The United States and the Republic of South Africa: 'Benign Neglect' Revisited.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The continuing interest of the United States to improve human rights in the Third World nations presents a dilemma in its policy toward the strategically important Republic of South Africa. While on the one hand, the United States, as the worlds champion of human rights, must pressure South Africa to change its policy of racial oppression, on the other it must take into consideration the very real geo-strategic importance of that nation. Added to this dilemma is the perception by black African nations that the United States is not doing enough to force South Africa to change. Using data compiled from a thorough literature search and from personal interviews with government officials, the study details the US social, economic, geo-strategic, and political interests in southern Africa, and traces the development of American foreign policy toward South Africa through the past four administrations. The author concludes that pressures to Disengage from involvement in southern Africa are not in the US interests and that current policy of constructive engagement is appropriate as long as it is pursued for the long-term, as opposed to a diametrically opposed shift as was experienced from the Carter to the Reagan administration. Inconsistency in regional foreign policy is considered to be the greatest weakness in pursuing American objectives in southern Africa.
- Humanities and History