off all military assistance to Indonesia. Now that the air has cleared a bit with little coverage of the Sukarno speech in this country and with the apparent death of the Tower Amendment, there is a faint but growing disposition to move less rapidly on this subject.

2. State plans to review with Jones a proposed approach to Sukarno on his return to Djakarta next week. These instructions would involve his telling Sukarno in the next ten days or so that inasmuch as U.S. military assistance has become an irritant to U.S.-Indonesian relations both in Washington and in Djakarta, we should jointly agree to end this program. State proposes this move in order to take the heat off the Administration at home and in order to lay the ground for a continuation of economic assistance on a mutually acceptable basis. (The Indos are already taking action to suspend or cancel substantial portions of our military training arrangements.)

3. At the working level in Defense, however, it is suggested that it might be wise, before we bring about a Jones-Sukarno confrontation, to have our military people in Djakarta (Colonels Harvey and Benson) go to Nasution and Jani for a candid "where-the-hell-do-we-go-from-here" session in which they might obtain a better reading on the military's real hopes and needs. After all, it is argued, our military training program has been regarded as the most vital part of our Indonesian assistance in terms of future pay-off. If Nasution and Co. were to ask us to lie low for a while, it would be quite possible to taper off on military aid while continuing the civic action programs with considerably reduced staff under the wing of AID. (This proposal has been discussed with AID, and Poats is favorably inclined.)

4. As between these two courses, I would push for the Defense alternative. In terms of priorities, I would assume that our No. 1 objective is to keep our foot in the door for the long term stakes, but that a close second is to keep up our relationship with the Indo military if at all possible./3/ In this regard, then, any fast motion toward a cut-off would be a foolish waste of 15 years' investment. Far better to play it cool, as long as the issue is reasonably quiescent in this country, and to make a fast pitch to our real pals, the Indo military--and then to determine what line, if any, Jones should take with Sukarno.

/3/On August 24 Komer informed Bundy that, "McNaughton is urging McNamara to put a plug for not burning our bridges to Indo military unless US freight becomes too much to bear." What was really needed at the Tuesday lunch, according to Komer, was "for LBJ simply to say `let's not let things go from bad to worse with Indonesia. We don't want another crisis right now. If we can sink Tower amendment, let's continue those few piddling programs which keep our lines open to Indos.' This will do the trick, let Rusk off the hook, and let us stay loose." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Cables and Memos, 5/64-8/64, [2 of 2])

I would hope that the Tuesday luncheon might produce a Presidential assurance to State and Defense that our objective remains the continuation of as much U.S. involvement as our Indo friends will permit us.

JCT Jr.

 

65. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/

JCSM-734-64

Washington, August 26, 1964.

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Indonesia. Secret.

SUBJECT
US Policy Towards Indonesia (U)

1. Reference is made to a memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA), I-12, 723/64, dated 21 August 1964,/2/ subject as above, which requested the comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a Department of State draft memorandum regarding the future course of US policy towards Indonesia./3/

/2/Not found, but summarized here.

/3/The copy of the draft memorandum is attached to an August 25 memorandum from McNaughton to McNamara in which McNaughton stated that he agreed with the JCS view that the intelligence sources and contacts with the Indonesian military that would be preserved by [text not declassified] could be valuable. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Indonesia) For the Department of State memorandum as sent to the President, see the attachments to Document 67.

2. The Joint Chiefs of Staff concur generally in the substance of the draft memorandum. However, they do not consider that Indonesian [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] should be terminated completely at this time. In spite of President Sukarno's Malaysian policy, the United States has maintained close ties with members of the Indonesian Armed Forces. Provision of arms and ammunition has been suspended, but [1 line of source text not declassified]--serves to preserve this US contact as a source of intelligence and possible future influence without indicating support for Sukarno's Malaysian policy.

3. In reviewing the draft memorandum, the Joint Chiefs of Staff took into consideration the following:

a. Contacts maintained between US and Indonesian military personnel have been beneficial from an intelligence gathering aspect, as well as for maintaining US influence among the Indonesian military leaders. Desirably, this link should be continued insofar as practicable.

b. The major military implications which might be associated with further deterioration of US/Indonesian relations are set forth in the Appendix hereto./4/ Briefly, the principal military implication for the United States is the adverse effect on US military posture in Southeast Asia which could result from Indonesian reaction to a change in US policy. This could require the United States to undertake deterrent action or emergency evacuation of US citizens and certain allied nationals. Even if such actions involved minimum force deployments, re- sources committed could affect other deployments, including those being considered to meet the situation on the Southeast Asian mainland. 4. It is recommended that the Department of State be advised:

/4/Attached but not printed.

a. That the Joint Chiefs of Staff concur generally in the substance of the draft memorandum. The proposed course of action might prevent an open diplomatic break in the face of deteriorating US/Indonesian relations.

b. That the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that a closely monitored Indonesian [1 line of source text not declassified]--should be continued for intelligence purposes and for possible future influence upon key Indonesian leaders.

c. Of the military implications in paragraphs 13 through 15 of the Appendix.

d. That consideration should be given to the timely notification of SEATO and ANZUS Allies of any impending change in US policy towards Indonesia.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Curtis E. LeMay
Acting Chairman
Joint Chiefs of Staff

 

66. Memorandum From James C. Thomson, Jr., of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, August 26, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Cables and Memos, 5/64-8/64, [2 of 2]. Secret. Komer's initials appear on the memorandum with the comment, "Amen."

SUBJECT
Your phone call to Rusk regarding Indonesia

The purpose of a phone call to Rusk regarding Indonesia would be to urge that we play this one coolly and pragmatically, delaying any firm decision on termination of military aid until we get a better sense of (1) the outlook of our friends in the Indo military establishment, and (2) the evolving shape of the currently fluid Indo political structure.

As matters now stand, State (FE) still proposes that we send Jones back to tell Sukarno of our decision to terminate all military assistance. The program effects would actually be minimal inasmuch as our MAP is already pretty dormant: we have suspended the flow of virtually all military hardware to Indonesia, and the Indos, on their part are postponing further plans for military training in the U.S. What State is proposing, then, is to remove the lingering ambiguity of our MAP relationship by formally terminating the works.

Defense (including McNamara) now argues that MAP in Indonesia should be kept on the books pending a full and candid discussion between our military people (Colonels Benson and Harvey) and General Nasution and Jani. There is no point, Defense says, in ending our most important Indo relationship because of pique over Sukarno's speech--at least not until we have a clearer view of where the present process of political upheaval in Indonesia will take our friends. (CIA agrees with Defense for reasons that involve significant intelligence activities.)

Komer and I strongly concur in the Defense position. It seems to me that as long as the domestic political heat here is not intense, there is a lot to be said for "creative ambiguity" in our relations with as freakish and unpredictable an animal as Indonesia.

An inter-agency meeting to review this question with Howard Jones is scheduled tomorrow morning under Bill Bundy's chairmanship./2/

/2/No other record of this meeting has been found, but in a memorandum to Komer, August 28, Thomson noted that "the guts of the matter--our approach to the military training program (pages 3 to 4, No. 2. [of the second attachment to Document 67]) is very deftly handled. This represents our victory at yesterday's meeting. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Cables and Memos, 5/64-8/64, [2 of 2])

JCT Jr.

 

67. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson/1/

Washington, August 31, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Cables and Memos, 5/64-8/64, [2 of 2]. Secret.

SUBJECT
Assistance Programs for Indonesia

Attached memo from Rusk (McNamara concurs) gives joint State/AID/DOD recommendation that we suspend certain remaining aid to Indonesia, chiefly military, but continue a few minor projects (most civilian) in order to keep the door open. No new aid commitments are involved, and no public determination is needed.

We are on a sharp downward curve in US/Indo relations, largely because of the continued threat to "crush" Malaysia and our necessary opposition to it. Sukarno has now adopted a far more overtly anti-US line, which makes holding up further aid essential.

At the same time, the very fact that we're on a slippery slope makes it all the more important not to burn all our bridges to Indonesia: (1) with Vietnam and Laos already on our Southeast Asia plate, we can ill afford a major crisis with Indonesia too just now; (2) we ought to keep a few links, however tenuous, to the Indo military, still the chief hope of blocking a Communist takeover; (3) there's still a slim chance of Sukarno drawing back from a full-fledged push on Malaysia, and we want to keep dangling the prospect of renewed aid; and (4) we do not want to be the ones who trigger a major attack on U.S. investments there. So we urge you approve Rusk's proposals./2/

/2/A check mark on the approval line indicates that the President approved. Bundy wrote the following note at the top of the memorandum: "tell Komer & State."

McG. B.

 

Attachment

Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson/3/

Washington, August 30, 1964.

/3/The Department of State copy of this memorandum and its attachments indicate that they were drafted by William Bundy on August 29. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, AID (US) INDON)

SUBJECT
Assistance Programs for Indonesia

Action Recommendations/4/

/4/The approval lines for all three recommendations are checked.

1. That you approve certain moderate negative decisions, specifically deferral of delivery of military assistance major communications equipment and suspension of deliveries of all military-type equipment for the Indonesian police and internal security forces.

2. That, with respect to the military training program, our Embassy explore whether the Indonesians are going to reduce or eliminate this, and work toward a quiet mutual agreement that will probably entail at least some reduction.

3. That you approve continuation of economic and technical assistance, civic action programs, and nonmilitary training and equipment for police and internal security forces, unless and until Indonesia itself moves to alter these.

Discussion

Sukarno's recognition of North Viet-Nam on August 10, his strongly anti-American anniversary speech of August 17, and the Indonesian landing of August 17 north of Singapore are adverse developments that should compel us to withhold major actions we might otherwise have taken under paragraph 1 above. At the same time we wish to avoid any drastic or highly publicized action that might lead Indonesia to cut off other assistance programs that we believe to be useful, or that might endanger important American private investments in Indonesia. The attached memorandum describes the situation and the proposed action in greater detail.

The Secretary of Defense concurs in these recommendations.

Dean Rusk

 

Attachment

SUBJECT
Assistance Programs for Indonesia

This memorandum provides the rationale for a number of decisions tending to reduce our assistance programs for Indonesia but seeking to retain the programs still regarded as useful. These decisions can be carried out without any formal determination under the Foreign Assistance Act, which we continue to believe should be avoided.

Facts Bearing on the Situation

1. Sukarno recognized North Viet-Nam on August 10. On August 17, Indonesia stepped up confrontation of Malaysia with a small (and apparently ineffectual) landing on the mainland north of Singapore. Most basically, Sukarno's August 17 anniversary speech was strongly and explicitly anti-American and placed Indonesia on the side of the Asian Communists in a series of issues. It represented the most systematic, although not the most strident, expression of our growing differences with Indonesia.

2. These Indonesian actions, as a matter of foreign policy alone, would make it wise to adjust our aid policy. The Indonesians have interpreted our statements of support for Malaysia as expressions of hostility towards Indonesia, and this has undoubtedly been one reason for their behavior. However, its roots go deeper, and the fact is that we are, at least for the time being, moving toward a different and lower level of relationships with Indonesia.

3. From the domestic standpoint, the Tower Amendment cutting off aid to Indonesia, with no Presidential discretion, will probably be dropped if and when the foreign aid bill goes to conference. We would not plan to disclose the present decisions to Congressional leaders as it now looks, but it might become useful to have the story available if it were required.

