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Revolutionaries for the RightAnticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War$
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Kyle Burke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640730

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640730.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Private Wars in Central America

Private Wars in Central America

(p.118) 5 Private Wars in Central America
Revolutionaries for the Right

Kyle Burke

University of North Carolina Press

Growing more confident, John Singlaub and other retired covert warriors launched a series of paramilitary campaigns in Central America in the 1980s. As the Reagan administration faced stiff resistance about its wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador from Congress and the American public, many on the right concluded that the private sector was best suited to channel money, weapons, supplies, and advisors to embattled paramilitary groups. Starting in 1981, Singlaub and his allies organized rallies, sponsored television and radio programs, and published books, pamphlets, and articles to raise millions of dollars in private donations from wealthy individuals and businesses, international groups, and grassroots organizations. Then they used these funds to establish private military aid programs that they hoped would not only fill in for the United States military and intelligence services but also do a better job for less money. This struggle against foreign enemies, made possible by will and weapons, simultaneously legitimized a growing paramilitary subculture in the United States. For it presented a vision of combat in which ordinary citizens took up arms to fight communism.

Keywords:   John Singlaub, Robert K. Brown, Soldier of Fortune, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Nicaraguan Contras, Ronald Reagan, paramilitarism, mercenaries, World Anti-Communist League, United States Council for World Freedom

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