tv Foreign Intervention in Africa During the Cold War CSPAN April 16, 2016 10:30pm-12:01am EDT
in the name of god, do your duty . watch the you can entire event sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. eastern. this is "american history >> history professor and author elizabeth schmidt talked about how more influenced africa during the cold war. she talks about how colonial powers dealt with these countries as they gained independence. 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 for coming out 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 university of wisconsin madison. "from the cold war to the war on terror," which fyi is available for purchase outside of this room today. she is also the author of "cold war and the colonization in guinea." in 2007, " mobilizing the masses." the author of "peasants, traders, and wives." and "decoding corporate camouflage," published in the committee. her next book is "foreign intervention in africa after the cold war, sovereignty, and
responsibility in the war on terror." today's talk is based on the last book, and is entitled, foreign intervention in africa during the cold war. thehank you very much for kind introduction. thank you for coming. organizationsf that i was also going to think -- thank. but he has done that for me. i will proceed to the talk. as eric indicated, my talk is primarily based on my -- on information and topics covered in my 2013 book. i do have a case study taken and my "cold war decolonization in guinea." i want to start by looking at the collapse of colonialism and
how the periods of decolonization in the cold war overlapped one another, and the impact that foreign intervention had on africa during that period. not looking at the whole continent, but a couple interesting case studies. colonialism and africa collapsed after world war ii. hadhe mid-1960's, most achieved their independence. the. of -- the period of decolonization coincided with the end of the cold war. states and united the soviet union, and their respective allies. the united states which hoped to replace the imperial powers wavered between the major colonial powers, all members of the nato alliance, and modern african nationalists whome washington hoped to court to
keep radical nationalism and communism at bay. during this period, african nationalists were not paused on a global chessboard, but were historical agents in their own right. they courted outside powers and limited their seville ability to impose solutions optimal -- ir ability to impose solutions optimal to them alone. washington broke ranks when the powers byerial discounting the legitimacy -- threatened to bring about a major conflagration. france resisted american encroachment on its african sphere of influence. just as the united states
sometimes disagreed with its allies for the best strategy to pursue decolonization in the in the american government. high-level officials in the administration considered anticolonial movement to be the product of external communist version. within the kennedy, johnson, and carter administration, minority responsibilityhe to national concerns and to the future. even these officials opposed political movements that the united states could not control. the maintenance of good relationship with european allies and the containment of radicalism remained powermad. even liberal democratic organizations backed away from any action that might threaten the fundamental objective. -- the nixon,, ford, and reagan administrations
--. radicalsidered nationalist movements to be soviet proxies. because the balance of forces changes over time, the united states has pursued contradictory african policies. on the one hand, has an early proponent of decolonization, the us government -- the u.s. government reportedly championed democratization. factions within the government have sympathized with the concerns of white settlers, and at times their voices were dominant. aere was often misunderstanding of nationalist movements. radical nationalism was frequent reviewed as communism or as an equal threat to western movement. fear of communism, real or imagined, led the u.s.
government to support many unsavory dictatorships. though they were pro-western and anti-communist, they did not promote freedom and democracy. area, home to a significant portion of white settlers, conflicting -- rather than proposed colonialism and white minority rule. the three case studies that follow ask for the tensions that emerged from the dual missions of decolonization and the cold war and illuminate the activities of northern industrialized powers in the global south. the first case focuses on an uneasy alliance among western plow -- powers as they confronted the eastern block in africa. crisis in on the suez egypt, one response was driven by conflicting colonial and cold war concerns.
the second case explores the attempted to manage decolonization in the context of the cold war, reluctantly offering reforms to salvage what was left. it focuses on french response to uinea, which a loan among french territories, resisted the partnership and struck out on its own. the third regards problems within the western government. asnedy in the united states it responded to the cold war crisis. kforce tensions in the executive assad -- they sought to colonize -- seeking alliance with modern nationalists. the first case explores tensions within the western alliance, zeroing in on egypt during the
suez crisis. of the contested territories undergoing decolonization, those in north africa and the middle east were closest geographically to europe and the soviet union. they were strategic because of their location and their wealth and oil, in which britain and the united states had considerable investment. in egypt in the middle east, radical nationalists challenge the oppressive regimes that remained in power largely due to american support. egypt have figured prominently, where participants voiced their opposition to all forms of racism, colonialism, and imperialism. in the years that followed, participants formed the core of intergovernmental non-alliance movement, whose members refute
to take sides in the cold war. the suez crisis in egypt example feisty inherent conflicting missions between the former colonial powers and the emerging superpower. when franceemerged and britain joined by israel behaved as imperial powers, where is the united states saw accommodations with egyptian nationalists to forestall soviet encroachment. built during the colonial era, the suez canal was controlled by the suez canal company, which was dominated by french and british investors. it was considered vital to those country's french and economic interests, particularly oil. in july, military ranking officers led by colonel of the lesser -- colonel oabdal naser led the movement.
