Search for a Middle Ground

Even through the past two years of turmoil in South Africa, the Reagan Administration has firmly stuck to its policy of "constructive engagement," under which it hopes to nudge Pretoria toward a peaceful end to apartheid by means of "persuasion and pressure." The policy was fashioned by Chester Crocker, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, who continues to be the Administration's troubleshooter for the region.

Recently, however, that hands-off position has seemed more and more insufficient. On the one hand, South Africa's imposition last month of a state of emergency reasserted its absolute indifference to gentle prodding from abroad....

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