Senator Nancy Kassebaum on American African policies

This background briefing contains the text of an article by Senator Nancy Kassebaum which appeared in the Washington Star of 10 June 1981, as well as the text of an interview with Senator Kassebaum which appeared in the July-August issue of Africa Report. The Washington Star article describes the false, but widespread, belief among political commentators that the election signalled American acquiescence to apartheid in South Africa. However, Republicans stand for principles that directly contradict apartheid. The belief that Republicans sympathize with apartheid comes from a journalistic lethargy that accepts labels like ‘conservative’ at face value. Such labels are misleading, especially in the case of South Africa. During the interview with Africa Report, Senator Kassebaum answered questions related to what she hoped to achieve by accepting the subcommittee assignment, what her position is on the difference within the foreign affairs community between those who interpret international developments in terms of US-Soviet rivalry and those who see it as only one factor, how the issue affects United States policy toward Africa, whether the US should do more to help African refugees, if aid should be increased for Africa, if the US should help African states to counter Libya’s role, whether the United States should promote change in South Africa, what the American attitude should be toward the Savimbi insurgency and the MPLA government in Angola, and if she would support a policy of confrontation in the Horn of Africa.