Operation Just Cause
United States’ Operation Just Cause, which took place in December 1989, was a major military action. Its main goal was to get rid of Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega and bring back democracy government in Panama. The operation showed that military action can be used to protect American interests and support democracy in the region. It was a major turning point in U.S. foreign policy.
Operation Just Cause was based on Noriega’s involvement in drug trafficking, violations of human rights, and his failure to accept the results of the 1989 Panamanian presidential election. In order to remove Noriega from power, the United States began a quick and intense military operation on December 20, 1989. The campaign involved over 27,000 troops.
With Noriega’s surrender on January 3, 1990, the operation pretty quickly reached its goals. But it wasn’t without debate because it killed civilians and did a lot of damage to Panama City. It was Operation Just Cause that made way for a new era of democratic government in Panama, but it also brought up questions about the use of armed force for political purposes in the world stage.