If Southcom Had Acted

Southcom Had Acted

If George Bush had ordered American forces to prevent Panamanian soldiers from reaching the headquarters where Manuel Noriega was bottled up, the U.S. surely had the military muscle to do the job. The 12,000 U.S. combat troops under the Southern Command far outstrip the 6,000-man Panama Defense Forces in both training and hardware. But civilian and military casualties would have been high, if only because the vital military installations are situated in downtown Panama City. As a Marine officer pointed out, "Even an M-1 rifle can kill a lot of people in a crowd."

Washington says the rebels requested only that...

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