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Valour (Vol. 11, No. 4)

Strategic Concerns And Future Operations

Human Skulls

Michael Deibert IPS 20080417

The Legacy of Intervention: The International Community and the Congo

By James McKillip

Major James McKillip is an armour officer with considerable overseas experience, who is currently employed at the Directorate of History and Heritage in Ottawa. He is just completing his PhD studies, which include specializations in comparative colonial, Aboriginal, and military history. Uniquely, he has been awarded two Canadian Meritorious Service Medals (Military Division).

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On 30 June 1960, in accordance with an agreement between Congolese leaders and the government of the colonial authority, Belgium, the Congo became an independent state.1  Within less than a week, the new government was overthrown. Almost immediately, Belgian and other international forces quickly intervened in the conflict with mixed and highly controversial results. Thirty-six years later, in the face of a looming humanitarian disaster, the international community contemplated another intervention in the country. This intervention, with considerable potential Canadian involvement, did not materialize. No fighting force was dispatched to the Congo.

The complex and extremely violent war in the Congo continued, and, although a ceasefire was negotiated in 1999, and a more comprehensive accord was negotiated in 2002, the country remains one of the most dangerous places on earth. In spite of the presence of a large and growing United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, currently the largest such effort, the international community has demonstrated a conspicuous unwillingness to engage in direct action in the Congo, in spite of much talk to the contrary, and in contrast with actions taken in other areas of world, such as the former-Yugoslavia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, and, most recently, Libya. The long and unfortunate record of international involvement in the Congo remains a troubling legacy for Western decision-makers to this day.


Foreign intervention in the Congo is not comprehensible without an understanding of the roots of international involvement in the country. This began late in the 15th Century, with the first contacts between the peoples of Europe and the people populating the area that came to be known as the Congo. These early Portuguese explorers were searching for the gold, spices, and precious stones that were believed to exist in the mysterious and uncharted lands south of the barrier posed by Muslim control of Northern Africa. In addition to the lure of treasure, these explorers were drawn to Africa by stories of the legendary Christian kingdom of Prestor John that was said to exist somewhere in the depths of the continent. The first European, Diego Cao, landed at the mouth of the Congo River in 1482, and promptly announced that the land had been ‘discovered’ in the name of the King of Portugal.2 This idea of ‘discovery’ that ignored the existence of any indigenous populations or societies anticipated the later dismissal of the rights of native populations that became such a recurring theme in the age of ‘discovery.’ Over the next several hundred years, ‘discovery’ by Europeans had a profound impact upon Africa generally and the people of the Congo basin specifically.

When the Portuguese penetrated inland a decade after their first landfall, they found that the Kongo people inhabited the area to the south of the Congo River’s mouth.3  This kingdom, in addition to providing the name for the river, formed the basis of European/Congolese relations for the better part of the next four hundred years.4  The relationship, welcomed at first by the Kongo, was based upon the trade in slaves that was the principal European interest in Africa until well into the 19th Century. However, it was not long before the insatiable European appetite for slaves to work mines and plantations in the Americas led to a realization by Africans that their very existence was threatened by the nature of the trade. By 1665, this realization led to open conflict between the Kongo and the Portuguese.  In the resulting war, the Kongo were defeated, and their king, the ManiKongo, was beheaded. No further organized resistance was offered to European encroachment until the end of the 19th Century.5

With the decline of the overseas slave trade during the first half of the 19th Century, commerce between Africa and Europe became more focused upon the export of commodities to Europe.6  These commodities, primarily ivory and palm oil, were paid for in such a trifling way that the resulting commerce was essentially one-way. At the same time, maturing market concepts demanded that imports of raw materials needed to be paid for with exports of manufactured goods. It was becoming clear that purely extractive colonial policies were not to the long-term commercial advantage of the colonial powers. Added to this was a growing awareness among some of the older colonial powers of the true costs of maintaining formal rule over far-away lands. Taken together, these influences resulted in a general reluctance among European powers to take on new colonies. Unfortunately for Africa, this reluctance did not last long. In spite of the commercial logic that had slowed colonialism by the mid-19th Century, a new and powerful wave of colonizing zeal took hold in Europe in the second half of the century. This zeal was a product of dynamic nationalism, Christian missionary enthusiasm, the search for markets, the search for new opportunities for the investment of surplus capital, and vague notions of imperial prestige. Nowhere were these influences combined more strongly than in the peculiar personality of the Belgian king Leopold II.

