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What impact did the Reagan administrations decision to withdraw American troops from the international peacekeeping mission to Beirut have on counterterrorism policy/Reagan Presidency - Essay Example

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What impact did the Reagan administrations decision to withdraw American troops from the international peacekeeping mission to Beirut have on counterterrorism policy/Reagan Presidency

Lebanon was an important strategic player for U.S in the Middle East along with Israel, thus the U.S interests in the PLO troops withdrawal from Beirut were justifiable as it was crucial to counter the Soviet attempts to destabilize the state at that point in time (Crenshaw 2005). However, direct involvement in Lebanon by sending their forces in the peacemaking troops proved to be precarious in the long run as direct victory was far from being achieved. Reagan administration had to face serious setbacks in this context which led to change in counterterrorism strategies. Reagan administration often associated with the conservative right wingers had strong alliance with the Christian President Gemayel, thus U.S agreed upon sending their troop for the peacemaking mission in the spring of 1982 to control the unrest going on in the area. The forces were dispatched on March 24, 1983 to the area where the conflicts were going on. U.S saw the most severe reaction by the Lebanese on April 28, 1983 when a suicide attack took place at the U.S embassy in Beirut which saw the death of about seventeen Americans. Moreover, after about four months the U.S troops were attacked by Rockets which proved to be another eye opener for the administration. October 23 saw another suicide attack at the headquarters building which resulted in the loss of lives of 241 Americans. As a response, Reagan withdrew the US forces from Beirut and deployed them at the offshore positions instead. (Diaz and Newman 2005) The withdrawal

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of forces inflicted some serious impacts on the Reagan presidency as well as on the counterterrorism strategies. The first and the most immediate impact lies in the loss of trust and credibility on the American President which Lebanon and the rest of the Middle Eastern states had entrusted upon him. Also, the congress as well as the entire administration that had previously supported the President over the deployment of troops was now campaigning against the wishes of the President deterring his powers. Though the president had labeled the withdrawal merely as redeployment, but the entire state actors as well as other strategic actors perceived this move as the loss of US interest in the region, which was a huge setback for the Reagan Presidency. Thus, Reagan loss support from the Middle Eastern Allies as they were aware of the fact that U.S had no interests in the region anymore. In context to the counterterrorism policy, the interest of the Reagan administration (also the ones following him) enhanced in terrorism as a foreign policy agenda as he now perceived this threat to be even more severe than before. Since Reagan and his companions within the Cabinet were all hawks, and the victory of the terrorists over the troops proved to be more of a challenge for the U.S. They realized that countering terrorism is a hard job as their strategies are hard to predict and since they don`t take any defensive measures it`s near to impossible to defeat them (Bovard 2003). Thus, one thing was for sure that defensive measures won`t work which led towards the conceivement of terms like preemptive strikes i.e. combating the enemy before they attack. Reagan then started to promote strategies of retaliation and active prevention to strike hard on these hidden enemies (Bargeron 2002). Thus, the policy during the contra-affairs was quite different and later during Bush era took an even major shift. Reagan was one of the most popular presidents who passed during the history

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Reagan was one of the most popular presidents who passed during the history of the U.S, especially after he was attacked by a gun shot. His persona was quite charming which appealed to almost everyone. …
Author : abartoletti
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What impact did the Reagan administrations decision to withdraw American troops from the international peacekeeping mission to Beirut have on counterterrorism policy/Reagan Presidency
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