Skip to main content

tv   Foreign Intervention in Africa During the Cold War  CSPAN  April 17, 2016 4:30pm-6:01pm EDT

4:30 pm
relationship. >> that's tonight on c-span's "q and >> history professor and author, elizabeth schmidt, talks about how more influenced -- war influenced africa during the cold war. she talks about how colonial powers dealt with these countries as they gained independence. she looks at case studies including each of's nationalization of the suez canal in 1956. she talks about tensions within the u.s. government over how to respond to africa's decolonization. the wilson center and the africa history center cohosted this event which is about an hour and a half. >> thank you christian and thank you all for coming up this afternoon. it is my pleasure to introduce this afternoon's speaker elizabeth schmidt who is a professor at the university of loyola maryland. she received her phd from the
4:31 pm
university of wisconsin, madison. she has books, "from the cold war to the war on terror," which fyi, is available for purchase outside of this room after this talk today. she is also the author of "cold decolonization in guinea." masses, 1939 to 1958. the author of "peasants, traders, and wives." and "decoding corporate camouflage, u.s. business support or a part-time. -- par tied. her next book is "foreign intervention in africa after the cold war, sovereignty, and responsibility in the war on terror." this book be published by ohio university press. today's talk is based on the last book, and is entitled,
4:32 pm
foreign "intervention in africa during the cold war." dr. schmidt: thank you very much for the kind introduction and thank you all for coming. i had a list of organizations that i was also going to thank but i think christian has done for me. i will perceive on to the talk. talk isindicated my based primarily on information of various topics covered in my 2013 book "foreign intervention in africa" but i do have a case study taken on my book with the topic of decolonization in guinea. i want to set the stage, looking at the collapse of colonialism and how periods of colonization in the cold war overlapped with each other and the impact for
4:33 pm
intervention had on africa during that time. not looking at the whole continent, but a couple interesting case studies. in africa collapsed after world war ii and by the mid-1960's, most african countries had achieved their independence. the time of decolonization overlapped with the cold war, which was characterized by political competition, economic rivalry and military friction between the united states and the soviet union and their respective allies. the united states, which hoped to replace the imperial powers of the dominant external force of africa, waiver between the colonial powers, all members of the nato alliance and moderate national -- moderate african nationalists. during this tumultuous time, african nationalists were not complete ponds on the global chessboard but were historical
4:34 pm
agents and their own rights, accommodated in limited their ability of imposing solutions that were theirs alone. generally expected britain, france, belgium and portugal to take the lead in assuring stability of a pro-western government. however, washington broke ranks when the imperial powers, by discounting the power in legitimacy of nationalists' aspirations threatened to bring about conflict. particular resisted american encroachment on its african leaders. the dissension within the american government, high level
4:35 pm
officials considered anti-colonial movements to be the product of external communist diversion. within the kennedy, johnson, carter administration, minority voices in the state department stress the importance to responding to nationals concerns and befriending the governments of the future. however, even these officials opposed political movements that the united states could not control. the maintenance of good relations with european allies and the containment of radicalism remained paramount. in the end, even liberal democratic administrations act away from any action that may fundamentalse objectives. the next and, four, reagan administrations were less likely than their democratic counterparts to court african alternatives. they generally viewed africa as the prism of white minority rights and considered radical nationalist movements to be soviet proxies.
4:36 pm
because the balance of forces changes over time, and according to circumstances, the united states has pursued contradictory african policy. on the one hand, as an early proponent of decolonization, which would open the door to american influence, the u.s. government rhetorically , democracyfreedom and self-determination. however, factions within the government sympathized with concerns of white settlers, and at times their voices were dominant. pervasive anti-communism in some quarters often led to a misunderstanding of nationalist movements. were equalednalist with communism or viewed as a threat. fear of communism, real or imagined led the u.s. government to support many unsavory dictatorships. although they were pro-western in anti-communist, they did not promote freedom and democracy.
