American strategies to deal with terrorist attacks against Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s and by Libya since the beginning of the 1980s are examined. The consequences of the various strategies employed by U.S. government officials over time and the strategies employed by American non-governmental actors and by international organizations are compared. In addition, alternative strategies that might plausibly have been employed are also discussed. Official actions that relied largely on military methods and were conducted unilaterally tended to be less effective, even counterproductive, compared to actions that were multilateral and relied significantly on diplomatic approaches, often aided by intermediaries.

Author Bio(s)

Louis Kriesberg, Ph.D. (Ph.D. 1953, University of Chicago) is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Social Conflict Studies, and founding director of the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (1986–1994), all at Syracuse University. In addition to over 100 book chapters and articles, his published books include: Constructive Conflicts (1998, 2003, 2006), International Conflict Resolution (1992), Timing the De-Escalation of International Conflicts (coed., 1991), Intractable Conflicts and Their Transformation (co-ed., 1989), Social Conflicts (1973, 1982), Social Inequality (1979), Mothers in Poverty (1970), Social Processes in International Relations (ed., 1968), and Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (ed., Vols. 1-14, 1978-1992). He was President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (1983–1984), and he lectures, consults, and provides training regarding conflict resolution, security issues, and peace studies. He can be reached at lkriesbe@maxwell.syr.edu.


American non-governmental actors, diplomatic approaches, intermediaries, international organizations, Lebanon, Libya, terrorist attacks

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