A Change in Policy: The Impact of the 1983 Beirut Bombing on United States Foreign Counter-Terrorism Policy
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This paper examines the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and its impact on United States foreign counter-terrorism policy. This research was conducted first by establishing a baseline as to what was U.S. counter-terrorism policy from the years of 1976-1981, and then looking into what changes occurred following immediately after the 1983 bombing. What was found was that there was a recommendation for a change of policy towards a more proactive approach to counter-terrorism. Then through looking at how the idea of a proactive policy shaped the new laws and bills, and reactions to terrorist incidents during the Reagan administration. This showed that the idea of a proactive policy was in fact adopted. Then to see ifthere was an impact ofthis policy change years later in U.S. policy research was conducted into the counter-terrorism policies of President Clinton. What was discovered was that when faced with the threat of terrorism, President Clinton responded by using counter-terrorism policies that modeled along the same lines as the proactive policy adopted under President Reagan.