First Advisor

Gary Scott

Term of Graduation

Spring 1987

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science


Political Science




Caribbean Area -- Foreign relations -- United States, United States -- Foreign relations -- Caribbean Area, Caribbean Area -- Foreign relations -- 1945-, United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 163 pages)


Throughout history states have pursued both cooperative and power-oriented strategies. Moralists and realists have long questioned the appropriateness of using force to gain state objectives. Recent analysts have stressed that states have a moral duty to manage international uncertainty in the best interests of their citizens. While this might involve utilizing both power-seeking and order-seeking strategies, it has been suggested that pursuing order-seeking strategies could help alleviate international uncertainty.

An historical survey, as well as recent case studies in Grenada and Nicaragua, indicate that the United States often has relied upon military strategies in the Caribbean Basin. The United States has employed a variety of techniques including "shows-of-force," threats, coercive diplomacy, intervention, and covert activities. These policies appear to have been based upon the assumption that military policies can be carefully calculated to alter the behavior of another state. Due to classified information, sensitive information is often restricted regarding this topic. However, available information indicates that American foreign policy regarding the use of force in the Caribbean Basin has not been useful.

While such policies may appear to have been successful in the short run, the same policies often have brought negative repercussions in the long run. Not only has the United States been regarded unfavorably, but it has been portrayed as a nation which only observes international law when it is convenient to do so. Further, international uncertainty has often been exacerbated by U.S. actions. Also, it is not clear that such military strategies always have been carefully designed~ and even if they were, such policies would not be completely predictable. The United States needs to design new foreign policy strategies, relying less upon military force.


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