Influence Of Public Opinion On The United States' Foreign Policy In Nigeria During The Nigeria-Biafran War, 1967-1970
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
ProgramMaster of Arts
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The American public was galvanized by the media depiction of tragic deaths and massive starvations in Biafra during the Nigeria-Biafra War. This situation was caused by malnutrition following the blockade of the rebel territory by the Nigerian Government. The U.S. activated a neutral policy toward the war by not supporting either of the sides. But the American public's attention was drawn to the war in the summer of 1968, about a year after the war broke out. The media at this time began paying more attention to the war by showing the extent of humanitarian crisis in the war which aroused public outrage and a call for the White House to change policy. By the fall of 1968 to the end of the war in January 1970, U.S. changed its policy of non-involvement and became more involved in the war. The Johnson administration which had seemed reluctant to get involved in the war was forced to abandon its neutral policy to adopt a policy of humanitarian intervention toward the tail end of his administration. Nixon who succeeded Johnson pursued a similar policy of humanitarian intervention in the war with few modifications.