The plan to deploy additional U.S. troops in Honduras is a dangerous overreaction by President Reagan to events already being satisfactorily addressed by the leaders of Central America themselves through diplomatic channels.
This is not the first time that Nicaraguan forces have mounted a major offensive against the Contras and have carried their hot pursuit across the frontier into Honduras, where the Contras have their principal bases. This Sandinista offensive is all the more ill advised because it comes just six days before the scheduled resumption of cease-fire negotiations. For all concerned, but most of all for the Nicaraguan civilians who have been so cruelly victimized in this civil war, this should have been a time for holding the line, preparing for talks, minimizing the risk of more casualties.
Nevertheless, the events of the last 48 hours hardly justify the White House panic. There is certainly no evidence to justify Secretary of State George P. Shultz's assertion that this is "a genuine national-security problem for the United States of America." In fact, the White House hyperbole seems a transparent maneuver to bring new pressure on Congress to support further assistance for the Contras to prolong their desultory war. That would serve no good purpose. It would only invite more suffering by a people who have already suffered too much.