7 Pages


ByEddie Michel

The ability of Salisbury to endure despite international condemnation, the open hostility of neighbouring states and comprehensive UN sanctions meant that the Rhodesian question would remain a nettlesome issue for four successive presidential administrations. Examining US relations with Rhodesia, through the lens of the Oval Office, provides a better grasp and awareness of the pressure points which guided foreign policy during the 1960s and 70s. The Cold War, on both strategic and ideological levels, was a major element determining the nature of the approach to the Rhodesian rebellion. Cold War geopolitics, though, provided conflicting visions of how to approach the racial struggle in southern Africa. The geopolitics of the Cold War continued to offer a more pragmatic rationale for greater US intervention. By the mid-1970s, Moscow and especially Havana felt secure enough to intervene militarily in support of favoured leaders or movements who were considered to espouse Marxist ideals.