4:37 pm
africa,ase of southern it region valued for its strategic location and minerals and tom to a significant population of white settlers, conflicting american interests of the united states to reinforce rather than propose colonialism and white minority rule. thathree case studies follow, explore the tensions that emerge from the dual missions of decolonization and the cold war. the activities of northern industrialized powers in the global south. ase focuses on an uneasy alliance. zeroing in on the 1956 suez crisis in egypt when external response was driven by conflicting cold war concerns. the second case explores france's attempt to manage colonialization in the context of the cold war, offering reforms to salvage what was left of the empire, specifically it
4:38 pm
focuses on french response to guinea, which alone among french territories resisted the offer of a junior partnership in an african community and struck out on its own. the third case illustrates contradictions within the western government, the kennedy administration in the united states as it responded to a cold war decolonization crisis. it examines tensions within the government as different factions of the executive branch and their congressional allies thought either to accommodate portugal as it waged african colonial wars or to distance themselves from at, seeking instead alliances with moderate african nationalists. case, explores tensions within the western alliance, zeroing in on egypt in 1956 during the suez crisis. of the contested territories afteroing to colonization
4:39 pm
world war ii, those in north africa in the middle east were closest geographically to europe in the soviet union. -- they were strategic because of their location and wealth and oil in which britain and united states had considerable investments. in egypt in the middle east, radical nationalist challenge the repressive regimes that remained in power as a result of british and american support. prominentcy where individuals voice of the concerns of racism, colonialism and imperialism. followed,rs that participants form takeover of the intergovernmental nonaligned movement, whose members refuse to take sides in the cold war. the 1956 suez crisis in egypt exemplifies the tension inherent
4:40 pm
in the conflicting missions of the former colonial powers in the emerging superpower, the united states. chinks in the western alliance of merge when france and britain behaved as imperial powers, whereas the united states, motivated by cold war concerns some accommodation with egyptian nationalists to solve soviet encouragement. built during the colonial era, the suez canal was controlled by company which was dominated by french and british investors. it was considered vital to those countries economic interests, particularly the transport of middle eastern oil. in july 1952, middle ranking military officers, led by lieutenant colonel gamal abdel nasser, overthrew the cropped monarchy of farook. it broad-based popular movement, including leftists, radical nationalist and islamic groups demanded the withdrawal of 85,000 as troops from the suez canal zone in the transfer of
4:41 pm
the canal to egyptian control. in the months following the coup nasser asked united states or help in pressuring britain to leave. the eisenhower administration was unwilling to jeopardize its relations with britain and refused to provide egypt with military assistance. even after israel, using french equipment attacked egyptian military bases in the gaza strip. can not know how well you see this from way back there, but this is a photograph of some of the participants in the 1955 alongence, and pictured with the chinese representative and the library and and ethiopian representatives -- iberian and ethiopian representatives. these are the founding fathers ,f the nonaligned movement
4:42 pm
ghana, egypt, indonesia, yugoslavia. nasser was right in their in the thick of things in the 1950's and early 1960's. meanwhile, at the conference thepril 1965, nasser formed philosophy of neutral is some edit nonalignment which was based -- embraced by other members in the global south. convinced nonalignment was a facade for reentry -- reorientation toward the east, the united states worked against the movement. to work for hoping their goal of undermining imperialism in the middle east, soviet officials remained ambivalent about the injection leader and his potential for progressive change. nasser was staunchly anti-communist, considered
4:43 pm
egyptian coming is to be rivals for power and influence. even as he negotiated an arms deal with the soviet union in june, 1955, he arrested key leaders of the coming is party. for nasser, the fundamental issue was decolonization, not the cold war. his primary objective was the eradication of british imperialism from the middle east. he had hoped alliance -- to avoid reliance on the middle east. thermined to balance superpowers, he asked united states to finance the aswan high dam project, which would help land cultivation and the land necessary for industrialization. when egypt recognized the communist people's republic of china in lieu of the pro-western party, nasser
4:44 pm
nationalized the suez canal company. nasser the picture of being cheered after the nationalization of the suez canal. ofpite their common fear nasser's growing influence, the western powers were divided in their response. britain and france responded as old-style imperialist powers and were determined to overthrow him. they initiated lance for a military attack and enlisted the support -- they initiated the plans for a military attack and enlisted support. the united states, in contrast, so the conflict as one rooted in the cold war. the refusal of western powers to embark on programs of decolonization played into soviet hands. moreover, any threat to egypt with strained relations with arab countries and jeopardize
4:45 pm
american access to oil. as long as egypt agreed to pay for the suez canal, and to permit international navigation on the canal, washington claimed it had the right to nationalize the company. the united states, thus refused to join its allies in military action against egypt, and the cia to climb visitation by the british secret intelligence service to join a plot to assassinate nasser. here is a picture of oil installations burning as british troops advanced during the anglo-french invasion. i have taken all of these pictures from my book, so if you have the book, want to go to the library and read the book, you can see the pictures. late october, israel used planes and tanks to attack egypt and occupied the sinai peninsula. under enormous pressure from asia and african countries, washington broke from its allies
4:46 pm
and introduced a human security council resolution -- u.n. security council resolution to refrain for military intervention. moscow supported the american resolution, while britain and france vetoed it and then bombed each of military installations. condemned by the u.n. general assembly and members of the british dominated commonwealth, britain and france, as was israel were forced to withdraw. the suez war was a major victory for nasser. he had successfully pitted the cold war powers against the imperial once, promoting egyptian claims in the process. his prestige among arab nations and nonaligned countries grew enormously. the next case study focuses on reform and repression in the french empire, specifically focusing on the case of guinea. i am told that i can use this,
4:47 pm
ok. here is guinea in french west africa and north africa, and down here is french equatorial africa. that is most of the french empire in africa and the almost -- also controlled madagascar and djibouti. these are not on this map. france was faced with multiple regardingth reforms african empires. colonized peoples who had sustained the world war ii effort and great human and material cost demanded a greater voice in the management of their own affairs. empire asg justified part of a great civilizing mission, france was determined to convince the world of the worthiness of its stewardship. in the various francophone
4:48 pm
territories in africa, military veterans, trade unionist and scent political parties demanded equal rights for all of african citizens in the europe or overseas territories. in 1956, french subjects became citizens. the rights of citizens became their new yardstick. in an effort to demonstrate success of reformed imperialism and to justify the continuation of empire, france invested heavily in african economic development after world war ii. by the mid-1950's, these expenditures are taking their toll on the national budget and some critics argued the cost of empire, now far outweighed the benefits. paris was determined to shift local control and responsibility to elected african governments.
4:49 pm
in 1956, a new legal framework granted limited self-government to individual overseas territories which were expected to shoulder a greater share of the burden of economic development and to bear the brunt of political discontent. of those military veterans, train unionist and political parties agitating for equal pay, equal benefits now the local governments have to do that. nationalists, nes forced them to reconsider their options. french territories were offered two choices, except the constitution the prescribed junior partnership in a french community or reject the constitution in favor of immediate independence.
