Operation Just Cause Essay

1278 Words 6 Pages
Observing the political path of Manuel Noriega from being a paid CIA operative and ally of the American government, to military governor of Panama, to ousted dictator, to convicted American prisoner, exposes a series of political interactions that culminated in Operation Just Cause on December 20, 1989. Coming in the shadow of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and preceding Operation Desert Storm, this brief military action is often overshadowed by the other world conflicts of the time. How does a county the size of America justify invasion of the tiny Panamanian isthmus? How does a dictator such as Manuel Noriega justify declaring war on the United States. Given the great disparity between these two nations, understanding these questions …show more content…
With the stability of the region deteriorating, many unnecessary civilians were relocated to more secure installations.
The newly installed president, George H.W. Bush responded to the situation by increasing the number of troops within the region and increasing military exercises within the Panama Canal Zone (Phillips). Following an attempted coup on Noriega’s regime, Noriega declared a state-of-war with the United States, “to confront foreign aggression” (Operation Just Cause). The day following the declaration of war, Panama Defense Forces shot and killed a United States Marine Corp Lieutenant as he was riding in a personal vehicle, acting as one of many causes for President Bush to order Operation Just Cause to commence. 26,000 military personnel were either already stationed in Panama or were deployed for this mission (Phillips). Operation Just Cause lasted only days before American troops began to withdraw after meeting many of their objectives. Their objectives did not include “surrender and occupation” of Panama, thus resulting in Operation Just Cause being classified as a limited war (Mingst 220). Much of the operation was focused in an urban environment using conventional means. Two weeks following the commencement of Operation Just Cause, Manuel Noriega surrendered to the United States Military and

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