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'U.S. Policy in Central America'

September 08, 1985

Many thanks to The Times for Rear Adm. Robert J. Hanks' clear and dispassionate article (Editorial Pages, Aug. 26) on our military and security concerns in Nicaragua and Central America.

Also, thanks for Wayne Smith's article, which put these security concerns in perspective. Smith says, "We must protect our interests and assure U.S. security--always. But it behooves us to settle our differences with other countries through negotiations rather than resort to arms if at all possible." He further states that we need not trust the Sandinistas since they have already "indicated their acceptance of verification procedures as an integral part of any regional settlement."

However, he also says that "any agreement would have to provide on-site inspection" in order to be effective. From the articles it's not clear that the Sandinistas mean to include "on-site" in their definition of "verification procedures."

The Sandinistas, he says, are reiterating their willingness to address U.S. security concerns seriously and the Contradora countries are appealing to us to resume negotiations.

Clearly, negotiation and clarification are needed, and the ball is in the Reagan court. We should get on with it.

VIRGINIA LOUAILLIER

Woodland Hills

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