Guerrilla. Rebel. Insurgent.
In the American lexicon of the 1960s and '70s, those words were synonyms for the enemy. In the paddy fields of Indochina, in jungles and deserts and tumbledown villages elsewhere around the world, leftist insurgencies seemed to be the cutting edge of Soviet expansionism, a principal cause of American retreat and defeat.
A decade later, the U.S. has gone a long way toward turning the tables on Moscow. In many civil wars today, it is Soviet-backed regimes that face insurgencies. Frequently the U.S. provides some degree of support to the rebel forces.
-- In Nicaragua, the U.S. has...