War potentials of the African States south of the Sahara

This study assesses the capabilities of the sub-Saharan states to conduct a prolonged campaign against the Southern African states. It casts doubt on their capacity to achieve freedom of action in a prolonged campaign against Southern Africa. The geography and topography favour the Southern countries unless the attackers acquire highly mobile balanced forces. Presently, these forces are unequal to the task, without the aircraft, armour and artillery which could give them freedom of action. They lack the means of moving against the South, and the situation is unlikely to change. The economies of the sub-Saharan states could not sustain conventional war, and it is also hindered by a lack of educated personnel and insufficient officers. Internal and external political, religious and tribal differences also prevent international and national unity for combining the forces of Africa. There is little reason to expect a sub-Saharan military force to operate successfully against Southern Africa. The best the sub-Saharan countries can do in the foreseeable future is to train guerrillas, which is not easy, but the seriousness of the threat must be considered in the light of the possible establishment of a subversive political organisation, but until that happens, a guerrilla campaign is not sustainable in Southern Africa. It is not of itself decisive and rely on conventional intervention. The sub-Saharan states are not yet ready for this, although it is not inconceivable that aid may come in the form of pre-emptive invasion by one of the great powers.