July 5, 1985 | Executive Memorandum on Africa
for Angola and Namibia that better reflects reality and serves U.S. interests.
Specifically, the Reagan Administration should restate its determination to help establish free and democratic states in Angola and Namibia based on free elections, participation of all tribes and factions, and a free economy. These also seem the a ims of Savimbi.
A number of specific steps would further these objectives:
1) Repeal the Clark Amendment. This would raise UNITA's morale, encourage those within the MPLA who oppose the outside Cuban and other Communist domination, and set an example for other countries; 2) Draw attention to the repression inside Angola at meetings of human rights groups and international organizations. Humanitarian aid should be delivered to parts of Angola controlled by UNITA. For this the U.S. should ask Angola's neig h bors to permit the transit of supplies from Africa, Europe, and America; 3) Raise the profile and legitimacy of UNITA. The U.S. also should encourage missions by prominent Africans, Europeans, and Americans to UNITA's capital of Jamba and should provide s cholarships for UNITA's youth to provide the base for a Western and private sector-oriented middle class in Angola.
Such steps would bolster international support for efforts to end foreign rule in Angola. They would increase the pressure on the MPLA's top leaders, many of whom are quietly buying retirement homes in.Portugal. On the other hand, these steps would hearten the MPLA rank and file, who would welcome an end to the fighting with UNITA and the chance of a national reconciliation. The MPLA's eighth brigade, for instance, already has indicated unwillingness to fight their fellow Angolans of UNITA.
A new U.S. policy would also weaken further the already low morale of the Cuban military forces in Angola. They have suffered thousands of casualties and e ncounter ambushes whenever they venture out of their heavily secured bases. And a defeat for the MPLA and Cubans will be a Soviet defeat, since Moscow is not about to send its own troops to Angola.
Thus, the time is right for a reassessment of U.S. policy toward Angola and Namibia. Current policy has not achieved any significant advances and in some ways may be falling apart, as the recent South African decision to establish a new self-governing aut h ority in Namibia indicates. A new U.S. policy must be grounded firmly on one essential point: a resolution of the Angola conflict on terms providing for its independence from Soviet-bloc control with a significant role for UNITA is the only way in which a Namibian settlement can be reached and, therefore, is the key to assuring stability, as well as the protection of Western interests, in the region.
Prepared for The Heritage Foundation by James Potts, a Washington D.C.- based consultant on African affairs2