4. At the same time, we should seek to avoid drastic or highly publicized actions. These would tend to stimulate possibly violent Indonesian reactions that would go much further than we now wish to go in cutting off our aid programs, and more specifically, that would seriously endanger our major oil and rubber private investments in Indonesia. Basically, our programs are now largely at the point where they maintain valuable ties with key Indonesian groups but do not bolster Sukarno or his Malaysian policy. Moreover, despite his recent actions, Sukarno has not gone over to any sustained military offensive against Malaysia and there is still a possibility of a negotiated settlement probably through an Afro-Asian commission. Thus, we believe we can continue to sustain to Congressional leaders the argument that it is not in our interest to make a Presidential determination one way or the other as to our aid programs as a whole.

Aid Actions Proposed

1. We can now take the following definitive negative actions:

a. Decide not to ship any further major military assistance equipment, at least for the present. Arms and ammunition had already been eliminated last fall, and the major pending item affected would be about $8 million already funded to buy communications equipment for a basic army network connecting the major islands. This equipment would have been supplied under a longstanding commitment and would not have contributed to Indonesian capabilities in Borneo. We would now tell the Indonesians that delivery was being deferred, and--which is true--that we may well have a valid US operational requirement to ship it to Thailand instead. The shutdown would then be complete in this area except for about $100,000 per quarter of spare parts for automotive and other equipment that we believe is playing no significant part in Borneo or other anti-Malaysian operations.

b. Decide not to ship any further military-type equipment and supplies to the National Police, including the Mobile Brigade. We have since October 1963 cut off arms and ammunition to these units also, but limited quantities of vehicles and communications equipment had remained in the program. These would now be completely withheld.

c. Decide not to furnish any further overhaul for the Indonesian C-130's purchased commercially under a license granted in 1960. We are now overhauling one C-130 in Georgia, and the effect of this decision would be to stop the overhaul program with the completion of this aircraft, with the result that the C-130's would become progressively useless. They are clearly relevant to Indonesian military capabilities against Malaysia, and the British have been particularly sensitive to our actions in this area.

d. Consider no new PL 480 Title I and Title IV commitments.

2. The military training program is a particularly sensitive problem and was singled out for attack in the Senate debate on the Tower Amendment. We have felt that it was an important link to the Indonesian military, and this long-term asset value is still considerable. On the other hand, there are strong signs that Indonesia is slowing down, if not stopping, the nomination of candidates for the coming year. We would propose to find out what the Indonesian reaction is to this problem and how they plan to handle it. If they are in fact shutting down or eliminating it, we would necessarily go along and let the program find its own level through quiet mutual agreement. At the same time, we would try to avoid any categorical "do you or don't you" approach to Sukarno himself or any senior civilian official since to do so might invite wider Indonesian action affecting programs below that we wish to keep.

3. In addition to whatever military training would be preserved under paragraph 2, we would be continuing, and would wish to continue unless the Indonesians say otherwise, the following programs.

a. Non-military training and support for the Indonesian armed forces under the civic action program conducted by AID.

b. Continuation of the malaria eradication program, which is basically humanitarian and also affects the health of neighboring areas.

c. Continuation of technical assistance, non-military training, and supply of non-sensitive equipment for the National Police including the Mobile Brigade, to preserve US influence in this important power center.

d. Provision of instrument landing equipment for Djakarta's airfield, provided that Indonesia permits continued US flag use at the field. This is a valid form of assistance to international civilian air traffic. However, Indonesia would have to terminate the current union boycott of Pan American.

e. Civilian technical assistance and training programs at roughly current (and fairly extensive) levels.

f. Completion of existing Eximbank loans for thermal and fertilizer plants, and granting of a pending $5 million credit for cotton purchases.

g. Continued availability of PL 480 Title I sales covered by the general existing 3-year commitment, provided that Indonesia can meet the criteria of normal market purchases and an acceptable exchange rate. In practice, there is no possibility of Indonesia meeting these conditions except--and even this is remote for the rest of the year--with respect to $8 million of cotton.

h. Continue to negotiate terms of PL 480 local currency loan agreements under previous sales agreements, but delay signature pending further political appraisal; and Title II and Title III PL 480 assistance where it provides for humanitarian programs of disaster relief and voluntary agency programs for children and the needy.

i. Continuation of present gradual phasing out of air transport, maritime training, and navigational aid programs through AID. These are small in scale.

j. Continuation of Peace Corps activity.

 

68. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, September 2, 1964, 8:48 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted and approved by Rusk and cleared by Ball, William Bundy, and Cleveland.

1590. For Ambassador from Secretary. You will have seen another telegram about our reaction to Indonesian paratroop drop on Malaysia and our readiness to support Malaysia in the Security Council/2/ but it is my impression that if the Malaysians come in with a strong case and good evidence, including such things as interrogation results, it will be hard for Security Council members to accept Indonesian action.

/2/In telegram 200 to Kuala Lumpur, September 2, repeated to London, the Department suggested that, if the reports of Indonesia paratroopers landings in Johore and five sites on the west coast between Malacca and Singapore were confirmed, such action would meet the prerequisite of markedly stepped up hostilities necessary for a successful initiative by Malaysia with the UN Security Council. These actions were not the "ambiguous, desultory infiltrations in North Borneo" of the past. (Ibid.)

I am somewhat concerned about nature of British discussion of retaliation in the event that Security Council action is unsatisfactory. I am not now referring to Mountbatten's/3/ suggestion of a small commando-type raid to capture some prisoners but rather Duncan Sandys' discussion of air strikes, etc. A cooling off period would make it more difficult to get support internationally for such retaliation. Further, Thorneycroft's/4/ comment to Acheson/5/ that British will wish to avoid anything that might escalate would seem to impose very severe limitations upon the nature of any such retaliation.

/3/Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Chief of the British Defense Staff.

/4/Peter Thorneycroft, British Minister of Defense.

/5/Dean Acheson, former Secretary of State, January 1949-January 1953.

There is one point you should be very clear about in your discussions of such matters with British Ministers. We cannot give them a blank check and pick up the tab for escalation by the use of US forces without the fullest and most precise understanding between Heads of Government. If this is what they have in mind, they must not take anything for granted in an area where we have our hands full and with a minimum of allied participation. I would suppose that if the British are contemplating overt retaliation involving such things as air strikes or the shelling of shore installation in Indonesia that would necessarily mean the movement of substantial additional British forces into the area. Even though the Gulf of Tonkin is not a parallel to this particular problem, I remind you for use with British Ministers that the US immediately sent powerful reinforcements to the Far East to deal with the consequences of any effort by Hanoi or Peiping to escalate. In other words, the US cannot accept the idea that the British handling of this problem is on the basis of a limited liability. They must back up their actions with a readiness on their part to meet the consequences. If they want us involved, they must find out whether that is possible and, again, take nothing for granted./6/

/6/In telegram 1082 from London, September 3, Bruce reported that he talked to British Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, Duncan Sandys, who appreciated U.S. support of Malaysia in the Security Council, did not expect a blank check from the United States, and was not thinking of retaliation unless there was another aggression by Indonesia. Sandys stated that even if there was retaliation, it would be limited. Sandys suggested that it was hardly necessary for the United States to warn him not to take the United States for granted since it always took Britain for granted. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

Rusk

 

69. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson/1/

Washington, September 3, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. III, Memos, 9/64-2/65, [2 of 2]. Secret.

No need for more than a moment with Jones, unless you want to hear from our greatest Sukarno expert./2/ Chief purpose is so the Indos will know he's seen you before he returns to Djakarta (Sukarno reportedly complained that he used to hear from Kennedy all the time, but hasn't had any direct word from you).

/2/In a memorandum to the President, September 2, McGeorge Bundy with Rusk's support urged that the President see Jones. Bundy stated, "Sukarno is unreliable and dangerous as he can be, but he is susceptible to personal Presidential influence and Jones will be able to do a stronger job for U.S. interests if "Sukarno has clear evidence that he comes from you and speaks for you." Bundy noted this was even more important because since President Kennedy's death, "Sukarno has persuaded himself that he had a close personal relationship with JFK." (Ibid., Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 6, July-Sept. 1964) Johnson met with Jones and Komer from 6:45 to 6:52 p.m. on September 3. (Ibid., President's Daily Diary) No other record of this conversation has been found.

The Indo-Malaysian affair is heating up. At UK urging, the Tunku is going to the SC for a condemnatory resolution. We've promised our support. The British, however, also talk about retaliatory action. Here we're more dubious, since if this affair escalates we'll probably have to bail them out. We have enough wars already in Southeast Asia, so you might seek to cool Sukarno down via Jones:

1. He should impress on Sukarno that you cannot quite understand why the Indos have suddenly taken the tack they have. We've tried ever since Indonesia's independence in 1947 to be as helpful as we can. Indeed no country has done more.

2. Thus you were deeply disturbed by Sukarno's speech of August 17. He and other Indo leaders have told us for years that the ultimate threat to Indonesia was from China. So it's doubly hard for us to grasp why, at the very time when we're carrying the whole burden of protecting Southeast Asia from the Chicoms, Sukarno should seem to embrace the Chicoms and declare war on the US. Surely you said nothing when the Tunku was here comparable to Sukarno's outburst.

3. We tried in every quiet way to explain to Sukarno that he'd lose our support if he decided to beat up Malaysia. You personally sent the Attorney General to help promote a peaceful solution.

4. You still hope for a peaceful settlement. It is better to talk than fight. You also are just as anxious to have good relations with a key country like Indonesia and a key leader like Sukarno as was President Kennedy. But Sukarno must realize where we stand in event Malaysia is attacked.

Bob Komer

 

70. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, September 4, 1964, 3:58 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Ingraham, cleared in substance by Frank M. Tucker, Jr., of the Office of British Commonwealth Affairs, and approved by William Bundy.

1648. Following is text of message from FonSec Butler delivered to Secretary this morning:

"As you know, we have been urgently considering with the Malaysian Government how best they should react to the landing of Indonesian parachutists in Johore. It was our conviction, which I am glad to say is now shared by the Tunku, that the first step must be to raise the matter urgently in the Security Council./2/ When this was discussed in the Malaysian Cabinet, however, a strong and understandable demand emerged that as a condition of Malaysia referring her difficulties to the Security Council we should give an assurance of our agreement in principle to take some kind of action against Indonesia on Indonesian soil./3/

/2/Komer wrote McGeorge Bundy a note on September 4 indicating that "in light of new Indo-Malaysian flap," there was "real merit in getting Jones back to Djakarta soonest, but perhaps with some strong words from here." Komer suggested that "the British sound just as hysterical as Sukarno," and he stated, "we can't stop UK and Malaysia going to SC if 30-man paradrop proves to be fact. Indeed SC would be a good safety valve to get Brits off talk of Tonkin Gulf-style retaliation." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. II, Memos, 9/64-2/65)

/3/Also on September 4, Australian Ambassador Waller informed William Bundy and Cleveland of Malaysia's request for support of "armed defensive measures on Indonesian soil" in the event the action in the Security Council failed. Waller stated he was consulting the United States in view of the ANZUS treaty. Bundy stressed the need for close consultation, especially in light of the ANZUS relationship, but warned Waller that Australia should not assume that the United States would become involved if the escalation took place. (Circular telegram 441, September 4; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

Since our major concern was to persuade Malaysia to go to the Security Council without delay, we had no option but to agree to some assurance, if not exactly on the lines requested, and the High Commissioner has accordingly informed the Tunku that the British Government agree in principle that any further act of aggression by Indonesia upon the territory of Malaya or Singapore (i.e. excluding confrontation operations in Borneo), should be met by a counter attack against some appropriate objective on Indonesian territory. He added that we consider it absolutely essential that, before any such counter attack is made, the Malaysian Government should take the matter to the Security Council and seek their moral support against Indonesian aggression, and went on to say that, having once raised the matter in the Security Council it would probably not be necessary to do so again in the event of a fresh act of aggression, when counter action could follow.

