The 1980s: Appeasing Terrorism

  • David Carlton


On 20 August 1982 Reagan announced that the United States would participate in (and thus in effect lead) a multinational force to bring order to Lebanon. By 25 August US troops were in Beirut, as was a strong contingent of French forces, a smaller group of Italians and a token presence of British troops (pointedly kept to a minimum by a sceptical Thatcher). Secretary of State Shultz, writing in his memoirs, claimed that this development caused him to hope for ‘far better prospects in the Middle East’ and that he saw, above all, ‘a chance for a more stable Lebanon on the horizon’.1 But within 18 months the US mission had had to be abandoned in the face of terrorism, some of it state-sponsored, and Lebanon was essentially lost to the West. In short, a US Administration which had set out with the strongest possible rhetoric about restoring national prestige in the world had been decisively humiliated and terrorists had been appeased.


Middle East Diplomatic Relation Nobel Peace Prize Hunger Strike Armed Struggle 
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Copyright information

© David Carlton 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carlton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickUK

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