4:50 pm
onan empire wide referendum september 20 8, 1958, only guinea chose independence. ine is a map of guinea french west africa. i am going to show you a few slides, photographs from the referendum campaign. one, again, i apologize, i do not think people in the back can see, but you see there is a motorcade, motorcyclist in the front and a convertible with charles de gaulle standing and sekou toure, the national leader sitting by his side. the streets are lined with partisans from the rda, which was a political party that had branches and most of the territories of french west end equatorial africa. in other territories they often
4:51 pm
supported, usually supported the yes vote. when he saw this warm welcome, referendum was going his way. he had no idea this was simply african hospitality welcoming a guest and they had a potential of supporting his junior partnership proposal. that is the only slide i will show you of the referendum campaign in guinea. these are important. these are slides taken in sick senegal. this is a photograph of those voting no. graffiti photograph of and a signed window supporting the yes vote, and finally a woman voting in the referendum, also in senegal.
4:52 pm
universal suffrage in the overseas territories was a fully implemented in 1956, so women did have the right to vote in the referendum. you may ask why i do not have slides of guinea if the referendum campaign was so did, , and ithat -- so big was, but when they voted no, they burned the archives so there are very few photographs last. eft. i was able to get my research from police reports in carbon copies sent to senegal. most of what existed in guinea was destroyed and i was unable to find photographs of guinea. i want to show you one more of guinea. this is sekou toure, the head of the rda in guinea. you get the idea he was a very charismatic person, quite the speaker and he could really
4:53 pm
rally the crowd. he was a radical nationalist. mumbai iny close to the congo. the u.s. often confused radical nationalism was coming to some, so he was perceived as a real threat, in part because of his charisma and what he had to say. so, actively referendum. , the consequences of the no vote was devastating as france retaliated economically. non before the anticipated vote, french teachers and other civil servants were withdrawn and capital was transferred to other territories. commercial transactions and credits were suspended, and cargo ships bound for guinea were rerouted to other french
4:54 pm
western african territories. immediately after the referendum, the french government severed most of its economic ties to guinea, suspending bank credits, assistance and cooperative endeavors. there was a dam that was left partially built, for instance. administrativel personnel were ordered to leave the military and destroy all materials and archives. technical services and equipment were seven charged. .elik -- sabotaged military camps were stripped of their equipment and hospitals other medicines. large sums of money were transferred out of the country. the bank of france cancel guinea 's old currency, what the french createdence agency panic by peppering the country with counterfeit bills. all of these measures were to create civil distress.
4:55 pm
isolate guinea internationally. independent,e paris refused to recognize the new nation and instructed its allies to do likewise. as a result, britain, west germany in the united states delayed recognition and stalled technicalof military, and economic assistance. in making an example of guinea, which refused partnership, paris hilton to demonstrate the theon's inability to resume responsibility of independence. the french victory was short-lived. by the end of 1960, all french sub-saharan territories had become sovereign, independent nations. having devised the means to maintain dominance through economic and military agreements, france was ready to relinquish political control and
4:56 pm
to unburden itself of the colonial rule. none of the territories that achieved independence in 1960 were subjected to the dire consequences imposed on guinea two years previously. the third and final case study focuses on tensions within the u.s. government over the role of portugal in africa. meanwhile, the united states, tensions emerge within the government as various interest championed opposing ways to respond to decolonization in the cold war crisis. it wasearly 1960's, clear that france, britain and belgium could maintain m neocolonial relations without the hassles of political control. for portugal, ruled by the fascist dictatorship of antonio salazar, african independence was out of the question.
4:57 pm
it had an underdeveloped economy. without cheap labor and raw materials that resulted from harsh, forced labor regime, portugal's industries would not be profitable. on an to compete unprotected market, portugal was determined to retain the cook control of its colony and it waged devastating colonial wars to do so. american policies toward manygal underwent transformations. the eisenhower administration had joined the european imperial .owers believing that the nationalist movements were simply a front for communism, they joined the allies with a human resolution. the winds of change blew across the african continent, kennedy
4:58 pm
endorsed independence. convinced that unwavering support for imperialism strengthen the hand of international communism, kennedy was determined to prevent communist success. he hoped to out plate radicalism in portugal's african colonies through reform that cater to africa's rising expectations without undermining washington's relations with european allies, a hard task indeed. he said relationships with moderate nationalist who would promote western interest. this africa centered policy spark significant debate and was sidelined widely 1962 as the u.s. saw a closer relationship with portugal due to cold war and strategic concerns. again, i have included a slide that may seem a little out of place.
4:59 pm
this is a picture of president the general of the ongo, now the democratic c republic of congo. he was someone that kennedy deemed a moderate nationalist who may be palatable toward african governments, and as many of you know, he was responsible for a behind-the-scenes military upfront1960 and an coup in 1965 and had a hand in the prime minister assassination. some work of the cia and belgian intelligence, but nonetheless, he finally came to power without a civilian
5:00 pm
facade in 1965 and ruled a very brutal and corrupt regime until 1996. so, this was someone that kennedy thought might be acceptable, and he was wrong, but he did say in power with a lot of western support. back to portugal. kennedy's balancing act was tipped after taking office. angola prisons were attacked to free political prisoners. several portuguese soldiers and police were killed and hundreds of angolan citizens were massacred in retaliation. in march, workers and nationalist killed 250 portuguese settlers in the areas
5:01 pm
north of the capital. portugal hit back, using american weapons, tanks, planes and napalm as well as 25,000 portuguese-nato soldiers in a brutal campaign that killed thousands of angolans in caused and outcry from nationalist states. the kennedy administration broke a long-standing tradition of support for portugal in the u.n. in march, the united states supported afro-asia security resolution, calling for an investigation into portuguese repression. in june, and voted for another resolution that deeply deplored the large-scale killings and measures in angola and urged a speedy end to colonial rule.
