To analyze El Salvador over the past eleven years, one must simultaneously consider political transition and civil war.Describe it as one may, the bottom line is that there was some kind of obnoxious recursiveness. Events would look good, bad, or indifferent with regard to the war, but that did not necessarily mean that the political transition was moving at the same pace or in the same direction. As a matter of fact, we may not have a theory of transition but, rather, just some primitive understanding of the process. During the war in El Salvador, there have been a number of inflection points (or, in the more technical jargon of the profession, "in-game opportunities") that were just thrown out, or the resilience of and the diffusion of power that had occurred in the society was such that those who held the initiative at that point could not take advantage of it to neutralize the adversary totally.
A few examples, some of which have been mentioned already, may help illustrate the obnoxious recursiveness of the situation. To alleviate the suffering or living conditions of the people, there were at one point fairly successful programs, such as CONARA and Municipalities in Action, which were interpreted and may have been conceived as well within the counterinsurgency framework.From the standpoint of alleviating harsh conditions of life, they were undoubtedly benefiting people. They became, however, a focus and object of conflict and violence.
Second, unlike other processes of transition in Central and Mediterranean Europe and in South America, there was a duality of power.This means that there have been double official interlocutors. It was not just a matter of a set of military extricating themselves from power; there was____________________