what was the American intervention in Grenada under President Ronald Reagan?
- connieLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
The Event: U.S. forces invade Grenada to rescue threatened Americans and topple a pro-Soviet regime
Date: October 25-December 15, 1983
With the invasion of Grenada, the United States demonstrated its willingness to remove by force procommunist regimes, especially those close near its borders. The invasion sent a clear message to the Soviet Union that President Ronald Reagan intended to confront the Soviets in a wider Cold War arena.
Originally a long-term British possession in the Caribbean, Grenada attempted to position itself outside of the U.S. sphere of influence. In 1979, a pro-Soviet coup led by Maurice Bishop toppled the British-established government, and Bishop's regime began to receive support from the Soviet Union and Cuba. This support included large caches of Soviet weapons and assistance by Cuban engineers to construct a large airport at Point Salinas, on the southwest corner of the island. President Ronald Reagan, sensitive to Soviet threats to the United States, believed that the airport was intended to serve a military function, specifically to support Cuban forces aiding pro-Soviet causes in Africa. The Grenadian government claimed the airport was intended to facilitate the tourist trade. Tensions on the island increased after October 13, 1983, when Bernard Coard, an ardent communist who believed that Bishop was not actively pursuing an authentically Marxist agenda, seized power. In subsequent days, Coard's forces executed Bishop and suppressed pro-Bishop protests with deadly force.
The main official U.S. interest in Grenada was the safety of the approximately six hundred American citizens on the island, most of them medical students at St. George's University, which was located near the airport under construction at Point Salinas. Concerned about regional stability, on October 22 the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) asked the United States to intervene in Grenada. The Department of Defense hastily made plans to invade the island, using airborne troops, special forces, and Marines diverted from an expeditionary force that had been headed for Lebanon.
THE UNITED STATES INVADES: On October 25, 1983, U.S. forces invaded Grenada in the largest U.S. military operation since the end of the Vietnam War. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion was under the overall command of Admiral Wesley L. McDonald, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Approximately seven thousand U.S. troops, along with three hundred OECS soldiers, began to land on the island under the cover of darkness. Army Rangers and Special Forces arrived first to seize key positions and protect U.S. citizens. Paratroopers from the Eighty-Second Airborne Division landed at Point Salinas to seize the airport, while elements of the Second Battalion, Eighth Marines landed by helicopter on the east side of the island from amphibious warships offshore. These initial troops were reinforced by two battalions of soldiers airlifted from the United States and by additional Marines from the Twenty-Second Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU). U.S. forces could receive combat support from Marine helicopters, naval gunfire from several destroyers and frigates, and air support from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence. Facing the U.S. forces were approximately fifteen hundred Grenadian troops and six hundred Cubans. The Cubans were mostly engineers, but they did arrive on the island armed with standard infantry equipment and some heavy weapons. The Grenadian forces amounted to little more than a disorganized, but heavily armed, militia.
Grenadian and Cuban resistance was sporadic in some places and stiff in others. Marines landing by helicopter faced opposition, losing two Cobra attack helicopters, while the Army Rangers tasked with taking the Point Salinas airport found the runway blocked and Cuban forces prepared for a landing. In other areas, however, U.S. forces could exploit the weak resistance to overrun opposition and accomplish key objectives, including the rapid evacuation of U.S. citizens from the island. Not all things went smoothly, as the different service branches found it difficult to coordinate action through their separate communication systems, and directing air power proved difficult. Locating isolated pockets of Grenadian militias took time, but the process was aided by the assistance of local civilians, who generally welcomed the American intervention. Major resistance to the invasion ended after three days, but it took until November 2 for U.S. forces to eliminate all opposition and capture all objectives. By mid-December, the Grenadians had established an interim government led by Governor-General Paul Scoon, the local representative of the British Commonwealth, as well as by the OECS. Eventually, a permanent government was established, led by Prime Minister Nicholas Brathwaite. The last American forces left the island on December 15.Source(s): IMPACT: The invasion sent a clear signal to the Soviet Union and its allies that the United States intended to wage a much more aggressive Cold War against its communist enemies. Some commentators believed the Grenada invasion, along with other small military operations during Reagan's presidency, had ended the "Vietnam syndrome" that had hindered America's willingness to use military power as a foreign policy option since the end of the Vietnam War. The lack of organization and communication among the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces alarmed Congress, however, and it resulted in the passage in 1986 of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which established a unified U.S. military command structure. http://salempress.com/store/samples/eighties_in_am... CASUALTY FIGURES: U.S.-- 19 dead (officially). Grenada-- 49 dead and several hundred wounded. Cuba-- 29 dead and over a hundred wounded. http://www.historyguy.com/Grenada.html#.T-uUh5H08p...
- MickeyLv 59 years ago
The Americans invaded Grenada after trumping up some bollocks about Cuba taking it over.
The real reason they invaded the British protectorate was to humiliate Britain in the eyes of America's fascist allies in Latin America, after the US was seen to support Britain's liberation of the Falklands from nazi-loving Argentina.