The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: Chip on His Shoulder

The Presidency

At least twelve hours before U.S. F-14 fighters shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra, the Western White House of Ronald Reagan was alert to the possibility of an incident. By Wednesday, more than 40 Soviet-made SU-22s swarmed up from Libyan airfields to probe the U.S. Navy task force on maneuvers. There was even a subtle Soviet endorsement for the Libyan flights.The Soviet destroyer Kashin, which was only a few hundred yards away, trained its guns on ships in the task force, a direct violation of the safety-at-seas treaty signed by the U.S. and...

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