The moral element in the Ronald Reagan Doctrine plucked a familiar string. The Reagan Doctrine holds that intervention in the affairs of one country is morally permissible, or perhaps even required, when the intervention supports forces fighting for democracy. In Honduras, to the north, the Reagan administration already has made vast investments in military bases and has financed a large buildup in the Honduran army. Costa Rica shares a border with Nicaragua, and in spite of government protests, the contras have been operating from bases on the border, which, predictably, has triggered Nicaraguan retaliation. Costa Rica is already developing a military establishment in order to defend itself against both the Nicaraguan retaliatory raids on contra camps and its own right wing. As domestic politics becomes more polarized and the military establishment grows, Costa Rica's historic commitment to peaceful change and democratic institutions appears more and more precarious.