You will observe that although this message sets out in unequivocable terms our willingness and determination to defend Malaya and Singapore in the only practicable way open to us against further attacks of this kind, we have insisted on a reference to the Security Council first. We are not thinking about tactics for this debate and, as you know, our officials are in close touch."

Rusk

 

71. Note From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, September 4, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Malaysia, Vol. III, Cables and Memos, 7/64-11/64. Secret.

Mac--

Am keeping a close eye on likely UK/Malaysian countermoves to Indo para-drop. This affair could easily escalate. Brits, even Sandys, seem calmer but now Malays are all excited. Razak says (KL246)/2/ that UK has "agreed" to Malay request for a retaliatory strike against an Indo base if Indos make another aggressive move.

/2/Telegram 246 from Kuala Lumpur, September 4. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDO-MALAYSIA)

Meanwhile pattern of UK naval movements looks like a most provocative show of force. First UK move through Sunda Strait was well before para-drop. Now we hear another carrier and seven destroyers just went through. Now Brits (who have 3 CVAs in FE) say their first squadron will return through Sunda straits on 12 September. The Indos are obviously at sixes and sevens, and we fear a Sukarno-type reaction any time. UNSC session is also likely to produce some Indo fireworks.

M. Green thinks Brits would like to provoke a nice mess, into which we'd necessarily be sucked. I too regard this as likely, though I grant alternative explanation that Brits think a show of force will deter Indos. If they're operating on latter assumption, however, I think they're wrong again. The reaction of a Nasser or Sukarno has always been to escalate rather than back down.

Key point is that we don't really know what Brits have in mind. Since our oil and other assets in Indonesia are inevitably at stake, we ought to buy a seat at this table. More important yet, how many wars do we want in SEA just now. FE is sending alarmed cables to London, but this isn't good enough. It may even be worth using LBJ to Home circuit, or at least Rusk to Butler. I've made this point, but you might reinforce./3/

/3/Komer added the following handwritten note above his initials: "Note to N.Y. 576 attached on tricky UN angles in which we might get involved this weekend or soon thereafter." (Telegram 576 to USUN, September 3; ibid.)

RWK

 

72. Editorial Note

On September 9, 1964, the National Security Council held its 542d meeting from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. to discuss Cyprus and receive a "global briefing." President Johnson chaired the meeting, which was attended by Secretary Rusk and Under Secretary Ball for the Department of State, Secretary McNamara, Deputy Secretary Vance, General Wheeler, and Assistant Secretary of Defense McNaughton for the Department of Defense, McGeorge Bundy and Bromley Smith of the White House, Director McCone and Deputy Director for Intelligence Cline for the Central Intelligence Agency, Secretary of the Treasury Dillon, Director of the U.S. Information Agency Rowan, Director of the Agency for International Development Bell, and Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness McDermott.

The President invited McCone to provide a global intelligence briefing which included a brief report on Indonesia. According to a memorandum of the record by Cline, McCone stated that the trend in Indonesia was adverse and he cited as evidence Sukarno's speech of August 17. Later in the meeting, Rusk reported that Ambassador Jones was returning to Indonesia "still hopeful of finding some way to mediate with Sukarno so as to let him escape from the Malaysia confrontation policy if he is willing to do so." Smith also made a record of the meeting which he stated that Rusk reported that Jones would have a "frank talk with Sukarno," and noted that Nasution was still in the Indonesia Cabinet. (Memorandum for the record by Cline, September 1; Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, Meetings with the President, 1 May-31 Oct. 1964, and summary notes of the 542nd NSC meeting by Smith, September 1; Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 3, Tab 24)

 

73. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, September 11, 1964, 8:15 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Exdis. Drafted and cleared by William Bundy. Also sent to Canberra and Wellington and repeated to CINCPAC.

1825. Following based on uncleared memorandum of Waller call on Secretary today. Subject to review and FYI only.

Waller delivered to Secretary message stating in effect that PM Menzies had said it would be calamity if British took action against Indonesia involving Australia on which US had not been consulted in advance, and therefore suggesting that US propose "combined military contingency consultations" to British, "believing as we do that proposal would not be rejected."

Waller stated that Australians had been talking very directly with British in London to ascertain what action they might have in mind in reference Malaysia, and that it seemed urgently necessary there be ways to find out and share British thinking, both with US and Australia, as well as New Zealand. At later point he made clear that American suggestion to British would be to "share our thinking" and did not envisage actual joint military planning./2/

/2/In telegram 1837 to London, September 12, the Department reported to the Embassy that the British Embassy had informed the Department that the British Far East command had produced a tentative list of seven potential targets for retaliation based on four criteria. Those criteria were that the target must be related to the Indonesia attack, must be militarily useful, would produce minimum casualties, and be least likely to produce escalation. (Ibid.)

Secretary responded he saw no real danger, in light Indonesian actions and attitudes expressed in SC debate, that there would be any sharp public difference in attitude between US and other nations involved. However, he did think there could be grave difficulty if UK started something on assumption US would step in. We could not accept residual responsibility in situation where others had taken action on basis of limited liability. He had therefore been glad to see that British were taking reinforcing steps in Far East, and, although he would not say so publicly, we in fact approved withdrawal of some UK troops from NATO for this purpose.

Waller responded that ANZUS Treaty in fact did commit US to measure of residual liability where Australian and New Zealand forces were involved.

Secretary answered this was not what he meant by residual responsibility--our respective obligations under ANZUS Treaty were the same and we had need to consider under treaty just what Australians had done to carry out their obligations. As an example of what he meant by "residual" responsibility, Secretary cited Dutch attempt have us commit our forces in West New Guinea dispute even though Dutch themselves were not prepared send additional forces. He also alluded to Congo case, where Spaak's effort enlist participation of six Common Market nations had met with "colossal indifference." He said US simply could not accept such situations where others did not take strong measures to carry out their share of responsibility. He said this was his main point and that it must be clearly understood by Australians and others.

Secretary then noted that conflict with Indonesia could become major shooting war, and that we for our part, once serious shooting started in such case, would consider it necessary to make substantial deployments and possibly even mobilization. Waller thought it unlikely Indonesian situation would reach point of major conflict, but did believe it possible that more "acts of folly" on Indonesian side could lead to degree escalation that would involve Australians and thus bring into question US involvement.

Secretary then referred to message just received from London that Peck of British FonOff was proposing early conference between US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, and that Peck had specifically suggested Bundy's visit to London next week might be appropriate occasion for this. Bundy noted his schedule would bring him to London Friday, 18th, but might conceivably be advanced to Thurs, 17th, and this might be good timing. He threw out suggestion any such talks should be held only on basis no publicity whatever and in lowest possible key./3/ We were in fact in position where British had primary action responsibility and we in US were being more nearly informed than consulted, although Australians were perhaps nearer to being consulted than informed and--as Waller noted--had clear obligation consult us before any action involving their forces. Bundy noted danger that any publicized consultation might both have undesirable effect on Sukarno and, perhaps even more serious, appear to bind participants to whatever British might then decide to do, whether or not others had in fact agreed to it.

/3/In telegram 1909 to London, September 15, the Department indicated that "any identifiable four-power meeting" by Bundy during his London visit would inevitably lead to distorted leaks and would associate the United States with subsequent British action. Instead Bundy should meet with British Foreign Office officials and then have a "quiet drink" with Australian and New Zealand representatives. (Ibid.) Reports of Bundy's meetings in London are in telegrams 1308 and 1309 from London, both September 18, and memoranda of conversation are in airgram A-721 from London, September 24. (Ibid.) See also Document 77.

Secretary noted that apart from any such specific consultation, there was continuing problem of obtaining adequate information on British thinking about additional military moves. He said we had in mind assigning appropriate Embassy officer in London to this function and that this might be worked out at same time, or perhaps even prior to any actual meeting.

It was left that US side would consider further just how to take up Australian suggestion, but that we recognized need for machinery that would give us clear understanding of British thinking but that would not involve actual participation in anything like joint military planning.

Request addressee comments.

Rusk

 

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

Washington, September 12, 1964, 2:36 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Cuthell, cleared by William Bundy and Tyler, and approved by Harriman. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur, London, Canberra, Wellington, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

278. Department believes Sukarno position reported your 518/2/ indicates he unable or unwilling recognize that existing situation is different from and far more serious than situation before Indos put forces into Malaya and publicly boasted they had done so. In Bogor meeting with Sukarno or soonest thereafter you should make following points, stating you doing so on instruction if you think this desirable:

/2/In telegram 518, September 11, Jones reported that Sukarno told him that he wanted a peaceful settlement to Malaysia dispute and would seek to revive quadripartite commission proposal and would again pledge publicly to agree to accept whatever recommendations it made. Sukarno also expressed a willingness to attend another summit if it would be useful. (Ibid., POL 15-1 INDON)

1) By using force against Malaya, boasting about it and anticipating that they would continue (as Sudjarwo had done in SC) Indos have created new situation which they must recognize as such.

2) Sukarno must be aware that GOM and HMG cannot indefinitely tolerate Indo military action against Malaysia and that Indo actions, if continued, may lead to situation where Sukarno finds himself in real hostilities with Commonwealth. If this happens, given history of situation, he cannot expect USG to help him. (FYI: If you think Sukarno believes we can or will restrain British, he should be disabused of any such idea. End FYI.)

3) We are glad he is willing resume negotiations, but believe it totally unrealistic expect GOM will be willing or able negotiate in present atmosphere. First essential is that Indos stop military action, and we cannot work to encourage further negotiation until this happens.

4) On other hand, if Sukarno genuinely wants to settle this issue peacefully he must find way to stop military action. If he does so, we will be glad to resume our previous policy of encouraging solution through negotiation./3/

/3/In telegram 542 from Djakarta, September 15, Jones reported that Subandrio told him that there would be no further escalation, there were no plans for additional paratrooper drops, and "it's up to the British." (Ibid., POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA) In telegram 549, September 16, Jones reported that Sukarno informed him that, "unless the British start something," Indonesia had no plans for further military action, and there would be no action against American persons or property during his forthcoming East European trip. (Ibid.)

Rusk

 

75.Special National Intelligence Estimate/1/

SNIE 54/55-64

Washington, September 16, 1964.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR/EAP Files: Lot 90 D 165. Secret. Prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, and the NSA. The U.S. Intelligence Board concurred on September 16 except the representatives of AEC and FBI who abstained on the grounds that the topic was outside their jurisdiction.

SHORT-TERM PROSPECTS IN THE MALAYSIA/INDONESIA
CONFLICT/2/

/2/For more detailed consideration, see: NIE 54/55-63: "The Malaysian-Indonesian Conflict," dated 30 October 1963; and NIE 55/-64 "Prospects for Indonesia," dated 22 July 1964. [Footnote in the source text. For text of NIE 55/64, see Document 56; and regarding NIE 54/55-63, see footnote 2 thereto.]

The Problem

To estimate Indonesian objectives in the Malaysia/Indonesia conflict and the likelihood of hostilities between Indonesia and the UK.

