The Luster of Chrome
Chapter 2 discusses the shift in policy following the electoral victory of Nixon. The chapter analyzes the factors leading to the shift towards closer ties with the white regimes of southern Africa. It observes that the Nixon Presidency was typified by a fixation with Cold War geopolitics, especially the strategic balance of power, and explains how the Rhodesian problem played into this preoccupation as chaos in southern Africa would complicate the broader strategic mission. The chapter also discusses the significance of the fact that the Nixon administration was also faced with an increasingly confident and assertive Rhodesian Government, a strategic need for chrome and a powerful domestic Rhodesia Lobby with ties to the White House itself. The chapter thus investigates how these factors not only influenced Nixon’s move to greater ‘communication’ with Salisbury but also impacted the other policy choices including the closure of the U.S. Consulate, the importation of Rhodesian chrome under the Byrd Amendment and support for the Smith-Home Agreement during the fall of 1971.