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1 - An End and a Beginning

From Cold War to the Panama Invasion for Regime Change

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Thomas H. Henriksen
Affiliation:
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
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Summary

This chapter opens with a description of the de-militarization that America pursued after the USSR vanished. Rather than seeking to impose its will on other nations with near omnipotent power, America and its citizens looked forward to an era of peace and reduced military spending. Defense budgets, indeed, were slashed and the military was downsized by about 40 percent. Non-defense spending increased. Instead of hanging up its battle armor, Washington governments found employment in a series of armed interventions, regime changes, and eventually in bitter and bloody insurgences – all undertaken altruistically to make the world a better place. An early problem for the George H. W. Bush presidency came from Panama and its drug-dealing autocratic leader who thwarted a democratic election and threatened US passage through the Panamanian Canal. Bush tried to oust Manual Noriega with the CIA but it failed. So, he turned to the US Armed Forces, which invaded the Central American country, disposed of Noriega, and installed a democratic president. Operation Just Cause went well, except the Pentagon needed additional troops to stabilize and calm the country. This shortcoming was repeated in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-conflict rioting, looting, and criminality took place among the Panamanian population. The transition back to Panamanian rule went smoothly, and America left the country within three months.

Type
Chapter
Information
America's Wars
Interventions, Regime Change, and Insurgencies after the Cold War
, pp. 15 - 32
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • An End and a Beginning
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.002
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  • An End and a Beginning
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • An End and a Beginning
  • Thomas H. Henriksen, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, California
  • Book: America's Wars
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009053242.002
Available formats
×