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American Policymaking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 1996-1999: The Anti-Kabila Bias and the Crushing Neutrality of the Lusaka Accords

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This article examines the development of American policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Why did the U.S. become involved? I argue that Washington’s policy was based in how they framed the conflict. They chose to see it through the prism of Rwandan and Ugandan security needs. The Administration favored the narrative of genocide instead of contemplating a war of “partition and plunder.” This may not be surprising because Washington often privileges a Westphalian approach to security and ignores the role of economic sub-state actors. However, by doing so they exhibited a “crushing neutrality” towards Laurent Kabila.

Affiliations: 1: Penn State Erie, The Behrend College 4701 College Drive, Erie, PA 16563, Email:


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