NOI.org COINTELPRO Reading RoomNATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEMORANDUM-46MARCH 17, 1978Presidential Review Memorandum NSCM/46TO: The Secretary of State The Secretary of Defense The Director of Central Intelligence
Objective of our policy toward Black Africa is to prevent social upheavals which could radically change the political situation throughout the area. The success or failure of our policy in the region depends on the solution international
and internal issues whose importance of the United States is on the increase.
II. A. U.S. INTERESTS IN BLACK AFRICA
A multiplicity of interests influences the U.S. attitude toward black Africa. The most important of these interests can be summarized as follows:
If black African states assume attitudes hostile to the U.S. national interest, our policy toward the white regimes; which is a key element in our relations with the black states, may be subjected by the latter to great pressure for fundamental change. Thus the West may face a real danger of being deprived of access to the enormous raw material resources of southern Africa which are vital for our defense needs as well as losing control over the Cape sea routes by which approximately 65% of Middle Eastern oil is supplied to Western Europe.
Moreover, such a development may bring about internal political difficulties by intensifying the activity of the black movement in the United States itself.
It should also be borne in mind that black Africa is an integral part of a continent where tribal and regional discord, economic backwardness, inadequate infrastructures, drought, and famine, are constant features of the scene. In conjunction with the artificial borders imposed by the former colonial powers, guerilla warfare in Rhodesia and widespread indignation against apartheid in South Africa, the above factors provide the communist states with ample opportunities for furthering their aims. This must necessarily redound to the detriment of U.S. political interests.
Black Africa is increasingly becoming an outlet for U.S. exports and investment. The mineral resources of the area continue to be of great value for the normal functioning of industry in the United States and allied countries. In 1977, U.S. direct investment in black Africa totaled about $1.8 billion and exports $2.2 billion. New prospect of substantial profits would continue to develop in the countries concerned.
IV. BLACK AFRICA AND THE U.S. BLACK MOVEMENT
Apart from the above-mentioned factors adverse to U.S. strategic interests, the nationalist liberation movement in black Africa can act as a catalyst with far reaching effects on the American black community by stimulating its organizational consolidation and by inducing radical actions. Such a result would be likely as Zaire went the way of Angola and Mozambique