Essay: El Salvador: It Is Not Viet Nam

For the past few weeks, Americans have been asking themselves some urgent and difficult questions about the ugly civil war in El Salvador. Will the latest guerrilla offensive succeed in disrupting and discrediting the elections scheduled for next month? Will the beleaguered civilian President, José Napoleon Duarte, be able to stave off the leftist challenge? Can he also rein in the right-wing military leaders with whom he shares what remains of central power—and therefore with whom he shares responsibility for atrocities committed by the security forces? And what can the U.S. do? Can...

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