Crossroads of Intervention

Crossroads of Intervention

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Lessons from Central America

By Todd Greentree; Robert W. Tucker (Foreword by)

US Naval Institute Press, Paperback, 9781591143437, 196pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2009

Much can be learned today about the nature of irregular warfare, the author argues, from the experiences of the United States and the other protagonists in Central America during the final decade of the Cold War. This strategy and policy analysis examines the origins, dynamics, and termination of the Sandinista insurrection in Nicaragua, the Salvadoran government's decade-long counterinsurgency against the FMLN guerrillas, and the Contra insurgency against the Sandinistas. Todd Greentree establishes the historical, political, and conceptual relationship between U.S. involvement in the Central American wars, the Vietnam War, and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then develops a general analytical framework for understanding the fundamental and recurring nature of insurgency, counterinsurgency, and intervention. Greentree cites U.S. involvement in Central America during the 1980s as clearly demonstrating the costs, risks, and limits to intervention and the use of force in internal conflicts and warns that the consequences of such involvement must not be forgotten.

About the Author
TODD GREENTREE is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and teaches national security studies and international politics at the University of New Mexico, and is a former professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College. His personal experience with irregular warfare extends from El Salvador and Nicaragua to Angola where he served as U.S. Foreign Service Officer.

Robert W. Tucker is Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.