U.S. policy in Angola: a case of nonconstructive engagement

by Alex Alexiev

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This paper reviews the background for the struggle between the Marxist regime in Angola and the anti-Marxist national liberation movement known as UNITA, U.S. policy toward Angola under the Reagan administration, and Soviet policy in the region. The author suggests that the United States take several steps to forestall a major Soviet victory in the short term and lay the foundation of a peaceful solution of the Angolan conflict in the long run. The United States must (1) recognize that constructive engagement in Angola has failed; (2) initiate a program of military and humanitarian aid to UNITA; and (3) warn the Luanda regime that in the event of a massive external military intervention in the Angolan conflict, the United States would consider a series of economic sanctions, including halting the operations of American oil companies in Angola.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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