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United States Diplomacy in Lebanon and the Price Paid, U.S. Embassy Bombing Beirut, 1983

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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Lebanons strategic location between the Eastern and Western markets of the world is historically viewed as a regional interest to the United States. The Cold War and the spread of Communism throughout the Middle East in the 1980s was a paramount concern within the Reagan Administration as Soviet influence threatened U.S. alliances within the region. Washingtons fear of Communist expansion blinded the Administration from focusing on the real issues within Lebanon. The issues were multifaceted and complex, and the result of historical religious and cultural differences among numerous factions within the Lebanese populace. Washingtons inability to understand the overarching issues within Lebanon placed U.S. diplomatic personnel operating in Lebanon at risk as Washingtons strong alliances with Israel prevented the U.S. from maintaining a neutral and unbiased position among the stakeholders. As a result of failed optics, growing Islamic extremism in Lebanon went virtually undetected and eventually yielded catastrophic results that cost the lives of 63 Embassy personnel, 17 of which were American diplomats.

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  • Government and Political Science

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[A, Approved For Public Release]