Forging Peace: The Challenge of Central America

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Forging Peace: The Challenge of Central America

By Richard R. Fagen
Basil Blackwell, 1987
161 pp. $24.95

This book follows the 1984 PACCA book Changing Course, which argued against the military component of the Kissinger Commission's policy prescriptions. Forging Peace pursues the same line, presenting many statistics (most with sources) and a "two-gap" model showing little economic growth in Central America if current conflicts continue, but growth of three to four percent a year if there is peace. The latter scenario does not require more aid than present policies, but U.S. aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica in the 1980s has amounted to over half of all aid to Latin America. The muscular prose is unnecessary; the statistics speak for themselves. While land and income distribution are still highly unequal, the author overlooks implementation of some land reform in El Salvador.

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