During the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), France chose to support Biafra, but only on a limited scale, providing mercenaries and obsolete weaponry to Ojukwu’s regime. General Charles de Gaulle’s assistance to Ojukwu was conditioned by the French military drawdown after 1961, the increased power of French secret services on the continent, and the interventions in Katanga (1960–1963), Gabon (1964) and Chad (1968–1972). France supported Biafra primarily to protect its former colonies from Nigeria, stop Soviet subversion and acquire an economic foothold in the oil-rich Niger Delta. De Gaulle chose a limited strategy for two reasons. If Biafra won the war, France would be Biafra’s greatest ally. If Nigeria won the war, France could extricate itself from the situation relatively easily and reestablish relations with the Nigerian government, which is what ultimately occurred.