South Africa and the United States: The Declassified History

south africa usa


South Africa and the United States: The Declassified History, a new publication by the National Security Archive, presents a 350-page compendium of the most important previously secret U.S. documents on the policy decisions, internal debates, and sensitive multilateral negotiations that guided U.S. actions toward the southern African region from 1962 to the present.

The primary source materials in this volume are the result of more than six years of research and use of the Freedom of Information Act aimed at compelling the U.S. government to declassify and release information on the hidden history of relations between the United States and South Africa. Virtually all of these records are published here for the first time.

The documents in the collection include presidential decision directives, CIA intelligence memoranda, State Department analyses, cable traffic between Washington and the embassy in Pretoria, and Defense Department assessments.

Among the many revelations in these pages are details of the Reagan administration’s secret propaganda plan to defuse American congressional support for sanctions; the U.S. role in the development of South Africa’s nuclear weapons capability; and Henry Kissinger’s controversial diplomatic and covert action campaigns throughout the region.

The volume also features concise, highly readable essays on U.S. sanctions policy, nuclear collaboration with Pretoria, and regional affairs. An in-depth chronology and selected glossaries of key players and institutions help to provide context for the documents, and make the reader an ideal text book for students wishing to examine this important issue through the eyes of the decisionmakers in Washington.


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