several groups to meed the withdrawal of 85,000 british troops from the suez canal zone, and transfer the canal to egyptian control. in the months following the coup, naser asked the united states for help. distrustful of nasser, the eisenhower administration was unwilling to jeopardize its relationship to the britons and refused to provide military assistance, even after israel using french equipment attacked bases in the gaza strip. i don't know how well you can see this from back there, but this is a photograph of some of the participants in the conference from 1955. pictured along with the chinese the liberiane and and ethiopian representative.
these are the founding fathers of the nonaligned ghana, egypt,u, indonesia, and yugoslavia. in theas right in there thick of things in the 1960's. meanwhile, at the conference in april, 1955, naser helped formulate the philosophy of neutral is him and nonalignment -- neutralism and nonalignment. convinced that nonalignment was really a facade of reorientation toward the east, the united states rebuffed those associated with the movement. many were courted, hoping to undermine western
imperialism, -- nasser was staunchly anti-communist and considered egyptian communists to be rivals for power and influence. armsas he negotiated an deal with the soviet union and asser arrested key members of the egyptian communist party. his primary objective was the eradication of british imperialism from the middle east. nasser had hoped to avoid reliance on the soviet union by obtaining influence from the united states. in an attempt to balance the superpowers, he asked the united states to assist in a dam project, which was designed to increase the amount of arable land for cultivation and industrialization. when egypt recognize the
communist people's public of china, in lieu of the taiwan-based republic of china, congress barred the use of funds for the dam. in response nasser asserted that the canal revenues from the suez canal would henceforth be used to finance the dam. here is a picture of nasser being cheered by a crowd in cairo after the nationalization of the suez canal. despite fear of nasser's growing influence, the western powers were divided in the response. astain and france responded old-style imperialist powers and were determined to overthrow him. the initiated plans of a military attack and were supported by israel with its own regional concerns. the united states and contrast saw the conflict as one rooted in the cold war. the refusal of western powers to
embark on decolonization played into soviet hands. any threat to egypt would strain relations with arab countries and to jeopardize american access to oil. as long as egypt agreed to pay for the suez canal, and to permit international navigation, washington claimed that it had the right to nationalize the company. the united states refused to join its allies in military action against egypt. a plot toned assassinate nasser. here is a picture of oil installations burning as british troops advanced during the anglo-french invasion. i have taken these pictures from my book. if you have the book, if you want to go to the library and read the book, you have the pictures. in late october, israel used planes and tanks to attack
egypt. under enormous pressure from asian and african countries, washington broke from its allies and introduced a you and security council resolution -- a un security council resolution. moscow supported the american resolution, while britain and france vetoed it and bombed installations and invaded by air and sea. condemned by that he went general assembly -- by the un general assembly, britain, france, and israel were eventually forced to withdraw. was successful for nasser. his prestige among arab nations and nonaligned countries grew enormously. the next case study focuses on
form and repression in the french empire, specifically focused on the case of guinea. i am told that i can use this? here is guinea. africa, done west here is french equatorial africa. most of the french empire also controlled madagascar and djibouti, which are not on this map. france was faced with multiple demands to implement reforms in its vast african and asian empires. the united states pressed for change to gain economic advantage and to thwart communist influence. colonized peoples who had sustained the world war ii effort demanded a greater voice in the management of their own affairs in this aftermath. having long justified empire as
part of a great civilizing mission, france was determined to convince the world of the worthiness of its stewardship. in the veriest francophone territories, military veterans, trade unionists, and members of political parties responded to incremental colonial reforms by demanding equal rights for all french citizens, whether in europe or the overseas territories. after 1956, french subjects became citizens. the rights and privileges of citizens in the metropole became their new yardstick. in an effort to demonstrate the success of reformed imperialism and to justify the continuation toempire, france began invest heavily in economic development after world war ii. by the mid-1950's, these expenditures were taking their toll on the national budget. some critics argue that the cost of empire far outweighed the
benefits. paris was determined to transfer local control and responsibility for paying the new spec system elected african government. 1956, -- which were expected to shoulder a greater share of the burden of economic development and to bare the bru nt of political discontent. all of those military members, trade unions, and political parties agitating for equal pay and benefits, now the local governments have to deal with them. with the commencement of armed forces in algeria, and other conflict elsewhere, forced france to reconsider its options. in 1958, charles de gaulle spearheaded the enactment of a new constitution to address the crisis. french territories were offered two choices.
