Operation Just cause
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Sammendrag:Den 20. desember 1989 invaderte USA Panama, invasjonsstyrken besto av mer enn 26 000 soldater fra alle bransjene i det amerikanske militæret. Denne oppgaven kommer til å evaluere hvorfor denne massive operasjonen skjedde. For å oppnå dette vil oppgaven først utforske bakgrunnen for hendelsene som kom til å påvirke krisen, som for eksempel amerikansk bevæpning av Contra-bevegelsen i Nicaragua, Panamansk involvering i den Nicaraguanske borgerkrigen og Panamansk innenrikspolitikk i perioden. Morgenen 15. september 1985 ble den panamanske dissidenten Hugo Spadafora bortført av medlemmer av den Panamanske hæren. Spadafora hadde vært en kritiker av regimer til Manuel Noriega, en etterretningsoffiser i den Panamanske hæren, som hadde tatt kontroll over landet etter døden til general Omar Torrijos, Panamas forrige leder. Når Panamas president Hugo Barletta utrykte ønsker om å utføre en selvstendig etterforskning av forsvinningen, og til sist drapet på Spadafora, ble han sagt opp fra stillingen sin. Senere, i 1987 ville Noriega avskjedige sin arvtaker som leder av den Panamanske hæren; Diaz Herrera, noe som igjen ville føre til politiske problemer da Herrera gikk til media og fortalte om valgfusk, forsvinningen av Spadafora og narkotikahandel. Panamas befolkning var rasende og sammen med avsløringen av Iran Contra og Noriegas involvering i denne saken ville USAs senatet utføre sanksjoner mot Noriega.Summary:On December 20th, 1989, the United States would invade Panama with an invasion force consisting of more than 26 000 of all branches of the US military, this thesis aims to examine why this massive operation happened. To achieve this the thesis will first aim to explore the background to the events unfolding, such as US involvement in the arming of the Contras in Nicaragua, Panamanian involvement in the Nicaraguan civil war and the political events happening in Panama at the time. On the morning of September 15th, 1985, Hugo Spadafora would disappear after having been arrested by the Panama Defense Force on the border with Costa Rica, Spadafora was a vocal critic of the regime controlled by Panamanian intelligence officer Manuel Noriega. Noriega had taken control after the death of former dictator Omar Torrijos in 1981 and was quickly consolidating power by outmaneuvering his opposition. However, when Panamanian president, Nicholas Barletta wanted to open an independent investigation of the Spadafora disappearance, turned murder he was quickly sacked by Noriega. By 1987 an incident regarding Noriega giving away his seat as Chief of Staff of the PDF, to his deputy Diaz Herrera, would lead to Noriega dismissing Herrera and keeping the position for himself. In response Herrera would publicly make statements that Noriega had been involved in the murder of Spadafora, the drug trade and election fraud. This event along with the breaking of the Iran-Contra affair in international media would lead to Noriega’s name mentioned several times regarding Iran contra. In Panama at the same time protests and political demonstrations would plague the country, in response to the Herrera crisis. Noriega would use special riot police to put down these demonstrations, further damaging US-Panama Relations as the US Senate would enforce sanctions against Panama and Noriega. By 1988 two US federal courts would indict Noriega on drug charges, this along with more dismissal of Panamanian presidents would further deteriorate US – panama relations. Until finally negotiations for Noriega’s resignation would be traded for the drug indictments. When these fell through the US domestic situation during the election of 1988 would let Noriega do as he wanted without many consequences. Following the electoral fraud of 1989, the US would implement stronger sanctions, by December 1989 a failed Coup had left the Panamanian dictator feeling invincible. When a US marine officer was killed by the PDF at a checkpoint in Panama, the Bush administration had finally had enough of the crisis in Panama and would start preparations, invading sixty hours after the murder. Aiming to safeguard the 30 000 US citizens that lived in Panama and destroying the PDF, the US armed forces would invade in the largest military operation conducted by the US since Vietnam. The operation named Just Cause to gain public consent, was a huge success regarding the tactical and strategical goals, for the US. The Panamanians would on the other hand report the US for excessive use of force and killing civilians. By the end of the operation all major operational goals would be reached by the US.