THE 1977 UNITED STATES ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA: INSTITUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION TO 1997 The institution and implementation of the 1977 mandatory United States arms embargo against South Africa and the impact thereof on relations between the United States and South Africa is investigated in this study. The investigation centers around the objectives of the United States in instituting the arms embargo, whether these objectives were met through the implementation and enforcement of the arms embargo, and whether the South African reaction to the embargo indicates the failure of the embargo to meet its objectives. The relation of the arms embargo to the foreign policy of the United States Government of the day, as well as the impact of the embargo on the South African military industry is discussed. The basis on which the problem statement is built is that close scrutiny of the implementation of the arms embargo would allow one to judge the seriousness that the United States assigned to the objectives of the arms embargo. The main objective of the embargo was to force the South African Government to abandon apartheid. Full compliance with the embargo would demonstrate the commitment of the United States to this objective, while non-compliance would be regarded by critics as a retreat from that objective. The United States’ implementation of the arms embargo would furthermore demonstrate the ability of major arms producers like the United States to reduce the threat of global violence by putting measures in place to successfully block arms and related items from being exported to potential belligerents. In conclusion to the study, it was found that the implementation of the embargo was linked to external objectives of the United States Government of the day. Thus, the strengthening or weakening of arms embargo regulations occurred according to the objectives that the Government of the day wanted to achieve. Nonetheless, the United States’ implementation of the arms embargo was generally very effective. It was also concluded that the arms embargo indeed acted as the main stimulant for the development of the world-renowned South African arms industry. This industry developed out of the determination of the white South African minority Government to remain in power, which in turn resulted in a defiant disregard for the arms embargo. Clandestine activities became the order of the day. These activities later had a major impact on the first democratically elected black government in South Africa. This government inherited a legacy of embargo violations, which led to much tension in relations with the United States in the first few years after the 1994 South African elections. The research therefore also paints a picture of the inherited struggles that the new South African Government had to face as a result of the arms embargo, and the resultant difficulties in normalizing relations with the United States.
Thesis (DPhil (History))--University of Pretoria, 2006.