17: Good Guys, Bad Guys: 1967-1978 | Cold War

Under Détente the superpowers continued their rivalry, but carefully avoided direct conflict by courting allies in the developing world. Israel moved closer to the United States after the Six-Day War, while Egypt erratically maintained its ties with the USSR. During the subsequent Yom Kippur War the United States reluctantly supplied aid to Israel, but when it became apparent the Egyptian Army was on the verge of destruction the Soviet Union threatened to intervene. The United States held its ground, brought the two warring sides to the negotiating table, and demonstrated it was the preeminent power in the Middle East. In Angola the Cuban-backed People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) manages to retain power, staving off attacks from the Central Intelligence Agency-backed National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), the South African-backed National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and foreign mercenaries. Cuba also intervenes in the Ogaden War, defending Marxist Ethiopia from Somalia. Interviewees include Saad El Shazly, Abba Eban, Simcha Dinitz, Holden Roberto, Pik Botha and Jimmy Carter. The pre-credits scene shows a group of Africans watching a film possibly about Communism, with the narrator noting American fears of Soviet expansionism in the post-colonial world.

Clip Info
  • Clip length: 46'25''
  • Broadcast year: 1998
Curriculum Connection
  • History | The Cold War

Licence: ERA Licence required


UK only
Staff and students of licensed education establishments only
Cannot be adapted

  • Provider: BBC
  • Channel: BBC Two
  • Programme: Cold War
  • Episode: 17: Good Guys, Bad Guys: 1967-1978