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Title:Covert collusion? American and South African relations in the Angolan civil war, 1974-1976
Author:Graham, Matthew
Periodical:African Historical Review (ISSN 1753-2531)
Geographic terms:Angola
South Africa
United States
Subjects:civil wars
military intervention
foreign policy
covert operations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17532523.2011.596619
Abstract:The traditional focus regarding the Angolan civil war, 1974-1976, has been on the nature of Soviet and Cuban involvement, the American response to communist activities, and South Africa's invasion. A point often mentioned, but rarely elaborated upon in the literature, is the degree to which the United States of America (USA) encouraged South Africa to intervene in the Angolan conflict. This paper investigates the extent and nature of American collusion with South Africa in the civil war, and the degree of complicity of senior American officials. The paper argues that on balance, the evidence suggests that senior elements of the United States executive branch, covertly and informally, colluded with South Africa. South African politicians overestimated the depth and extent of American support for South African intervention, and when the USA ceased its assistance, they felt betrayed by the then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]