The year 1975 marked the defeat of the Indochina by America, and the subsequent collapse of the Portuguese rule in Southern Africa, more specifically in Portuguese Guinea, Angola, and Mozambique. Consequently, 1975 also marked the year that the Cold War shifted from Asian countries to South African colonies. However, two contrasting paradigms led to the significant shift of the Cold War based on the lessons from Indochina. The Laos and Vietnam wars that lasted over a decade summed some of the most essential lessons for U.S. in its involvement in Indochina. Notwithstanding, the Vietnam war in which the U.S. chose to fight in a traditional way, by allowing hundreds of troops to fight a ground war with local Communist troops led to the escalation of the war to Laos. Consequently, as the war intensified, the troops from the north made their way to the battlefields in the south through the jungles in south Laos. However, America’s objective was to close the route by leading troops against the Communist guerillas in the mountains of northern Laos.
The opposition of the Vietnam war began to mount significant pressure back home, and as a result, the emergence of a proxy war became clear. However, financing a proxy war from public coffers was a difficult task to maintain. Therefore, they had to rely on other supplies such as the sale of drugs to finance the war expenses. Wat more, many historical wars have had robust and long-established links between the drug trade, whether illicit or licit and financing global wars. Similarly, one advantage of the proxy war is that it could be conducted without public scrutiny. The Nixon doctrine which summed up some of the lessons learned by U.S. in the Indochina war stated that the war was successful because of using proxy wars in Laos. One of the core financiers of the war was the trade in opium and Heroin. The British empire had set up official monopolies for cultivating opium in Indian colonies and exporting it to China.
The Nixon strategy was applied in Africa in the period after the Vietnam War. Washington put together a mercenary force made up of mainly Rhodesian and South African whites. Consequently, the mercenary remedy worked quite well, although it left bitter legacies in independent Africa. Ten years later, the American government tried to use the mercenaries in an endeavor to block the militant nationalist movement which failed terribly. The partnership between apartheid South Africa and the US initiated tow primary movements that practiced different forms of politics and terrorism. The formation of “Renamo,” Africa’s first authentic terrorist movement in Unita and Mozambique acted as a counterterrorism operation and was compelled to learn the art of political organization and survival strategies along the way. Renamo was created by the Rhodesian army in the 1970s and later patronized by the South African Defense Forces after the collapse of Rhodesia. Consequently, political terror created a kind of war that had never been experienced before in Africa because it targeted civilian lives significantly. The war led to the blowing up of bridges, mining fields, social institutions, and kidnapping of women and underage children. According to UNICEF, over 300,000 civilians died of causes linked directly or indirectly to the war. Political terror was being used successfully as part of electoral blackmail that could be switched on and off at will.