accept the constitution the provided junior partnership in a french community, or reject the constitution in favor of immediate independence. in an empire-wide referendum, only guinea chose independence. a map of guinea. i will show you a few slides photographed from the referendum campaign. i don't think people in the back can see, but there is a motorcade. motorcyclists in the front and a convertible with charles de apparentlyding and the national leader sitting by his side. lined with the had a political party that branches and most of the territories of french west and
equatorial africa, and spearheaded the no vote rejecting partnership in guinea. in other territories, the usually supported the yes vote. degalhe gall s -- when le -- when de gaulle saw this welcome, he thought things were going his way. he had no idea this was just african hospitality. these are slides taken in senegal. it says vote no, advocating the no vote. there were many people who advocated a no vote, but they lost senegal. there were members of different political parties, no the rda. here is graffiti in a store window advocating the yes vote,
which ultimately carried in senegal, and finally a woman voting in the referendum, also in senegal. suffrage was fully implemented in 1966, so women did have the right to vote. you might ask why i don't have slides of guinea if the referendum campaign was a vigorous. it was. when guinea voted no and france left, they burned the archives. there are few photographs left. i was able to get documents for my research from senegal, the headquarters of french west africa, and police reports and that sort of thing had been sent and carbon copied to senegal. most of what was in guinea was destroyed, so i was unable to find photographs. this was the nationalist leader, the head of the rda in guinea.
you get the sense that he was a charismatic person. he was quite speaker, and he could really rally the cro wds. he was a radical nationalist, he was close to the congo and ghana. as i said earlier, the u.s. often confuse radical nationalism with communism. he was perceived to be a threat, in part because of his charisma. in part, because of what he had to say. back to the referendum. for guinea, the consequences of were devastating as france retaliated politically and economically, and the new to establishorts the country as a coequal partnership were rebuffed. french teachers and other social services were withdrawn and
capital was transferred to other territories. commercial transactions and credits were suspended, and cargo ships bound for guinea wort rerouted to other west african territories. immediately following the referendum, the french suspended all economic ties to guinea, and cooperative endeavors. there was a dam left partially built, for instance. technical services and equipment were sabotaged. telephone wires were cut. cranes at the port disappeared. military camps were stripped of their equipment and hospitals of their medicine. large sums of money were transferred out of the country. transferredfrance country, will panic
was created by peppering the country with counterfeit bills. it was designed to create panic, political unrest, and civil on discontentment, and civil unrest. paris refused to recognize the new nation and instructed its allies to do also. as a result, britain, with germany, and the united states delayed recognition. in making an example of guina, which had refused junior partnership in the french community, paris hoped to demonstrate the nation's inability to assume the responsibility of independence and to dissuade other territories of following its path. the french victory was short-lived. by the end of 1960, virtually 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 and troll and to unburden itself of the onus of colonial rule. none of the territories that achieved independence in 1960 were subjected to the dire consequences imposed on guinea-bissau. the third and final case study focuses on tensions within the u.s. government over the role of portugal in africa. in the united states, tensions emerged within the government as various interests emerged challenging -- offering ways to challenge the cold war crises. it was clear that france, britain, and belgium --ld maintain neocolonial without the hassle of political control. for portugal, ruled by the
fascist dictatorship, african independence was out of the question. portugal was an impoverished country with an underdeveloped economy. without the cheap labor and raw materials that resulted from a regime,orced labor certain injuries -- industries would not be possible. unable to compete in an unprotected market, portugal was determined to retain political control of its colonies, and it waged devastating colonial wars to do some. american colonies, toward portugal and its colonies, underwent transformation. th eisenhower administration had joinede imperial powers in general assembly resolution, which called for self-determination and independence for all colonized people. believing that the nationalist movements were simply a front for communism. however, as the winds of change
blew, the kennedy administration retroactively endorsed the resolution, and used it repeatedly to challenge portuguese rule in africa. convinced that unwavering support for imperialism strengthens the hand of communism, kennedy was determined first and foremost to present communist success. he hoped to out flank radicalism through reforms that catered to radical lists -- radicalists' rising expectations. he sat relationships with so-called moderate nationalists who would promote western interests while -- this africa centered policy sparked significant debate within the kennedy administration, and was effectively sidelined by late acting 62 as u.s. sought -- by
late 1962, as the u.s. saw -- i have included a slide that may be out of place. this is the picture president kennedy with general mobutu. this is after a white house meeting in may, 1963. obviously he is not from angola, but he was someone whom kennedy deemed to be a moderate nationalist who might be palatable to african governments. know, he wasu responsible for a behind-the-scenes military coup, in1960 and an upfront coup 1965. he had a strong hand in the prime minister of patrice molumba.
