OPTIONS AND SCENARIOS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN ACTIONS AGAINST ITS NEIGHBORS

Created: 7/14/1986

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Options and Scenarios for South African Actions Against Its Neighbors

South Africa's economic and military dominance of the region provides itroad range of options for actions against its neighbors. man> of which it has exercised repeatedly. Pretoria's regional policy under State Presidentotha, who cameowerS afterears as Defense Minister, has been especially prone to coercive measures, ranging from "economic pinpricks" such as recently restricted supplies of lubricants for Zimbabwean dieselsull-fledged support for Angolan insurgents. This memorandum:

enu of South African economic and military options for each of Pretoria's neighbors, with actions listed in order of severity, including the probable impact or, the country, the country's probable response, and an estimate, where possible, of the costs to the United States and the West ofountry for damage.

Formulates several scenarios, startingaseline assessment, that project Pretoria's probable regional reaction to alternative US and Western initiatives toward South Africa, indicates the options and targets the South Africans are likely to choose, and assesses the impact on US and Western interests.

Outlines briefly our understanding of the genera! priorities and factors that affect Pretoria's policies toward its neighbors.

We begin by examining the forces that affect Pretoria's calculus, reflecting our judgment that the evolving crisis inside the country has caused Pretoria to take an increasingly demanding and coercive stance in the region.

Section I

The View From Pretoria

doubt tha: South Africa proceeds within the region from any "grand strategy" but rather beiseve that leaders in Pretoria react to events and seize opportunities as they present themselves. Nevertheless, ihe Botha government's decisions on dealing wiih individual black states appearallramework of general objectives and priorities. We believe, however, tha: several key factors, many of them reflecting domestic political conditions, critically affect how Pretoria implements its regional poiiC>

Attacking Anti-South African insurgents. Pretoria's hostilityeighborirectly influenced by the extent to which itis perceived toAfrican National Congress iANCi. the South-West Africa People's Organizationnd the Pan-Africanist

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Congressretoria appears determined io attack ihese groups' exiemai links, eiiher by forcing

its neighbors to crack down on their activities or, as appears io be ihe case more recently, taking

direct acnon themselves to crush what they see as outside subversives. We believe theretrong

psychological dimension driving this prime objective of South Africar regional policy: since

Preterit's suspicions about its black neighbors reflect its severe anxieties about its black majority, no

independent biack state, except possibly Swaziland, can ever do enough toy Pretoria's demands

or. ihe ANC issue. Ever. Botswana's determined, albeit unsuccessful, en oris to eliminate!

activity within its borders has *on it littie relief from South African sabe; rattling, assassination

teams, and cross-border raids. The Botha government, moreover, has often piayed to white

over rising domestic unrest, recent ANC atiacks. or the "too rapid" pace of

attacking ANC facilities across its borders or punishing its neighbors for their actual or

putative support for [he ANC^^H

Maintaining Regional Supremacy. Pretoria's profound skepticism about the longer term possibility of peaceful coexistence with neighboring black states, in our judgment, has led it toecond major regional priority: keeping itsthose it regards as mostand dependent.aintained its status is the region's superpower by-creating instability and dependency throughout southerr. Africa: by backing insurgencies and dissidents in Angola. Mozambique. Zimbabwe, and Lesotho: by its ready use of economic and transportation leverage to undercut regional efforts to reduce the dependence of black-ruled states on South Africa; and by conducting cover, operations, such as2 attack on Zimbabwe's Thornbill Airbase. that preemp; challenges to South African power. Pretoria's reaipoiitik regional policy is reinforced, in our judgment,eeply rooted belief lhat. in order to maintain power over an increasingly restive biack majority, Pretoria must demand respectful behavior from itseighbors For example, normally compliant Botswana's close security liaison relationship with South Africa still falls short of Pretoria's desireormai security pact. Most white South Africans, including th: often prickly State President, also appear particularly sensitive to verba! and diplomatic slights from neighboring countries. We suspect tha: the ruling Afrikaner's traditional need to show who is "baas" will increasingly be acted out on its black-ruled neighbors as Pretoria's frustration with its inability to suppress domestic unrest grows J

The Racial Struggle in South Africa. As our preceding analysis suggests, we believe that white attitudes and perspectives formed during three centuries of white minority rule and now under increasing pressure from the black majority are critica',redicting Pretoria's future regional moves. Some white South Africans undoubtedly remain unrepentant racial supremacists who find the though! of sharing politicalalone livingystem based on politicalunihmxabie: others clearly recognize lhat the "numbers'" are against them and tha: whites must move io accommodate black aspirations. White South Africans of all political persuasions, however, haveearedociety buill on racial dominance, intensified pressure from growing black unrest and deepening international isolation, in our view, wii! sharper, divisions among whites, strengthen polarizing tendencies thai fuel both rightwing extremism and white emigration, and cause Pretoria lo follow more reactive, emotional, and seemingly irrational foreign policies. The growing siegen Pretoria reinforces the independent Afrikaners' traditional preferencego-it-alone" strategy and is likely toore unconstrained iransference of white anxieties and impulses into harsh actions against its black neiehhors 0BJJJJJ

