The United States’ “Realist” Foreign Policy: Operation Just Cause in Panama as a Case Study


  • Wassim Daghrir Effat University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



American Foreign Policy, Panama, Operation Just Cause


The US 1989 invasion of Panama corresponded to a symbolic event. It was the first American use of force since 1945 that was unrelated to the Cold War. It occurred at a time when the world’s structure was changing and when the ideological and strategic grounds behind US previous interventions were evaporating. Therefore, the US invasion of Panama opened a new episode of the inter-American relations. It was the very first American use of force of what would soon be called the post-Cold War era. Why, then, in the absence of Cold War considerations did the US deem it necessary to rely on a large-scale military intervention? To answer this question, I will first briefly examine the history of the US-Noriega relations and then deal in more detail with the official explanations issued by the Bush Administration to justify its December 1989 invasion of Panama.


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