that was also due to the work of the cia and belgian intelligence. he finally came to power without a civilian facade and ruled a brutal, corrupt regime until 1996. was someone whom kennedy thought might be acceptable, but he was wrong. he stayed in power with western support. back to portugal, kennedy's balancing act was challenged after he took office. 1961, national -- several were killed and hundreds
were massacred in retaliation. in march, conscript workers and nationalists killed 250 portuguese settlers in the coffee producing areas 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 and caused an outcry from the african state. anxious to win favor with african countries, and press from portugal to intimate reforms that would underline radical nationalism, the kennedy administration took a long-standing tradition of support for portugal in the human -- in the u.n. in march, they supported an investigation calling for an investigation into portuguese repression. in june, they voted for another
resolution that "deeply deplored the large-scale killings and severely suppressive measures in a angola," and urged a speedy end to cold war rule. the european colonial powers and the western superpower stood on opposing sides. while the u.s. joined the eu in both resolutions, britain and france sustained. as tensions threatened the alliance, fractions surfaced. the secretaries of defense and state supported by the european division emphasize the importance to nato. during the kennedy years, three quarters of american military traffic to europe and the middle east, pass through portugal's zora island air base.
the ambassador to the u.n. the -- u.n. andemently united states vehemently disagreed. kennedy sought a middle ground. is it ministration quietly reduced aid to portugal, and in weapons to africa. henceforth, military aid could only be used for nato purposes and only as described in the nato treaty. no part of africa fell within these boundaries. washington began to court the public -- portuguese political operation. young, mid-level army officers, hopingrican nationalists to turn away from the communist struggle. and eclectic group
of communists -- anti-communists and segregationists supported the portugal position. they teamed up in the state departments to champion the u.s. access to the zora airbase and that special relationship to portugal. inwas the ongoing crisis 1961 and the cuban missile crisis that sidelined the african mess and pushed the president inside. 1962,. of ministration a longer protested one portugal used equipment in africa. and no longer called for determination in their african colonies. kennedy's you when delegation sustained in all resolutions critical of portugal. american tanks, planes, and
weapons continued to be diverted for use in portugal's african wars. 1963, the united states inned france and britain abstaining on a security council resolution, imposing an embargo on portugal. the periods of decolonization were characterized by political competition, economic rivalry, and military friction between the united states and the soviet union. they also bore tensions between the soviets and western alliance. france in particular resisted american encroachment on its african sphere of influence forced it to strong -- two prong strategy even as it was forced
to yield to the demands of political involvement. just as the united states strategies,llies on the american government was fraught with division. although old foreign-policy hands often viewed nationalism with suspicion, minority voices in the kennedy administration stressed response to nashville -- national concerns. however these opposed political movements that united states could not control and the maintenance of european allies in the containment radicalism remained paramount. despite their differences, democratic, republican administrations all favored those who are friendly to american foreign and business policy interests. their disagreement centered on the most effective way to achieve these objectives.