Discussion

1. Indonesian Objectives. Recent Indonesian paramilitary landings in Malaya are part of Sukarno's long-range campaign to break up Malaysia and oust the British from their military bases there. The mission of the 150 or so infiltrators includes sabotage and terrorism, guerrilla recruitment and training, and the setting up of guerrilla redoubts in Malaya's jungles and highlands. Such raids will almost certainly continue. In the long run, through repeated infiltrations of this sort, Sukarno hopes to build up a revolutionary potential sufficient to overthrow the moderate, pro-Western government of Tunku Abdul Rahman.

2. In the short run, the infiltrations are designed to heighten local insecurity, shake the faith of the Malaysian people in their government, weaken their determination to resist Indonesia, and thus to increase the pressures on the Tunku to negotiate the dispute on Indonesian terms. Sukarno hopes that by forcing the UK and its Commonwealth allies to spread their available forces ever more thinly he will wear down their ability and determination to carry on the struggle. He also seeks to undermine Malaysian confidence in the British will and ability to provide protection.

3. The British Response. Commonwealth forces have responded to the Indonesian moves defensively, attempting to round up the infiltrators; about one-half have been killed or captured to date. Both the UK and Australia are deploying additional army, navy, and air units to the general area. The Malaysians and British have also taken the issue to the UN Security Council, seeking condemnation of Indonesia, but it is unlikely that the UN will act so as to satisfy them or prevent further Indonesian infiltrations. The British are now planning retaliation against any further infiltrations by attacks on the bases from which they are launched. The British are concerned that failure to respond forcefully to the landings in Malaya will only encourage the Indonesians to expand their paramilitary activities. They see the alternatives as either a sharp retaliatory blow or a constantly rising insurgency and unrest in Malaya.

4. It is probable that further Indonesian infiltrations of Malaya or Singapore will precipitate a British retaliatory attack against nearby Indonesian guerrilla bases. The Indonesians would react to such an attack with vehement denunciations, seeking to establish justification for their position--perhaps even in the UN--that the "aggressive" British constitute the real threat to peace in the area. For a time, they would probably be somewhat more cautious in paramilitary operations in Malaya. They would want to show, however, that retaliation had not affected their confrontation policy, and they would not, in our opinion, slow down insurgency operations in Borneo or discontinue them entirely in Malaya. On balance, we believe, however, that they would probably avoid an overt military response in kind against Malaysia, for fear of triggering a war with the UK which they have long sought to avoid and in which they would suffer great damage. However, what Indonesia would do in this case depends upon the will of one man, Sukarno; we cannot be sure that he would not decide that, in the circumstances, raising the pitch of the war would be to his advantage.

5. Should there be an escalation of overt hostilities between Indonesia and UK/Malaysia, the Soviets and the Chinese Communists would of course support Indonesia with extensive propaganda and diplomatic activity. We think it virtually certain, however, that neither power would intervene with military force.

6. The Sunda Strait. The situation was complicated for a time by the passage of a British naval task force southward through the Sunda Strait (between Java and Sumatra) on 27 August without providing the type of prior notification which has long been requested by Indonesia with regard to movement of warships through waters it claims to be territorial. The UK, Australia, and the US normally comply with this procedure "as a courtesy." The same British force--the aircraft carrier Victorious and two destroyers--was tentatively scheduled to retransit the Strait northbound, and the Indonesians threatened to oppose its movement with armed force. The Indonesians, however, informed the British that the Sunda Strait area would be closed from 10 September to 10 October for their own "naval maneuvers," and they indicated they would not object if the British proceeded by the Lombok Strait (east of Java, between Bali and Lombok). This the British agreed to do and the threatened crisis subsided. The issue has not been settled, however, and it is almost certain to be revived, since the Indonesian objective clearly is to establish the principle of Indonesian control of all waters within and leading into the Indonesian archipelago.

 

76. Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency for the Department of State/1/

Washington, September 18, 1964.

/1/Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Indonesia, 1963-1965. Secret. This paper, originally CIA telegram [text not declassified], September 5, was sent to the Department of State under cover of a memorandum, FE 716, from Colby to Bundy, September 18.

PROSPECTS FOR COVERT ACTION

The deterioration in US/Indonesian relations reported in recent Embassy Telegrams (particularly Embtel 317,/2/ 320,/3/ and 359/4/) evokes a question as to the feasibility of initiating a program of covert action aimed at affecting the current trend of events. In this context the following paragraphs outline a series of action possibilities, together with an analysis of certain problems entailed in their planning and implementation. If in its essence this presentation meets with your approval, it may then appropriately be sent to the Department and the CAS headquarters for further consideration and, hopefully, endorsement.

/2/See footnote 2, Document 62.

/3/Dated August 17. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 15-1 INDON)

/4/Document 63.

The Situation

1. During the past two months there has been a steady increasing strain in relations between Indonesia and the U.S. The Indonesian attitude has crystalized in the face of a number of recent developments. These include repeated indications of unilateral withdrawal by the U.S. of our remaining aid program, culminating of course in the passage of the Tower Amendment;/5/ the communique released by President Johnson and Tunku Abdul Rachman/6/ which the Indonesians have construed as representing U.S. support for Malaysia; and finally the Tonkin Gulf episode.

/5/See footnote 4, Document 59.

/6/For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, pp. 899-900.

2. In his 17 August speech Sukarno/7/ in effect declared the U.S. to be public enemy number one in Asia, and identified himself more explicitly than ever before with the Communist Bloc. Internally the trend to the left has matched Sukarno's international posture. By calling for the re-tooling of "reactionary" officials up to the Menko level, the President virtually invited the PKI to advocate re-tooling of all anti-Communists in the government. While announcing that he would dissolve any reactionary political party, he has at the same time given tacit approval for the PKI's unilateral action campaign. In his speech Sukarno endorsed emphatically the land reform program and the establishment of the land reform courts, which for all practical purposes will be controlled by the PKI thru Astrawinata. He not only proclaimed the ultimate end of "imperialist capital" in Indonesia, a primary objective of the PKI, but declared also that anyone who opposes Nasakom opposes the revolution. Although in his latest cabinet reshuffle (27 August) Sukarno did not go all the way toward Nasakomization, there can be no question that he went a step further in legitimizing the PKI's role in the executive branch of his government. These developments have of course been matched by repeated slaps at the U.S., including the postponement of military and police training, the Pan American boycott, the action against USIS in Djogdjakarta, and the general threat to American property.

/7/See footnote 2, Document 59.

3. Notwithstanding this rather grim picture, there are indications that the situation is by no means beyond redress. Words of encouragement continue to be received by various components of the U.S. Mission from close contacts, sources of information, and friends in general. There are good men in government, the armed services and the private sector, who are willing to work for the things they believe in, even if it means endangering their livelihood and personal security. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] continues to find it possible to work effectively with such individuals, and their motivation is by no means confined to the pursuit of money. Among them some have already demonstrated a capability for limited but effective clandestine political action. There have been, moreover, numerous approaches to the Embassy and to other Mission components by individuals--some self-seekers, but others altruistically motivated--who seek assistance to enable them to fight communism in Indonesia.

4. Time, however, is not on the side of these people, as the ground beneath them is being eroded at a rapidly accelerating rate. Perhaps it cannot be stopped. Certainly a covert program alone cannot reverse the trend. The Embassy, in its recommendations to the Department, has posed a number of considerations, which are in effect aimed at maintaining a foothold in Indonesia under conditions that might enable us to outlast Sukarno. Within the context of the basic mission program and as a supplement thereto, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] proposes an intensified covert action program, limited in its objective initially, but designed for expansion if circumstances permit.

5. The objectives of a covert program would entail initially the adoption of an active interest in Indonesian internal political developments. The immediate goal would be to build up strength among non-communist and anti-communist groups and organizations. The program would be two-pronged, on the one hand designed to flex the muscles of the "good" elements, at the same time encouraging direct action against the PKI as a party. Small scale harassment efforts would be orchestrated and momentum developed. A case can be made to show that Sukarno is susceptible to pressure and sensitive to certain types of public opinion. The unfortunate thing is that the Indonesian right wing has in effect lost its nerve and abandoned the fight to the communists. The PKI has exploited the situation and brainwashed both Sukarno and a large portion of the population. It is necessary therefore to demonstrate to Sukarno the existence of an active anti-communist sector which is clearly not yet willing to be written off.

[Here follow paragraphs 6-14, which contain an outline of a five-phased program and an assessment of [text not declassified].]

15. Present U.S. policy toward Indonesia has been essentially constructive and forward-looking, predicated on the concept of contributing to Indonesia's economic development. In the face of an increasingly leftward drift on the part of the GOI, matched by an increasingly stronger communist voice in Indonesian affairs, we have sought to maintain our equity here until the advent of better times. Within this framework the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] covert action program has been limited. Modest efforts have been made to develop points of contact and influence [1 line of source text not declassified]. There has been moderate emphasis on the development [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] among potential leader types. And finally, the program has entailed limited harassment of the PKI. There has, of course, been no authorization for direct attacks on Sukarno. The level of permissible risk-taking has naturally been very low and confined almost entirely to the realm of intelligence collection.

16. Certain of the activities suggested in paragraphs 5-11 above could be undertaken in the framework of the existing policy. If, however, a serious effort were to be undertaken along such lines, a number of significant questions would first have to be weighed very carefully. It would have to be understood at the outset that the purpose of the entire exercise is agitation and the instigation of internal strife between communist and non-communist elements. While the pattern of activity proposed is relatively modest in scope, the measure of the success of the program would in effect be the momentum it acquired. This would mean a widening of its scope and an intensification of its pace. Thus even a modest beginning effort would carry within itself the essence of more critical policy questions. Just how far can we go in attempting to split the PKI and, more important, to pit the PKI against non-communist elements, particularly the Army? To what extent, if any, should we attack Sukarno? Is it unthinkable to foment internal tensions such as gave rise to the Chinese riots of last year, and which under certain conditions might force the Army to assume broad powers in restoring order? We do not wish to appear overly ambitious in this connection. If, however, we are to develop a program entailing forms of [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] as a supplement to long-term political development, it is imperative that we know where we are going and that we be able to weigh the possible consequences of our efforts. The time to answer these questions is now, not later. To undertake action even on the modest scale outlined above without first studying these questions and commitments they might entail would result in action for its own sake. It would be far better to stand pat, without the risk of embarrassment or hazard [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

17. If there appears to be an element of incompatibility in such a melding of destructive action with long-term efforts to breathe life into the nobler elements of Indonesian society, we can only argue that in the long term there may be little left here to save. The current combination of Sukarno's tough dictatorship coupled with an increasingly effective brainwashing of all local population elements, plus the skilled PKI exploitation of legitimate Indonesian nationalism, and lastly the inbred Javanese tradition of acquiescence before authority, will surely result in elimination of the remaining barriers between communists in this country and those who would resist them.

18. Perhaps the most important of all, we believe it essential to make a substantial effort to combat growing PKI domination in the propaganda field (press, radio and TV). Inasmuch as the current PKI propaganda line and that of the Sukarno regime are virtually indistinguishable, this would entail an obvious risk. We believe this risk must be taken.

 

77. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, September 28, 1964.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 27 INDON. Drafted by Conlon. Secret.

SUBJECT
Military Contingency Talk in London on Indonesia

PARTICIPANTS

Mr. Michael Stewart, Minister-Counselor, British Embassy
Mr. Oliver Forster, First Secretary, British Embassy

Mr. William P. Bundy, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs
Mr. Marshall Green, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs
Mr. David C. Cuthell, Director of the Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs
Mr. Thomas F. Conlon, FE/SPA

Discussions in London. Mr. Bundy reviewed the recent discussions he had held in London with United Kingdom, Australian, and New Zealand representatives on military contingency planning in the event of further Indonesian landings of paratroops or seaborne infiltrators in mainland Malaya and Singapore.

