South Africa and the United States: The Declassified History

A National Security Archive Documents Reader

South Africa and the United States:
The Declassified History

Edited by Kenneth Mokoena

Foreword by Prof. Donald Rothchild, University of California, Davis

Preface by Randall Robinson, Executive Director, TransAfrica

A National Security Archive Documents Reader

Published by W.W. Norton & Co.

Hardcover: ISBN 1-56584-081-X

[Overview]   [Sample Document Titles & Documents]   [Ordering Information]


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.

Sample Document Titles & Documents

Click on Icon next to a title to view the document.

"Arms Policy and South Africa," memorandum for Secretary of State Rusk, July 12, 1963

"Our Public Diplomacy Initiative: The Theoretical Framework," memorandum for Assistant Secretary of State Chester Crocker, August 26, 1985

 "Rhodesia-A Proposed Course of Action," action memorandum for Secretary of State Kissinger, April 1, 1976

"Your Meeting with Gromyko: South Africa Nuclear Issue," memorandum for Secretary of State Vance, September 21, 1977

"The 22 September 1979 Event," Director of Central Intelligence memorandum (regarding suspected nuclear explosion off South African coast), ca. December 1979

"SOUTH AFRICA: Missile Activity," Defense Intelligence Agency Special Assessment, July 5, 1989

 "United States Policy Toward Angola," National Security Decision Directive 274, May 7, 1987

"Subversive Elements in South Africa," CIA report, May 10, 1963

"The June 22 NR Summit in Zaire," cable from Secretary of State Baker, June 24, 1989

"Suspension of the U.S. Liaison Office in Namibia," information memorandum, February 7, 1986

 "Your Call on President and Field Marshall Samora Machel of Mozambique," memorandum for Secretary of State Weinberger, September 19, 1985

"Meeting With UNITA Leader Jonas Savimbi, February 6, 1986, 6:30PM-7:00PM," memorandum for Secretary of State Shultz, February 5, 1986

Ordering Information

For ordering information on this book, and other National Security Archive documents readers, call W.W. Norton & Co. at:

800-233-4830 (U.S.)
717-346-2029 (Outside U.S.)

Return to National Security Archive Documents Readers.