5:02 pm
once again, the cold war superpowers and the european colonial powers stood on opposing sides. while the soviet union joined the u.s. in support of both resolutions, britain and france abstained. britain actually increased weapons sales to portugal so it could respond more effectively to the rebellion. as tension threaten the western alliance, fractures surfaced in the kennedy administration. the secretary of defense and state, supported by the state department's european division emphasized portugal's importance to nato. during the kennedy years, three quarters of american military traffic to your in the middle east passed through portugal airbase. africans in the state department and the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. vehemently disagreed. convinced that portugal's
5:03 pm
entrance events could lead to transcendence, they banned the portugal use of military quitman in africa -- equipment in africa. military aid was only for nato purposes and only in the areas prescribed by the nato treaty. no part of africa fell within these boundaries. washington also began to support the portuguese political opposition. young middle level army officers nationalist, hoping to turn the latter away from communism and arms struggles. immediateed an backlash. in congress, an eclectic group of anti-communist and southern segregationist supported the portuguese's government position.
5:04 pm
they teamed up with the state department to champion america's access to the airbase and a special relationship with portugal. in the end, it was the ongoing tension over the berlin crisis in 1961 and the cuban missile risis that sidelined the african conflict. the kennedy administration no longer protested, call for self-determination in portugal's african colonies. kennedy's u.n. delegation abstained on all u.n. security council resolutions and administration contacts with angolan national leaders. american tanks, planes and weapons continue to be diverted for use in order to go's african worse. wars.tugal's african
5:05 pm
,hey joined france and britain imposing a voluntary embargo on portugal. summary, the, and time of decolonization in the cold war were characterized by political competition, rivalry and military friction 20 united states in the soviet union. they also were witness to tension within the western alliance. washington broke ranks with its local conflicts were threatened. amerco fortune a two-pronged strategy of reform and repression, hoping to maintain as it wastrol even that w forced to yield to political
5:06 pm
progress. the american government was fraught with division. although old foreign policy viewed nationalism with suspicion, minority voices in the kennedy administration stressed the importance of responding to nationalist concerns and befriending the governments of the future. however, even these officials opposed political movements that the united states could not control and the maintenance of good relations with european allies and the containment of radicalism remained paramount. differences, democratic and republican presidential administrations also relations with pro-western governments that were friendly to american business and foreign policy interest. there are disagreements centered on the most effective way to achieve these objectives. thank you very much. [applause] eric: thank you, alyssa the for
5:07 pm
this sweeping -- elizabeth for survey of foreign, especially u.s. intervention of africa in the cold war. focusing on three case studies, and i will start off, since we are here at the cold war internationalists project where we hold archives very dear, let provided. hope you about,talk a little bit and i know your presentation was focused on international, especially the u.s. perspective on intervention in africa, but if you could talk a little bit about, what is the archival situation in some of the cases you looked at and the new
5:08 pm
international history, looking at all of the sides. if you could talk a little bit about the archival setting for your studies. dr. schmidt: ok, think you very much. , this is thes first book i have written that is a synthetic work. all of my other works were based on, will not "decoding corporate camouflage," but the books on zimbabwe and the two on guinea were based on materials, or case, nothing was digitized. i think a lot of the guinea material remains on digitized --un digitized.
5:09 pm
i thought, embarking on this current book, it is a synthetic work, it will not be all that difficult. they have done all of the hard work of looking at the archives, done oral interviews, and much to my dismay i discovered it was a different task, maybe not more difficult, because i had to come , what i hope to be a specialist of each of the case that is, but i'm sure the specialists will cripple with what i say, some of realizeasis and i a this would be difficult to write for a nonspecialist audience, and it was quite a struggle. that was my long way of making an excuse for not answering your question, which is i did not do archival research. other people did. so, for instance, and i think that you have some of the
5:10 pm
materials in the national security archives and some of the materials, the work on the role of cuba in various african countries. did includeuinea archival materials which i found mostly in senegal. there was a wonderful archive in paris that is also perhaps lost. it is called the center for african research and documentation, but a very conveniently had its initials, , the political party that led the independence movement in that had been funded by a leader, and when he died they decided to ship the archives back and it arrived during the civil war in the last i heard, no one knew where it was.