Mr. Bundy noted that there had been general agreement among the participants in the London discussions to hold meetings as often as necessary in Washington in the interests of preserving the inconspicuous character of contacts on this subject. We understand that Prime Minister Douglas Home is continuing his exchange of views with Australian Prime Minister Menzies and New Zealand Prime Minister Holyoake on the whole subject of possible action against Indonesia and that these exchanges have not been completed. Mr. Stewart noted that the instructions sent out by the British Government to Lord Head in Singapore were based on a distinction between the initial phase of response to further Indonesian landings, when British and Malaysian forces would take action against Indonesian intruders, and a secondary phase, when Australian and New Zealand units would be required. Mr. Bundy added that he understood plans for British retaliation against Indonesia were also divided into two phases: first, attacks would be directed against selected, nearby bases for infiltrators and, secondly, in the event of Indonesian air strikes against Butterworth or Singapore, for example, against Indonesian air bases from which the attacking aircraft fly. The British military, he continued, told him they have made a careful evaluation of Indonesian offensive action with the resources presently available in Malaysia. Mr. Bundy concluded that he had told the Foreign Office that he thought the British plans were not unreasonable.

Internal Situation in Indonesia. Mr. Bundy went on to review the situation in Indonesia as we see it. We think we see at least temporary indications that Sukarno is trying to restrain the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Admittedly, we have thought we saw such signs before, but this proved illusory. However, there are some recent indications that the Indonesians realize how close they came to a showdown. Mr. Cuthell said we believe there have been two recent developments of particular importance which encourage the Indonesian Government to adopt a more peaceful stance. The Indonesians were disagreeably surprised by the results of the recent vote in the Security Council, where two African countries (Morocco and Ivory Coast) voted against them. Since the vote Morocco and Ceylon and perhaps other Afro-Asians have told the Indonesians that they cannot agree with the Indonesian contention that Indonesia has a right to attack its neighbors, and Prime Minister Shastri of India has stated much the same thing publicly. We also suspect that the Soviets have had some hard words to say to the Indonesians since the Soviet veto of the Norwegian resolution in the Security Council cut right across current Soviet efforts to condemn the use of military force to settle disputes between nations. Internally, the PKI has been forcing the pace on the Indonesian Government, and this was bringing out a reaction in various forms. In addition, what amounts to martial law has been proclaimed throughout the country, giving the Army authority to hold down strikes and demonstrations. However, we won't know until Sukarno returns from his current trip what his reading of the situation will be or what the Soviet price will be for further support of Indonesia.

Mr. Stewart left a copy of an analysis of the situation prepared by the British Embassy in Djakarta September 23./2/ The Embassy concluded that Sukarno is undecided about the path to take and is groping his way, acutely worried that he may have to make an irrevocable decision one way or another in the near future.

/2/Not found attached.

Mr. Bundy doubted that Sukarno would get anything substantial from his visit to Moscow. The Soviets do not appear ready to move into Southeast Asia in strength, and Sukarno has nothing much to offer them in return. In any case, the argument for positioning Commonwealth forces to deal firmly with further Indonesian incursions into mainland Malaya and Singapore remains untouched, and the existence of these forces in place has had a salutary effect on the Indonesians.

Reascertainment in Malaysian Borneo. Mr. Bundy said that Mr. Peck of the Foreign Office had told him in London that the British have carefully examined the idea reportedly floated by Sukarno that a plebiscite on the formation of Malaysia might be held in Borneo in the next five years. The British have concluded that this would amount to holding a Sword of Damocles over the Tunku. The situation was not like that in West Irian, where the Indonesians are committed to a referendum before 1969, but where they can manage political activity on the referendum issue. In a more open society like Malaysia the Tunku could not exert the same kind of control.

 

78. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, October 22, 1964, 6:56 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 1 INDON. Secret. Drafted by Ingraham and Cuthell; cleared by Evelyn S. Colbert, Chief of the Southeast Asia Division, Office of Research and Analysis for Far East, INR, and Harriman; and approved by Bundy. Sent to Djakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Bangkok, Tokyo, London, Canberra, Wellington, CINCPAC for POLAD, and Hong Kong.

714. Hong Kong for Ambassadors Jones, Bell and Blair./2/ Our basic objectives with regard Indonesia continue to be to do what we can to keep Indonesia out of communist control, to restrain Indo military and foreign policy excesses so that they do not lead to second major military conflict in SEA, and to get through current period (probably meaning Sukarno regime at least) without open break between US and Indonesia. Over past year tactics employed to do these things have been based on assumption main current problem--Indo-Malaysia dispute--could be negotiated out if right combination found, and we have played active role in encouraging participants and interested Asians to seek negotiating basis. We feel this tactical approach correct. Meanwhile, however, adverse direction Indonesian policies have become more clearly defined, requiring review of our approach. Following is summary of our assessment of situation we now face:

/2/The Ambassadors were in Hong Kong for discussions on Malaysia.

Perspective

For past seven years or more, Sukarno has habitually used hostility to one or another foreign power as dramatic issue to unify country under his rule. His own ideological makeup and historical circumstances have made it inevitable that target has in virtually all cases been Western or pro-Western power (UK, Malaysia, Netherlands, GRC, etc.). This strategy, together with internal balancing and manipulation rival forces, has become basic tool in maintaining his regime. Thus when West Irian settlement eliminated Indo's last real grievance against West, GOI flirted briefly with idea of economic development as next dramatic issue before dropping it for confrontation. One result of this strategy has been deepening atmosphere hostility to West throughout much of Indo society; friendly Indos may attempt explain it away as passing phase, but fact remains present Indo environment probably more hostile to West than almost any outside China and its satellites.

Military confrontation of Malaysia has gone through various stages--guerrilla activity in Borneo, negotiations, low-level terrorism on mainland, culminating in Aug-Sept 1964 attacks on mainland--but each has proved more or less dramatically unsuccessful. As of early Sept, GOI faced two crucial problems: (a) they had brought selves to what they saw as brink of open war with UK, which they knew they could not win, and (b) they recognized that despite year of proclaiming their determination to crush Malaysia they had accomplished almost nothing toward that end. In effort find way out of this dilemma, Sukarno sought to mobilize support in Moscow and among AA's at Cairo for development Sukarno-led neutralist anti-imperialist front. Consensus seemed to be that he failed, but it too early to be sure of this.

Current Situation

We have assumed that, when Indos recognized they could not crush Malaysia without unacceptable damage to selves, they would be willing accept tolerable settlement through face-saving device and then turn to other dramatic issue to keep populace keyed up. Have been hopes that this could be internal issue for a change, perhaps even economic development.

Latest developments suggest this assumption may have become erroneous. Rather than cutting losses and turning elsewhere, Indos seem to have decided on (or perhaps drifted into) new confrontation strategy, switching from narrow confrontation of Malaysia to more diffuse political confrontation of entire West (i.e., Old Established Forces). Sukarno Aug 17 speech clearly signaled this switch and Cairo conference/3/ seems to have formalized it. Indos would expect realize number of advantages from this strategy:

/3/The Cairo Conference of Non-Aligned Nations, October 5-10, 1964.

(1) It overshadows Malaysia confrontation and should relieve regime of need to escalate military confrontation to point where it again brings grave threat British retaliation. Malaysia confrontation would continue as essential element this broader confrontation but could be carried out through propaganda, subversion and relatively safe Borneo guerrilla campaigns.

(2) It moves Indo into much greater prominence in world scene, feeds regime's self-esteem and provides much more satisfying dramatic issue than increasingly tired theme of Malaysia confrontation. At same time, it blunts widespread AA disapproval of rash Indo assault on fellow AA member by subordinating it to political assault on white man.

(3) It could even be manipulated into a "third force," bringing together in an Indo-dominated bloc various AA mavericks (Ghana, Cambodia, etc.) plus North Korea and North Viet-Nam, thereby breaking Indo isolation and giving Sukarno real place in sun.

(4) At least in early stages, this strategy should be welcome to Chicoms and should provide some comfort for Russians as they see threat open war recede. Rewards could probably be extracted from both. Recent developments such as crackdown on PKI anti-US excesses and peace feelers to Tunku and British might be cited as evidence to contrary. This does not appear persuasive. Easing of anti-US excesses more likely stems from (a) GOI fear PKI getting out of hand and (b) desire not to challenge US too directly over relatively trivial issues at this early stage in new game. Noteworthy that, while physical pressure on US properties in Indo is abating somewhat, intense anti-US brainwashing through all Indo information media apparently is continuing in full force. Re peace feelers, demonstration of continued Indo desire for peaceful settlement with Malaysia also compatible with new strategy in that it improves Indo world image and helps woo AA's.

Implications

If this assessment generally correct, we can anticipate following:

(1) Indos will become progressively more hostile to US as chief of "Neokolim Oldefos" and to US interests both in SEA and throughout world, whatever policy we may pursue toward them.

(2) Not wanting to unite Oldefos against them while they unite against us, they may differentiate carefully in their treatment of various Western countries, may increase fire on US in addition to UK while handling Australians more gently and striving maintain fairly cordial (and profitable) relations with Europeans, Japanese and perhaps Philippines as long as they can.

(3) While Sukarno will continue assert his willingness settle with Malaysians in AA context and may well go through negotiation motions to create peace-loving image, his real need for settlement will have disappeared. Further Indo participation in negotiations will thus be no more than shadow play as far as GOI concerned. No real settlement short of complete Malaysian capitulation will be seriously considered. Foregoing does not imply that this new Indo strategy we see emerging will be immutable or necessarily permanent. Indo policy has been subject to wide variations over past 15 years and undoubtedly will change again when combination of internal pressures, outside pressures and rewards produce Indo reassessments. We see this merely as current Indo strategy, to be pursued as were past strategies until failure or changing circumstances call for new one.

Dept views on US tactics necessary to meet this new Indo strategy will be subject separate cable./4/

/4/See Document 79.

Rusk

 

79. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, October 22, 1964, 6:56 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret. Drafted by Underhill, cleared by Cuthell and Harriman, and approved by Bundy. Sent to Djakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Canberra, Wellington, London, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

715. Hong Kong for Ambassadors Jones, Bell and Blair. In context of assessment Indonesian position contained Depcirtel 714/2/ Malaysian problem becomes one aspect of broader problem of Indonesian hostility towards Western presence and influence in Southeast Asia. Until this basic Indonesian policy changes, Malaysia problem is essentially without "solution," i.e. re-establishment friendly relations, status quo ante, or even peaceful co-existence.

/2/Document 78.

Past negotiations have failed because of absence agreement between GOI and GOM on nature of their difference. For Indonesia, manner of Malaysia's formation, its internal political and social structure, and its relations with UK are completely unacceptable. Malaysia is therefore given Hobson's choice of negotiating its own dissolution or suffering it at hands Indonesian "volunteers." Malaysia, for its part, is prepared to negotiate when Indonesia in fact recognizes its political independence and territorial integrity. This however, as Indonesia has repeatedly and explicitly proclaimed, is basic point at issue.

Under these circumstances, negotiations, "peace feelers", become primarily if not solely maneuver to gain tactical advantage and place opponent in bad light in eyes of world, particularly Asian-African world. Third parties are drawn in to bring pressure on enemy to yield bargaining points in interest "peaceful solution to problem."

