Angola

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Snapshot,
Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

The countries of East Africa are in the early throes of an oil boom, with an unprecedented opportunity for economic development. Unless they avoid the mistakes of those before them, though, the region's governments could easily squander it.

Essay, Summer 1989
Chas. W. Freeman, Jr.

Last December 22, in New York, the chambers of the United Nations were witness to a most bizarre event. As a Soviet deputy foreign minister looked on approvingly, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz presided over the signature by the foreign ministers of Angola, Cuba and South Africa of interlocking treaties accomplishing the removal of foreign forces from southwestern Africa. The three ministers made speeches. The Angolan managed a polite dig at South Africa and the United States. The Cuban was polemically sarcastic about both, and took a barely disguised swipe at the Soviets as well. The South African wound up with remarks that, inter alia, declared his country's solidarity with Third World resentment of Western domination of the global economy.

Essay, Special 1988
John A. Marcum

Charts the development of US foreign policy efforts under Reagan in (1) the Angolan conflict (2) South Africa. Since 1981, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Chester A Crocker, has pursued two main objectives in Africa (1) the reduction of Soviet/Cuban influence and cross-border conflict (2) the introduction of more liberal policies in South Africa.

Essay, Summer 1988
Michael Clough

Conflict between the administration and Congress exemplifies the disarray of US policy towards Southern Africa. Reviews the background to the passage of the Anti-Apartheid Act, the goals of which, however, are not achievable in terms of practical politics. The Reagan administration has concentrated on white opinion, when a strategy of "black empowerment", defined as dialogue with the black leadership, would be more fruitful. Notes the relationship between regional re-stabilization and the use (or threat) of sanctions. For the remainder of 1988 the administration should concentrate on Namibia and Angola.

Essay, Summer 1987
Pamela S. Falk

Cuba's intervention in Africa has proved very costly. Its involvement in 17 countries and three insurgencies has caused economic drain, loss of life, and domestic discontent, although the political benefits of involvement in Angola have been great. Despite the rising human and financial cost of remaining there, Cuba will be loath to withdraw without some tangible and lasting achievement, such as Namibian independence.

Essay, Fall 1978
Nathaniel Davis

International competition and political action sometimes appear to be channeled between frail dikes. To put the thought another way, it is as if the seething mass of ambition and potential violence so characteristic of international relationships is contained in quieter times behind a thin shell of a veneer. Once the shell of constraint is broken, subsequent adventures become easier to contemplate. It is for some of these reasons that we should, perhaps, examine how the confines of restraint in Angola were broken through, and whether a different American policy in the period before the Soviet/Cuban intervention in 1975 might have produce a different result.

Essay, Apr 1976
John A. Marcum

It was an improbable locus for a superpower collision. But the shape and location, if not the history and social reality, of Angola were being firmly impressed upon the minds of millions of American television viewers. At issue, they learned from the Secretary of State, testifying before a Senate subcommittee on African affairs, was this basic principle: "The Soviet Union must not be given any opportunity to use military forces for aggressive purposes without running the risk of conflict with us."1 Angola was to be the post-Vietnam testing ground of American will and power in the face of the global expansion of a bullish rival whose recently realized military outreach was seen to be leading it toward dangerous adventures.

Essay, Jan 1976
Kenneth Maxwell

During the early hours of that remote Portuguese spring of 1974, a graffito appeared at the Technical Institute of Lisbon. It read: "Revolution of roses: petals for the bourgeoisie, thorns for the people." Twenty months later, with Portugal on the brink of civil war and Angola plunged into fratricidal warfare, it is surprising anyone should have been so sanguine. There would be thorns enough for everybody. Real political, economic and strategic assets were threatened when Premier Marcello Caetano was packed off to a comfortable exile in Brazil. If this was not perceived at the time, it was because these assets had been taken entirely for granted for so long, and the end was so sudden and effortless.

Essay, Apr 1975
Kenneth L. Adelman

The first European power to arrive in black Africa is now the last to depart. The April 1974 coup in Lisbon, one of those rare instances in history when a change in government reverses a vital national policy, has led to the end of centuries of Portuguese colonization. Such a rapid shift in policy, resulting in the promise of independence for Mozambique on June 25 and Angola on November II of this year, was bound to fundamentally change the character of African politics. This decolonization in the south, together with the Ethiopian revolution, the new power of the oil-producing states, and the tragedy of the Sahel drought in the north, have made 1974-75 a historic time for Africa.

Essay, Oct 1969
Russell Warren Howe

In civil war, hatreds are more intimate than in international conflict. The enemy is less awesome; he is killed with more conviction that he deserves it. Invariably-inevitably-the death tolls are higher. The American Civil War set records for its day. Despite the limited weaponry and skill, the Biafran war has taken the lives of an estimated two million people, mostly starved children. And now a war that is already engaging about 26,000 black guerrillas and approximately a quarter-million white or white-officered troops in Mozambique, Angola, Rhodesia, South Africa and Namibia (the United Nations' new name for South West Africa) offers such a prospect of escalation that it can hardly help but be bigger, in cemetery terms, than Viet Nam. In this corner of the globe, whose fair hills make a savage contrast with the ugliness wrought by man, the restless spirit of Nazism, with its accent on genetic myth and legal caste, will perhaps be put to rest in a swamp of blood.

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