A NEW WORLD ORDER?

The sudden shift from a bipolar world to one of unquestioned American predominance promised to redefine the country’s global role. President George H. W. Bush spoke of the coming of a “new world order.” But no one knew what its characteristics would be.

Bush’s first major foreign policy action was a throwback to the days of American interventionism in the Western Hemisphere. At the end of 1989, he dispatched troops to Panama to overthrow the government of General Manuel Antonio Noriega, a former ally of the United States who had become involved in the international drug trade. Although the invasion cost the lives of over 3,000 Panamanians and was condemned by the United Nations General Assembly as a violation of international law, the administration deemed it a great success. The United States installed a new government and flew Noriega to Florida, where he was tried and convicted on drug charges.

The end of the Cold War and breakup of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia redrew the map of eastern Europe (compare this map with the map of Cold War Europe in Chapter 2ļ). Two additional nations that emerged from the Soviet Union lie to the east and are not indicated here: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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