The Ford administration, Angola and the perception of Post-Vietnam US credibility, 1974-1976

dc.check.embargoformatBoth hard copy thesis and e-thesisen
dc.check.entireThesisEntire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.infoIndefinite embargoen
dc.check.reasonThis thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this materialen
dc.contributor.advisorRyan, Daviden
dc.contributor.authorO'Sullivan, Steven
dc.contributor.funderDepartment of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Irelanden
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is a study of how the Gerald Ford administration struggled to address a perceived loss of US credibility after the collapse of Vietnam, with a focus on the role of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the formulation, implementation and subsequent defence of US Angolan policy. By examining the immediate post-Vietnam period, this thesis shows that Vietnam had a significant impact on Kissinger’s actions on Angola, which resulted in an ill conceived covert operation in another third world conflict. In 1974, Africa was a neglected region in Cold War US foreign policy, yet the effects of the Portuguese revolution led to a rapid decolonization of its African territories, of which Angola was to become the focus of superpower competition. After South Vietnam collapsed in April 1975, Kissinger became fixated on restoring the perceived loss of US prestige, Angola provided the first opportunity to address this. Despite objections from his advisors, Kissinger methodically engineered a covert program to assist two anti-Marxist guerrilla groups in Angola. As the crisis escalated, the media discovered the operation and the Congress decided to cease all funding. A period of heated tensions ensued, resulting in Kissinger creating a new African policy to outmanoeuvre his critics publicly, while privately castigating them to foreign leaders. This thesis argues that Kissinger’s dismissal of internal dissent and opposition from the Congress was influenced by what he perceived as bureaucrats being affected by the Vietnam syndrome, and his obsession with restoring US credibility. By looking at the private and public records – as expressed in government meetings and official reports, US newspaper and television coverage and diplomatic cables – this thesis addresses the question of how the lessons of Vietnam failed to influence Kissinger’s actions in Angola, but the lessons of Angola were heavily influential in the construction of a new US-African policy.en
dc.description.sponsorshipDepartment of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Ireland (Glucksman Fellowship)en
dc.description.statusNot peer revieweden
dc.description.versionAccepted Version
dc.identifier.citationO'Sullivan, S. 2013. The Ford administration, Angola and the perception of Post-Vietnam US credibility, 1974-1976. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.en
dc.publisherUniversity College Corken
dc.rights© 2013, Steven O'Sullivan.en
dc.subjectHenry Kissingeren
dc.subjectFord Administrationen
dc.subjectNathaniel Davisen
dc.subjectAngolan Civil Waren
dc.subjectUS credibilityen
dc.subjectAfrican Bureauen
dc.subjectSub-Saharan Africaen
dc.subjectVietnam syndromeen
dc.subjectClark amendmenten
dc.subjectTunney amendmenten
dc.subjectUS Post-Vietnam foreign policyen
dc.titleThe Ford administration, Angola and the perception of Post-Vietnam US credibility, 1974-1976en
dc.typeDoctoral thesisen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD (Arts)en
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
Thumbnail Image
5.62 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission
Thumbnail Image
E-mail Communication.txt
3.42 KB
Plain Text
E-mail communication