chapter  Chapter Twenty-One
6 Pages

Strategic Implications of the Central American Crisis

ByZbigniew Brzezinski

This chapter focuses on several aspects of dilemmas in dealing with the outbreak of insurgencies in Central American countries friendly to the United States. It examines the Central American problem as an issue in the American-Soviet relationship, a military issue, an issue in hemispheric and regional relations, and a domestic issue in American politics. The existence of Cuba and the Marxist cast of much of the Central American revolution automatically make the Central American problem part of the larger American-Soviet confrontation. The United States in a larger sense is in the process of readjusting its traditional relations, both with Central America and with Latin America. The Central American issue nonetheless inflames passions throughout the continent and could divide from that continent on a massive and highly counterproductive scale. The rather interesting strategic critic of the Vietnam War, Colonel Harry Summers, in a review of our strategy pursued in the Vietnam War, makes a number of suggestive points.