Reagan's Critics

Reagan's Critics

Mini Teaser: The measure of "greatness" in American presidents is often theretrospective appreciation of their willingness to "stay the course"in the face of determined opposition from powerful opponents.

by Author(s): Stephen F. Knott

The repercussions from the invasion were felt throughout the
Caribbean, with the Cubans emerging as the big losers because of
their inability to come to the aid of an ally. The government of
Surinam, which had been warming up to Castro, gave his diplomats and
military advisors one-way tickets to Cuba, and the Nicaraguan
government informed the United States that anytime Reagan wanted to
evacuate Americans from their country they would be happy to make
appropriate arrangements. The Grenadan people welcomed Reagan as a
hero when he visited the island in February 1986, but, more
importantly, Reagan paved the way to restoring force as an option for
his successors, an option that would be exercised to great effect in
actions ranging from Panama to Kuwait to Haiti.

Another arena where Reagan projected force was in the Middle East,
against Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. Reagan was involved in
series of low-level confrontations with Qaddafi, beginning in the
early months of his first term and lasting up until the final days of
his second administration. In contrast to Carter, who sought to avoid
confrontations with Qaddafi, Reagan seemed almost to welcome the
opportunity to get into a scrap with him. When, in early August,
1981, at a White House meeting about planned maneuvers in the Gulf of
Sidra, one Cabinet member asked, "What about hot pursuit?", Reagan's
response was, "All the way into the hangar." The first incident
occurred shortly afterwards, on the night of August 18, 1981, when
two U.S. Navy f-14s flying inside Qaddafi's so-called "Zone of Death"
shot down two Soviet-built su-22s.

This relatively insignificant skirm

Essay Types: Essay