The story of Leopold’s obsession with Africa is one of the most peculiar in the entire history of colonialism. Through a convoluted series of personal, financial, and diplomatic manoeuvres, Leopold was able to stake a claim to virtually the entire area drained by the Congo River and its tributaries.7  This claim was formalized in 1885 at the conclusion of the Conference of Berlin that had been convened to bring order to the rush for African colonies that had come to be known as the ‘scramble.’ On 29 May 1885, the État Indépendent du Congo (the Congo Fee State) was officially created by Belgian royal decree. For the next quarter of a century, the Belgian king ruled the Congo as a personal fiefdom in a manner that defined colonialism at its worst and deeply affected the nature of Congolese societies and peoples. The country was run as a purely exploitive commercial concern and it routinely employed coercion and terror to generate profits. The principal business was rubber. This had to be laboriously collected by hand from native rubber trees. To make this profitable, the administration of the Congo Free State effectively re-introduced European-operated slavery.

By 1908, the true nature of Leopold’s rule in the Congo had been exposed to international scrutiny and near-universal condemnation. The resulting embarrassment led the Belgian government to successfully pressure Leopold to transfer authority for the Congo Free State to the Belgian state.8 This put an end to the worst of Belgian colonial excesses, but it did nothing to erase the memory of Leopold’s dominion. And, while Belgium tried to disavow its complicity in Leopold’s run of terror, it could not avoid the fact that the country had benefited greatly from the ruthless exploitation of the region. Not a few Belgian palaces and public works were financed on the backs of the people of the Congo.9

While the transition from Leopold’s personal rule to Belgian state rule certainly represented an improvement in the situation in the Congo, the fact remained that the country was still under foreign domination. And while Belgian government administration of the colony was certainly less oppressive than that of its immediate predecessor, the relationship between the Congo and Belgium was still based upon the presumption that Congo was an asset for exploitation. During the 52 years of Belgian rule, virtually nothing was done to prepare the country for independence.10

The decolonizing rush that followed Ghanain independence in 1957,11 quickly spread to other parts of Africa, including the Congo. Following a prolonged outbreak of violence and serious rioting in the Congolese capital Leopoldville in 1959, the Belgian government hastily convened a conference to discuss the eventual independence of the country.12 It was clear from the beginning that Belgium had not developed any plans for Congolese independence.13  When the conference convened on 20 January 1960, a vague proposal for independence in four years was tabled.14 When the conference ended an agreement had been reached that set the deadline for the birth of the new country in less than five months, on 30 June 1960.15

Debating the Congolese situation in the United Nations

UN photo 214006

Debating the Congolese situation in the United Nations.

This deadline was met, but within a week of independence, Congolese soldiers mutinied against the Belgian officers who had remained in the new National Army in accordance with terms of the independence agreement. Belgian intervention quickly followed, ostensibly to guarantee the safety of the 80,000-odd Belgian nationals still living in the country. The new Congolese government, not unreasonably assuming that this intervention was an attempt by Belgium to retain real power in the Congo, appealed to the United States for help. When this request was rejected, the Congo appealed to the United Nations. The United Nations Security Council quickly agreed that the Congo should be provided with military assistance, and passed Resolution S/4387 to that effect on 14 July.16  Adding to the confusion, the mineral-rich southern province of Katanga declared its secession from the Congolese state within a week of Congolese independence, followed by the province of South Kasai a month later.17 