Recognizing that "solution" is for present impossible, it is still clearly in our interest to divert confrontation away from dangerous military course and channel it into "negotiations" or, more realistically, contacts, to maximum extent possible. This can be done, however, only against background credible British military deterrent confronting Indonesia with unacceptable consequences of again intensifying military confrontation.

For present following considerations bear on role and tactics of U.S. in this problem:

1. Malaysian situation now surrounded with unusually difficult range of uncertainties: a new British government; interrelation of GOI and new Soviet leadership; an internal political situation in Indonesia where struggle for power between Subandrio and Saleh, and probably others, may be entering new phase and manifesting itself in divergent and uncoordinated approaches to Malaysian problem.

2. We must not sponsor initiatives which Indos can manipulate to their advantage, or urge on Malaysia and UK damaging concessions which GOI can treat as irrevocable commitments and a base from which further concessions are exacted.

3. On other hand, we should encourage HMG and GOM to keep door open to Indo approaches and to be as apparently responsive as is necessary to keep some form of dialogue going in order avoid having Indos feel they frozen into position where only exit from situation is military.

4. We should continue to stress to HMG importance of strong military posture in area, and necessity that GOI be left in no doubt on UK-GOM ability and willingness meet higher levels military activity.

In view foregoing we believe following best course for U.S. at this point:

For Djakarta: You should continue line with Subandrio reported Embtel 734/3/ that we pleased Indos have ended military attacks against Malaysia, that we are aware of number of Indonesian approaches to UK and GOM, that we understand that responses have not been unfavorable, and that we hope GOI will follow up with specific proposals. Despite mistreatment U.S. is receiving in Indonesia, we continue regard Indonesia as long-term friend and would like to help GOI move itself out of precarious situation in which it now is. For present, however, we see no useful role USG might play.

/3/Dated October 20. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

For Tokyo: In reply to Oda (Embtel 1371)/4/ suggest you summarize approach we intend take in Djakarta, indicating it would be most effective if GOI heard same general line from GOJ, speaking as major Asian power.

/4/Not found.

For Kuala Lumpur: You should suggest to GOM vital importance of coming to grips with this Indonesian diplomatic offensive, and meeting it with considerable propaganda assets at its disposal. You should also reiterate our view of damaging effect of public supercilious and deprecatory dismissal of Indonesian peace feelers. Recommend you also discuss with your Australian and British colleagues Lee Kuan Yew's proposal for early Borneo plebiscite. We will discuss with GOA and HMG Embassies here.

Rusk

 

80. Telegram From the Consulate in Hong Kong to the Department of State/1/

Hong Kong, October 25, 1964, 1 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret. Repeated to Bangkok, Djakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manila, Tokyo, USUN, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

541. Refs: Depcirtels 714, 715./2/ From Ambs. Jones, Bell and Blair. We agree with broad outline policy Depcirtel 715. Amb. Jones will comment separately on Dept's analysis situation within Indonesia (Depcirtel 714)./3/ We are in agreement on following specifics:

/2/Documents 78 and 79.

/3/The Embassy in Indonesia commented on this cable in telegram 783 from Djakarta, October 27. The analysis was originally sent to Jones in Hong Kong and was repeated to Washington at his request. While the Embassy believed the arguments in telegram 714 were "cogent and in broad aspects present realistic commentary on current Indonesian scene," the most important factor not taken into consideration was the "depth of the current internal political jockeying in Indonesia" between moderate non-Communists and leftists and the PKI. A highly visible tripartite conference on Malaysia resulting in a tactical success for Sukarno could dissipate unity of the non-Communist coalition. The Embassy stressed the importance of quiet diplomacy. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 1 INDON)

1) British apparently prepared to hold discussions with Indos and we believe they should accede to Tunku's request that they proceed in such a way as to make clear UK cannot commit GOM, in order to protect GOM from further charges of being neo-colonial puppet. If British appear reluctant believe we should encourage them to proceed on basis of GOM suggestion.

2) US should not take separate initiative until we know results UK-Indo talks.

3) If GOM adamant re determination execute Indo regulars infiltrated or dropped Malaya, believe USG should make approach urging moderation in interest broader political considerations.

4) See no objection to instructions for Djakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur as contained Deptel 715. Re KL instructions Bell just prior to departure KL spoke with Razak and indicated our view of Tunku's revelation Indo feelers. Although other GOM leaders including Senu had agreed earlier that Tunku's public statement unfortunate, Razak made no comment. There is some speculation in KL that reason for Tunku statement, as in the case of Indonesian approaches to British (which are included in his count of six "feelers"), was GOM fear Indo trap.

5) Following British-Indonesian discussions and assuming improved UK-Indo relations, we inclined believe best bet is still for secret Tunku/Sukarno meeting either with or without third party playing "Bunker" role./4/ Benefits of third party have been partly spelled out from KL. We also recognize there may be detrimental aspect of inhibiting effect presence of third party might have on willingness of principals to be forthright. As to mechanics of such meeting, we believe Japanese might play useful role particularly as they most anxious to make contribution. If plan for such meeting were held closely by high level Japanese Govt., chances for leak would be minimized. No reason why Sukarno could not openly visit Japan as he has done often in past. Tunku might go secretly, possibly being brought in by Commonwealth military aircraft. Meeting could be held at secluded spot similar to Dutch-Indo discussions West Irian in Virginia. With full support of Japanese arrangements of this kind probably would avoid publicity. Japan might also offer an "Asian Bunker" to act as mediator. Although GOM suspicious of Oda, Tunku might be persuaded accept him. Another possibility would be Zafrulla Khan if were able undertake such a mission while ICJ justice.

/4/Ellsworth Bunker's role in facilitating a solution in 1962 to the dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands over West New Guinea/West Irian.

Although GOM now suspicious of Pakistanis because of GOP attitude toward Communist China, they might be convinced in view Khan stature as an international figure and fact that he has not been associated with GOP recently.

This scenario illustrative and raises some problems such as willingness Tunku participate in plan which he may view as undignified for chief of govt. There are other possibilities such as meeting in Europe. Tunku in July was told by London eye specialists he should return for further examination in 3 or 4 months. Understand Sukarno may go to Vienna for further medical treatment in January. This could provide opportunity unobtrusive meeting. Both principals would have to agree to this plan well in advance to prevent further deterioration in situation based on uncertainty.

6) If bilateral summit proves unobtainable, suggest we then actively revive discussion possibility AACC with Aussies and UK. Believe it would be best for them, if they agree with the proposal, to make first approaches to GOM. We should indicate our willingness to try to get Macapagal to name Thais as Phil representative on AACC. Then GOM could pick reliable AA country, possibly Malagasy. We might also be prepared ask Macapagal to suggest to Thais that Japan should be fourth member of commission. If Indos select Pakistan, quadripartite commission would be in reasonably good shape, from US standpoint. Our approach would include understanding that all parties be urged as first order business to request immediate withdrawal of Indonesian guerrillas from all of Malaysia and seek guarantee complete cessation military activity.

If Tunku can be assured that AACC would make this first order business, Bell believes that US with help of Aussies and UK, could probably sell Tunku on basis that AACC offers best opportunity test Sukarno's real intentions.

Rice

 

81. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, October 27, 1964, 10 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret. Drafted by Shullaw and approved in S on November 9. The meeting was held in the Secretary's office. Gordon Walker was in Washington October 26-27. The most complete record of his visit is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110, CF 2440.

SUBJECT
Indonesia and Malaysia

PARTICIPANTS

US
The Secretary
William R. Tyler, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
J. Harold Shullaw, Director, EUR/BNA

UK
Patrick Gordon Walker, Foreign Secretary
The Lord Harlech, British Ambassador
Sir Harold Caccia, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign Office

In further amplification of the United States position with respect to the Indonesia-Malaysia problem, the Secretary said we did not want to be faced with residual military responsibilities for the consequences of escalation. The United States in this matter is a half pace behind those countries--the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand--with direct commitments. The American people are weary of the concept that the United States is to be regarded as the world's gendarmes. We have pointed out to Australia and New Zealand the desirability of increasing their defense budgets. They have been relying too much on ANZUS and too little on their own efforts.

The Secretary noted the apparent interest of some Indonesian leaders in quiet talks with the UK. He regretted the action of the Tunku in unnecessarily complicating the situation by referring at a press conference to these confidential messages from the Indonesians. The Foreign Secretary replied that the British Government was examining these Indonesian feelers but had to keep the Tunku in step and did not wish to get into the position of an intermediary between Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Secretary commented that Sukarno has the mistaken idea that the oil companies operating in Indonesia can be treated as hostages. As a matter of fact if he were to move against the companies, the immediate consequence would be the loss to Indonesia of $125,000,000 per annum in foreign exchange. Indonesia's foreign exchange position is very bad with the reserves some time ago down to $25,000,000.

The Foreign Secretary inquired about our assessment of Sukarno's relations with Peking. The Secretary replied that while Sukarno privately speaks of the Chinese Communist threat, the Indonesian Communist Party has swung from Moscow to Peking.

The Secretary explained to the Foreign Secretary that our Joint Chiefs of Staff believe it is important to continue our training contacts to the extent possible with the Indonesian Army. The Foreign Secretary expressed understanding of this policy but indicated concern at public reaction in Britain. Lord Harlech noted that US training of Indonesians in guerrilla warfare was troubling. The Secretary replied that this training was being phased out.

The Secretary suggested, and the Foreign Secretary agreed, that it would be a good idea to leave the Dutch free to play their own hand in dealing with the Indonesians. He noted that the Dutch, whose relations with the Indonesians have shown some improvement, may turn out to be the principal Western influence in Indonesia.

The Secretary expressed understanding of the need for a tart reply to Indonesian parachute drops and landings in Malaysia. He explained that his public assurances of US support for the Philippines made during the recent visit of President Macapagal were prompted by information we had received of Indonesian meddling in Mindanao and involvement in Manila demonstrations. The Secretary said we planned naval visits to Philippine ports as a further warning to the Indonesians.

The Secretary concluded discussion of this subject by emphasizing the importance of complete precision in understanding between the President and Prime Minister Wilson so that there is no risk of anything being taken for granted. The Foreign Secretary expressed agreement and added that full information concerning any intended or contemplated action should be exchanged between our two countries even if no action is expected of the other party.

 

82. Note From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, November 5, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. III, Memos, 9/64-2/65, [2 of 2]. Secret.

Mac--

Bill B. feels we've got to start rolling on a successor to Howard Jones, who's not in best of health, has been in Djakarta almost seven years, and is nibbling at offer to be head of East-West Center in Hawaii.

Bill had hoped to tap Gale McGee (if defeated). Now he has no other candidate than Jake Beam. Jake's a good, solid guy but not man I'd choose to deal with Sukarno. Bill would like Wilson Wyatt, but we recall that the Oval Room put the kibosh on him. Is a rehearing possible?/2/ Wyatt would be great.

/2/At this point Bundy wrote: "Yes it is. McGB."

I'm quite worried lest, on top of all the other anti-Bung gestures we're making these days, pulling out Howard would be wholly misconstrued by the Bung. Ergo, unless we can find a really good man quick, why not keep Jones there a few months longer while we search.

Bill wants a quick reading on WH sentiment. What's your reaction?/3/

/3/At this point Bundy wrote: "Let's get a strong rec for Wyatt. McGB." Komer wrote, "Byroade" at the bottom of the text.