5:11 pm
that did have photographs. i think that other people, many had fellowships here and you have published many of their books would have a much better idea than i do on the state of some of the archives. i know the soviet archives has been opened and they have been used in many of your scholars, and yes, mine does have more of a u.s. perspective in part because i was hoping to interest foreign policy workers and ngo workers and undergraduate students and graduate students and professors in the work so it does have a u.s. focus. : let me slip in my question before we open this up. you offer a small number of case studies. the book has not countless, but many, many more. each one that much more depressing or horrific than the one that precedes it. this is a story of almost no
5:12 pm
silver lining, very dark clouds one are in their and when comes away, they feel profoundly depressed. you focus the talk on the cold d is negative. isand almost everything negative. even with the humanitarian intervention, you issue a bold letter of caution to those who may want to step into humanitarian disasters area and say, before you leave recognize that, in essence, intervention often causes more harm than good , humanitarian intervention you on often puts the spotlight atrocities, mobilizes the disasters, proposing military solutions
5:13 pm
that had negative effects on civilian populations. more harm than good. could you elaborate a bit more on the more recent part of the story you write about in the discussiony thosed cautions? dr. schmidt: thank you. the last part of the book focuses on the economic crisis of the 1960's and 19 80's that set the stage for massive discontentment, and at the same time with the end of the cold war, western support for the dictatorship dissipated. there was no longer a reason to support some of these strongmen who had 10 regional policeman and that sort of thing -- who had been regional policeman and that sort of thing. and so, all hell broke loose. some of the case studies i look
5:14 pm
,t include a prison in somalia or that was presented to the american people as a case of humanitarian intervention that it was far more than that. i am not saying that was not a compliment, -- complicated but was a lot more complicated than that. many of you know this, somalia was initially supported by the soviet union while ethiopia was supported by the united states. after the military coup in ethiopia a few years later when the military government declared it was marxist-leninist. u.s. through its weight behind somalia, which have been a socialist government. the military, the military government in somalia now had american support. as soon as the cold war was over
5:15 pm
and the u.s. cut him off, he was challenged by a lot of different forces. opposition some were clan-based, radical secular,pro-democracy and he was driven from power, that again, this was someone who whileed political parties supported by the west. this is what becomes complicated. dictators are supported by the west and the support is withdrawn, what is there? , nos usually a power vacuum party institutions, no government bureaucracy and we seem to think time and time again that we can sort of go win militarily, get read of a dictator and then throw some elections, and i know that seems simplistic and i apologize for that, but in the case of somalia, there was a severe
5:16 pm
human chariot crisis -- humanitarian crisis. the warlords vying for control were controlling food supply and they were using food as a weapon and the people who were dying were civilians, many of whom did not support any of these parties. .n. u.s. and the u decided to send a military force got to thehat food people who needed it. at the same time, the u.s. decided that one of the warlords was the obstacle and he got involved in a civil war between different warlords, throwing his support to one and not the others. people were killed who were not supporting the warlords, people who are trying to negotiate military was not clear on who some of the people
5:17 pm
were, and i am sure you are all familiar with blackrock down, at which point -- black hawk down, at which point the u.s. pulled out and small you has had difficulties ever since. invaded,when ethiopia the cia helped that invasion in 2006, and that was essentially an invasion to oust the islamic support union, which was, yes, fundamentalist muslim not linked to any kind of terrorism, and they had a fair amount of support but the u.s. saw it as a threat in the post-9/11 era and assisted ethiopia which was a long stemming enemy of somalia to invade. similarly, we help libya, which
5:18 pm
was supposed to be a nato intervention to protect civilian lives, that no one ever really thought about what happens after qaddafi is gone, who is protecting his arsenals? in fact, many of the weapons flooded into west africa, fighters he had recruited from sub sahara africa returned home with their weapons and hence we have the collapse of mollali. my argument is that we do not know enough history. we do not know enough culture, enough about what is happening on the ground. we assume we can just go in there, remake the middle east, north africa and the counterterrorism strategy that seems to be behind even the humanitarian initiative really is not working. i do understand that the dire
5:19 pm
need or desire to do something in the face of one of these crisis, but what is going to term, especially with actors being on the ground, in control, not being told what to do, and the quick fixes are just not quick and they get very messy very quickly. eric: thank you. now we can open this up. we have two simple rules. wait for the microphone to reach you before you speak and please identify yourself when you get the microphone. we will start with him right in the back. thank you for your talk. i enjoyed it. a couple things that will lock up eric's--buck spirits, one i did not hear any mention of the peace corps which was sent in by kennedy, and
5:20 pm
number two, i was in the peace went into a mud hut in a little village and there was kennedy's picture and i said, what is this doing here? they said, he saved us from starvation, aid was a big factor. another thing that your oak touches on, and i would like to hear -- your book touches on, and i would like to hear about that, the chinese. they had doctors and nurses in the hospital in the town where i served, and lastly, do you get in at all to williams eight? ? he was a target of ridicule, a former governor of michigan but was sent to africa as our ambassador but i do not know what the outcome of his mission was. dr. schmidt: thank you very much. again, my apologies. in the beginning of my book i lay out what i'm going to describe as foreign intervention
5:21 pm
in one could talk about humanitarian intervention or economic intervention, but i do say in the introduction i will focus on political and military intervention, which is why you did not hear me talk about the peace corps. true that where we tend to focus our economic involvement was where we had strategic concerns. that is one place where they intersect. yes, they had economic involvement, building a railroad that is important for the liberation struggle in southern africa. they built a railroad and a tanzania so they could get their goods out, which was sympathetic to the struggles against ortiz colonialism --
5:22 pm
