The World: Atoll Trouble

As one of those incongruous specks on the map that once posted the British Empire, the isolated little island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean was no better known than it ought to be. Consisting of two slender strips of sand skirting a great lagoon—"like a V written by a shaky hand," wrote one visitor—it was overrun by forbidding jungle growth, wild donkeys and giant land crabs that, according to the few hundred migratory workers who settled the island and harvested its coconut palms, would mass like an army to attack and devour...

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