RWK

 

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

Djakarta, November 9, 1964, 6 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, PER JONES, HOWARD P. Confidential; Exdis.

853. For Bundy from Ambassador. In Honolulu I met with President and Board of Regents University of Honolulu, and have been offered Chancellorship of East West Center. This looks like challenging responsibility and I am inclined to accept but have deferred decision pending consultation with you, Governor Harriman and Secretary Rusk.

US-Indonesian relations are at moment as sensitive and delicate as I have known them to be. President Johnson's tremendous victory has been enthusiastically welcomed by leadership here. I have been congratulated personally by all leading Cabinet personalities on Johnson victory which is interpreted here not as meaning any change in US position on Malaysia but as significant in terms progressive approach of USG to fundamental world problems, in particular social and economic advancement of less developed countries. In my opinion, we have in Indo reaction to results of election foundation upon which we can build an effective relationship between our two countries and continue to attempt to exercise intelligent restraint and counsel for moderation. Opportunity to accomplish this, however, is likely to depend upon manner in which transition between Ambassadors is handled.

This situation is well nigh unique. Here we have Indonesian President who, while he is basically opposed to Western influence in his country, has retained a close relationship with the representative of the most powerful Western country with whatever possibility for moderating counsel on our part this may have provided.

The foregoing plus other elements in this situation suggest desirability of personal consultation in Washington. Specifically, the following matters require thoughtful consideration:

1. Timing and manner of my resignation and announcement and of acceptance of Chancellorship.

2. How and when to inform Sukarno who could interpret my resignation as fundamental policy change toward Indonesia on part US Government unless convincingly presented to contrary.

3. Question of timing of my successor's appointment and means to pave way for him. I would, of course, wish to retain for him as much of whatever influence I have on Sukarno and other members of his government as possible. Looking forward to my new responsibility, a visit to Washington would also provide opportunity to talk with Assistant Secretary McPherson and others concerned with East West Center which would appear useful at this point.

As to timing, I have impression from President Hamilton of University of Hawaii that, although Regents are anxious for me to reach early decision, there is reasonable flexibility re date of assumption new responsibility, provided announcement is handled expeditiously.

If Department perceives no objection, I would plan to come to Washington for brief consultations within next ten days. Please advise./2/

/2/In telegram 465 to Djakarta, November 13, Bundy suggested that Jones was needed in Djakarta rather than returning to Washington for consultations. Bundy suggested that since Jones' departure would be traumatic for Sukarno, Jones should "begin withdrawal therapy dropping series carefully graded hints that end of your mission is approaching." (Ibid.) In telegram 923 from Djakarta, November 19, Jones reported that he informed Sukarno of his impending resignation. (Ibid.) In telegram 1183 from Djakarta, December 24, Jones reluctantly reported that Sukarno had insisted that he ask the Department if he could stay at his post 2 years longer since Sukarno said he "found it difficult to think of doing business with anyone else." Jones reported that he told Sukarno it would be impossible to report such a request because it would look like he was "making a bid to stay on." (Ibid.)

Jones

 

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

Washington, November 19, 1964, 7:53 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur, London, Bangkok, Manila, Tokyo, and CINCPAC for POLAD. Drafted by Underhill; cleared in draft by Bundy and George W. Jaeger, EUR Staff Assistant; and approved by Cuthell.

487. Embtel 919./2/ We concur with your estimate that internal Indonesian political situation injects new element of urgency into continuing common effort divert Malaysian dispute from military arena into diplomatic contacts and discussions. While continuing hold view expressed Depcirtel 715/3/ that GOI not interested in "solution" short of accomplishment announced objective crush Malaysia, we believe that as matter of tactics all avenues should be explored which could involve GOI in contacts tending to inhibit continuation at least military aspects of confrontation.

/2/In telegram 919 from Djakarta, November 18, the Embassy suggested that there were domestic reasons why the Malaysia dispute should be removed from the military arena to the conference table. Moderate non-Communist groups were challenging the PKI and Subandrio and the PKI hoped to use the Malaysian dispute "to smother" these forces. In addition, Sukarno naively believed that President Johnson's reelection would result in improved U.S.-Indonesian relations and was therefore more receptive and open minded. Jones recommended initiating efforts to get U.K.-Indonesian talks going, indicating U.S. support for them, moving the dispute to an AACC solution or some other mechanism, and enlisting help from Japan, Thailand, and possibly the Philippines. (Ibid.)

/3/Document 79.

In charting new U.S. initiatives would appreciate further Embassy analysis of their possible effect on internal political situation. Broadening pattern of failure of military confrontation program as presently conducted (landing fiascoes, UN vote, Cairo reaction) appears to be one element encouraging Malik-Saleh group to stand up against Subandrio-PKI. Subandrio-PKI, and to date Sukarno, clearly wedded to concept that military pressure on Malaysia necessary to frighten Tunku to conference table in mood to accept Indo position. Would Sukarno-Subandrio interpret U.S. initiatives to reopen talks at this point as proving validity their thesis, and thus harm rather than assist anti-communist movement? If intensification confrontation is important weapon against Malik-Saleh group, why would Subandrio be disposed deprive himself of this weapon by entering into talks?

Our first problem is establishment specific proposals we would make to Australians and British. Would appreciate therefore expansion points two and three final paragraph of reftel to this effect with following points in mind:

1. We cannot expect much progress unless we can get HMG and GOA on board, and they will be unwilling pick up existing peacefeelers and unreceptive new approach until Indonesia has agreed, at least secretly, to terminate attacks on mainland and has in fact done so over a period of time. Considering Sukarno's determination continue military pressure voiced in conversations with you and Shann, what are chances you could persuade him modify this position?

2. What specifically would we suggest to principals as subjects for "meaningful talks"?

3. Would Indonesians be prepared take up GOM gambit on disposition captured infiltrators as opening for broader bilateral talks?

4. What interpretation in context bilateral U.S.-Indonesian relations is GOI likely to place on our initiative bring problem back to conference table? How great is danger that Sukarno/Subandrio would see this as evidence softening U.S. attitude and one more demonstration U.S. preparedness reward intransigence and rescue Indonesia from consequences of its own conduct. Assuming we can work out acceptable and sufficiently detailed proposal, Dept hopes we can be in position start discussion this subject with HMG and GOA in near future.

Kuala Lumpur comments on this and reftel would be appreciated.

Rusk

 

85. Note From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, November 19, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. III, 9/64-2/65, [2 of 2]. Secret.

Mac--

FYI we've growing evidence that quite a domestic flap is brewing in Indonesia between PKI and anti-PKI groups, perhaps to a degree the start of jockeying for power in anticipation of Sukarno's demise.

At any rate Jones argues eloquently (Djakarta 919 attached)/2/ that this is all the more reason for renewing our efforts to defuse Malaysia crisis, lest this be used by Subandrio and PKI (with or without Sukarno) as excuse for re-imposing unity.

/2/See footnote 2, Document 84.

As you know, I've been badgering FE not to give up on efforts to buy time here./3/ We have little to lose, and a lot to gain. But the FE experts seem tired of the game, and tend (probably with some reason) to discount Jones. They keep telling me we've tried all Jones' remedies before, so why mount up again.

/3/Most recently in a memorandum to William Bundy, November 17. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Indonesia, Nov. 63-Mar 66, [1 of 3])

However, I'm still playing devil's advocate (the last Sukarno-lover). Even at risk of some caustic response from Bill about my badgering, you might stick in a needle too.

RWK

 

86. Political Action Paper/1/

Washington, November 19, 1964.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDO Files: Job 78-00597R, FE/State Dpt Meetings, 1964. Secret. A draft of this paper, prepared by [text not declassified] and approved by DCM Galbraith, was discussed at a meeting between Department of State and Central Intelligence Agency officials on October 22. Cuthell expressed his view that covert action should be confined at this time to disruptive operations against the PKI. To use non-Communist elements was risky because their positions were not well known, they were under close surveillance by the Indonesian security service, and they might involve longer-range commitments than the United States was prepared to make. Cuthell offered revisions. The revised draft paper, that printed here, was resubmitted at a November 6 meeting of State and CIA officials. At the November 19 meeting of these officials, William Bundy approved the paper in principle and asked that it be sent to Djakarta for Jones and [text not declassified] comments. (Memoranda for the record by Colby, October 22, November 5, and November 20; ibid.)

1. Background: The fulcrum of political power in Indonesia is sustained by Sukarno through the adroit balancing of power organizations and personal loyalties. The principal identifiable power entities in point are the Indonesian Army and the Partai Kommunis Indonesia (PKI). The status of the PKI has been examined most recently by the Office of Current Intelligence (OCI) in its Special Report of 23 October 1964, entitled "Sukarno and the Communists,"/2/ the high points of which are pertinent to consideration of the future course and emphasis of covert action in Indonesia:

/2/Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. III, Memos, 9/64-2/65, [2 of 2].

a. Party Growth: During the years 1951-1964 the PKI has increased from 12,000 to a claimed membership of three million. This growth has been encouraged and assisted by Sukarno, who has benefited from its highly organized support of his regime and its objectives. OCI observes:

". . . Sukarno has largely suppressed political opposition to himself. Because this opposition was invariably anti-Communist as well as anti-Sukarno, its suppression and the failure of non-Communist groups to come forward has had the effect of leaving the field to the Communists."

b. Party Strength: The PKI has devised, organized, and guided a variety of specialized front organizations, in such traditional sectors as peasants, labor, youth, and women. Membership probably involves between 10 and 12 million people.

c. Party Accomplishments: The cabinet reorganization of August 1964 resulted in the appointment of three PKI members and three PKI sympathizers to ministerial rank (out of 79). The PKI-dominated National Front, functioning as an integrated element of the national government, has gained ascendancy over the administration of the provinces.

d. Prospects:

"The PKI still needs Sukarno to protect it while it consolidates its gains, and it probably hopes he will survive a few more years but no longer. Within that time, if present trends continue, PKI infiltration of national and local government and Communist organizations of the peasantry will have become so effective that at Sukarno's death the party can make a bid for power with good chances of success."

The Indonesian Army currently is the only organized entity capable of resisting the trend described above. While Sukarno lives, it will not move effectively to counter the PKI, nor is its leadership by itself sufficiently astute politically to guide such an effort. This in an atmos- phere in which the PKI actively influences and participates in government and administration, the Army responds defensively and individually. It is no more of a counter-force than Sukarno wants it to be. The Army is, furthermore, the object of a sustained PKI penetration program. OCI also observes:

"Sukarno, seeking to maintain his own preeminent position, to preserve national unity, and to advance Indonesia internationally at the expense of the West, finds it totally inexpedient to challenge the PKI. His tactics, combined with Communist single-mindedness, seem likely ultimately to bring Indonesia under Communist control.

In essence, therefore, unless extraneous factors intrude, a Communist-oriented Indonesia can be expected within the not too distant future. What is clearly required is a program designed to separate legitimate national aspiration, Sukarno chauvinism and PKI ambitions so that forces inimical to the United States can be distinctly identified and countered.