colonialism.ih barring the was export of goods through angola and mozambique. later guerrilla movements blew up the railroad lines. building up this line by the chinese was critical and people were very grateful for that. i have also heard about those photographs of kennedy. i even saw some in the 1980's and people's homes. he was loved in many ways. i also went into the home of an elderly man who was dressed all in black and prayed at the mosque five times a day and had castro in herdel hot, so we have a bit of a so we havere --hut,
5:23 pm
a bit of a balance there. did i miss one of your questions? it is just not the focus of my book, so i apologize for that. back.gentlemen in the >> thank you very much. professor, i was in africa in the 1980's and i published a couple of your essays, so it is good to connect with you again, and i am an immigrant from ghana. of theser many individuals coming through. ambassador, a
5:24 pm
supporter of bush 41, he covered have,me period that you and his picture took me back because he said the cold war was kept out of africa, that the u.s. was just based on helping africans developed and they did not listen, so will you please review this book? [laughter] dr. schmidt: that is not a bad idea. thank you very much for that. actually, i had a chance back in 1990 to ask a similar question of him. as a on my way to guinea fulbright scholar and he was addressing the fulbright scholar audience at our orientation so i raise my hand and asked him about u.s. support from many of these dictators through the cold mentionedpecifically
5:25 pm
the leader, and by august of 1990, we had to cut off our support, but he was sort of overlooking several decades of support. so, it would be interesting to see what he said. his boss, not his boss, his predecessor, secretary of state said wessinger, also were engaged in angola and a kind of military action but we were seeking a nonviolent solution. he said that under of two congress, so -- >> how influential was chester
5:26 pm
les, and was one of the first people to resign from the kennedy administration supposedly because he disagreed with what the administration was doing in vietnam, but i wonder how much disagreement about africa policy may have played a part. dr. schmidt: thank you. and that is what i forgot to read it question was about sophie williams. both of those men where the in theed "africanists" state department. they were key to try to push kennedy to recognize that africa did have legitimate political aspirations that nationalism was a reality, it was going to take root and it was our job to get
5:27 pm
on the correct side of history. williams was the secretary of state for african affairs before africa,he ambassador in and was very, very influential during the time when kennedy was open to hearing these things. the berlin crisis of 1961 and the cuban missile crisis of 1962 immediately tipped those folks out, stephenson ended up voting against a security council resolution that he had written and water down to make it palatable to the u.s. and in the end, kennedy instructed him to vote against it. because of the pressure from the , andean states of defense of course there were these lobby, aa pro portugal lobby that supported the secession of the mineral rich , so after the congo
5:28 pm
the unilateral declaration of independence, and the intended to be pro-segregation southern members of congress. there were a lot of them and they were anti-communist and pro-segregation and they sort of stood up for the white minority rights in southern africa. eric: over here. i believe i agree with you on the position of decolonization, having independence, but in africa we talk about new colonies, especially with the french. it is very different, the process between the colonization and new colonies. anyway you can look at it, in africa today.
5:29 pm
of our, it is a segment .magination dr. schmidt: i would agree. usually when i say independence, i say when the countries achieved an political independence to achieve that distinction. he was an early intellectual to speak of neocolonialism. africans were in office but not in power, they still did not have control of their economies in many cases especially in the form of french colonies, in the form of currency, economic, military agreements were signed very closely with france and they intervene militarily many times in the decades after independence and still does, and
5:30 pm
sometimes to support a government, to overthrow a government, sometimes to support a rebel, sometimes not. where thereold war, was a lot of concern and the west about cuban troops in africa, rarely was it stated stated that the country with the second largest number of foreign troops in africa at the time was france. they were in bases around the continent. the root of many problems in africa are economic. many countries continuing to be commodity exporters, importing capital goods that are quite expensive. the balance of trade, there is going to be poverty and underdevelopment, and discontent, and a lot of room for movement that nobody wants
5:31 pm
to make their influence felt. craig's next. the lady in the red jacket. >> can you hear me? i grew up as an embassy brat. my concern is the creeping militarization of u.s. presence in africa under the radar. officially we have one base. >> speak up a bit. >> like that. i am concerned about the creeping militarization for various reasons and why it is so under the radar.
5:32 pm
given that djibuti is the big base, but almost every country has presence. i only say that, because some troops who come to countries such as mali and claim they are building wells when they are actually performing functions -- i'm just curious about that blurring of the lines. >> this is a big concern. many people have been writing about the militarization of african-american policy. they used to be performed by usaid or they are jointly performed where there is a combined effort in some of these countries. locals don't necessarily make a distinction between the american personnel. some of the u.s. aid, human security agenda items are
5:33 pm
getting sidelined. they are not nearly as well-funded for the military agenda. it is part of this u.s. africa command. africom. there are drone bases in niger. we have rights to airports in different countries. seychelles in the indian ocean, another place. our special operation forces operating under the radar. we hear about those helping to train african troops. unfortunately, many troops they train still have serious issues with human rights abuses and sexual violence. in this case, it was french
5:34 pm
in this case, it was french troops in the central african republic, but some american troops as well. battalions doing egregious things against civilians. the military coup in mali was conducted by american military-trained officers. we are training army to have them strengthen the region against terrorism but it is shortsighted in how it is being done. sometimes we will lay off and not give military aid for a while. we didn't call it a coup. we did suspend the aid for a while. . but it is back. it is clearly a major concern.
5:35 pm
i understand why they would feel worried about it. >> my name is herbert weiss. i'm an emeritus professor. my focus is the congo. you might be interested to know my first professional job was with the division of intelligence and research in 1958 when i was entirely focused on guinea, for obvious reasons.
