In 1976, United States Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger conducted a series of intricate, multiparty negotiations in Southern Africa to persuade white Rhodesian leader Ian Smith to accede to black majority rule. Conducted near the end of President Gerald Ford’s term in office, against substantial U.S. domestic opposition, Kissinger’s efforts culminated in Smith’s public announcement that he would accept majority rule within two years. This set the stage for the later Lancaster House negotiations which resulted in the actual transition to black majority rule. The account in this working paper carefully describes — but does not analyze nor draw lessons from — these challenging negotiations. Forthcoming papers will provide analysis and derive general insights from Kissinger’s negotiations to end white minority rule in Rhodesia.
James K. Sebenius, R. Nicholas Burns, Robert H. Mnookin, L. Alexander Green. "Henry Kissinger: Negotiating Black Majority Rule in Southern Africa." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP16-059, December 9, 2016.