Courtesy Reuters

THE lengthening procession of new African states making their debut on the world scene must soon confront American policy-makers with still another difficult problem--the question of whether to grant them military assistance. It is all but inevitable that these countries will insist on exercising the fundamental right and responsibility of sovereign nations to raise and maintain military forces for self-defense. It is equally certain that the creation of national military establishments will impose burdens which their underdeveloped economies and unstable political structures are ill-prepared to sustain. It is also certain that the emergent states will seek to share these burdens and will look in many directions for military assistance--to the former metropoles, to the United States, to the Communist bloc.

If these premises are correct, what are the principal considerations which must be accommodated in the formulation of U.S. policy with regard to military assistance programs in Africa?


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  • ARNOLD RIVKIN, Director, African Economic and Political Development Project, Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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