U.S. foreign policy in South Africa
Krogh, Peter F. (Peter Frederic)
Person InterviewedCrocker, Chester A.
Examines the situation on the ground in Southern Africa, American interests in the region, and American foreign policy toward South Africa.
The 1980s were a turbulent time period for much of Southern Africa. In South Africa, a racist regime ruled through policies of discrimination and separation. In Namibia, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) waged a guerilla war of independence against the South African government, which had controlled the territory since the First World War. South African raids against SWAPO base camps in Angola threatened to draw the freshly independent nation into the dispute as well, while also providing an excuse for the continued presence of Cuban troops in Angola. On the other side of the southern region, Zimbabwe and Mozambique's opposition to apartheid was met with increasingly overt attempts at destabilization and economic punishment by South Africa's government. Faced with growing discord in the region, President Reagan adopted an activist policy of "constructive engagement", which aimed to stabilize relations with South Africa in order to negotiate a settlement in Namibia. Presumably this plan would bring independence to Namibia and end the Cuban problem in Angola, while allowing the U.S. to turn its attention toward the easing of apartheid. Critics, however, argued that this plan did not do enough to actively oppose the apartheid system, and maintained that constructive engagement would do little but establish closer relations with a racist regime. In this episode, host Peter Krogh is joined by Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Howard Wolpe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, to discuss the state of affairs in Southern Africa and the efficacy of American policy toward the region.
Africa; Southern Africa; Namibia; South Africa;
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