The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America

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Harper & Row, 1984 - Central America - 319 pages
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
Political Reform
Civic Action

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