thank you very much. .applause] >> thank you, for this sweeping survey of foreign and u.s. intervention in africa especially in the cold war. we will focus on three case studies. i will start off, since you are here at the home of the cold war project, where we hold archives very dear. you providede hook by talking about burning archives. of course, it's a terrible thing. to talk a little bit -- i know your presentation was focused on international, especially the u.s. perspective on intervention in africa, but if you could talk is thebout what
situation, in some of the cases you have looked at, in new international history, we like to look at all the sides. archivally speaking. if you could talk about the archival section for your study. >> i must confess, i was mentioning to erica before the theentation, that this is first book i have written that is a synthetic work. all of my other works were based -- not "decoding corporate camouflage," that used some secret cup and he reports, but the book on zimbabwe and the two on guinea were based on materials where i went to zimbabwe, britain, france, guina, and senegal and i used
there archives. nothing was digitized in those days. i conducted oral interviews. thought, when i embarked on this current book, that it is a synthetic work and was not be that difficult. i am using other people's work. they have done the hard work of looking at those archives, and much to my chagrin, it was a different task, and was perhaps not more difficult, but i had to become, what i hoped would be, somewhat of a specialist for each study, but i'm sure some specialist will quibble with what i say. i realized that it would be very hard to write for a nonspecialist audience. to make it accessible, but not simplistic. that was my long way of making an excuse for not answering your question.
i did not do archival research. other people did. i think that you have some of the materials, and the national security archive has some of the materials, for example this work on the role of cuba in various african countries. my work on guinea did include archival materials, which i found mostly in senegal. there was a wonderful archive in paris, that is also perhaps lost. center fored the african research and documentation, but it conveniently had its initials ,rda, which is also c and rda the political party that led the independence movement. by --ad been funded
when he died, they decided to ship the archives back that had been lost in the last that i heard, nobody knew where it was. that did have photographs. i think that other people, many of whom have had fellowships here would have a much better idea than i do about the state of some of the archives. i know that the soviet archives have been opened and used by many of your scholars. mine has much more of a u.s. perspective, in part, because i was hoping to influence foreign policymakers and ngo workers, and undergraduate and maybe graduate students and professors, in the work. it does have a u.s. focus. >> let me slip in my question. you have offered a small number of case studies. the book has many more. just that much more
depressing or horrific than the one that precedes it. this is a story with almost no silver linings to the very dark clouds. one comes away profoundly depressed reading this story. you focus on the cold war period. almost everything is negative. fast-forwardyou closer to the present to deal with the war on terror, and more contemporary, humanitarian intervention. even there, you issue bold l etter caution to those who might step into humanitarian disaster areas. essence,n interventions often cause more harm than good. she medicare in intervention often puts the spotlight on atrocities, -- you say that humanitarian
intervention often puts the spotlight on atrocities. so, more harm than good. could you elaborate a bit more on the more recent part that you write about in the book and amplify those cautions? >> yes. the last chapter of the book that focuses on the cold war period, talks about the economic crises of the 1980's and 1990's, that set the stage for massive civil discontent, pro-democracy movements, and at the same time, at the end of the cold war, western support dictate -- dissipated. there was no reason to support the strong man who had been regional policeman during the cold war. no longer union
existed and was not there to bolster regimes, so all hell broke loose effectively. some of the case studies and wereat, including somalia, that was certainly presented to the american people as a case of humanitarian intervention. it was far more than that. i'm not saying it wasn't a component, but it was a lot more complicated than that. backtrack a little bit. -- many ofcold war you know this, somalia was additionally supported by the soviet union while ethiopia was supported by the united states. then by the military coup in ethiopia when the military government declared it was marxist-leninist. the soviet union decided to support the ethiopian military government and the u.s., after some hesitation, threw its
weight behind somalia. the military government in somalia now had american support. as soon as the cold war was over, and the u.s. cut him off, he was challenged by a lot of kinds of opposition forces. somewhere clan-based, somewhere radical islamic, somewhere pro-democracy, secular. he was essentially driven from power. this was someone who had barred all political parties, all opposition. he was very oppressive while being supported by the west. this is complicated. dictators are supported by the west, the support is withdrawn, so what is there? it is usually a power vacuum. we seem to think time and time again that we can go in
militarily, get rid of a dictator, and throw the elections. i know that is a little simplistic, but in the case of somalia, there was a severe humanitarian crisis. warlords vyinghe for control were controlling food supplies. they were using food as a weapon and the people who were dodging were civilians, many of whom did not support any of these parties. decided, and the u.n. to send a military force to ensure that food got to the people who needed it. at the same time, the u.s. confirmed that one of the warlordss was the obstacle, and they got into a civil war between the warlords, during support to one another. people were killed who were not supporting the warlord.
people who were trying to negotiate peace. the u.s. military wasn't clear on who some of the people were. i'm sure you are familiar with "black hawk down," at which point the u.s. said, we are pulling out. somalia has had difficulties ever since. invaded,when ethiopia the cia helped the invasion in 2006. that was essentially an invasion to oust the islamic court's u muslim, but not linked to any terrorism. they had a fair amount of support, but the u.s. saw this as a threat in the post-9/11 ethiopia,ssisted which was a long-standing enemy of somalia, to invade.
