Reagan's request for increased military aid to El Salvador is comparable to the Johnson's Administration investment in Vietnam--it has zero net worth. In this era of budget deficits and economic uncertainty, a policy of increased military support to the El Salvadoran government makes no sense.
The Salvadoran army possesses a fundamental flaw that will lead to the eventual demise of U.S.-backed forces. The soldiers of the Salvadoran army are not committed to fighting for continued domination of an oligarchic society. The Salvadoran government (oligarchy) has little to offer the people of El Salvador but repression. Most soldiers were pressed into commission through vagrancy laws or given an "offer they couldn't refuse."
Why should peasant soldiers risk their lives for a government that has tortured and killed many of their friends and relatives? Does a peasant gain from a U.S. policy that keeps a socialist government from entering "our backyard?"
U.S. policy should be more concerned with a government that quells social uprising through death squads and hit lists that label anyone trying to change the status quo as subversives. If a true democracy existed in El Salvador, then social change could alleviate the need for social revolution.
GEORGE P. BROWN