Jordan asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

What was Shultz role during the Grenada invasion?

Any answers ???

1 Answer

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A common perception of Grenada at the time was that it was a communist buffer zone, essentially a subordinate of Cuban and Soviet control.[3] The accuracy of this statement has certainly been debated intensely since, but nevertheless at the time, such a perception of Grenada existed within parts of the democratic world and crucially within the Reagan administration in Washington.[4] The tension between the United States and the Grenadian leadership had been a common theme for many months prior to October of 1983. A matter of contention between the two sides was the construction of a landing strip in Grenada that the Grenadians claimed was built primarily for tourism. However, the U.S. believed the strip to be a Cuban or Soviet inspired military venture and therefore deemed it as a direct threat to national security.[5] The tension between the nations continued to gather momentum and soon the U.S. would act.

    Ultimately, President Reagan’s policy on Grenada stemmed from a deep anti-communist stance that he had taken since his inauguration into office, and as Melvyn P. Leffler opines ‘’although Ronald Reagan hated communism, he did not fear it, not nearly as much as many of his predecessors. He was supremely confident of the superiority of American values and of the American way of life’’.[6] Therefore, Reagan’s deep distrust and distain for communism would dominate his thinking behind Grenada, as will be outlined later in the essay. Patently obvious is the fact that the situation in Grenada prior to the invasion of the United States was uncertain at best. Indeed the overthrow of the communist leaning Maurice Bishop ‘’brought to power individuals thought to be even more radical, notably the former deputy prime minister, Bernard Coard’’.[7] These game changing events took place on the 13th of October, by the 25th of that month Reagan had given the order to invade and the U.S. operation in Grenada was truly underway.[8] Thus as the decision to invade Grenada grew ever closer for President Reagan and his aides, a clear picture of the situation within the region has now been provided. As this article will now outline utilising the Rational actor model, the actual decision making process behind the invasion of Grenada was anything but straightforward.

    The approach to the invasion of Grenada by the Reagan led administration was dominated by a number of key issues. To begin with what were the key goals behind the decision and who considered the consequences of the impending operation? In terms of an overall logic behind the invasion Reagan and his comrades since coming to power in 1981 had adopted a hard line approach to any perceived communist threats, and now Grenada was viewed as one.[9] As already outlined the situation within Grenada had become increasingly unstable and there were now a number of factors that President Reagan and his aides had to take into account. Firstly if the United States were to intervene in Grenada what would be their primary logic in doing so? There are many conflicting arguments as to why the U.S. intervened in Grenada.[10]

    The reason as espoused by Reagan in a speech to the nation on October 27th 1983 was that there were over 1000 U.S. citizens on the island and ‘’concerned that they’d be harmed or held as Hostages, I ordered….military action’’.[11]

    Therefore taking into account the remarks by President Reagan was their safety the sole rationale behind the decision to invade or were there other mitigating factors? Another interesting perspective on the decision to engage Grenada was that the U.S. saw the turmoil in the country as the perfect opportunity to reemphasise its strength and control over the region to both Cuba and Nicaragua.[12] Clearly the rationale behind the decision to invade was not confined to one specific area. Another train of thought for the logic behind the military operation was that while the Reagan administration was understandably concerned for the welfare of the American citizens on the island, they perhaps availed of their predicament and exploited their plight to advance their own agendas.[13] Hence an argument could be put forth, that a continuing pattern of the Reagan administration was their pursuit of U.S. interests in the region, which is plainly evident from the previous illustrations and Grenada could conceivably be viewed as another illustration of this theory.[14]

    Therefore, perhaps it is clear that U.S. interests in the region emerge as being of central significance to the overall decision making activity behind the invasion. However is it accurate to decipher from these examples that the invasion was centred on this rationale alone? Alternatively, were the reasons involved in the decision to invade so simplistic that no further examination is necessary or were there other elements that have yet to be considered?

    Clearly President Reagan and his close aides believed that the invasion of Grenada was a necessary step, but there were certain factors behind their decision that deserve further examination. One particularly fascinating perspective on the U.S. decision to invade was that some people saw the invasion as a possible remedy to the Vietnam syndrome of the 1970s.[15] This perspective while interesting, is not substantiated by much evidence and therefore while taking it into account, it doesn’t fit into the Rational actor model for the President or his enemies during this period.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.