P. W. Botha and the Space Research Corporation: Clandestine Operations and the Rise of a New Order in South Africa.
DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE COLL WASHINGTON DC
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To maintain its military advantage, South Africa has employed subterfuges to circumvent U.N. arms embargoes. This study defines the threshold at which the South African governments use of clandestine agencies to procure arms becomes acceptable. Analysis of South African action in contravention of the 1963 arms embargo reveals that the availability of alternative sources of supply, limited capability to operate overseas and the absence of an external threat served to limit South Africas need to circumvent clandestinely prohibitions prior to 1976. It is shown that the state was driven to acquire arms not by the imposition of a mandatory arms embargo in 1977 but by the press of events occurring in Southern Africa in 1975. South African military vulnerabilities exhibited in Angola, however, did not precipitate widespread use of clandestine operations to acquire weaponry. Nevertheless, in the case of South African involvement with the Space Research Corporation SRC, clandestine activities were undertaken to obtain 155mm howitzers and their attendant technology to overcome specific military vulnerabilities made evident on the fields of battle. The SRC episode, as revealed in this study, is significant not only as a reflection of the mechanics of South African intelligence operations but of considerable value to analysis in South African domestic politics to include the rise of reformist coalition under P.W. Botha.
- Government and Political Science