Training Friends and Scaring Foes

Those are the real goals of the big U.S. maneuvers in Honduras

The menacing action began last Wednesday, on barren, rock-strewn ground marking a rare flat stretch of the rugged border between Marxist Nicaragua and U.S. ally Honduras. The oppressive quiet of early afternoon was broken by a buzz, quickly swelling into a roar. Out of a cloud of dust lumbered heavy tanks and armored personnel carriers, following an obvious invasion route north toward the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, some 80 miles away.

The U.S. had long imagined that a showdown in Central America might begin that way, and Washington was assembling a fleet of 39 warships for counteraction on the other side...

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