The US policy in the Horn of Africa during the 1970’s was marked by the constraints posed by the international environment. The twin pillar policy formulated by the Nixon and Kissinger administration and later by the Ford administration was continued in its basic purposes by the Carter administration*. However, Carter’s policy major shift in 1979 – 1980 was not marked by the Soviet support for Ethiopia or the Somali abrogation of the treaty with the Soviets. The U.S. policy making apparatus tended to misunderstand indigenous political changes in the Middle East and particularly in Iran**. In addition, human rights proved a failed attempt to devise an alternative strategy for rallying domestic support and to cope with international community.
Key words: Human rights, cold war, Ogaden, bureaucracy.
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