5:36 pm
we can discuss that. dr. schmidt: at length. [laughter] >> my concern with your approach is it does not distinguish itself very clearly to things. foreign policy essentially is classically the interest of the country, the policies. you do not clearly distinguish between where we succeeded and where we failed. secondly, your call for long-term involvement and different kinds of involvement,
5:37 pm
it raises the question of where does african sovereignty come in? we need to put them into full focus. sometimes in this cold war period, we have old policy of self-interest that exceed it. in some times, we were absurdly self defeating. in all cases, of course, we were interventionists of one kind or another. the active intervention should not be the only focus of analysis in my opinion. first of all, if you're speaking about foreign policy, what were the alternatives? not in terms of the welfare of
5:38 pm
the people over there, because that is not the focus of any foreign policy. it is unrealistic. unfortunately. to look at foreign policy that way, unless you are a colonial power. if you are a colonial power, you are responsible for the civilian population. >> in the long term, it is not in american self interest to not be concerned about the welfare of the people are we intervened. our long-term national security means we have to be very concerned about that. the question to my mind, how we demonstrate that concern and what actions we might take, whom we support, what we do and don't do. our problem has been we have looked at immediate things, he looks like he is a threat. i'm sure you look at the way patrice was characterized. when he came to the state
5:39 pm
department looking for help in 1960, when the belgians had reoccupied the congo, the state department decided he wasn't trustworthy because when he spoke to high-level officials he would not look them in the eye. he looked down. to an american, -- >> [inaudible] >> but they did say that. i have seen the declassified documents. >> [inaudible] >> of course, they were. we agree on that. it is a done deal.
5:40 pm
it did show the culural lack of understanding they wouldn't realize someone speaking to someone they considered higher than they are, would show respect by a birding their gaze. that is important. people go into countries without really understanding how to interact with the leaders, with the civilians, what works, what doesn't. that is in our long-term natural disinterest. >> you have a question? >> ok. >> hello. most of the for intervention seems to be by non-african. closer to the present, you find out, not only is there non-african intervention but also african intervention. it has not worked out any better. uganda is no picnic today. i wonder if you would talk about that at all. >> thank you.
5:41 pm
the last chapter is a preview of the book i am near finishing now. it's about foreign intervention after the cold war. most of the intervention from the 1990's on was multilateral as opposed to the u.s. and soviet union, france, china. often it would be a subregional organization like the economic community of west african states sending peacekeeping forces to liberia or sierra leone, or countries around the democratic republic of congo got involved in their wars. to make a distinction between the countries that got involved in the congo. many had very clear national interests in a narrowly defined way. they wanted the minerals. they cleaned out the eastern congo of minerals.
5:42 pm
rwanda built itself with the wealth of the congo. we don't talk much about that either. in the case of sierra leone and liberia, these were forces were troops were coming from multiple west african countries to maintain the peace that had been agreed upon and to monitor it. while the objectives were good, different nations within had different objectives. france was very concerned with the dominance of nigeria. therefore, francophone west african countries were often vying for influence. there was a lot of corruption amongst individual troops even if at the top there was an
5:43 pm
attempt to bring about peace and stability. we had friends who lived near the military camp. we were visiting a friend and we saw all these truckloads coming and offloading tv's and stereos into the military camp. another friend had another a technical repair shop. he was forever fixing the equipment. they were constantly blowing their fuses. it turned out they were just stealing from the civilians they were being told to protect.
5:44 pm
refugees were coming into the ports. i was in there and they told stories of having been, refrigerators and cars taken from them in exchange for safe passage. all of these things are complicated. i'm afraid that special emphasis on the military solutions withou doing the peace building. i'm not saying we should go in and do it. we need to allow room and protection for local people to do it. we too often look for the quick military fix and then we leave. too often, that doesn't work. >> there was someone against the wall here. >> my name is kim clark. the question was asked. i was looking for a preview of the next book and the premise of how you look forward into some
5:45 pm
of the interventions that have taken place since then. i think you have answered my question. if you want to elaborate further, i'd love to hear more. >> i could just mentioned the case studies. i look at somalia, sudan and are for -- darfur. i look at the congo again. first, i look at rwanda in the way the genocide in rwanda played into the subsequent contact in the congo still going on to this day. i look at liberia and sierra leone. then there is a chapter on the arab spring. looking at a little bit on tunisia, focusing on egypt and libya. the fallout of the arab spring
5:46 pm
from libya and a chapter on what happened in mali and boko haram in nigeria. one thing i didn't mention is a lot of boko haram trained fighters in mali after the overthrow of the democratically elected government, after al qaeda and the islamic state came in when the weapons and the fighters came in from libya. that has spread now to northern nigeria. there are all these connections. that is the focus of the second book. >> i'm a retired u.s. army.
