Africa, Soviet Imperialism & the Retreat of American Power
AFTER years of being regarded by the United States as a continent of little political, strategic, or economic significance, Africa has quite suddenly become the object of considerable attention in Washington. Vice President Walter Mondale has been charged with the task of overseeing U.S. African policy. Our highest officials, including especially UN Ambassador Andrew Young, have visited Africa during the past year and a half, after former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger devoted his last effort in shuttle diplomacy to finding a solution to the Rhodesian crisis. At each of the two recent conventions of the NAACP, the American Secretary of State has delivered a major address on U.S. policy in Africa.
One is tempted to attribute the current interest in Africa to the election of a new administration with close ties to the civil-rights movement. But this does not explain the very high priority which the Ford administration, too, gave to U.S. policy in Africa, at least during its last year. In fact, the emergence of Africa as a major concern of U.S. foreign policy is the result of historic developments in southern Africa which began with the collapse of Portuguese colonialism in 1974 and 1975. Of these developments, the most significant was the victory in the Angolan civil war of the faction supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba.
About the Author