Type: History
Pages: 10 | Words: 2838
Reading Time: 12 Minutes

Invasion of Panama was done by the US in year 1989 that was an illegality on international laws as well as their own regulations. The main objective of the invasion was to remove from power the then President for being involved in drug trafficking. Manuel Noriega is the then president who was removed from power. He was accused by one of the military officers for collaborating with the Colombian drug producers. Noriega was a corrupt leader who rigged elections to be in power and before then, when he was a head of the military guard, he used the military to carry out all his ill motives of controlling the sitting heads of states.

Thesis statement: Why was important for America invade Panama?

The US government under the rule of George W. Bush labeled the invasion to Panama as “Operation Just Cause”. This invasion made the US government to enter the list of shame and lies since it contravene international laws and the US policies in regards to military operations. The main objective was to have control over the Panama Canal, nothing with the interest of the Pananians. However, one of the objectives was to free the Panama people from the dictatorship of their president, who was corrupt and a drug trafficker. Its therefore paramount for us to settle and say that the US invaded Panama because of the strategic significance of Panama Canal.

Points to be discussed:

  1. Why this battle is important?
  2. What are the most important facts in this battle?
  3. How the battle was planned, including both sides?
  4. What was the impact in American military history?

II. Main Body

Major point 1: Chronological summary

Panama political situation

The situation in Panama is not pleasant since the people who were in power since the year 1983. This is when he became the head of the National Guard; hence, he gained power that he used to manipulate the presidential elections in his country. This made the political class weak in ensuring that all the country’s interest were taken care of, but all the sitting presidents were the puppets of Noriega. Noriega came to power as the president in the year 1989, the time when the US decided to invade the country.

Key leaders during the war

George W. Bush was the key leader in the war leading the US troops. On the other hand, Noriega being the president of Panama was the main leader. The military top leadership also is key in the invasion, they were charged with the planning and the final excursion of Panama.

American military conditions before, during and after the war

The conditions of the American military before the war is that, it was full of complexities in the deployment of the military personnel and setting up all the gadgets in place for the operation. The equipments had to be brought from various destinations and installed, achieving a number of objectives over a short period of 24hours. The name of the operation was decided by the military that the Panama invasion did not qualify to be labeled military operation, but ‘Just cause’ would be appropriate in order to protect future accusations by the military leadership. They, during the war avoided unnecessary casualties by employing surgical precision and accurate decision. There was n use of excessive force (Donnelly, Roth and Baker 34).

What are the main reasons to invade Panama?

The main reasons for the invasion of Panama are widely known and familiar. Bush senior, was to forcefully eliminate the president Noriega from power since he was a dictator. Noriega was brutalizing his own citizens and killing whoever opposed him in his decisions. The US also indicated that the US lives needed to be protected, to at all cost protect the rule and meaning of democracy. Other reasons included, fight drug trafficking, and to ensure that the treaty of the Panama Canal.

Major point 2: Why this battle is important?

Political factors

The economic and diplomatic pressures did not mean anything to Noriega to quit the office. It is was then declared that the political movements headed by the Panamanians which lead to elections being done in the year 1989. This was expected that I would force him out of power, but was just a dream that never came true. A coup was then planned by the military but it never happened again. This led to the decision to fully invade the country.

Military factors

The Military factors helped a lot in containing the rule and dictatorship of Noriega. The US military based on their intelligence invaded Panama to avoid any long term armed conflict that could be experienced in the country. The US had the CIA given more budgets of $3m in order to carry out intelligence in Panama and even use force in order to have the country get back to its track and free of drugs and protection of lives.

Social factors

Panama war is important because it opened up the two countries enabling easy movement of people in the two countries. Migration was allowed and therefore it enables transfer of culture from one country to another. This war also illustrated negative effects of enmity and as a result, in a way it warned people against future fighting in an attempt to solve a conflict.

Economical factors

Economically panama invasion had positive consequences. It led to opening up of the two countries for trade and therefore it led to free trade thus enabling easy transferability factors of production. This enable division and specialization of trade as countries would engage in the line of specialization and import what they needed from countries that produce best. This therefore ensures maximum production from the limited resources.

Major point 3: What are the most important facts in this battle?

