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South Africa in Namibia (1966–1989)

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Abstract

In a September 1986 interview concerning South Africa’s ongoing war in Namibia, South African Defense Force (SADF) General Georg Meiring observed, “In this long war there are two statements which were accepted in the past but which we have proved to be false. Firstly, that time is always on the side of the terrorists. Wrong. We have been fighting for 20 years, and they (the terrorists) are deteriorating. Secondly, that you can’t win a counterinsurgency war. You can. They are losing here and at the same time we are winning.”1 Three aspects of this statement stand out. The first is simply that the war was already two decades old. Even by the standards of protracted war in this day and age, South Africa’s counterinsurgency campaign in Namibia was protracted. Next, Meiring points to this duration as a sign South Africa was doing something right, that South Africa had proven time could favor the powerful state. And finally, even after 20 years of fighting, he remains confident South Africa is on the path to victory.

Keywords

African National Congress National Party Military Leadership South African Government Portuguese Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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© Shawn T. Cochran 2016

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