Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 19 July 1, 1992

Foreign Policy Briefing

Foreign Policy Masochism:
The Campaign for U.S. Intervention in Yugoslavia

by Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Executive Summary

Foreign policy experts, media pundits, and congressional leaders are calling with increasing frequency for the United States to intervene militarily in the Yugoslavian conflict. Although the Bush administration has wisely resisted such proposals, it has slowly escalated the U.S. political and diplomatic role and thereby increased the danger of a subsequent military entanglement. Leading administration officials also seem to be weakening in their resolve to keep out of the fray.

Those who urge the United States to become involved in the turmoil taking place in the Balkans embrace a reckless policy. Military intervention would almost certainly result in the loss of American lives and create a host of long-term political risks and burdens without even the hope of offsetting tangible benefits. The ethnic conflicts convulsing Yugoslavia result from long-standing animosities that are impervious to solutions imposed from the outside. In that sense, Yugoslavia is a larger and more dangerous version of Lebanon.

Equally important, there is no need for the United States to become entangled in the fighting. Yugoslavia has never been a vital interest of the United States, and contrary to some of the superheated rhetoric of interventionists, the region is a geopolitical backwater in the post-Cold War era. The outcome of the fighting will not have a significant impact even on the European, much less the global, balance of power and, therefore, does not warrant U.S. action. Although the bloodletting is undoubtedly tragic, it does not serve the best interests of the American people to have this country become a participant in the carnage.

Background to the Conflict

For those who believed that the end of the Cold War signaled the "end of history" and the onset of an era marked by stability and peace, the war in Yugoslavia has produced a rude reality check. In retrospect, the wonder is not that such an artificial political entity as Yugoslavia finally unraveled but that it held together for so long. That "nation," created by the victors in World War I from the wreckage of the Austro-Hungarian empire, was little more than an unstable amalgam of feuding ethnic groups. Despite the rhetoric about "South Slav" solidarity, there were few factors that promoted unity or even the most tenuous sense of nationhood.

The inherent instability of Yugoslavia was obscured for a time, but it became all too apparent during World War II when many Croats, who had suffered at the hands of the Serbdominated monarchy during the interwar years, became willing allies of Nazi Germany's occupation forces against the Serbs and others of their countrymen. That collaboration led to acts of genocide in which as many as 500,000 Serbs (as well as 200,000 members of other ethnic groups) perished. Yugoslavia's fragile unity was restored after World War II only because communist dictator Josip Broz, known as Marshal Tito, ruthlessly suppressed any manifestations of ethnic separatism as a challenge to the supremacy of the governing party and his own authority.

Tito's repressive regime submerged but in no way resolved the bitter divisions in Yugoslavian society. The collective presidency that succeeded Tito on his death in 1980 grew increasingly ineffectual, and separatist sentiments quickly resurfaced. The mounting crisis became acute in June 1991 when the republics of Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from the tottering federation. Fighting between secessionist forces and the Serb-dominated Yugoslav military (supported by Serbian militias operating inside Croatia) erupted immediately. Although the conflict slowly subsided in Croatia (after the Serbs seized large chunks of territory) and the contending parties reached a cease-fire agreement enforced by UN peace-keeping units, an even more ferocious struggle began when the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence in February 1992. Serbian-led forces soon seized more than two-thirds of Bosnia's territory and besieged the capital of Sarajevo.

Calls for U.S. Intervention

As the fighting in Yugoslavia has intensified, calling for a U.S.-led intervention has become a growth industry for American opinion makers. Enthusiasm for drastic action spans the political spectrum. Occasionally, it is couched in terms of stopping the fighting without prejudging the underlying political and territorial disputes, but more typically Serbia is cast as a brutal aggressor that must be stopped.

The conservative Center for Security Policy, headed by former assistant secretary of defense Frank R. Gaffney, Jr., is the most passionate advocate of a military crusade in the Balkans. A May 29 study issued by the center insists that "there is only one way to stop the carnage in the former Yugoslavia--by denying Serbia the fruits of its aggression." Achieving that goal requires that "Serbian-led forces occupying areas of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina must be expelled--by force if necessary." Neither the European Community nor its leading powers, France and Germany, will be capable of taking decisive action, according to the CSP. "There is, in fact, only one organization capable of taking on and successfully executing this daunting task: NATO. Only the Alliance has the dedicated, highly trained and rapidly deployable forces needed to thwart [Serbian president Slobodan] Milosevic's hegemonic designs." The CSP does acknowledge that "there would inevitably be casualties, and the possibility of a wider war cannot be excluded" but insists that "the downsides of NATO intervention pale beside the dangers for the continent, and Western interests, sure to arise if a communist/nationalist despot remains effectively unchecked in his barbaric effort to secure territory and consolidate his power through aggression."(1)

