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An African VolkThe Apartheid Regime and Its Search for Survival$
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Jamie Miller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274832

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190274832.001.0001

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The Post Mortem

The Post Mortem

Lessons from Angola

Chapter:
(p.199) 6 The Post Mortem
Source:
An African Volk
Author(s):

Jamie Miller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190274832.003.0007

Chapter 6 looks at the legacy of the Angolan intervention for the regime’s threat perceptions, national security philosophies, and defense policies. By obscuring responsibility for the intervention in an effort to contain public outcry, the regime failed to engage in any real introspection and drew self-reinforcing, flawed lessons from the episode. Ultimately, the government’s processing of the Angolan débâcle became a turning point in the ongoing debate over national security policy and South Africa’s place in the world. The government’s post-facto rationalizations provided important support for the hawks’ vision of a total onslaught and their proposals for Pretoria’s future statecraft. Equally, the analysis illuminates how, against all expectations, the aftermath of Angola drove John Vorster to renew his efforts to achieve regional détente through the conclusion of a settlement in Rhodesia.

Keywords:   Angolan Civil War, media control, total onslaught, rearmament, United States, Kissinger, black South Africa, anticommunism, Rhodesia, South-West Africa/Namibia

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