30th Anniversary of Operation Just Cause – December 20, 2019

Picture for Carl Buhler 20 Dec 19 article

Today, December 20, 2019, is the 30th anniversary of Operation Just Cause. On this day in 1989, President George Bush launched Operation Just Cause by sending US forces into Panama to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.

According to History.com, the United States invaded Panama “in an attempt to overthrow military dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and was accused of suppressing democracy in Panama and endangering U.S. nationals.”

History.com added “U.S. troops joined the 12,000 U.S. military personnel already in Panama and were met with scattered resistance from the PDF. By December 24, the PDF was crushed, and the United States held most of the country. Endara was made president by U.S. forces, and he ordered the PDF dissolved. On January 3, Noriega was arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents. The U.S. invasion of Panama cost the lives of only 23 U.S. soldiers and three U.S. civilians. Some 150 PDF soldiers were killed along with an estimated 500 Panamanian civilians. The Organization of American States and the European Parliament both formally protested the invasion, which they condemned as a flagrant violation of international law.”

Per Signalsaz, the “Armed Forces of the Unites States began operations to topple Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega and safeguard American lives.”  They added Operation Just Cause “lasted little more than a month, but succeeded in restoring order in Panama, the arrest of Manuel Noriega, and bringing a sense of accomplishment to the American military which had been in the process of rebuilding after many years of neglect.”

Today’s anniversary serves as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifices made by the men and women serving in the US Armed Forces.

The author, US Air Force retired Brigadier General Carl Buhler is the CEO of Buhler Consulting, LLC which provides consulting services for a variety of companies across the logistics, technology, aircraft maintenance, munitions, small business (SBIR), production, and supply areas.  Carl is a career aircraft maintenance, munitions, and logistics officer.  He is a member of the Air Force Association, American Legion, MOAA, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.