The editors of the Washington Times are only slightly less bellicose. "Much has been made of the prospect that U.S. and NATO troops could be bogged down in a Lebanon-like quagmire," they note. "It is not inconceivable, however, that naval and air operations could have a highly salutary effect without necessarily involving NATO ground troops." Indeed, the Times editors carry their hopes for intervention-on-the-cheap to an extreme. A "little saber-rattling might bring it home to the Serbian people . . . that they have a stake in stopping the bloodshed. A few low-flying jets shattering window panes in Belgrade might put things into perspective."(2)

Centrist and liberal figures have likewise been beating the drums for a U.S.-led military expedition to the Balkans. Liberal columnist Anthony Lewis has repeatedly called for intervention on "humanitarian" grounds.(3) He also shares the Washington Times hope that air power can be a panacea, asserting that there is "a way for the United States and the [European] Community to act effectively without undue risk of being embroiled in military action on the ground. That is to take command of the air."(4) Fellow New York Times columnist Leslie H. Gelb urges the West to pursue a military solution quickly, although he too shrinks from the consequences of a ground war. "To begin with, NATO should announce that it will use its air power to close the skies to Serbian military aircraft. And then, act if necessary. If that does not stop the fighting, NATO should announce it will strike Serbian airfields and military bases. And then, do so if necessary." The deployment of ground forces, he concedes, should be avoided if possible, although "NATO would be wise to discuss this issue in detail."(5)

Unfortunately, sentiment for military action is not confined to media pundits and think tank experts. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has recently urged the Bush administration to assume a more vigorous leadership role in the Balkans crisis. Specifically, he wants the administration to orchestrate a UN resolution authorizing the use of force against Serbia and then to press the NATO allies to carry out that resolution if Serbia does not end its military operations.(6) Several Senate colleagues, in- cluding Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), Joseph Biden (D-Del.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), Joseph Lieberman (D- Conn.), and minority leader Robert Dole (R-Kans.) have echoed Lugar's calls for possible coercive measures.(7)

The presence of prominent mainstream political figures in the military intervention camp is especially worrisome. Bush administration officials may not be able to ignore the mounting pressure for action, particularly when it comes from such influential GOP congressional leaders as Lugar and Dole. Indeed, there are already troubling indications that the administration's determination to avoid being sucked into the Yugoslavian turmoil is beginning to weaken. That should not be surprising. Having invoked the grandiose vision of a new world order to justify the Persian Gulf War, administration leaders are now vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy if they fail to take action against aggression in the Balkans. Senator Lieberman epitomized the reasoning of those who took the new world order rationale seriously when he said, "It is time to draw another line--this time in the Balkans--and to say that Milosevic's aggression will not stand."(8)

The Bush Administration's Drift toward War

From the beginning of the Yugoslavian crisis in 1991, the president and his principal advisers have sought to influence events while minimizing the risk of direct U.S. involvement. Initially, the administration urged the feuding parties to keep the Yugoslavian federation intact, a policy that was widely perceived as "tilting" toward hardline elements in Belgrade.(9) The declarations of independence by Slovenia and Croatia in June 1991 and the fighting that immediately ensued demonstrated the futility of that approach. Under pressure from the members of the European Community to let Europeans attempt to deal with a European crisis, Washington then adopted a relatively low profile, expressing support for most EC initiatives but not vigorously pushing measures of its own.(10)

The U.S. role has slowly become more prominent as the European Community's efforts to defuse the crisis have proven ineffective. Washington strongly backed an EC initiative in the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on Yugoslavia in late 1991. More recently, the United States appeared to be the leading force behind a UN Security Council resolution imposing on Yugoslavia comprehensive economic sanctions, including a ban on air travel, the freezing of assets abroad, and an oil embargo.(11) That move represented a significant elevation of the U.S. political profile.

