Strange Bedfellows: The Southern African Development Community and U.S. Foreign Policy
Clifford E. Albright
Thesis DT 3.5 1994 A342
xi, 129 leaves; 29 cm.
Between 1961 and 1980, Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe were involved in armed liberation struggles against colonialism and white supremacist rule. A key factor leading to the success of these movements was the cooperation which took place between the liberation movements and neighboring Black ruled states. Partially as a result of this political cooperation, a development organization called the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was created in 1980.
SADC's member states were Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and later Namimbia. Its main purpose was to decrease dependence on White-ruled South Africa while increasing regional cooperation in development. SADC implemented a unique strategy which had much potential. However, during its first twelve years, SADC had problematic results. The organization hardly decreased its dependence on South Africa, and it increased its dependence on the West in the process. Several factors contributed to these results, including South African destabilization, Structural Adjustment Programs, and conflicts over national versus regional interests.
SADC's future success will depend, in part, on its funding sources. This thesis examines one such funding source- the United States. It seeks to determine the extent to which U.S. aid to SADC has been primarily a function of U.S. foreign policy toward apartheid South Africa. It analyzes and compares U.S. policy and aid to Southern Africa from 1969-1974 (the Nixon Years) and from 1981-1988 (the Reagan Years).
It is argued that during the Nixon years, his administration adopted a policy of "communication" with the White regimes of Southern Africa. Examples of how this policy was implemented are discussed, with special reference to U.S. voting in the United Nations, U.S. arms embargoes in Southern Africa, and U.S. economic support for the White regimes. It is shown that this policy toward the White regimes resulted in increased aid for the Black ruled states in the region.
The thesis then examines U.S. policy toward South Africa during the Reagan administration. The Reagan administration policy has been characterized by the term "constructive engagement", a concept similar to Nixon's "communication" policy. It is shown that this policy underwent a change in 1986 which was accompanied by increased aid to Southern Africa.
If the U.S. remains true to form, aid to SADC will decrease soon after South Africa makes a transition to majority rule, after the holding of free elections without racial restrictions in May 1994. This is especially true during a post-Cold War era in which the U.S. is attempting to decrease its commitments abroad. If SADC is to be successful in the future, it must find more reliable sources of funding. SADC's most reliable source is itself. It must begin a well planned campaign to make its operations self-sustaining.