El Salvador: The Battle for Usulut

Troops try to win not only firefights but hearts and minds

The success of U.S. policy in Central America rests in large part on the performance of the 25,000-man Salvadoran army. After repeated setbacks at the hands of antigovernment guerrillas, it has been widely criticized as a 9-to-5 fighting force lacking both skill and determination. Last week 4,000 U.S.-trained Salvadoran troops were combing the fields and volcanic mountains of the rich agricultural department of Usulután, seeking to dislodge elusive units of the Marxist-led Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (F.M.L.N.), whose hit-and-run tactics...

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