Nevertheless, the administration has thus far resisted suggestions that the United States become militarily involved. One reason may be crass political considerations; the White House is understandably nervous about the unpredictable consequences of a foreign policy imbroglio in an election year. But there are more substantive motives as well. Most military leaders scoff at the optimistic belief of civilians that air power alone would obviate the need for ground forces. Senior military officials are reportedly fearful that a U.S.-led intervention could easily turn into a costly and bloody enterprise. They note that the United States would have few of the advantages (e.g., desert terrain, an easily identifiable enemy, and the adversary's military units deployed in a static conventional mode) that it enjoyed in Operation Desert Storm. Instead, it would face the prospect of guerrilla warfare, urban street fighting, and an extraordinarily difficult task of telling friend from foe. Military experts point out that Yugoslavia has had a history of guerrilla conflicts (most notably in World War II when resistance forces gave the German occupation army fits) and that the Serbian militias are well equipped and well trained to conduct that style of warfare on a long- term basis. One unnamed Army officer accurately likened Yugoslavia to "two parts Lebanon and one part Vietnam."(12)

There is a growing danger, however, that the administration's incremental actions may be carrying the United States toward military involvement. For example, Washington flatly refused to contribute U.S. personnel to a UN peace-keeping force that was sent to Croatia in December 1991 to implement a cease-fire between the warring factions. By June 1992, though, the administration agreed "conditionally" to participate in UN operations to airlift supplies into the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, if a cease-fire could be arranged.(13) More ominously, U.S. officials have refused to rule out U.S. involvement in military action to pacify Yugoslavia--although they stress that there are "no current plans" for such steps. Recent statements by Secretary of State James A. Baker III and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft even suggest that the administration is now seriously contemplating intervention.(14) Scowcroft's assertion that the fighting poses a security threat to the "Euro- Atlantic community" is especially ominous.

"Moral" Rationales for Intervention

Proponents of U.S. intervention in the Yugoslavian conflict stress humanitarian reasons, contending that the United States has a moral obligation to stop the fighting. Anthony Lewis, for example, evokes the image of the terrified civilians of Sarajevo: "shells falling on apartment houses, mosques and churches; civilians huddled in dark basements, occasionally braving the shells to go out in search of food and water. Such scenes have not been seen in Europe since 1945."(15)

It is hard not to sympathize with the desire to halt the suffering Lewis describes. (It is curious, however, that at the same time the slaughter goes on in Yugoslavia, thousands of lives are also being lost in internecine warfare in such places as Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan, and there are no comparable calls for massive external military intervention. Are the lives of Croats and Bosnians more valuable?) In any case, U.S. foreign policy must be based on sober calculations of the costs and risks of intervention. Humanitarian impulses, however genuine, cannot justify a dangerous and unwise military adventure.

There is little reason to believe that outside intervention would resolve the Yugoslavian tragedy. The ethnic and religious animosities in the Balkans go back centuries, and there are dimensions to the current Serb-Croat or Serb- Moslem Slav bloodletting that are barely comprehensible to outsiders. It is the height of arrogance to assume that a U.S., NATO, or UN occupation force will induce the warring factions to settle their disputes peacefully. The disastrous experience of the U.S.-led multinational peace-keeping force in faction-ridden Lebanon in 1982-83 should make American officials doubly wary of blundering into a similar situation.

Humanitarian arguments for intervention are frequently accompanied by simplistic caricatures of the complex political struggle in Yugoslavia. The Center for Security Policy, for example, has described the conflict as "the naked aggression of totalitarian forces," and the "Serbs' heinous rape of Croatia."(16) Serbian president Milosevic, the designated villain in this morality play, has been labeled "the communist despot of Serbia," a "brigand and a fanatic," and "the butcher of the Balkans."(17) Some even call for convening an international tribunal to put him on trial for crimes against humanity.

The interventionists' bias is evident in many ways. They repeatedly cite evidence of atrocities committed by the Serb-dominated Yugoslavian army or the various Serbian militias operating in Croatia and Bosnia, yet they ignore evidence of Croat atrocities. Milosevic's authoritarian practices, which are indeed odious, are highlighted, while those of Croatia's president Franjo Tudjman are glossed over. Yet the Tudjman regime's mistreatment of Croatia's Serbian minority (even before the onset of fighting), its harassment of political critics, and its cynical willingness to negotiate a partition of Bosnia with Serbian authorities are a matter of record.(18) The conflict in Yugoslavia is far from a Manichean struggle between good and evil; it is a moral muddle with an ample quantity of villainy on all sides.

