Accession Number : ADA308488

Title :   The War in El Salvador: A Retrospective.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Silva, Luciano S.

PDF Url : ADA308488

Report Date : 15 APR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 38

Abstract : Prior to the Salvadoran war, the U.S. lacked a clearly delineated, long-term, bipartisan strategic vision for Central America. In the absence of this, our policies toward El Salvador were subject to the vagaries of rapidly changing domestic political considerations. History has repeatedly demonstrated that these forces can move, shape, or change a policy for reasons that have nothing to do with national interests and can render impotent any attempt to achieve lasting effects. At the implementation level, an uncertain and frequently changing policy can produce some very unexpected results. El Salvador provides some prime examples of how political and bureaucratic decisions can constrain an army's ability to wage war. For the U.S., the overriding point is that its involvement in El Salvador did not end when the peace treaty was signed'. Events in the Persian Gulf and Eastern Europe notwithstanding, the U.S. must not abandon an ally who, after winning its war, must now grapple with the difficulties of winning the peace. If the U.S. can muster the interest, the time, and the money to stay the course in El Salvador, its performance there will truly have been an unqualified success.

Descriptors :   *WARFARE, *ARMY OPERATIONS, *EL SALVADOR, FOREIGN POLICY, POLICIES, PEACETIME, PERSIAN GULF, TREATIES, EASTERN EUROPE, CENTRAL AMERICA.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE