World War II changed Ethiopia’s place in the world, making it suddenly valuable to the larger powers in a way that it had never been in the past. Haile Selassie used this to his advantage, working diligently throughout the 1940s to convince the U.S. government that he and his nation could be valuable allies. Growing tensions with the Soviet Union and the presence of an Italian-made radio surveillance base in Asmara played right into his hands, ensuring that he remained in control of Ethiopia and that Ethiopia remained in control of Eritrea. The Cold War altered Haile Selassie’s fate, securing his status as emperor. Influential in both Africa and the Middle East, Ethiopia suddenly mattered in Washington.
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