Military Operations


Operations included here:

1. Operation Earnest Will (Persian Gulf)

2. Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada)

3. Operation Just Cause (Panama)


1. Operation Earnest Will (Persian Gulf)

Crist, David B. "Joint Special Operations in Support of Earnest Will." Joint Force Quarterly 29 (Autumn-Winter 2001-2002): 15-22.

In 1987-1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, the United States formed "a joint special operations task force ... [that] engaged in a daily struggle with Iranian small boats and mine layers for control of the sealanes in the channelized area north of Bahrain."

2. Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada)

Adkin, Mark. Urgent Fury: The Battle for Grenada. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989.

The author was the British major commanding the Caribbean Peace-keeping Force (CPF). He argues that Operation Urgent Fury was ill planned and conducted, and avoided major casualties primarily through luck.

Bolger, Daniel P. "Special Operations and the Grenada Campaign." Parameters 18 (Dec 1988): 49-61.

Brooks, Tom [Thomas A.] [RADM/USN (Ret.)] "Grenada -- Operation Urgent Fury: Lessons Learned... Twenty Years Later." Naval Intelligence Professional Quarterly 19, no. 3 (Sep. 2003): 26-27.

The 1983 invasion of Grenada was "limited in scope [and] short in duration.... Yet there were important lessons learned ... and this comparatively insignificant operation had a substantial impact on the creation of joint doctrine, to include joint intelligence and cryptologic doctrine."

Dunn, Peter M., and Bruce W. Watson, eds. American Intervention in Grenada: The Implications of Operation "Urgent Fury." Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.

Harper, Gilbert S. "Logistics in Grenada: Supporting No-Plan Wars." Parameters (Jun. 1990): 50-63. []

"Operation Urgent Fury was launched with little accurate information about conditions on the island. Logistic intelligence was not sought, such as the capacity of the airfields, the road networks, the local sources of supply and services, the sources of potable water, and the specific health conditions. Since standard military maps were not available, several other kinds of maps, including a reprinted tourist map of Grenada with a makeshift military grid overlay, were issued." [Footnote omitted]

Hobson, James L., Jr. [MAJGEN/USAF (Ret.)] "Operation Urgent Fury: The Invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983." Air Commando Journal 1, no. 3 (Spring 2012): 27-32. []

The author reviews the planning for, execution of, and lessons learned from Operation Urgent Fury.

3. Operation Just Cause (Panama)

Bloechl, T.D. Mission Complete: Tactical Intelligence During the Transition from War to Peace. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Army Command and General Staff College, 1993.

Dinges, John. Our Man in Panama: How General Noreiga Used the U.S.--and Made Millions in Drugs and Arms. New York: Random House, 1990.

Donnelly, Thomas, Margaret Roth, and Caleb Baker. Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama. New York: Lexington Books, 1991.

A Kirkus reviewer (via says that the authors "offer a minutely detailed --and adulatory -- narrative of Operation Just Cause." This is "an unusually upbeat military history of the war that served as a training ground for Operation Desert Storm."

Flanagan, Edward M., Jr. [LTGEN/USA (Ret.)] Battle for Panama: Inside Operation Just Cause. Washington: Brassey's, 1993.

From publisher: "Army general Edward M. Flanagan, Jr., had unequaled access to Just Cause's key planners and to official after-action reports."

Goldstein, Frank L., and Benjamin F. Findley, Jr., eds. Psychological Operations: Principles and Case Studies. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1996.

Harris, David. Shooting the Moon: The True Story of an American Manhunt Unlike Any Other, Ever. New York and London: Little, Brown, 2001.

Clark comment: This book is about the background to the invasion of Panama to capture Manuel Noreiga, not the invasion itself. I have no idea at this point whether Harris' work falls on the side of "truth" or belongs to the realm of conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, the fact of the United States attacking and invading another nation for the purpose of capturing that nation's leader, removing him to the United States, and placing him on trial for violations of U.S. law continues to give me sinking feelings in the stomach.

Certainly, Chapman, IJI&C 15.2, was impressed with what Harris presents: "Before reading Shooting the Moon, I believed Noriega was a cruel. lowlife, drug tafficking S.O.B., but now I have very serious doubts about the whole thing. The man may be innocent and deserves a new trial."

Preston, Joseph W. "Just Cause -- Intelligence Support to Special Operations Aviation." Military Intelligence 16, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1990): 16-18.

Re 160th Special Operations Aviation Group.

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