The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America
In this truly ambitious attempt at an integrated analysis of the Central American crisis as a whole, author White stresses the ideological motives and military doctrine behind and beneath the historical development of U.S. counter- insurgency doctrine and its current application in Central America. White emphasizes the centrality of both repression and reform to the doctrine--if reform alone could not defeat insurgents, then it became necessary to resort to repression. In the author's view, after the March 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of San Salvador, the United States began to opt definitively for the use of repression. White criticizes the Reagan administration's Central American policy, but does not believe that things would have been better had Jimmy Carter remained in office. On the contrary, the crucial point is that both "liberals" and "conservatives" in the United States believed that the U.S. could and should intervene to block radical revolution in Central America. The essential debate between the two positions involved only the balance between reform and repression, a balance that had begun to shift toward the latter even before Reagan took office.
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The Origins of Modern Day Counterinsurgency
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According action activities already American areas armed forces army assistance attack attempt August base began beginning called campaign carry centers Central America civil civilian combat command communications Congress continued contras Costa Rica counterinsurgency December Defense Development doctrine early economic effective El Salvador establishment fact fighting finally FMLN foreign further groups Guatemala guerrillas hamlets Honduras human important increased insurgents involved January July June killed land later Latin major March ment months National Nicaragua November October offensive officers operations organizations Panama percent political popular population President Press problems province Reagan Reagan Administration rebels reform region Report Ríos Salvador Salvadoran Sandinistas September social soldiers South Special strategic supplies tactics tion towns troops U.S. military United Vietnam warfare Washington Washington Post World York