Lebanon, A Malfunction of the Bureaucratic Process
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
In March, 1964, the last of U.S. Multinational Forces USMNF pulled out of Lebanon ending two exasperating years in that country. The bombing of the Marine battalion barracks on 29 October, 1983, is the single image which is remembered most about our involvement in the Lebanese crisis. The 241 U.S. Marines who died in this tragedy and the graphic coverage in the media clearly demonstrated that our mission had tailed. This was a tremendously frustrating experience for the United States. Congress blamed President Reagan, the State Department blamed Pentagon officials, and the Secretary of Defense commissioned an investigation which became extremely critical of the military forces on scene. A detailed accounting of events relative to our efforts within Lebanon is important but that is not the focus of my article. Our involvement in Lebanon was the result of a series of political decisions made within the Reagan administration and these decisions were the result of a bureaucratic process centered on strong personalities. These individuals made a series of impulsive policy decisions which forced uncoordinated actions with disastrous results.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations