Changing a Pretoria Guard

As racial conflicts worsen in South Africa, the Reagan Administration continues to cast about for ways to reshape its policy of "constructive engagement," which has attempted to coax and cajole the country into making changes in apartheid. Apparently, the White House is nearing a decision on an appointment that could deeply affect that policy: the U.S. ambassadorship to Pretoria. Herman Nickel, who has held that post for four years and played an important role as the local spokesman for constructive engagement, will reportedly step down by the end of the month.

Late last week Washington's foreign policy community was abuzz with...

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