Important dates: declaration of war and movement of troops

20th December 1990 is the year that the US military invaded the territory of Noriega. Noriega was removed from the power and he surrendered on January 3, 1990. The Panama assembly announced Noriega was the president on 15 December 1989. It was at this same time that the National assembly announced a state of with the US (Behar and Harris 62).


The location of the war was in Panama City.

Tactical conflict

In this aspect, a joint task force south was the tactical assault team sent that subdivided the teams in to 4 conventional forces. These included Atlantic, Pacific, Bayoet and Semper F1.

Territorial changes

Panama Canal was a communal. It was use communally and no one had the right to exploit the other since it was there natural. It also benefited everyone in the long run and therefore it was suppose to be free for everyone.

Results: casualties and loses

The casualties in the war were minimal compared to any other war. The US soldiers that were sent were 26000, those who died is a small number of 23. The soldiers injured amounted to 322. The injuries were described as friendly such as fire and drop zones related. Of the Panama defense forces, there were 15000 in the war and minimal injuries were realized. Those killed amounted to 314, the ones injured were 124, and approximately 5300 being captured by the US forces. Just cause operation saw few civilians killed or injured. Those killed were 200 (McConnell 67).

Strengths and weaknesses in both sides

United States government was strong in that it had superior weapons. They also had well trained personnel who were able to steer the war along the desire line. The only weakness against United States was that they did not have sufficient knowledge concerning the terrain.

Panama was well informed of the terrain. This being their home ground meant that they were advantage since they knew every corner. The only disadvantage against panama was that the United States weapons were quite sophisticated and therefore they could not fight on a level ground (Musicant 45).


Technology used is great, its super worth a war, the choppers, fighter jets, and the troop’s communications gadgets or instruments are quite of high technology.

Major point 4: How the battle was planned from both sides perspective

Key leaders

Panama invasion was a war fought by the United States against panama pdf. The main leaders therefore was the then sitting president of United States, George H. W. Bush and the opponent Manuel Noriega. Maxwell R. Thurman was also among the panama leaders. He fought against Manuel Noriega. Both George H. W. Bush and Maxwell R. Thurman were trying to defend Panama Canal while Noriega wanted to take over the control of panama (The United States’ invasion of Panama 23).

Planning and execution

United States government had an advantage of Manuel Noriega because they had numerous military bases along the canal. United States made use of U.S army, U.S air force, U.S navy and the U.S marines. The United States had the military on both ground and air space. The combat on the ground involved the xviii airborne corps, 82nd Airborne Division, 7th Infantry Division, 75th Ranger Regiment and a Joint Special Operation Task Force among others.

They began the invasion on December at 1:00 AM local time. 27,684 U.S troops and 300 aircraft flown by airlift were on the war front. Airlift were used to fly the aircraft because they had knowledge concerning the weather aerial system. This ensured that they could fight in all weather condition giving them an upper advantage over the enemies. Attacking Noriega home residence was the first plot in order to disable his stronghold. His private chopper and the gunboat were destroyed. United States housing district in fort Amador needed to be protected to prevent the capturing of United States citizens as hostages. This ensured that United States had an upper advantage over Manuel Noriega (Buckley 34).

Defense and offense

An operation was launched to prevent Noriega’s escape. The operation launched was operation nifty package. This had an aim of destroying his boat by ensuring that it was sank into the waters. This cost four lives and nine were wounded. U.S. Marine units deployed ensure that defense was firm. The 193rd infantry, 508th Airborne infantry, 59th Engineer Company patrolled the city to ensure law and order.

Use of troops and resources

The success of any war depends on the number of personnel as well as the level of skill. Since the opponent will always react by sending his troops, the type of resources used determines the victor. Panama war saw the deployment of many troops to fight the opponent. The troops who were involved in this war were the United States army, air force and the navy. Engagement of troops from all over was motivated by the desire to succeed. Since the opponent was initial a member of United States military group, there was need to use all the force since he was conversant with United States military troop’s stronghold as well as its weakness.