al-shabaab was a reaction to that invasion. similarly, we can take a look at libya. that was supposed to be a nato intervention to protect civilian lives, but no one thought about what happened after qaddafi is gone. who is protecting his arsenals? many of the weapons flooded into west africa. fighters had recruited from sub-saharan africa, returned home with their weapons. hence, we have the collapse of mali. al qaeda to mali, are and islamic state forces that had not previously been there. my argument is, we don't know enough history, we don't know enoug culture. we assume that we can go in and remake the middle east or remake north africa. the counterterrorism strategy
that seems to be hind even the humanitarian initiative isn't working. i do understand the dire need or desire to do something in the crises,one of these but what is going to work as long-term, especially with actors on the ground, being in control. not people outside telling them what they ought to be doing. the quick fixes are not quick, and they get very messy, very quickly. >> we can open this up. two simple rules, please wait for the microphone to reach you before you speak, and please identify yourself. we will start with don in the back. >> i am done with the woodrow wilson center. thank you for your talk. a couple things that will buck
up eric's spirits of little bit about the cold war, i did not hear any mention of the peace corps which was sent in by many numbers and kennedy. i was in the peace corps in 1960 it, and i went into a mud hut and there was kennedy's picture there, i said what is this? they said, he saved us from starvation. other things that your book touches on, but i would like to hear more about, the chinese president. they were there building a railroad in tanzania. they had doctors and nurses in the hospital where i served. in at alldo you get williams.y sent as oure was ambassador to africa at large, but i don't know --
my apologies. in the beginning of my book i lay out what i get into in terms of foreign intervention. one could get into the world bank, imf, or peace corps. i do say in the introduction that i focus on political and military intervention which is what you did not hear me talk about the peace corps. where weo true that tend to focus economic involvement was where we had strategic concern. that is one place where they intersect. the chinese, yes, it is more their economic involvement. building a railroad was very important for the liberation struggle. they built a railroad and a highway from zambia to tanzania. could zambian copper belt
get its goods out through tanzania, which was sympathetic to the struggles of portuguese colonialism and white minority rule in rhodesia, south africa, and namibia. south africa at the time was barring the export of goods through angola and mozambique. was, ande colonialism later south african, supporting guerrilla movement that blew up the railroads and the roads. building the railroad by the chinese was really critical. people were very grateful for that. i also heard about those photographs of kennedy. i even saw some in the 80's, and people's homes. he was beloved in many ways. i also went into the home of an elderly -- in guinea, who was dressed all in black and prayed at the mosque everyday. she had pictures of mouse a
and fidelmao tse tung castro. we have a bit of a balance there. did i miss one of your questions? it is really not the focus of my book. i apologize for that. >> this gentleman in the back? >> thank you very much. a group called african immigrants caucus. "transafrica"r at in the 1980's and i published a couple of your essays. i am an immigrant from ghana, so i remember many of these from the leaders coming through. guessstion is actually, i a request disguised as a
question. the ambassador, a career ambassador and assistant secretary for bush 41, just did a book "the mind of the african strongman." he covered the same area that you have. his picture of the role the u.s. played in that time took me aback. wastated that the cold war kept out of africa, that the u.s. was bent on helping africans develop, and i did not listen. here is the request i have for you, will you please review his book? thank you. [laughter] >> that is not a bad idea. i thank you very much for that. in 1990 to ask a similar question of him. as a on my way to guinea fulbright scholar, and he was addressing the fulbright scholars in washington at
orientation. i raised my hand and asked about your support for these dictators in the cold war and specifically mentioned mobutu. he said, we don't support him. i think that perhaps by august 1990, we had cut off our support, but he was sort of overlooking several decades of support. it would be interesting to see what he said. his boss, not his boss, but his predecessor, secretary of state kerry kissinger under the nixon and ford administrations also said that we were not engaged in angola in military action, but we were seeking a nonviolent solution. he said that under oath to congress. >> right up here, if we can do the microphone. how influential was chester
"wles who wrote the book africa's challenge to america"? was one of the first people to resign from the kennedy administration, supposedly because he disagreed with what the administration was doing in vietnam. i wonder how much disagreement about africa policy might have played a part? >> thank you, that is what i forgot. your other question was about soapy williams. both of those men were the canists" in thea state department. they were key to trying to push -- push kennedy to recognize
that africans had legitimate political aspirations, that nationalism was a reality, it was going to take root, and it was our job to get on the correct side of history. williams was the assistant secretary of state for african affairs before he was the ambassador in africa. he was very influential. when kennedyriod was still open to hearing these things. as i said, the berlin crisis of 1961, and the cuban missile crisis of 1962, immediately tipped those folks out. chester bowles. another official had to vote down the resolution he had watered down to make it palatable to the u.s. and in the end, kennedy instructed him to vote against it. then of course, there were these lobbies. there was a pro portugal lobby, bby.tania lo
