Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Military Aid

The British have always struck me as being terribly sensible when it comes to international relations. The British philosophy of international relations is that they have no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, just permanent interests. I was reading Confronting Leviathan: Mozambique Since Independence, and read that the British covertly supported the Mozambiquan communists (during the Cold War, of all times), because they deeply wanted to rid themselves of the albatross that was Rhodesia, and the Mozambiquans were sponsoring the Rhodesian guerillas. Thus, despite being technically allied to Rhodesia, and technically opposed to the Mozambiqueans, it was in their interests to use their "enemies" to rid themselves of "friends". Unlike the United States, which provides military hardware, and then instructors to train them in the use of the military hardware, and then security personnel to protect the instructors, and then air support to protect the security personnel, and then ground forces to protect the air force, and then naval support to supply the ground forces, the British provided the Frelimo government with... uniforms, rations, boots, etc. All necessary for a military organization, but none of which required troops to be pulled in, none of which could be turned into propaganda for the other side, none of which could one day be turned on British troops, should they have to intervene. I think it is actions like this that make me view the British as so very sensible.

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