Elizabeth Schmidt

in The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199236961
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History


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This chapter examines the impact of the Cold War on Africa. It explains that while Africa is the least-known Cold War battleground, the United States, the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba became embroiled in the internal affairs of countless African countries. The chapter analyzes the ideologies, practices, and interests of these main external actors and describes the four major arenas of conflict that are representative of broad trends in Cold War intervention in Africa. It also discusses how the Cold War altered the dynamics of local struggles, created unprecedented levels of destruction and widespread instability, and contributed to many of the problems that plague Africa today.

Keywords: Cold War; Africa; United States; Soviet Union; China; Cuba; local struggles; destruction; widespread instability

Article.  9612 words. 

Subjects: History ; Cold War ; African History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945)

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