5:47 pm
i worked at africom for five years in the strategy division. i will make a quick statement of the previous question. it's an overstatement to say we have militarized our foreign policy. the amount of money compared to usaid is a miniscule. it competes worldwide for funding some training effort, which is what i did and africa. every training activity is required to train soldiers and their leadership in the right ways to handle civilian populations. we don't always succeed. that doesn't mean we don't try. my question, what is your strategy to take what you clearly make a great case that the u.s. does not learn from history and is not good at picking winners, and will invest in losing propositions not just
5:48 pm
in africa, but worldwide. your military will do what you ask it to. if you ask us to help someone overthrow a libyan dictator, we will do that. the key is to make sure the civilian policymakers understand the nuanced argument you have just made and there ought to be from the wilson center, a strategy to ensure at least the next -- i don't think the past has been bad. the next administration is well-versed in africa where we do not have a big presence militarily or otherwise. we can make big mistakes. how do you plan to do that? >> thank you. i appreciate that question. the military does take its
5:49 pm
orders, so to speak, from the civilian government. if there is a policy, you are told to implement certain things. it's not the policy you make. with the nato bombing of libya, it wasn't supposed to be for a regime change. it was very clear that that was the intent of many of the western powers. the big three on the un security council. they did want to get rid of gadaffi. the u.s. defense department
5:50 pm
opposed that, predicted that. i'm sure it doesn't surprise you. it was hillary clinton, susan rice, and samantha power who pushed for that. the secretary of state coming u.n. ambassador pushed for that. again, i could not understand what would happen when kid off he was overthrown. i don't know what the strategy is to make sure people in foreign policy actually read history. i'm having a hard enough time getting my students to do it. but, i do think that people who understand more deeply the complexities are less likely --
5:51 pm
and kennedy was one of those people. he made some smart moves against the advisors, the cuban missile crisis of course one. others he said wait a minute. if you do this, they will do this. we need to find a face-saving method to resolve this and not go to the brink. he got that idea from his reading of history. it was world war i if i am not mistaken. so, i do that. i am not a policy maker myself. that might sound like a copout but i am simply an academic scholar trying to get information that corrects distorted views. i handed off to other people who can take that material and come up with policies that are more africa-centered. i'm not naive. nations do develop foreign policies with their own interests at stake. we need to redefine what is in our national interest. that would be my role, to get different information out there. thank you. >> back to where you started. i'm curious about france in 1958. was there articulated in the french government any rationale for this scorched earth policy?
5:52 pm
>> de gaulle was insulted. he -- in fact, it's interesting because some of the french colonial officials, the governor of guinea and the high commissioner of west french africa had read secretary speech before, the gall as the honored guest. secretary -- he was a bit of -- he was a very the said first speaker. -- he talked about the equality of all people. they were used to him. they knew what he was doing. he had to play to the crowd. they knew he would want to sit down afterwards and talk to the french government and say ok.
5:53 pm
we want to develop trade relations. we want investment. we want to do it as equal partners. we don't want to do it as a junior partner in this situation. the secretary had said that. he said it in advance. when de gaulle was insulted by this speech and suddenly realized they were going to vote the other way, most likely he he said that is set. i have had it. he did make the decision he would withdraw, he was stopped the economic aid. all of this happened in the months before the referendum and then more afterwards. people who know about him know he would get that way. the governor and high commissioner tried to commence
5:54 pm
him -- convince them otherwise. it will be fine. he refused when he came to france. interestingly and ironically, france's worst nightmare came true. they turned to the east. first they went to france. they were -- the kennedy administration did eventually give aid. so did some other countries who did recognize that it was delayed. kennedy realized de gaulle was not correct about this approach. so, guinea turned to the east. there were development workers there from the soviet union, north vietnam. cuba. i met many and knew many who had been taught by teachers from these areas. french communists came back. they were the largest political party in france after world war
5:55 pm
ii. they spearheaded the internal resistance. they were free to come help guinea, sort of like the abraham lincoln brigade. so, really it was that personal. >> i am afraid we have to leave it at that. we are at the end of our time. thank you for joining us today. many of the documents that have been referred to are on the center's digital archives. let me invite you to a small reception outside to continue the conversation more informally. not before thanking our future speaker. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the
5:56 pm
national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] interested in american history tv? visit our website american artifacts, road to the white house, lectures in history, and more. campaign 2016 bus continues its travel to visit winners from this year's student cam competition. we recently visited spanish springs high school in nevada to recognize the repeat winner for her documentary on the wild horse population titled "wildhorse management." to bus and crew then headed california to visit the winners in that state, including san diego where congressman scott peters took part recognizing the students for their winning documentary. in alhambra, congresswoman judy ed the winners for their
5:57 pm
winning documentary on social security called "a sense of security." a special thanks to our cable partners for helping to coordinate these community visits. sureber, every weekday, be to watch one of the top 21 winning entries. he had a couple meals and a steam shovel. ironies,e of the other to be so rabidly anti-government and owe your entire fortune to the government's largess. sallyight on "q&a," denton talks about her book "the profiteers," which takes a critical look at one of the --gest engineering and
5:58 pm
companies in the world. >> it is fine for it to be chdel, but it seems if the taxpayers are paying for it, taxpayers should have some access to information about the contracts, the amount of money, the worker safety, the political relationships. et onight at 8:00 p.m. c-span's "q&a." >> monday on "the communicators," george ford, chief economist for the advanced legal and economic public policy studies and mark cooper debate the fcc's proposal allowing consumers to buy their own set-top boxes instead of renting
5:59 pm
them, and moved to open up competition in the set-top box market. they're joined by the communications reporter for bloomberg bna. >> we want competition, competition, competition. some places it works, some places it hasn't, and this is one place where it really hasn't. we think consumers would have low prices and more options if we had competition. >> the first question is, is there a market for set-top boxes. because thes, no, set-top box is a component of the network. that is the most efficient way to design and deliver cable television service, so it is the cheapest and most efficient way to do it, so no market has developed. the companies would prefer a market if it were more efficient. >> watch "the communicators" monday night on c-span2. created by america's
6:00 pm
cable-television companies and property as a public service by your cable and satellite provider. "americanek, artifacts," takes viewers into historic sites around the country. we visited the -- we visited the pulitzer prize photographs gallery. we will hear about the hunt gary and immigrant who created a newspaper empire in the late neck and century and the pri -- in the late 19th century and the prices that carry his name. we will in the story behind his images. >> i'm the director behind this inelopment at the newseum washington dc and we are standing at the pulitzer prize photographs gallery.

69 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on