"The United States attack on Libya on April 15, 1986 was the culmination of a series of developments in U.S. foreign policy and military strategy intended to combat international terrorism. It was the culmination of the U.S. attempt to use both nonmilitary and military methods to combat terrorism. This paper examines the use of military force as an appropriate means to combat terrorism. In particular, the 1986 conflict with Libya is examined concentrating on the following aspects: whether operational level objectives contributed to achievement of strategic goals; and the use of military force as an effective instrument in the war against terrorism. This paper concludes that the use of military force (along with the European nonmilitary responses) was an effective instrument in the war against terrorism as measured by the decrease in Libyan sponsored attacks from 1986 to 1991. However, the U.S. attack on Libya is still an isolated event and does not provide a sufficient basis for a doctrine of military retaliation against terrorism."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/