chapter  VIII
22 Pages

A Failure of Foreign Policy: the Case of Rhodesia

Rhodesia's successful defiance of Britain in seizing independence and determining its own constitution provides at least prima facie evidence of British weakness. Mter the British and Rhodesian governments had failed to agree on an independence constitution, Rhodesia declared herself independent on her own terms. The British government did not recognize the new regime, and tried hard, principally through economic pressure and by negotiation, to induce Rhodesia to return to legality and to accept a constitution which satisfied Britain. These strenuous efforts were without success, although Britain claimed sovereignty in Rhodesia and the difference in resources between the two countries is ludicrously large; Rhodesia's armed forces are modem and efficient, but minute compared with Britain's. Assessed on per capita income and exploited resources, Rhodesia is one of the richest Mrican countries; but relative to Britain it is poor and underdeveloped. The total population of Rhodesia is about a tenth that of Britain, and the Rhodesian government directly represents only the Europeans, who form about one-twentieth of the people.