On 5 September 1960, the Congolese President, Joseph Kasa-Vubu, fired the Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, who responded with an attempt to take over the Presidency. A week later, the Congolese Army under Joseph Mobutu,18 and with the support of the President, assumed power with, according to some commentators, “[...] the encouragement and aid of the United States.”19  A year of chaos followed, during which time Lumumba was killed and international tempers flared.20  Discussions and negotiations between various factions led to the formation of a government, “[...] sympathetic to the West, and American persuasion, and money, was again said to have been involved.”21  Meanwhile, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution S/5002 of 24 November 1961,22 the secession of Katanga province was condemned, and its leader, Moïse Tshombe, was pressured to bring Katanga back into the Congo state. Tshombe agreed to end secession, but delays over ratification of the agreement led to more fighting.  Strongly encouraged by the United States, the United Nations force was strengthened and Tshombe was eventually forced to surrender.23

In spite of having rejected the Congo’s original call for help, the United States actively supported the deliberations that led to the creation of the United Nations mission. As the operation developed, the United States provided key support, especially with respect to transportation, supply, and the provision of equipment. More importantly, the United States paid a substantial part of the financial cost of the operation.24

Although Belgian intervention had provided justification for international involvement in the affairs of the new country, East-West rivalry was credited at the time for stimulating the actions and reactions of the principal powers. The Congolese government had reacted to their original rebuff from the United States by making a request for help to the Soviet Union. This request had resulted in the offer of considerable Soviet assistance.25 Groups within the United Nations, the United States, and the Congolese government itself, exploited Western fears of Soviet penetration into Africa.26 The resulting United Nations mission was widely supported because of genuine desires to avoid further East-West confrontation, and, “ONUC [Opérations des Nations Unies au Congo] was seen by the West as a very useful stabilizing agency at a potentially dangerous international crossroads.”27

With the situation in the Congo stabilizing by mid-1962, public discussion of the importance of Africa to the West tended to be discussed in conventional terms of national interests. On this basis, it was clear that, emotional and intellectual reactions notwithstanding, the actual American stake in Africa was, “[…] relatively slight.”28  By 1965, the American foreign service agencies assessed Africa generally, and the Congo specifically, as being, “[...] of primary interest for the outgoing colonial powers and not for the United States.”29 Africa was given the lowest priority of any area of United States interest confirming what, “[...] had always been more or less State Department practice.”30

RCAF North Star aircraft as part of ONUC forces

UN photo 72369

RCAF North Star aircraft as part of ONUC forces.

In 1977, a string of events originating in Angolan independence resulted in the next significant foreign intervention in the Congo, renamed Zaire by President Mobutu in 1971.  Angola, on the Congo’s southern border, approached independence in 1975 after a long and bitter fight against the Portuguese government. As was the case with the Belgians in the Congo, Portugal had made almost no preparations for the handover of the administration of Angola to local authority. With Portuguese withdrawal imminent following a coup d’État in Portugal, a struggle between various factions for control of Angola boiled into the open.  Mobutu decided to assist nominally pro-Western elements in Angola in their bid to take control of the country, in particular, the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA),31   With considerable ostentation, the supposedly-elite Kamanyola brigade of the Forces armées zaïroises (the Zairian Armed Forces) led an invasion into Angola in July. Inching their way south, they were within 40 kilometres of the Angolan capital Luanda by the end of November.  However, when forces of the Soviet-oriented Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) were joined by regular Cuban troops equipped with rocket artillery, the Zairian forces, “[...] dissolved into disorderly bands of looters.”32

