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This report considers the security challenges that Nicaragua might pose to U.S. interests in Central America in the years ahead. It begins with the assumption that the Sandinista regime will complete the process of political consolidation, with Soviet and Cuban assistance, relatively unhindered by the Contra resistance or U.S. policy, while Central America remains insecure. The analysis focuses on examining future Nicaraguan behavior in four areas: (1) support for revolutionary insurgency in the region, (2) support for international terrorism, (3) the development of Nicaragua's conventional military establishment, and (4) the ways in which the Soviet Union might attempt to use Nicaraguan bases and facilities to establish a military presence on the Central American mainland. The authors suggest that, if their assumptions hold true, Nicaragua is likely to pose a more serious and complex problem for U.S. interests in Central America than has heretofore been expected.

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