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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Gulf crisis: impact, implications and lessons for Africa
Author:Otobo, E.E.
Periodical:The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:foreign policy
Gulf War
Abstract:After a brief analysis of the short-term impact on African countries of the January 1991 Gulf war, the author turns to the core of his subject: the long-term repercussions of the conflict for Africa from a foreign policy perspective. He examines the sources and nature of the major policy changes brought by the Gulf war to the fore of the international agenda. Those with long-term implications for Africa can be organized around five themes: controlling the arms buildup in Third World nations, renewed commitment to deterring aggression, the principle of benevolent intervention, transformation of the UN Security Council into a politburo for international decisionmaking in matters of war and peace, and a major crunch in financial flows. Though a few of these policy changes might, at first glance, appear to have positive effects for African nations, on balance the consequences will be negative. It is important to understand why and to draw the appropriate lessons. The Gulf crisis has demonstrated that the major powers will continue to be selective in the application of commitments. It has shown, once again, the impotence of Third World organizations and the absence of credible regional security frameworks. It has taught a lesson on the perils of aggression, particularly when that act of aggression is defeated. Finally, it has pointed to the need for a comprehensive regional energy strategy to reduce the vulnerability of oil-deficit African countries to sharp and sudden upswings in oil prices. Notes, ref.