Title page for ETD etd-0613102-131926

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Huff IV, William Harrision
Author's Email Address WHuff1@lsu.edu
URN etd-0613102-131926
Title The United States 1989 Military Intervention in Panama: A Just Cause?
Degree Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (M.A.L.A.)
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stanley E. Hilton Committee Chair
Karl A. Roider Committee Member
William A. Clark Committee Member
  • panama
  • operation just cause
  • war
Date of Defense 2002-03-28
Availability unrestricted
American involvement in Panama dates back to 1903 when the United States helped bring independence to the Republic and soon after began construction of the Panama Canal. As the guarantor of Panamanian sovereignty, the U.S in the ensuing decades contributed to a non-democratic environment in Panama by supporting a series of dictators who promised stability in the region. The U.S. National Security policy just before Operation JUST CAUSE finally acknowledged the brutality of the Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega, forcing Washington to attempt numerous unsuccessful diplomatic maneuvers in an effort to avoid military intervention. Once combat operations commenced, the justification, necessity and amount of force committed in Panama came under critical review by some lawmakers and the public. However, military leaders task organized U.S. forces against Panamanian units and significant key locations in accordance with Army doctrinal correlation of forces and means for a deliberate attack. A comprehensive assessment of force ratios and insights on conduct during JUST CAUSE displays the successful application of a measured military force in adherence with strict rules of engagement.

History bound the United States with Panama ultimately forcing military intervention in order to restore democracy. The response, executed with measured force and conducted appropriately, resulted in all of the National Security objectives met and ensured democracy returned to the Republic of Panama and its people. The 1989 military intervention in Panama was a just cause.

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