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Lauren Carasik

If a decrease in border crossings is the metric upon which Obama's response to this summer's immigration crisis is judged, he has succeeded. But his is a hollow victory, particularly since it came at the cost of imperiling the lives of refugees the United States is bound to protect.

Oliver Kaplan and Michael Albertus

Even as Colombian troops fight FARC rebels in the jungle, the two sides are busy negotiating a peace deal. Land reform could pave the way to a lasting settlement and drive down the country’s inequality in the process.

Essay, Summer 1989
James LeMoyne

Analyzes the civil war in "one of the sickest societies in Latin America", and urges a review of US aid policy objectives.

Essay, Special 1986
Clifford Krauss

Assesses the status of revolutionary forces in Central America, arguing that none will be successful. Catholicism and conservatism have deeper roots than Marxism. Domino theory will not be demonstrated. Rebels in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala are unpopular and ineffective. Explains that US containment is the reason why the role of the USSR and its allies has been only one of assisting in defence and economic development of Nicaragua, and has been circumspect and miserly about activities in Central America. Continued US military reaction without diplomatic efforts will only de-stabilize the region.

Essay, Summer 1983
Piero Gleijeses

The Reagan Administration came to power confident of its ability to impose Washington's will on Central America. El Salvador was the immediate focus of its attention--and optimism ran high. The ill-timed January 1981 "final offensive" of the Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberación National (FMLN) had already failed when Ronald Reagan entered the White House. To the eager eyes of the new Administration the FMLN's defeat appeared a rout. Victory would be swift and at little cost, Washington believed, with no need for U.S. assistance markedly above the levels reached by the outgoing Carter Administration. The easy success would spark little controversy at home and abroad, and sweep away any lingering remnants of the Vietnam syndrome in the United States.

Essay, Summer 1980
William M. LeoGrande and Carla Anne Robbins

Not since Vietnam has the domino theory enjoyed such currency in Washington. Less than a year after Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza was driven from Managua by the first Latin American revolution in two decades, neighboring El Salvador teeters on the brink of full-scale insurrection. In truth, El Salvador has hardly had a government over the past 12 months. The nation_s nominal rulers have long since lost control of their own security forces and today stand isolated amidst a rising tide of political violence from both Right and Left.

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