The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977–1992

The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977–1992

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Russell Crandall
Cambridge University Press, 5/23/2016
EAN 9781316500644, ISBN10: 1316500640

Paperback, 680 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 4.3 cm
Language: English

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.

1. Introduction
Part I. El Salvador in the Cold War
2. Farabundo Martí, la matanza, and a stolen election
3. The United States in Latin America
4. American military mission in El Salvador
5. A divided nation
military traditions, democratic third way, and liberation theology
6. Guerrillas are born
Part II. Jimmy Carter
7. Revolution and counterinsurgency in Guatemala
8. Mass organizations
9. Carter arrives
10. Carter and the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, 1979
11. An October coup
12. Carter engages Salvador
13. Archbishop Romero
14. Land
15. The American churchwomen
16. Arming the rebels
17. Guerrilla final offensive, January 1981
18. Death squads
Part III. Ronald Reagan
19. Reagan arrives
20. Reagan and Salvador
21. El Mozote
22. Another Vietnam
23. Solidarity
24. Troop cap and certifying human rights
25. Reagan gambles on elections, 1982
26. The Shultz doctrine
27. Human rights
28. Henry Kissinger
29. Contras
30. 'Elections yes, dialogue no', 1984 presidential election
31. La Palma
32. Esquipulas
33. Counterinsurgency I
34. Counterinsurgency II
35. Zona rosa
36. Air war
37. José Napoleón Duarte
38. Iran-Contra
Part IV. George H. W. Bush
39. Elusive justice
40. Pessimism
41. Bush arrives
42. Bush, Cristiani, and the 1989 vote
43. Guerrilla 'second' final offensive, 1989
44. Jesuit killings
45. SAMs
46. United Nations and peace
47. Demobilization
Part V. Post-war
48. Post-war Salvador
49. Concluding thoughts