If the United States and Soviet Union are as cooperative as they claim, Angola's civil war should end. The two superpowers need to get tough with their respective clients, who are not mere puppets and do have their own reasons for pursuing the conflict.
The war began when the Portuguese flag came down in 1975. The government was the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Agostinho Neto. MPLA was really begun by clandestine Communists in the Portuguese colonial service. It won immediate aid from the Soviet Union and Cuba. The U.S. backed two dissident movements, one of which vanished. The other, the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi, had mystical rapport with Western conservatives. It thrived.
That was 15 years ago. The war goes on. The government now led by Eduardo dos Santos is backed by urban intellectuals distant from tribal origins, UNITA by the Ovimbundu people in the south. The government is a bunch of Marxist ideologues far removed from Angolan realities, though their revenue comes from Western oil companies drilling in Cabinda province. UNITA rests on the charismatic appeal of Mr. Savimbi, supported by a grim regime of terror and personality cult.