The Salvador Option

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 23, 2016 - History - 698 pages
El Salvador's civil war between the Salvadoran government and Marxist guerrillas erupted into full force in early 1981 and endured for eleven bloody years. Unwilling to tolerate an advance of Soviet and Cuban-backed communism in its geopolitical backyard, the US provided over six billion dollars in military and economic aid to the Salvadoran government. El Salvador was a deeply controversial issue in American society and divided Congress and the public into left and right. Relying on thousands of archival documents as well as interviews with participants on both sides of the war, The Salvador Option offers a thorough and fair-minded interpretation of the available evidence. If success is defined narrowly, there is little question that the Salvador Option achieved its Cold War strategic objectives of checking communism. Much more difficult, however, is to determine what human price this 'success' entailed - a toll suffered almost entirely by Salvadorans in this brutal civil war.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
part one el salvador in the cold
13
Farabundo Martı La Matanza and a Stolen Election
15
The United States in Latin America
25
American Military Mission in El Salvador
36
Military Traditions Democratic Third Way and Liberation Theology
46
Guerrillas Are Born
65
part two jimmy carter
77
Human Rights
287
Henry Kissinger
300
Contras
306
Elections Yes Dialogue No 1984 Presidential Election
317
La Palma
331
Esquipulas
340
Counterinsurgency I
346
Counterinsurgency II
362

Revolution and Counterinsurgency in Guatemala
79
Mass Organizations
90
Carter Arrives
102
Carter and the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua 1979
114
An October Coup
122
Carter Engages Salvador
132
Archbishop Romero
140
Land
149
The American Churchwomen
160
Arming the Rebels
167
Guerrilla Final Offensive January 1981
176
Death Squads
183
part three ronald reagan
199
Reagan Arrives
201
Reagan and Salvador
213
El Mozote
223
Another Vietnam
232
Solidarity
239
Troop Cap and Certifying Human Rights
251
Reagan Gambles on Elections 1982 261
261
The Shultz Doctrine
275
Zona Rosa 371
371
Air
377
Jose Napoleon Duarte
382
IranContra
397
part four george h w bush
403
Elusive Justice 405
405
Pessimism
409
Bush Arrives
415
Bush Cristiani and the 1989 Vote
421
Guerrilla Second Final Offensive November 1989
431
Jesuit Killings
442
SAMs
453
United Nations and Peace
461
Demobilization
472
Postwar Salvador
487
Concluding Thoughts
496
Notes
507
Bibliography
645
Index
677
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Russell Crandall is a Professor of American foreign policy at Davidson College. His previous books include America's Dirty Wars: Irregular Warfare from 1776 to the War on Terror (2014), The United States and Latin America after the Cold War (2008), Gunboat Democracy: US Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Panama, and Driven by Drugs: US Policy toward Colombia (2006). Interwoven with his academic career, Crandall has held foreign policy appointments within several sectors of the US government, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, and the National Security Council at the White House. He is also a writer at American Interest magazine, a member of the editorial board at America's Quarterly magazine, and a contributing editor and book reviewer at the journal Survival: Global Policy and Strategy.

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