2. Assumptions:

a. That the current trend of events and configuration of forces in Indonesia will result in increasing PKI prestige, influence, and size unless positive as well as negative action measures are taken.

b. That this PKI increase in strength will result in a series of tests of strength.

c. That the prime object of PKI strength-testing will be the United States, its representative institutions and policies. This will be all too conveniently appended to the Indonesian Government's avowed program of eliminating Western influence and power in Southeast Asia, a program of which it is now clear the anti-Malaysian campaign is only one aspect.

d. That on the death or removal from power of Sukarno, a power struggle will ensue, with the PKI and Indonesian Army as principal protagonists.

e. That in terms of succession potential within or without the Government of Indonesia, no individual or group of individuals now possesses the influence or capability of acquiring without reference to the PKI or the Army.

f. That recent events have shown that elements with strong nationalistic and religious convictions do exist in Indonesia. That these elements, working in tandem with the Army, and supplying an ideological and conceptual base for the Army and allied elements, could constitute a sufficient aggregate strength to forestall PKI victory in the eventual struggle of power elements for succession.

g. That under present and likely future circumstances, insurgency, military dissidence, and other disruptive action against the regime are not desirable, and that a unified, unfragmented Indonesia is a major desideratum.

3. Objectives: To counter these trends, a covert action program including the following objectives is stipulated:

a. Through indirect means, take action to create an image of the PKI as an increasingly ambitious, dangerous opponent of Sukarno and legitimate nationalism. The role of the PKI and its associated organizations as instruments of neo-imperialism, especially Chinese neo-imperialism, would be consistently emphasized.

b. Encouragement and coordination of the efforts of, and to the extent securely possible, covert assistance to, individuals and organizations prepared to take obstructive action against the PKI.

c. Development of a broad-gauge ideological common denominator, preferably within the framework of Sukarno's enunciated concepts, to which practically all political groupings in Indonesia except the PKI (and possibly outright dissidents) can adhere, so that the cleavage between the PKI and the residue of Indonesian society can be widened. At the same time, this common denominator can operate to reduce the normal and traditional difference between individual parties, between Right and Left, between non-Communist Marxists and religious nationalists, etc. Recent PKI disclosures suggest that for the Communists, Pantja Sila is only a temporarily satisfactory expedient as an ideology. Possibly adherence to the concepts of Pantja Sila will serve as the required broad-based common denominator.

d. Identification and cultivation and where possible, coordination of potential leaders within the present and future Government of Indonesia, to insure orderly and non-Communist succession upon Sukarno's death or removal from office.

e. Identification and assessment of anti-regime elements, in order to monitor their activities and strength, and be in a position, in the event of a non-Communist successor regime, to influence them to support such a regime.

[Here follows section 4 entitled "Means."]

5. Concluding Remarks: The political situation in Indonesia is unusually fluid. The pertinence and feasibility of the means described can be expected to fluctuate regularly. The implementation of these means will be emphasized and de-emphasized to correspond to the political necessities of the moment. Close and continuing contact will be maintained with the Ambassador concerning all aspects of implementing this program.

 

87. Note Prepared by Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff/1/

Washington, November 19, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Indonesia, Nov 63-Mar 66 [1 of 3]. Secret. There was no recipient of this note, James C. Thomson's initials appear at the top of the page.

1. In principle, I am thoroughly in favor!/2/ As our overt leverage on, and links to, Indonesia decrease, this is all the more needed.

/2/Reference is to Document 86.

2. We are entering a period of major flux in Indo politics, which could become a struggle for power especially if Sukarno dies. We can't begin too soon to lay groundwork for playing a role in this if we can.

3. Paper focuses on main threat to US interests, which is not really Sukarno or Sukarnoism, but the PKI. Indo is too important to lose to PKI, which is most likely prospect at present.

4. I'm not sure how much impact recommended program would have. The brief gives no order of magnitude of effort. But it's worth a try if following question satisfactorily answered.

5. Key question is whether we can do what's proposed really clandestinely without burning our fingers. If Bung or PKI really caught us at this game, we'd probably lose more than we'd gain.

6. In sum, I'd fully endorse if those who are closer to Indo scene than I will undertake that this can be launched discreetly and with reasonably low risk of a backlash.

RWK/3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.

 

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

Djakarta, November 25, 1964, 7 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Canberra, London, Manila, Tokyo, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

962. Reference: Department's telegram 487./2/ Additional talks with key GOI leaders since events reported Embtel 919/3/ have added weight to need for moving Malaysian dispute to conference table. To date Adam Malik, Chaerul Saleh, General Nasution, General Sukendro and others have made strong pleas for US help in rescuing moderates within Indonesia from what could easily become untenable position.

/2/Document 84.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 84.

While I agree with many points in reftel I believe Department may underestimate strength of sentiment here in favor of face-saving way out on Malaysia issue. Important segments Indo military have been embarrassed by obvious failure of efforts against mainland Malaya. Burgeoning non-Communist movement fears dispute will be used to suppress them. As result there seems to be unity of interest among significant elements here which could give us leverage to help defuse dispute.

Regarding specific questions in para 2 reftel, we believe internal issues, especially local concern over growing PKI influence, were key elements in providing motivation for moderate forces. Failure of "confrontation" was also a factor but this was probably secondary. In early stages of non-Communist movement, settlement of Malaysian issue with behind scenes help USG might have lulled newly awakened moderates into false sense of believing everything would soon be all right. However, movement has gained such momentum that I do not believe this is any longer the case. Danger now is one of suppression, since PKI and FAR leftists must be concerned by non-Communist drive and stirring up any issue or tactics to restore status quo, Malik and others believe they are too strong to be stopped except in wave of ultra-nationalistic frenzy which would almost certainly accompany intensification of Malaysian dispute. This is precise issue which helped them gain momentum and could now be turned against them.

We share Dept's view that Subandrio would be most reluctant to deprive himself of weapon which might be used against moderates. However, we believe we could contribute in creating situation where Subandrio would have little choice but to go along with such move. His "unprecedented cordiality" with British Amb Gilchrist Nov. 20 (Embtel 943),/4/ may indicate Subandrio sees handwriting on wall and is prepared, whatever his motivation, to be more helpful.

/4/Dated November 21. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL INDON-UK)

Our comments on numbered paras reftel follow:

(1) We have gained impression here that while Brits going slow on talks with Indos they have definitely not closed door. Results of Gilchrist's latest talk with Subandrio may well encourage additional British moves. Australians, while somewhat pessimistic regarding prospects, give impression here they willing explore any possibility for peaceful settlement.

(2) First objective Indo-UK talks should be merely to restore communications and establish some sort mutual confidence. Only if discussions are started can Brits effectively stress importance of ending Indo military attacks and persuade GOI that Tunku not averse to direct discussions. We believe that such talks, while useful prerequisite, probably would not succeed in settling issue in which so much "face" involved. Talks could however provide opportunity for seriously exploring viewpoints of parties concerned and hopefully moving toward AACC or other impartial device which would actually recommend solution. Sukarno commitment in advance to adhere to AACC decision was opposed by Subandrio but seems indicate Sukarno willing accept impartial judgment which gives him opportunity end unsuccessful military confrontation without appearing to bow to Tunku or Western powers.

Only specific issue impeding direct GOI-GOM discussions PR movement to AACC seems to be Indo guerrillas. Appears to us that Tunku's insistence on withdrawal these guerrillas as prerequisite for talks is not very realistic. It doubtful if GOI still has control over those on Malaysian territory, and prime objective at present should be to prevent further incursions and reduce chances of escalation. If this issue could be bypassed we could move on to solution which would be in interests of all concerned.

(3) Appreciate Amb Bell's view that discussion of captured infiltrators could provide means place GOI and GOM into direct communication (KL's 622),/5/ but I am inclined believe it preferable if subject can be sidetracked for present. On basis past experience by tripartite Foreign Ministerial negotiations in Bangkok earlier this year, and estimate present Indo mood, I believe actual result of bringing two sides together on issue of prisoner status would be that talks never get beyond technical stage, thus actually hamstringing chance for political discussion of broader issues. It will be realized that approach of GOM and GOI to negotiations has consistently been completely different and will likely continue to be. Indos have refused to come to agreement on such aspects as guerrilla withdrawals, supervision of cease-fire, etc., and instead have stated repeatedly that these things can be readily solved if basic political settlement achieved. On Malaysian side, such issues have been consistently viewed as stepping stones to more basic agreement and, in manner almost "more British than the British," GOM has concentrated on legal, technical and moral arguments to secure strict compliance to some such preliminary agreement before proceeding further.

/5/Dated November 23. (Ibid., POL INDON-MALAYSIA)

I do not believe that Sukarno will be willing to immerse negotiations again in what GOI considers as side issues, and from our viewpoint such debates could easily offer Subandrio wholesome room for maneuver and influence on President regarding alleged GOM obstructionism. I believe Indo willingness to settle current confrontation can only be tested by procedure which will largely avoid subordinate issues and go to heart of intentions both sides with regard to basic rapprochement. Latter could then create climate of feeling in which two important steps can be taken: (1) Halt of Indo military attacks, and (2) formation of some such mechanism as AACC which can give Sukarno political excuse to call off policy which has become ingrained in political fabric of Indo. This all presumes, of course, that prisoner issue will not suddenly come to head and that GOM able and willing to let issue vegetate quietly in legal channels for some time. This has been our impression here on basis Embassy KL and CAS reports.

(4) If US initiative used in carefully controlled fashion here and in KL, I do not believe this would be viewed as indication that "US prepared reward intransigence." Sukarno feels USG has abandoned neutral stand and is actively supporting GOM. US initiative now would in his eyes help restore balance and increase our credibility. If Dept agrees to proposal that we take advantage this opportunity I would plan make absolutely clear to Sukarno that we will not do for them in Malaysia confrontation what we did in West Irian dispute. Situations are totally different and US policies in no way similar. Instead of smoothing way for GOI achievement of main objective as in settlement of dispute with Dutch over West Irian, our initiative this time will essentially be for purpose of allowing Sukarno graceful way to step back without achieving stated objective of "crushing Malaysia."

I would also propose outline to Sukarno dangers of Malaysian confrontation as we see it and our concern over state US-Indo relations which stems in large part from confrontation. I would hope be authorized to tell him new administration wants to help GOI explore possible ways of ending present dilemma, making point, as I have so often in past, that we recognize Malaysia, disagree with GOI current activities against Malaysia, but that we wish to be helpful in achieving peaceful solution to thorny question between two neighbors. We are not concerned with substance of solution but in bringing parties concerned together so that mutually satisfactory solution can be found. We hope GOI will seriously pursue discussions with British and make every effort move on to AACC or other device. Would be most useful also to be able tell him we have good evidence Tunku shares this view.

I believe we might begin by strongly encouraging British to follow up promptly on encouraging beginning made by Gilchrist-Subandrio conversation November 20. If results are encouraging we should be prepared to quickly follow up with approaches in Djakarta and KL to really get issue moving toward solution. I get impression Department of opinion that time working on our side. While this may have been case at one time, I believe time now running out for us and for Indo moderates who need our help./6/

/6/In telegram 502 to Djakarta, November 25, the Department suggested there was no prospect that the United Kingdom and Malaysia would resume talks with Indonesia while Indonesia continued to introduce new troops into the conflict. The Department stated that it was not a problem of Indonesian forces on Malaysia soil, but "these unrelenting low-level forays of small bodies of troops and saboteur forces which are the obstacle." The only approach the Department could see succeeding was for Sukarno to stop military activity for a month or so to allow Tunku and the British to make secret contacts for an Asian-African Conciliation Commission or some other mechanism. (Ibid., POL INDON-MALAYSIA) Jones responded in telegram 984, November 26, that he was not proposing to bypass a cessation of Indonesian military activity, but looking for a tacit cessation of hostilities. The issue he proposed to bypass was the Indonesian guerrillas on Malaysian territory. (Ibid.)

Jones

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