More And More, a Real War

In search of a mission, the military is stepping up its battle against drugs

Like the lowly garbage barge that no nation would accept, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy last week was sailing off Pensacola, Fla., 1,500 miles short of its original destination: the coast of Colombia, where it was assigned to detect drug-running planes and boats. News leaks that the Kennedy and an accompanying task force were heading for South America triggered an outcry from Latins already upset about the U.S. invasion of Panama. After George Bush telephoned Colombian President Virgilio Barco to apologize for the "misunderstanding," the Kennedy's picket duty was aborted.

The controversy over the Kennedy highlights Washington's enthusiasm for enlisting...

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