Use of terrain

Panama has a water terrain. It is located between the Caribbean sea and pacific ocean. This therefore meant that the fighting groups should have knowledge concerning the terrain. United States knew this terrain so much, they had gone an extra mile and deployed its military groups before the war and this meant they had an upper hand. This place is also bushy and therefore meant that there was need to understand this to avoid the getting lost of the soldiers fighting. The swampy grounds also necessitated the need for proper dress code to that the soldiers were never subjected to extreme condition. The water terrain also facilitated the use of water marines. This gave the United States an upper advantage since its navy force was well developed. The navy forces used the tankers and the sub marine to fight against the enemy. The terrain therefore contributes a lot to the success of any fighting group and the group with sufficient knowledge concerning the terrain will always emerge the victor.

Principles of wars that are applied

Several principles were applied in the panama invasion with the main of outdoing the enemy. Among the principles applied was direct attack, mass destruction as well as offensive attack to force the enemy to react. The main principle applied was objective principle. This involves the use military operation aim at destroying the opponent stronghold.  The military usually focus on a particular point for example the united states focus was to ensure that opponent was weaken by destruction of military jets and fighting gunboat.

Offensive principle was also applied. The United States army forces offended the enemy with the aim of provoking them to react. This is only applicable were the army forces were ready to react and had the necessary resources to fight back. Offensive principle is best where the fighting troops knows the terrain so well that any effort by the enemy to fight them back will be futile because as they try to fight back the opponent would be save as they are strategically placed.

Mass destruction is another principle that was applied in panama invasion. This is done by destroying a particular as a whole using resources such as explosives. The entire population in the area under attack fully was destroyed with no life left. Properties was also destroyed and therefore this meant serious financial looses against the opponent. Surprise principle was used. This was done by sending troops to fight against abruptly. The opponent did not have time to prepare and thus this was in a way the reason behind its success. Economy of forces entails the use of minimum force. This was done by use of diplomats who did use minimum force only where applicable.

Major point

What was the impact of this battle in American military history?

Tactical, strategy, and structural

This war was a source of reforms in the United States military. They realized their weakness and this was a chance to learn of new fighting tactics. They also found out about new fighting ammunition and they immediately order for them. The structural arrangement was also change because of casualties reported. The army officers who died had to be replace and also the government had to balance between the army forces, air forces and navy forces since they were equally important.


Technology was enhanced after the war. This was because in the mid of fighting the technology of the opponent is exposed and as a result united states borrowed the idea of such technology given it was superior than theirs but given that is was not superior then there was no need to adopt such technology. It was during this period that the nuclear technology was widespread. This would result in uniformity in future because the two groups already have an idea concerning the level of technology adopted by the opponent.


The state of economy after the war was so poor. Many resources had being directed to buy ammunition and therefore there was little in terms of economic growth since less capital was left to buy assets to be used in production. This war also led to massive destruction. The principle used during the war was not eco friendly as everything was brought down to ashes. Bombing led to collapse of many industries.  The capital base was destroyed as well as the human capital since most workers were killed. The economy went through crisis since the United States was the holder of world economy given its gross domestic product compared to other countries (Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken 43).

Positively panama invasion led to opening up of the United States for the international market. Initially they had to incur a lot of cost in shipping their product to other countries but after the war, they had control over this canal and as a result improving economy because of open up market (Johns and Johnson 76).

How affect the American relationship with other nations.

This war led to poor relationship between the United States and other countries. This was because other countries thought United States was aggressively using force to suppress other countries. Though most countries blamed the United States for the war, others strongly believe that it is the Panamanian people who supported the invasion. Both countries are therefore to blame for this war (Kohn 56).


Review major points

Panama invasion broke out in 20 December 1989. This began after the United States broke the international law and its own governmental policies by ordering that the then president of Panama Manuel Noriega to be arrested. Noriega was accused of corruption, he had allegedly being involved in assisting in drug trafficking and therefore this forced the United States government to invade panama. Noriega action led to imposition of a lot sanction against him.

In 1989, the government of panama and the United States declared war and this led to invasion of panama.

Thesis statement review

This being a research on the invasion of panama, the main aim was to establish the cause of the war as well as the final solution arrived at immediately after the war.

Closing point

The aftermath of any given conflict is loss of life and property. It is always associated with regrets and tears as most people loss their loved ones. Since there is always a solution other than fighting, the future conflict should never result to war instead the two opposing parties should always come together and sit down for a talk rather than inciting the two groups into war.

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