then the rhodesia lobby which supported the ian smith regime in the late 1960's, after kennedy, after the universal declaration of independence. >> [inaudible] were a lot of them, and they were anti-communist, and pro-segregation, and they stood up for the rights and southern africa -- right in southern africa. >> over here. i believe that i agree with you that we have -- from decolonization we have independence, but in africa today we see talk about new colonialism, especially in the french african countries. there is very little difference between decolonization and
neocolonialism. it, inyou can look at africa today. to me, it is more or less a figment of our imagination to think that decolonization is the end of it. it is going on as we speak. >> i would agree. usually, when i say independence, i say when the countries achieve political independence, as opposed to just independents. to make that distinction. there was one of the early intellectuals who spoke about africans, who were in office, but not in power. they did not have control of their economy in many cases. these economic and military agreements were signed that
bound them closely to france, and france intervened militarily many times in the decades after independence and still does. sometimes to support a government, sometimes to overthrow a rarely wascold war, it stated 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. continuing to be commodity exporters, importing goods that are quite expensive. the balance of trade, there is going to be poverty and underdevelopment, and discontent movementot of room for
that nobody wants 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. base.ally we have one >> speak up. >> like that. am concerned about the creeping militarization for various reasons and why it is so under the radar.
i only say that, because some troops who come to countries such as mali and claim they are building wells when they are --ually performing functions i'm just curious about that blurring of the lines. >> this is a big concern. writingple have been about the militarization of african-american policy. they used to be performed by usaid or they are jointly performed where there is a confined -- 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 getting sidelines. they are not nearly as well-funded for the military agenda. it is part of this u.s. africa command. there are drone bases. the indian ocean, another place. our special operation forces operating under the radar. we hear about those helping to train african troops. many troops they train still have serious issues with human rights abuses and sexual
violence. , some french troops american troops as well. battalions doing egregious things against civilians. ali military coup in m was conducted by a u.s. officer. 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. coup.n't call it a we did suspend the aid for a while. but it is back.
my concern with your approach is it does not distinguish itself very clearly to things. iseign policy essentially classically the interest of the country, the policies. you do not clearly distinguish between where we failed. , long-term involvement and different kind of , where it is african sovereignty come in?
we need to put them into full focus. wartimes in this cold period we have old policy of self-interest that exceed it. 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 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. , youu are a colonial power are responsible for the civilian population. >> in the long term it is not an 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. mind, how weto my demonstrate that concern and what actions we might take, whom we support, what we do and don't do. we havelem has been heked at immediate things, looks like he is a threat. i'm sure you look at the way
patrice was characterized. when he came to the state department looking for help in 1960, when the belgians had the state the congo, department decided he wasn't trustworthy because when he spoke to high-level officials he would not look them in the eye. , but they did say that. i have seen the declassified documents. of course they were. we agree on that. it is a done deal. it did show the coulter 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. i am run bookbinder. most of the for intervention seems to be by non-african. 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. abouter if he would talk that at all. >> thank you. preview ofapter is a the book i am near finishing now. it does 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, china. often it would be a subregional organization like the economic community of west african states sending peacekeeping forces to oreria or sierra leone, 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. rwanda built itself with the wealth of the congo. we don't talk much about that either. in the case of sierra leone and forces werese were troops were coming from multiple west african countries to maintain the peace that had been agreed upon and to monitor it. good,the objectives were different nations had different objectives. france was very concerned with the dominance of nigeria. 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 attempt to bring about peace and stability. friends who live near the military camp. we were visiting a friend and we saw all these truckloads coming in offloading tvs and stereos into the military camp. our friend had another friend to had a repair shop. a technical repair shop. he was forever fixing the equipment. they were constantly blowing their fuses. it turned out they were just dealing from the civilians being told to protect. thegees were coming into
ports. i was in there and they told stories of having been, refrigerators and cars taken from them in exchange for safe patches -- passage. all of these things are complicated. i'm afraid special emphasis on the military solutions outweigh 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. that doesn't work. >> there was someone against the wall here. >> -- my name is kim mailing 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 interventions that have taken place. i think you have answered my question. i could just mentioned the case studies. >> i look at somalia, sudan and are for -- darfur. again.at the congo first a 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. chapter on the arab spring. looking at a little bit on
