Weighing the Proper Role

Grenada and Lebanon illustrate the uses and limits of power

Dispatching gunboats. Sending in the Marines. The projection of American power once seemed so straightforward. And yet in recent years it has presented more and more of a dilemma for a superpower whose every military endeavor elicits endless review and frequently querulous recriminations at home and abroad. By reaffirming the U.S. commitment to keep its Marines in Lebanon, and by sending troops to a minuscule island in the eastern Caribbean, the Reagan Administration last week attempted to reassert the global role of American military might. "This may be a turning...

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