This embarrassing defeat of the FAZ made it clear that the army had improved little since the days of the civil war, and was of negligible value in actually defending the state.  This obvious weakness led a group of Katangan rebels, styled the Front pour la libération nationale du Congo (FLNC), based in and receiving support from Angola, to attack Zaire with the aim of provoking a popular insurrection that would lead to the long-sought independence of Katanga province. This invasion began on 8 March 1977 by a force composed of less than two thousand poorly trained and sparsely equipped FLNC fighters. But even this weak force proved too much for the FAZ.  In spite of bold press releases that described heroic fighting, international press reported that the FAZ, “[...] bears more resemblance to the panic-stricken, undisciplined mobs that passed for Congolese army units in the early 1960s. They flee rather than fight.”33 The attack progressed slowly, with the FLNC capturing a series of administrative and mining centres. By mid-April, it was clear to the world that the FAZ was doing little to stop the advance. Finally, the French government announced that it would provide air transport for a force of regular Moroccan troops that were being readied to assist the FAZ. The FNLC was clearly, “[...] reluctant to engage the Moroccan Army,”34 and began to withdraw from Katanga within a week of their arrival in the area. By the end of May, the province was completely reoccupied by government forces.

There were two main results from this episode. First, in the aftermath of the reoccupation of the province, the FAZ conducted a ruthless punitive campaign against the population. In its wake, more than 200,000 Katangan refugees fled across the border into northern Angola. This had the double effect of swelling both the pool of potential FNLC recruits and providing them with considerable motivation for further action. The second main result of the invasion was a realization in the international community that, “[...] despite substantial Western aid and repeated retraining programs over the years [...],”35 the FAZ was not capable of protecting its mineral-rich southern province, nor was it likely to be of much assistance in Western efforts to combat Soviet influence in Africa.

UN ONUC troops salvage a stranded jeep

UN photo 184413

UN ONUC troops salvage a stranded jeep.

Less than a year after the end of the first invasion, the FNLC attacked Katanga province again. Beginning on 13 May 1978, this attack was much better prepared than that of a year earlier. Not only was the force larger, better equipped, and better trained, its political goals were much clearer. As the first town, Kolwezi, fell to the invaders, the establishment of a provisional Katangan government was announced.36  This time, the international response was swift. A force of French Foreign Legion and Belgian paratroops was dispatched to the area almost immediately and went into action on 19 May, recapturing Kolwezi the same day.  The United States provided air support for the force, both in the form of air transport, and, in the provision of ground attack aircraft that directly attacked FNLC troops. Although mopping-up operations continued into June, the invasion had been effectively defeated within a week of its commencement. A multinational force composed primarily of Moroccan troops was quickly organized to maintain a presence in the area.37 In the aftermath of the second annual invasion of Katanga, Mobutu greatly increased the number of foreign military instructors and advisors serving alongside FAZ officers. In addition to providing direct assistance, these advisors served a much more important function, especially in view of the palpable ineffectiveness of the FAZ. As a United States Senate report stated, “Conspicuous evidence of Western support has a symbolic value which far exceeds the actual number of foreign personnel involved. The ‘tripwire’ presence of these personnel represents the assurance of foreign intervention during a ‘crisis.’”38

Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Map 30728 by 17 Wing Winnipeg Publishing Office

Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


For the next 15 years, the Congo remained relatively quiet. Throughout the period, a low-profile Western presence remained in the country. More important was the economic situation. Triggered by a collapse in the price of copper in 1974, the Congo developed deep financial problems. Payment issues, aggravated by the burden of financial arrangements related to very large development projects, such as the Inga Dam39 and the Maluka steel mills,40 put the country into a near permanent state of economic crisis. Other blows, such as the rise in oil prices, the costs associated with the Angolan crises, and failures in the agricultural sector all contributed to and aggravated the situation to such an extent that, by the early-1990s, the Congo was facing near-total financial collapse.41

