Title

The Same World Order: ‘Operation Just Cause’ and American Foreign Policy at the End of the Cold War

Presenter

Jack Percival

Abstract

On December 20, 1989, the United States invaded Panama to overthrow and arrest Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega. The invasion, code-named “Operation Just Cause,” was the biggest deployment of U.S. troops since the Vietnam War and represented a turning point in the use of military force. Since Vietnam, American policymakers had been constrained by the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome,” a reluctance to use force in situations in which U.S. national interests are at stake. Moreover, since the end of World War II, U.S. foreign policy had been guided by the prerogatives of the Cold War, with every international conflict framed by a bipolar worldview. I examine the policies of the administration of President George H.W. Bush that led to the invasion of Panama; the impact of the end of the Cold War on the decision to invade; and global implications of that decision for U.S. foreign policy.

Faculty Sponsor

David Schmitz

Sponsor Department/Programs

History

Tracks

Politics of Power

Terms of Use

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Location

Olin 130

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 4:15 PM Apr 19th, 4:30 PM

The Same World Order: ‘Operation Just Cause’ and American Foreign Policy at the End of the Cold War

Olin 130

On December 20, 1989, the United States invaded Panama to overthrow and arrest Panamanian dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega. The invasion, code-named “Operation Just Cause,” was the biggest deployment of U.S. troops since the Vietnam War and represented a turning point in the use of military force. Since Vietnam, American policymakers had been constrained by the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome,” a reluctance to use force in situations in which U.S. national interests are at stake. Moreover, since the end of World War II, U.S. foreign policy had been guided by the prerogatives of the Cold War, with every international conflict framed by a bipolar worldview. I examine the policies of the administration of President George H.W. Bush that led to the invasion of Panama; the impact of the end of the Cold War on the decision to invade; and global implications of that decision for U.S. foreign policy.

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