In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Journal of Cold War Studies 8.2 (2006) 1-2

[Access article in PDF]

Editor's Note

This issue begins with a detailed article by Piero Gleijeses on Cuba's policy in Africa from 1975 to 1988. The central Cuban archives in Havana are off-limits to almost everyone (whether from Cuba or from abroad), but Gleijeses somehow managed to obtain access to large collections of Cuban documents from the whole Cold War period and has supplemented them with materials from U.S. archives and the former East German archives. Gleijeses is currently working on a book about Cuban policy in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s—a sequel to his 2002 monograph, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, published by the University of North Carolina Press. After the new book appears, all the documents he cites here will be made generally available. That way, other scholars will be able to retrace and check his research. Even before that, however, the lengthy passages Gleijeses quotes from key Cuban (and U.S. and East German) documents will give other scholars a wealth of untapped material about Cuban policy in Africa and U.S.-Cuban relations. I was particularly struck by Gleijeses's account of the meeting between Cuban and Angolan leaders in March 1984, a month after Angola had signed the Lusaka accord with South Africa. The Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, was deeply annoyed by the Lusaka agreement, and he did not conceal his irritation when addressing his guests. The transcript of his remarks, cited almost in full by Gleijeses, underscores the hierarchical nature of the Cuban-Angolan relationship. Although Gleijeses depicts Cuban policy in a much more favorable light than I would, the documentary evidence he adduces is fascinating. The quoted passages in his article will be an invaluable resource for other scholars, including those who disagree with some of Gleijeses's interpretations.

The next article, by William Odom, explains how U.S. military operations in the Gulf region and Southwest Asia after the Cold War depended on programs launched many years earlier by the Carter administration. Although the United States did not establish a unified command structure for the region before Jimmy Carter left office, the origins of the U.S. Central Command lie in key decisions made in 1979 and 1980. Odom's account is based in part on archival documentation and in part on his own recollections and papers from his time as a senior national security official in the late 1970s and 1980s. He outlines the conceptual, bureaucratic, and foreign dimensions of the story, showing how the National Security Council staff sought to overcome the many obstacles that arose both in Washington and abroad.

The third article, by Hal Brands, shows how U.S. policy on nuclear nonproliferation changed significantly during the administration of Lyndon Johnson. When Johnson came to office in late 1963, the United States was still supporting a Multilateral Force (MLF) that would have entailed the sharing of nuclear command authority with [End Page1] West European allies. The growing problems besetting the MLF proposal in 1964, China's detonation of a nuclear bomb in October 1964, and a number of other factors induced Johnson to set up a special committee in November 1964 under Roswell Gilpatric to reexamine U.S. nonproliferation strategy and to recommend new policies that could halt the spread of nuclear weapons. The committee recommended major changes in U.S. strategy, urging the administration to deemphasize (and if necessary forsake) the MLF, to adopt a mixture of incentives and penalties to discourage countries from acquiring nuclear weapons, and to pursue a formal Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) with cooperation from the Soviet Union. The committee's report proved controversial within the administration, especially at the State Department, where many officials still backed the MLF and were wary of enlisting Moscow's support for an NPT. But Johnson himself soon endorsed the report and implemented a number of its key recommendations. Although the administration's new strategy did not go as far as Gilpatric had hoped, it did mark a far-reaching shift in U.S. efforts to prevent the spread...