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Coming in From the Cold: Untold Stories from the Cold War

Apr 30, 2022

 In 1983, the United States along with Caribbean partner nations invaded the island nation of Grenada. The goals of the operation outlined by the Reagan administration were to protect American citizens on the island, forestall further chaos, and restore the rule of law and order on the island of Grenada. While broadly successful in objectives, the operation was criticized by both U.S. and allied officials.

In this episode of Coming in From the Cold, Alex Powell and Steve Wills join Bill, to discuss operation Urgent Fury, and its impact on military reform and special operations forces.

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), “Joint Overview of Operation Urgent Fury,” May 1, 1985,

DOS, “Lessons of Grenada,” February 1986,

Richard C. Thornton, “Grenada: Preemptive Strike,” Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Fall and Winter 2008/9, Vol. 11, Issues 1 and 2.

Ronald H. Cole, Operation Urgent Fury: The Planning and Execution of Joint Operations in Grenada, 12 October – 2 November 1983 (Washington, DC: DOD, 1997).

Danny Shaw, “Grenada: 38 Years after a Triple Assassination, the Short-Lived Revolution still Inspires,” Council on Hemispheric Affairs, October 25, 2021,

Lindsay A. O’Rourke, Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2018).

Photos from Grenada: