High Stakes

The U.S. military buildup in Honduras is part of the Reagan administration's commitment to enlarge the U.S. military presence worldwide in support of its global anti-communist drive. U.S. bases are under construction or expansion in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Caribbean Basin. According to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger's annual report to Congress for fiscal year (FY) 1985, military construction budgeted through 1989 includes air- and sea-lift capabilities that will "move us considerably closer to our goal of being able to deploy major forces and sustain combat operations in two or more theatres simultaneously."

The Reagan administration has portrayed Nicaraguan Sandinistas and the Salvadoran guerrillas as the communist enemy in Central America and has instituted an elaborate military campaign against them, with strategically located Honduras as the logistical base. The administration's massive military buildup in Honduras has been thinly veiled as joint U.S.-Honduran military exercises. The exercises are part and parcel of growing arms transfers and extensive military training, but are immune to congressional review since they are financed from the Pentagon's operations and maintenance budget.

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