ANGOLA: A Tiger at the Back Door

"Congress has turned Ford's water off. South Africa has pulled out. UNITA is forced to fight not only the M.P.L.A. and the Cubans up front but a miserable bunch of F.N.L.A. cowards from behind. Any help from mercenaries will be too little and too late. The game is just about over." Allowing for a bit of hyperbole, that dour summation of the Angolan civil war last week by an American diplomat in Nairobi was fairly close to the mark.

No one was yet conceding defeat—or, for that matter, claiming victory. For one thing,...