egypt andocusing on libya. the fallout of the arab spring from libya and a chapter on what andened in malley -- mali boko haram in nigeria. one thing i didn't mention is a lot of boko haram trained mali after al qaeda and the islamic state came in when the weapons and the fighters came in from libya. to northernead now nigeria. there are all these connections. that is the focus. >> i'm a retired u.s. army. -- iked for five years
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. funding some training effort, which is what i did and africa. activity isng soldiers andrain their leadership in the right ways. we don't always succeed. that doesn't mean we don't try. my question, what is your strategy to take what you thatly make a great case the u.s. does not learn from history and is not good at picking winners, and will invest
in losing propositions not just in africa but worldwide. your military will do what you have to do. if you ask us to help someone overthrow a dictator we will do that. thekey is to make sure 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 mistakes. how do you plan to do that? >> thank you. i appreciate that question.
the military does take its orders. 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. ,ith 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. departmentpendence oppose that predate for solve that. i'm sure it doesn't surprise you. it was hillary clinton, susan who and samantha power pushed for that. 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 -- 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. .o, i do that i am not a policy maker myself. that might sound like a copout academicsimply an 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 naïve. nations do develop foreign policies with their own interests at stake. we need to redefine what is in our national interest. to getuld be my role, 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? >> de gaulle was insulted. he in fact, it's interesting because some of the french colonial officials, the governor and high commissioner had read , thetary speech before 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. we want to develop trade relations. we want investment. we want to do it as equal partners. it as a want to do 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 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 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 ease. first they went to france. 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. east.nny turned to the there were development workers ,here from the soviet union north vietnam. cuba. who hadny and knew many been taught by teachers from these areas. french communists came back.
politicalthe largest party in france after world war ii. they spearheaded the internal resistance. they were free to come. so, really it was that personal. >> i am afraid we have to leave it at that. of our time. end thank you for joining us today. many of the documents that have been referred to are on the center's digital archives. 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. >> this weekend, tuscaloosa, alabama. explore the history and literary colter of the southern city. on american history tv we will the native american culture from about the 11th through the 15th centuries. >> welcome. in its heyday they were the largest city north of mexico. 30contains the remains of flattop mounds. we are standing at mound be. yards.ains 112,000 cubic this would have been where the structure from the highest-ranking mover of the
highest-ranking plan would have been. originally sciences thought they were completely built by one basket load at a time. mound and thee size of them were initially built with odd blocks that were filled in with clay. stability in more the structure. periodically after it was built it would be capped over with different colors. it would resemble a layer cake. tour.ch the c-span cities tour workingties with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. he had a couple of meals and a steam shovel.
ironiese of the other to be so antigovernment and know your entire fortune to the government's largess. book theay night, her profiteers which takes a look at the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. >> who else is the united states government going to get into its project throughout the world? back bute for it to be if the american taxpayer is paying for it the american taxpayer should have some access to information about their contract, the amount of money. , the politicalty relationships. >> sunday night on q&a.
>> monday, the chief economist for the phoenix center for advanced legal and economic public policy studies. they debate the proposal allowing consumers to buy their own set-top boxes instead of renting them from cable providers, a move to open up competition in the set-top box market. >> we think we need competition in the set-top box market. we want competition, competition. someplace it has worked. this is one place it hasn't worked. if we got some vigorous competition into that space. >> is there a market? the answer really in terms of what is delivered, no.
set-top boxes actually are a component of the network. that is the most efficient way to design and deliver cable television service. the companies would prefer a market. >> watch the tele communicators on c-span2. >> john dean, former white house counsel to president nixon, and now barry goldwater chair of the americans vision at arizona state university, teaches a class on watergate and the discovery of the nixon white house taping system. in june 1973, during testimony before the senate watergate committee, mr. dean implicated president nixon and officials, including himself in the watergate cover-up. mr. dean later pled guilty of obstruction of justice for his role in watergate and served 4 months in prison.