The American Bombing of Libya

A Study of the Force of Miscalculation in Reagan Foreign Policy

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About the Book

This book argues that the 1986 American bombing of Libya represented an act of desperation by then-president Ronald Reagan in order to salvage American credibility in the Arab world. The author asserts that such credibility had been severely undermined by Reagan’s earlier decision to enhance the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Israel, and that the 1986 bombing specifically targeted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi as one of the foremost Middle Eastern threats to American security. Finally, the author asserts that the Libyan bombings served as a significant foreshadowing of the current Iraq War and as a powerful illustration of the United States’ historical willingness to use military power in order to preserve American economic and strategic interests in the Middle East.

About the Author(s)

Writer Nicholas Laham lives in Barstow, California.

Bibliographic Details

Nicholas Laham
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3185-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2066-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Reagan Pursues a Misguided Policy      9
2. The Reagan Administration Unsuccessfully Attempts to Isolate Libya      49
3. Heading Toward a Military Showdown      83
4. Reagan Orders the Bombing      113
5. International Condemnation of the Bombing      165
6. A Legitimate Response to Terrorism or a Demonstration of Power?      200

Notes      211
Bibliography      221
Index      223