Friday, September 02, 2005

El Salvador offers its troops to aid Katrina recovery . . .

El Salvador has offered to send its soldiers to aid with the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

President Tony Saca told me yesterday that his country's legislature passed a resolution, which he signed, to offer troops to assist with rescue and recovery.

It is unknown whether the US has accepted - or even acknowledged - the offer.

The US should consider the offer seriously. El Salvador's small but professional army has extensive experience with hurricane relief and recovery. The country is the only Latin American nation with military forces still serving in Iraq, and recently sent a fresh contingent of soldiers.

Salvadoran troops are mostly young mountain men, a tough-as-nails force whose rank-and-file grew up in hardship and deprivation, giving them a remarkable way of withstanding the horrid conditions that would await them in Katrina's wake.

They would especially be helpful among the Spanish-speaking inhabitants of the Gulf Coast - and, if so ordered, would deal with looters effectively and efficiently.


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