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Attitude Toward the West. In [his climate, ihe while South Africans" long-held love-hate relationship with the West is likely to intensify. On the one hand, whites identify with the Western. Christian, and democratic values, often pointing with pride lo particular paralleis between their country and the United States. On the other hand, they strongly resen: Western opposition to apartheid, frequently dismissing il as hypocritical meddling in their internal affairs. Nevertheless, we believe that the Botha government has often recognized the tactical utility of cooperating with the W'est. such as when Pretoria shifted from its tough, coercive posture2 anc mostc its participation in- in US-brokered diplomatic accords with Mozambique and Angola. However, these periods of relativeconcerns over possible Western reaction have sometimes restrained Pretoria's hand with itshave been short isved. As unrealistic South African expecnons about the West's tolerance for apartheid are dashed in the wake of Western public reactionew outburst of domestic turmoil. Pretoria has tended to swing drastically in the other direction,efiant, hostile, anti-Western stance. In this mode. South Africa has often appeared intent on attacking its neighbors to spite the West, rather than simply in spite of Western

Southin the Laager. Our reading of the principles and factors affecting South Africa's regional policy suggests that Pretoria is now on an increasingly harsh tack against itsin tbe absence of further "Wesierft provocations" (lhat is. sanctions) or "Western meddling" (that is.espite its imposition in Juneationwide siaie of emergency and the estimated detention of welllack activists and leaders, domestic unrest shows no signs of abating. ANC attacks are increasing, becoming more indiscriminate, and beginning tociaim white casualties. At the same time. Pretoria must contend with political challenges from an increasingly strident white right wing and harsher antiapartheid rhetoric from South African blacks and neighboring states. South .Africa feels pressed on all sides at home. Last year's imposition of iimitcd sanctions by the United States and the politically inspired run on the rand tha: forced Pretoria toebt moratoriumew wave of hostility toward the West and the United States in particular. In our judgment, ihese trends are likely to persist and all suggest that Pretoria will choose liberally from its broad lisi of economic and military options for attacks on its neighbors.

Section II

South African Economic and Military Options Against Its Neighbors

South Africa's range of economic and military options is organized by country and ordered roughly by degree of severity. For each option,eries of text tables thai follow, we haye estimated its impact or the recipient and the likely response that the affected country mayn some cases, where practical, we have tried to gauge what it might cost the West to take remedial action, largely through direct compensation. We have not attempted an assessment of US choices in the face of each South African option since they range from public condemnations through various partial compensation measures to replacement inubject too complex and unwieldy to be treated in these tables. I

v-'t reroenize ihu South Africa has numerous small economicpinpricks'* as itthat are primarily aimed at irritating the recipient without inflicting significant damage These measures are subsumed within Dreader categories Such measures include delaying or misrouiins rolling stock, special luC'icanls. anc jet uel

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Section iii

Scenarios

Our set nan os for probable South African actions towarc its neighbors beginaselinemel> our readingouth Afriia deep in lbs iaage' and gircing itself for fairly strong sanctions. The scenario briefly sketches the principal factors affecting Pretoria's regxna "policies,actical assessment of those options Pretoria is likely to or could take, and evaluates their implications for US and Western interests. We then provide three acditiona) scenarios intended to gauge differences in probabie South African reactions to alternative US/Western initiatives to South Africa

In the event the United States and the European Community adopt limned sanctions. South Africa's reaction may be relatively restrained, limited to some economic muscie flexing. The passage of only limited sancuocs might reawaken Pretoria to the benefits of tactical coopers uor. wuh the West, possiblyoderating impact or, its dealings with its neighoorj

In the event that the United States imposes strong unilateral sanctions, while the United Kingdom and the EC adoptimned package. South Africa's ire probably will be reflected in anti-US actions, both at its presence in South .Africa and at countries involved in US initiatives.

In the event that the United States and its alliesomprehensive package that combines limited sanctions and positive programs reaching out to black South Africans and the black-ruled states ir southern .Africa, we believe that South Africa's resentment over Western interference and attempts to reduce Pretoria's regional supremacy will overwhelm its relief at escaping strong sanctions, leading Pretoria io exercise options that would undermine new Western initiatives

Percent of Electric Power from South Africa

TAB 6:

SUHKARY. STRATEGIC MINERALS POSITION

The Commerce Department has assessed the consequences. decision not to'purchase various South African metals. Four metal products were evaluated: the platinum group metalshromium, ferrochromium and manganese. Given the numerous alternate sources of South Africa's otherxports,'changes of purchasers were assumed to be possible without significant price impact. South African mineral production was also assumed to continue at present levels.

Platinur- Gross Metals

A switch from South African dominated PGM to an all non-South African PGM pattern could: require the United States to purch.aie.noBe0 million of PGM metals frm the Soviet Onion annually;ap0 ounces. rhodium requirements and the amount of Soviet rhodium available for purchase;an on foreign car imports (for they could contain South African PGM in their catalyticnd cause the Clean Air Act to be suspended (there would not be enough non-south African PGM available to equip. manufactured cars with converters).

Chromium

Were the United states not to purchase South African chromium, the immediate to short-term consequences would be little more than shifting to one of several alternative non-South African suppliers. Only over the longer0 and increasingly as weill the consequences become significant. manufacturers. During thoseears, the other chrome producers will have come to the end of their reserves and the only country with reserves leftsufficent to last tot centurywill bt South Africa.

Ferrochror-iur. and Manganese

Forand manganese, the added costs of manufacturing each ton of steal are estimatedespectively. An extensive network of bilateral agreements may be necessary to assure that no foreign produced steel or steel product containing South African chromium, ferrochromium or manganese would bt allowed into the United States. There could, lastly,oncurrent technological coat. steel producers, who would be forced to revert to using out-dated and costlier low-carbon ferrochromium produced by the non-South African ferrochrome producers.

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