Grenada: Preemptive Strike

Richard C. Thornton


The U.S. invasion of Grenada in October 1983 was one of the most important, yet least understood, events of the Cold War. Its genesis lay surprisingly in the U.S.-Soviet INF arms control negotiations. The Soviets threatened to make an “analogous” deployment against the United States, if Washington proceeded with the deployment of the Pershing II missile to West Germany. Grenada was seen to be the probable location of such a deployment. President Reagan hoped to negate the possibility of a Soviet deployment to Grenada by improving relations with the Grenadian government of Maurice Bishop, but Bishop’s overthrow left him with no choice but to invade and preempt a Soviet move.

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