COLD WAR ADAPTATION MECHANISMS OF WEST AFRICAN STATES IN 1960S-1980S
In the wake of independence in 1950s-1960s, the States of West Africa faced the need to choose a foreign policy course under the regional confrontation between Western and socialist countries. For the newly independent countries key issues were relations with their former colonizers, willingness to cooperate with them or the desire to escape their influence, as well as a military and political presence. In addition, West African countries had to choose the degree and format of cooperation with the socialist bloc, depending on the ideological orientation towards the USSR, the United States or the non-alignment policy. Matters of regional and sub-regional leadership ambitions were also highly important. Conversely, despite the commonality of devel-
opment and independence issues, West African countries chose very different strategies in the context of the Cold War. The chosen course depended on the conditions of independence, as well as the availability of resources and regional ambitions. Ivory Coast and Senegal preferred to maintain close military, economic and political ties with France and enjoy its support in regional leadership ambitions. This limited their ties with the USSR and other socialist countries. Liberia in its turn pursued consistent pro-US foreign policy in the 1960s and 1980s, acting as a regional ally in the struggle against communist influence. Guinea, having gained independence before the rest of the French colonies in 1958, found itself in a confrontation with France so its leader-
ship chose to closely cooperate with the USSR. Ghana also actively cooperated with the USSR in the 1960s to promote pan-Africanism and its own regional ambitions. Sierra Leone, on the other hand, pursued a course of pragmatic cooperation and receiving assistance from all major international players, in practice implementing the principles of non-alignment. In general Cold War strategies relevant to small countries used in West Africa attracted presence of external powers and determined their further development and security risks.