At the same time, in Rwanda, on the country’s eastern border, events were unfolding that were to have a profound impact upon the Congo.42  In 1994, Rwanda exploded in a paroxysm of murderous violence that stunned the world. A half-hearted international response did little to control the situation. Within weeks, the country was in full-blown civil war. A rapid victory by powerful and well-organized rebel forces resulted in the massive flight of a large portion of the Rwandan population across the border into eastern Congo. As the numbers swelled to the millions, the threat of a humanitarian disaster of gigantic proportions loomed large. The international response remained lukewarm. By 1996, there was widespread agreement that, ‘something needed to be done,’ but few countries were willing to put their own personnel and resources into the effort. Particularly absent from efforts to take positive action were the countries most able to respond – the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Also noticeably absent was the former colonial power, Belgium.  Although there was a flurry of activity around Canadian efforts to sponsor and lead a multinational force for intervention in eastern Congo, the force was never mounted.  Eventually, internal forces in Rwanda led to a return of the bulk of the refugee population without significant international involvement.

Over the last 15 years, the country has been plagued by continuing civil war, political turmoil, and a level of civil chaos and violence that makes Congo rate as one of the worst and most dangerous places in the world to live. As of 2011, the American Central Intelligence Agency ranked the Congo 199th out of 222 countries in the world for life expectancy, and estimated that 71 percent of its population of more than 70 million people lived below the poverty line. In addition to the more than four million people43 who are estimated to have been killed as a result of the widespread fighting and general anarchy, the Congo is considered by many to be the, “rape capital of the world,” and the “worst place on earth to be a woman.”44  Although a new United Nations mission was mounted in the country as a result of the Lusaka agreement of 1999, the mission began slowly, and only recently began deploying significant numbers of troops to the country. Even were it to reach its mandated strength of some 22,000 troops, the new UN force would still be woefully inadequate for the needs of a country roughly one-quarter the size of Canada, with more than 200 ethnic groups represented in its very large population.

Congo in Context

Before assessing the legacy of these events on contemporary attitudes in the West, it is necessary to put them in the context of major international events. First, by the time the Congo was granted its independence, the world was in the grip of the Cold War. First articulated by Sir Winston Churchill in 1946 in his “Iron Curtain” speech,45 the idea of continuous confrontation between the West, led by the United States, and “Communism,” led by the Soviet Union, was codified in the policy of “containment” explained in the famous “Mr. X” article written by George Kennan.46  In May 1949, the Berlin Blockade and Airlift demonstrated the degree of East-West estrangement following the Second World War. In October of the same year, the Chinese civil war ended in a near-total communist victory.47 By 1953, the first great East-West challenge had been fought to a stalemate in Korea. In January 1959, Fidel Castro completed his takeover of Cuba and began his drift towards communism.  The establishment of the Berlin Wall (1961), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), and the beginnings of large-scale American involvement in Viet Nam (1964) all occurred during the years of the Congo Civil War. By the time of the Katanga invasions (1977-1978), the United States had been defeated in Viet Nam. This defeat generated a widespread reluctance to become involved in any regions that were not clearly in the national interest.

Even more dramatic were the events that followed the sudden unraveling of the Soviet Union in 1989 that led to the effective end of the Cold War. This was almost immediately followed by the massive response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Western victory in Kuwait, greatly facilitated by the lack of Soviet interference, led to buoyant optimism in 1991 that “a new world order” was at hand.48 But almost immediately, this new world order was challenged by events in Somalia in 1992. By the following year, the lack of progress in Somalia, combined with mounting costs, including scores of dead ‘peacekeepers,’ led to a widespread disillusionment with the new world order.49  This disillusionment held full sway throughout the Rwandan crises. By 1996, the brief international interest in humanitarian intervention operations had vanished. The great powers were, as one commentator sarcastically noted, not prepared to conduct, “Foreign Policy as Social Work.”50

