|Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 37||October 27, 1995|
by Ted Galen Carpenter
Ted Galen Carpenter is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.
The terms of the emerging peace accord to end the war in Bosnia are a blueprint for disaster. Washington foolishly insists on maintaining the fiction of a united Bosnian state while accepting a de facto partition. Renewed fighting is highly probable when the Serb self-governing "entity" attempts to secede and merge with Serbia and the Muslim-dominated government tries to assert Bosnia's sovereignty. Indeed, a clash between Muslim and Croat forces is also possible, since any Muslim-Croat cooperation has been a matter of expediency. To enforce such an inherently unworkable settlement would be to recklessly put American treasure and lives at risk.
Since Bosnia is little more than a battleground for contending ethno-religious factions, and the United States has no vital interests there, Washington should let those factions work out their own destiny, however long it takes. Only a settlement forged by the parties to the conflict--an agreement that reflects battlefield realities and the balance of political and military forces--has any chance of achieving a durable peace.
|Full Text of Foreign Policy Brief No. 37 (HTML)|
© 1995 The Cato Institute
Please send comments to webmaster