A Restrained Show of Force

U.S. troops land in Honduras but steer clear of a border clash

Just after dawn last Friday, 800 American soldiers, their faces stained brown and green with camouflage paint, parachuted onto a dry cow pasture in central Honduras. The 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers formed a defensive ^ perimeter, crouching in combat positions. But instead of an enemy force, they faced an army of photographers and cameramen -- a fitting confrontation for a troop deployment that was more media event than military action.

The 3,200 combat soldiers dispatched to Honduras last week first pitched their tents at Palmerola air base, more than 100 miles from the contra sanctuaries in Honduras that were the target...

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