The Brezhnev Doctrine in Action:

  • 2013

The Brezhnev Doctrine in Action:

Soviet Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa 1967-1989
Author:
William Bartleson
Abstract:

During the 1970s, sub-Saharan Africa became a premier Cold War theater for overt and clandestine military operations. Mirroring their actions in previous theaters, the Soviet Union committed manpower, material, and money to the region in an effort to bring the emerging powers of the region south of the Sahara Desert into their camp. The Soviet refocusing on Southern Africa was a marked reversal of previous Soviet policy, which had avoided significant commitment to the region. Why was there a dramatic increase in the Soviet presence in and drive for influence in Tropical Africa during this period? This paper will argue that the increase in Soviet activity in sub-Saharan Africa during the 1970s was a direct result of the 1968 "Brezhnev Doctrine," which initiated proactive Soviet ideological, economic, and military initiatives throughout the Third World. However, Soviet policies in sub-Saharan Africa were confused and often contradictory, resulting ultimately to the collapse of Soviet presence in the region during the 1980s.