Civil Affairs in El Salvador, Grenada, and Panama
January 28, 2009
Throughout the 1980s in El Salvador, a small U.S. military advisory group advised and trained the Salvadoran military in civil defense and civic action campaigns with the goal of winning hearts and minds away from the FMLN insurgency. The United States invaded the island of Grenada in 1983 to rescue American medical students following a violent Marxist coup, to restore popular government, and to deny Cuba greater involvement in Grenada. Civil affairs teams helped to rebuild Grenadian infrastructure that had fallen into disrepair. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama to protect U.S. interests and remove General Noriega from power. Civil affairs troops helped U.S. combat forces reestablish law and order, provided support to the new central government and city governments, managed a refugee camp, and assisted in nation building programs.