Intervention Or Neglect: The United States And Central America Beyond The 1980s

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Intervention Or Neglect: The United States And Central America Beyond The 1980s

By Linda S. Robinson
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1991
223 pp. $14.95
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From the turn of the century to the present, U.S. involvement in Central America has been cyclical: periods of intense intervention have been followed by withdrawal and neglect. After the deep, if not obsessive, U.S. concern with Central America during the 1980s, a combination of trends in the region and broader international changes have created the new prospect of U.S. withdrawal. Robinson counsels sensibly that Washington should avoid both the impulse to intervene and the temptation to withdraw, but should "shift its focus and resources from defending the region against security threats to promoting democratization and economic development." She puts forward a number of constructive policy proposals, many of them previously recommended by the Sanford Commission, but does not fully address the central question: In a radically changing world, why should the U.S. concern itself much with Central America?

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