High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood

Chester A. Crocker, Author W. W. Norton & Company $29.95 (533p) ISBN 978-0-393-03432-5
As U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1981 to 1989, Crocker waged a diplomatic struggle that led to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Soviet-backed Angola and the end of apartheid in an independent Namibia freed from South Africa's control. But his assertion in this lengthy diplomatic history that the Reagan administration brought regional security to southern Africa, scoring a foreign-policy victory, rings hollow. He defends U.S. covert intervention on behalf of Angola's anti-communist mercenary rebels who, with financial help from South Africa's apartheid regime, devastated much of the Angolan economy, slaughtered innocent civilians, displaced 600,000 persons, caused widespread hunger and destroyed at least half of Angola's hospitals and clinics. Likewise, in Mozambique, the South African-financed mercenaries ravaged the country and economy. Notwithstanding Crocker's pointed insistence that America's ``constructive engagement'' was a regional strategy, not a cozy alliance with apartheid, critics may find gaping holes in the diplomatic record. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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