The record of international intervention in the Congo reveals a consistent trend of action motivated by clearly identified national interests. During the period from 1960 to 1989, the primary element in the Congo’s foreign affairs was exploitation of the widespread perception that the country represented a bulwark against Soviet expansionism in Africa.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, international interests in the Congo rested almost exclusively upon commercial bases. While this was sufficient to maintain business activity at a moderate level, it was not sufficient to generate much in the way of official government action. The costs of intervention over the years had proven to be far too high. Western decision-makers contemplating intervention in the Congo were, and remain, confronted by a long list of ‘Nos.’ There is no great motivating principle or imperative such as the Cold War.  There are no essential assets in the Congo. There is no confidence that an intervention will be successful in the chaotic situation that exists in the country. And finally, there is no willingness to take great risks for altruistic ideals. Should an intervention in the Congo be proposed in the near future, it is not difficult to imagine what the likely answer will be.

Major André Martin, deployed on Operation Crocodile, visits Kimpoko village

DND photo IS2011-1005-17

Major André Martin, deployed on Operation Crocodile, visits Kimpoko village to follow up on a Canadian project to build and refurbish housing and wells for Congolese war widows and children, 15 March 2011.


  1. Nomenclature is a source of perpetual confusion with respect to the Congo.  Not only has the country changed names several times, this is also true of other places and personalities.  For the purposes of this article, unless otherwise specified, the country variously known as: the Congo Free State, the Belgian Congo, The Congo, Zaire and The Democratic Republic of The Congo will be referred to as the Congo.  Congo’s southern province, Katanga, was renamed Shaba by President Mobutu in 1971, and the capital was renamed from Leopoldville to Kinshasa.

  2. Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), p. 8.

  3. Winsome J. Leslie, Zaire: Continuity and Political Change in an Oppressive State, (Oxford: Westview Press, 1993), pp. 5-8.

  4. Hochschild, p.16.

  5. Ibid., p.15.

  6. The slave trade that was internal to Africa, and the export of slaves to the east, continued long after the formal abolition of slavery by European nations. For example, see, David N. Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and US Policy in The Congo Crisis, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), pp. 38-39.

  7. For a description of these manoeuvres, see Hochschild, pp. 21-87.

  8. Leslie, p. 10.

  9. The “haunting” of the Congo and the history of Leopold’s rule are vividly described in Hochschild. 

  10. For a discussion of this period see, Jean van den Bosch, Pré-Zaïre: Le Cordon mal coupé, (Bruxelles: Le CRI, 1986).

  11. Ghana, the former British colony of Gold Coast, became an independent state in March 1957.

  12. Gibbs, pp. 74-75.

  13. For a discussion of Belgian government ideas, initiatives and intentions see, A.A.J. Van Bilsen, Vers L’indépendence du Congo et du Ruanda-Urundi, (Kinshasa: Presse Universitaire du Zaïre, 1977).

  14. Alan James, Peacekeeping in International Politics, (London: MacMillan Academic and Professional Ltd., 1990), p. 291.

  15. The speed of the transition from colonial rule to independence has been routinely blamed for a significant part of the Congo’s early difficulties. For an example of a particularly charged polemic, see Jean-Grégoire Kalonda Djessa, Du Congo Prospère au Zaïre en Débâcle, (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1991), pp. 158-159.

  16. Arthur Lee Burns and Nina Heathcote, Peace-Keeping by UN Forces: From Suez to Congo, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1963), p. 249.  Over the next four years, the United Nations force in the Congo grew to a strength of over 20,000 troops, and became actively involved in military operations in support of the government, quite in contravention of the original mandate’s direction that force was only to be used in self-defence.

  17. James, p. 295. For a discussion of ethnic and nationalist sentiment in Katanga, see Edouard Bustin, Luanda Under Belgian Rule: The Politics of Ethnicity, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), pp. 236-238.

  18. As with the country as a whole, Mobutu’s name is a source of confusion.  At the time of independence, he was known as Colonel Joseph Desire Mobutu.  After his takeover of power in 1961 he was commonly referred to as General Mobutu.  His assumption of dictatorial power in 1965 led to his adoption of the title of prime minister, amended in 1970 to president.  In 1972, he changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko.

