Created: 4/7/1982

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National Intelligence Daily (Cable)


EL The Military Balance

//Tho failure to disrupt the election and thohigh turnoutajor politicalblow to the insurgent cause. Theexpended considerable nuuipover and materialeffort to prevent the voting, and newamong the guerrilla factions are likely tostrains on insurgent unity.//

//Tho military balance, however, probably will not shift quickly and decisively in the government's favor. Tho insurgent's preparations to disrupt the election left them with bettor arms, more trained cadre, and new supply routes. The flow of the Cuban and Kicaraguan arms ia likely to continue, although perhaps at avolume. Despite the successful election, the insurgents still enjoy some deqree cf international political and propaganda support.//

Military Improvements

//The salvadorar. military has strengthened itsover the past yearppears to haveon tho insurgents. Ono of its greatestbeen insufficient manpower to conductwhile defending population centers andtaigets. Since last year, however, the Armydoubled, and the combined strength of theand security forces is now



10 s

//To improve corruind and control of this larger force, the Army has formed two additional brigade headquarters, bringing tho currant total to six. uick-reaction battalion activated last year has boon conducting in-

//Two additional quick-reaction units aro inregular infantry battalions throughout thebeing strengthened end rccquippod withortars, and recoillesa rifles. Inthe US isfficer candidates ir. an

effort tohortage of Junior comaiandors.//


/Alio acquisition ofH-lll helicopter* over the past year has made the Army much rcorc mobile, allowing small units to be deployed by air and wounded personnel to be evacuated quickly. Although some helicopters wore destroyed in an insurgent raid in late January, they were soon replaced. and the inventory is being expanded

he Army, however, still has significant weaknesses. Soldiers often have to be rushed into combat beforebasic training. Coordination among large units ia weak, generally allowing insurgents to escapo swcop operations.//

//Inadequate logistic support often forces the Army to end offensive operations prematurely. The government cannot interdict guerrilla supplies delivered by sea and]

Insurgent Forces

//The guerrillas also have made considerableover the past year. They still appear to have a

regular force of, and have a

part-time militia of

//The insurgents have divided the country into five fronts, eachommander and general staff. units are mostly concentrated in about eight base areas from which operations are launched, within these


0 I I c

eight base areas more thanall -de fended guerrilla camps have boon 'drntified, and there may bo many mots.//

//The guerrillas' generalocated in Nicaragua, f

//Moat insurgent training apparently takestlie base areas, but nany copoandors andhave taken courses in Nicaragua, Cuba, Eastcountrios, or the Middle Kast. esult,havo becoao more adept at ambushes

//The insurgent supply network has expandedwith most of the arms and ammunition comingsources through Nicaragua. OverlandNicaragua through Honduras has decreased as aof more effective llonduran interdictionsea and perhaps air deliveries havo picked up Tho voluse roseearly thisthe guerrillas prepared fO their preelection

flq espite these improvements, the insurgent problems The largest faction believesmtraeted guerrilla war and is opposed to negotiations, while other factions still hopeuick victoryr.sui auction, and barringegotiated settlement giving then access to power. The differences have resulted in lack of unity and coordination atactical^level, occasionally leading to open fighting,//

//The insurgents have failed toubstantial baao of popular support, particularly in urban areas.uerrillas have won the support of peasants and refugees in their base areas, but this has resulted in administrative and economic burdens that have hindered insurgent military operations.//



Current Situation

//The guerrillas need some spectacular successes to preserve their arcaiiility ;nd restore ssralc. Theyoped to selae tha eastern cities of Usulutan and Son rraneJsco before tho elections, but the failure or diversionary attacks elsewhoro and the arrival ofre in (or cements forced thorn to retreat. Theyremain strong in those areas, and it willajorffort to dislodge then.// f ]

//The insurgents may increase sabotage operations, particularly against major bridges aad hydroelectric dans in the country. /

sucn important targets arc

generally well defended, however, and thebe forced to strike elsewhere.//

//They also hope to turn tho success of thoin the election to their propagandawould be aided in this effort by tha exclusionmoderate Christian Dopocratic Party from the

//In addition, the insurgents may try to takeof cho initial political uncertainty surrounding the new constituent assembly. Nevertheless, guerrillas probably will remain on the defensive for some time.//


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