Consistent with their oversimplification of the virtues and faults of the combatants, most interventionists do not merely advocate military action against Serbia; they also want international guarantees of the prewar boundaries of Croatia and Bosnia.(19) Such an obsession with restoring the status quo ante is ill-conceived. The territorial configuration of the former Yugoslavian republics has little correlation with the distribution of various ethnic groups. In particular, the preconflict boundaries would leave large Serbian minorities in both Croatia and Bosnia--as well as a sizable Croatian minority in Bosnia. Moreover, the internal boundaries of Yugoslavia have weak historical roots; they were imposed by Tito shortly after he came to power in the mid-1940s.(20)

Insisting on the inviolability of the pre-civil war frontiers would inevitably maximize instability, human rights violations, and festering grievances for decades to come. Of course, in an ideal world people would be judged as individuals, not as members of ethnic or religious groups, and they would enjoy equal rights. As desirable as that moral principle may be, however, it is does not correspond to the current or prospective state of affairs in the Balkans. Any hope for lasting stability and coexistence will require as much territorial adjustment as can be achieved in a region that is an ethnic mosaic to minimize the problem of ethnic minorities. Moreover, some of those adjustments are likely to come through the use of force, since governments seldom voluntarily give up territory under their jurisdiction. Again, the point is not whether the agenda of any particular party is right or wrong; it is that neither the United States nor any other external power is capable of sorting out the competing claims and imposing its will. Any attempt to do so will only make the intervenor the target of whatever faction or factions feel aggrieved at the outcome.

National Interest Rationales for Intervention

The moral case for U.S. military intervention is flimsy, but the argument that America has important interests at stake in the Yugoslavian conflict is still weaker. It is difficult to make even a plausible case for intervention on national interest grounds. Yugoslavia does not have any valuable commodity, such as oil. Consequently, it is not possible to foment fears of supply cutoffs or economic "strangleholds," as the Bush administration did so effectively to generate support for its Persian Gulf crusade. None of the Yugoslavian republics is poised to become armed with nuclear weapons as Iraq supposedly was. And with the end of the Cold War, Serbia cannot be portrayed as a surrogate of America's superpower enemy.

To come up with a justification based on national interest, proponents of intervention must rely, almost by default, on vague warnings of instability and a "wider war" that could (somehow) threaten America's security. One tactic is to invoke potent memories. Some even go so far as to use the shopworn Munich analogy. Former president Richard Nixon, for example, observes that some people, "to para- phrase Neville Chamberlain," insist that Croatia is a small, faraway nation about which we know little.(21) The Munich analogy, however, apparently seems far-fetched even to most interventionists. It is a little difficult to credibly portray tiny Serbia (population 9 million) as the equivalent of Nazi Germany.

A more popular historical rallying cry is the supposed analogy with World War I--a crisis in the Balkans led to a global conflagration. Columnist Paul Greenberg notes ominously, "If there is any doubt about the threat to world peace" posed by the fighting, "the dateline on many of these stories out of a dissolving Yugoslavia should be sufficient warning: SARAJEVO. . . ."(22) Scowcroft used similar imagery, intoning, "The Balkans are the Balkans, and Sarajevo has a history that we should forget only at our peril."(23)

On a somewhat more substantive level, Jenonne Walker, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, warns that Eastern Europe "is full of potential conflicts," and Western inaction in the Balkans could set a dangerous precedent. Anthony Lewis fears that a failure to stop "ethnic aggression" in Yugoslavia "may lead to the unraveling of peace in Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and parts of the former Soviet Union." Leslie Gelb is equally apocalyptic, arguing that the conflict in Bosnia "could ignite wider Balkan wars and even broader regional bloodshed with calamitous consequences for Europe and the ex-Soviet world."(24)

Averting an Unnecessary Entanglement

Such arguments miss several important points. The more expansive predictions of doom are little more than updated versions of the discredited domino theory of the 1950s and 1960s. Contrary to the alarmist scenarios, local conflicts rarely become continent-wide (much less global) conflagrations. Expansionist powers are typically contained by coalitions of other regional actors.(25) The need for intervention by an external great power is the exception, not the rule. It is certainly possible that the fighting in Croatia and Bosnia may spread to other portions of the Balkans. The desire of ethnic Albanians in Serbia's Kosovo province to cast off Serbian domination and territorial disputes involving another Yugoslav republic, Macedonia, are the two most probable catalysts.(26) Nevertheless, those would still be regional problems, not global crises.

Sarajevo has no mystical significance, nor do the Balkans have inherent strategic or geopolitical importance. A crisis in the Balkans led to World War I not because of the region's intrinsic value (which was as minimal then as it is now) but because the major European powers foolishly identified their own vital interests with the outcome of its parochial conflicts. As the RAND Corporation's Benjamin Schwarz correctly observes, "The fuse for that war was lit in Sarajevo not because ethnic conflict existed in what is now Yugoslavia, but because great powers meddled in those conflicts."(27) That ought to be a pertinent lesson for today's advocates of U.S. intervention.