  19. James, p. 295.

  20. For example, the Soviets accused the UN Secretariat of “[...] acting with the deliberate intent of ousting Lumumba [...].” Ibid.

  21. Ibid., p. 296.

  22. Burns, pp. 254-255. 

  23. James, p. 297.  See also the view that, “Secession collapsed, not because of a torrent of words from the African states, but because of the perseverance of the United Nations, whose main support – against British and French equivocations – was the United States, notably Ambassador Edmund Gullion, and the liberal American press, that buttressed an exasperated Kennedy against the doubts and hesitations of Dean Rusk, Averill Harriman, and many others.” Russell Warren Howe, “Man and Myth in Political Africa” in Foreign Affairs: An American Quarterly Review, Apr (1968), p. 596.

  24. None of the permanent members of the Security Council contributed combat troops.  James, p. 292.

  25. This in spite of Soviet wariness regarding Lumumba’s character, which, “[...] was markedly on the left, but his chameleon-like nature detracted from his appeal as a potential ally [of the Soviet Union].” Ibid., p. 294.

  26. This view is based to a considerable degree upon  Stephen R. Weissman, American Foreign Policy in the Congo 1960-1964, (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1974).

  27. James, p. 294.

  28. Rupert Emerson, “American Policy in Africa,” in Foreign Affairs: An American Quarterly Review, January 1962, p. 303.

  29. Arnold Rivkin, “Lost Goals in Africa,” in Foreign Affairs: An American Quarterly Review, October 1965, pp. 111-126.

  30. Rivkin, p. 113.  For an alternative view of American orientation, see David Louis Cingranelli, Ethics, American Foreign Policy and the Third World, (New York: St. Martin’s Press Inc., 1993), pp. 155-56.

  31. .  The pro-Western elements in Angola also included the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) and units of the South African Defence Force (SADF)

  32. Crawford Young and Thomas Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State, (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), p. 254.

  33. Washington Post, 25 March 1977. Quoted in Young and Turner, p. 256.

  34. Ibid.

  35. Ibid.

  36. Ibid., p.  258.

  37. This “inter-African peacekeeping force,” was composed of 1500 Moroccan troops, with token elements from Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Gabon, and the Central African Republic. All the countries in the force had close ties with France and with President Mobutu. Young, The Rise and Decline, 258.

  38. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Zaire, July 1982, 97th Congress, 2nd Session, p 5.  Quoted in Young and Turner, p. 268.

  39. For details see Ibid., p. 298.

  40. For details see Ibid., p. 296.

  41. Leslie, pp. 294-325. 

  42. The long-term effects of the events of 1994-1996 in Rwanda are beyond the scope of this article. However, there is little doubt that these events contributed to the general instability that led to the overthrow of Mobutu, the assassination of President Laurent Kabila, and the continuing and complex civil and international war in the Congo.

  43. This number is the UN estimate of deaths during the period 1998-2003 alone.

  44. So described in 2010 by the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallstrom.

  45. This speech was made at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946. Churchill was not prime minister at the time, having been defeated in the 1945 general election. Thomas G. Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, and Kenneth J. Hagan, American Foreign Relations: A History since 1895, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000), p. 237.

  46. X, “Zaire: The Sources of Soviet Conduct” in Foreign Affairs: An American Quarterly Review, July 1947, pp. 566-582.

  47. Only the island of Taiwan remained under the control of the nationalist Kuomintang government.

  48. President Bush’s “new world order” speech may be found in “Address to Congress on Persian Gulf Crisis,” 11 September 1990, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, George Bush, 1990 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991), Book II, pp. 1218-1222.

  49. Paul F. Diehl, International Peacekeeping, (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), p. 190.

  50. Michael Mandelbaum, “Foreign Policy as Social Work,” in Foreign Affairs, January 1996, p.1.


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