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"Buried in the sands of the Ogaden": The United States, the Horn of Africa and the demise of detente.

Woodroofe, Louise Prentis (2007) "Buried in the sands of the Ogaden": The United States, the Horn of Africa and the demise of detente. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The decade of the 1970s, despite representing the era of detente, superficially appeared to be one of Soviet successes and American setbacks. From Vietnam to Angola, the USSR seemed to be gaining Marxist friends in the Third World. Because of this, the Soviet Union wanted the United States to recognize it as an equal power in the world. With such acknowledgement, the Kremlin believed that negotiations to limit the arms race would then be mutually beneficial. On the other hand. President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger interpreted detente as a series of agreements and compromises to draw Moscow into an international system through which the United States could exercise some control over Soviet foreign relations, particularly with the Third World. These differing interpretations would prove to be the inherent flaw of detente and nowhere was this better illustrated than in the conflict in the Horn of Africa in 1974-78. This dissertation aims to trace the responses of the Ford and Carter administrations to events in the Horn of Africa and their ultimate effect on Soviet-American bilateral relations. Through archival research at the Ford and Carter Libraries, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Security Archive, and interviews with key participants, it will discuss the formation of American policy toward the Horn and how disagreements over the region influenced superpower detente, causing President Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, to claim that "SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) lies buried in the sands of the Ogaden." My particular focus will diverge from previous authors in its emphasis on the Horn of Africa conflict being the catalyst that exposed the failure of detente and a decisive element in President Carter's transition from favouring conciliation to choosing confrontation with the Soviet Union.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, African, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International History

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