Gambling on Force Under the Pretext of a "Soviet Threat"
To camouflage its real policy in Africa the United States, as has been noted, has called the national liberation movement "international terrorism", which it claims, is supported by Moscow and against whom the United States must struggle with all possible means whether the African countries themselves agree with this or not. The White House looks upon the internationalist support given by the USSR, Cuba and other socialist countries for the struggle of the African peoples against imperialism and their fight to end the vestiges of colonialism in Africa and for their right to determine their own destiny as the struggle between the USSR and the United States for Africa.
On the eve of the presidential elections in 1980 Reagan made a direct connection between US policy in Africa and US relations with the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. His argument was to the effect that the American administration would have a freer hand to interfere in the affairs of the independent African states if it considered what was taking place in Africa from the point of view of the global opposition between the US and the USSR, rather than as a conflict between the national liberation movement on the one hand, and neocolonialism and racism on the other, between the old orders, and the desire of the African peoples for economic and social progress.
After Reagan became President this fictitious idea of an "increasing threat" to Africa from the Soviet Union became the pretext for US neocolonialist policy in Africa. Thus in the opinion of the American policy makers, the United States had "legitimate" opportunities to undermine the progressive regimes in Africa and prevent their cooperation with the Soviet Union and the other socialist community countries. The objective was set to foist upon the young states of Africa a shackling dependence on imperialism, particularly US imperialism.
During Reagan's presidency the struggle against the national liberation movements and progressive changes in the liberated African states has become a major priority in the ultra-imperialist policy of the Republican administration. Washington makes no attempt to hide that it is gambling on undermining and defeating the national liberation movement with the aid of those African countries that are dependent upon the United States and the reactionary internal elements in African countries, and that in those cases where its "vital interests" demand it, the United States will not stop at the direct use of military force. This is what lies behind the rapid accumulation of arms and armed forces in the regions that are adjacent to Africa, including the increased presence of the Navy, the Marines, the Rapid Deployment Force, and various special units, and the closer ties with the racist regime in South Africa. The Reagan administration believes that gambling on military force to secure US interests in Africa must intimidate the Africans and at the same time remove from the agenda the insistent demands of the young states to put their relations with the developed capitalist states on a just and equal footing.
This thesis has even been given its own theoretical justification. Thus in a forecast published in August 1982 by the Stanford Research Institute (California) on the internal political situation in the United States and international affairs until the year 2000, it was stated that the next two decades would be marked by the increasing challenge of the Third World countries to the Western powers. The situation, the forecast estimated required reciprocal action on the part of the United States. It is characteristic that of the seven possible variants for action "in defence" of American interests given by the forecast, in five cases preference was given for the use of military force. Analysing the political action of the Reagan government in Africa, we can see that basically it is the desire to "prove" at whatever the cost that the liberation movement is none other than "subversive activity" on the part of the Soviet Union. And this, Washington considers, is enough to give the United States the right to threaten the progressive forces of Africa with military intervention.
This "proof" is offered by the White House in justification of its negative attitude to the positive changes that have taken place among the large number of African countries that have chosen to make radical social and economic transformations.
The Reagan administration came to the White House with the clearly expressed intention of shoring up its shaky positions in Africa. With this aim in view, high on the list of priorities in relation to the independent progressive African countries was the strategic decision to replace regimes that were not to Washington's liking or create the appropriate conditions to restructure such regimes.
Translated from the Russian
Designed by Oleg Grebenyuk
Белый дом и черный континент
На английском языке
Group of Authors: An. A. Gromyko (Editor's Note);
Ye. A. Tarabrin (Ch. I, III, Conclusion); V. P. Kasatkin (Ch. II
IX); V. Ya. Lebedev (Ch. IV); A. Yu. Urnov (Ch V)-
V. S. Baskin (Ch. VI); A. V. Prudnikov (Ch. VII)-
M. L. Vishnevsky (Ch. VIII)
Издательство "Прогресс", 1984.
English translation. Progress Publishers 1984
Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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