The Secret Army

Ambitious goals, exotic names -- but disappointing results

Almost since the guns of World War II fell silent, the U.S. Army has focused most of its efforts on finding ways to counter the Soviet Union on the potential battlefields of Europe. Increasingly, however, America's real military challenges have been of a less conventional sort. A string of hostage crises in Iran and Lebanon, instability throughout the Persian Gulf, guerrilla wars that threatened El Salvador and other Third World allies, and the emergence of Soviet-aligned regimes in places like Nicaragua and Grenada have hammered home the need for ways to handle some very different military tasks: snatching hostages from the...

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