Interference in the Yugoslavian conflict would be premature as well as unrewarding. In the event that the fighting spreads to the point that it becomes a more significant and dangerous regional problem, a military response should come from the members of the European Community, not the United States. During the Cold War, it was at least possible to argue that U.S. political and military leadership was indispensable; that only a superpower could neutralize the threat posed by another superpower. That argument no longer has any relevance. It strains credulity to the breaking point to contend that the European Community cannot handle a security threat created by disorder in Yugoslavia. A region with a collective population of 340 million, a gross national product of $6 trillion, and military forces numbering more than 2.2 million active-duty personnel certainly has the wherewithal to deal with a problem of that magnitude.(28)

If policy differences among key members of the European Community preclude intervention, or if the members deliberately adopt a strategy of inaction because they believe the risks outweigh any potential benefits, the community must be prepared to live with the consequences.(29) Yugoslavia is much closer and more relevant to the EC nations than it is to the United States. Under no circumstances should Washington consider military intervention, either as a unilateral mission or as a multilateral enterprise through NATO or the United Nations. There are no U.S. security interests at stake that even remotely reach the threshold of importance needed to justify the costs and risks. U.S. involvement in the intractable, parochial conflicts of the Balkans would be an exercise in foreign policy masochism.


(1) Center for Security Policy, "Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Troops--Not Sanctions--Needed to Halt Yugoslav Carnage," Decision Brief no. 92-D 57, May 29, 1992, pp. 3, 4.

(2) "What Will Stop Serbia?" editorial, Washington Times, June 12, 1992, p. F-2.

(3) Anthony Lewis, "The New World Order," New York Times, May 17, 1992, p. E-17; and Anthony Lewis, "Weakness and Shame," New York Times, June 14, 1992, p. E-19.

(4) Lewis, "The New World Order."

(5) Leslie H. Gelb, "A Balkan Plan," New York Times, June 1, 1992, p. A-17.

(6) "Senate Urges U.S. Action," New York Times, June 11, 1992, p. A-6; and Warren Strobel, "U.S. May Back Use of Force to Aid Sarajevo," Washington Times, June 11, 1992, p. A-1. For another example of the position that stops just short of advocating immediate intervention--arguing instead that the United States should "consider" intervention and make prepa rations for it--see the comments of American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Patrick Glynn. "Possible Western Military Intervention in the Former Yugoslavia," Testimony before the Subcommittee on European Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, June 11, 1992, typescript, pp. 5-7.

(7) Levin and Dole, along with Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.) and Senate majority leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) even introduced a resolution calling on the president to urge the UN Security Council to provide a plan and budget for possible military intervention. S. Res. 306, typescript, p. 4.

(8) Quoted in Doyle McManus and Michael Ross, "U.S. Warns of Security Threat in Yugoslav War," Los Angeles Times, June 23, 1992, p. A-1. For a discussion of the implications of Bush's new world order rhetoric for U.S. foreign policy, see Chris topher Layne, "Tragedy in the Balkans. So What?" New York Times, May 29, 1992, p. A-29.

(9) The most prominent examples were Secretary of State James A. Baker's June 21 remarks in Belgrade condemning secession ist efforts and the June 25 State Department statement "de ploring" the unilateral declarations of independence by Slovenia and Croatia. Thomas L. Friedman, "Baker Urges End to Yugoslav Rift," New York Times, June 22, 1991, p. A-1; and David Binder, "U.S. Deplores Moves," New York Times, June 26, 1991, p. A-7.

(10) Washington still had not abandoned hope of salvaging Yugoslavia as a political entity, however. As late as Decem ber 1991, the Bush administration vehemently opposed Ger many's decision to recognize the independence of Croatia and Slovenia.

(11) Paul Lewis, "U.S. Seeks Full Ban on Yugoslav Trade by the UN Council," New York Times, May 29, 1992, p. A-1.

(12) Barton Gellman, "Defense Planners Making Case against Intervention in Yugoslavia," Washington Post, June 13, 1992, p. A-16.

(13) John M. Goshko and Trevor Rowe, "U.S. Agrees Conditional ly to Participate in Sarajevo Airlift," Washington Post, June 17, 1992, p. A-27.

(14) McManus and Ross; and Don Oberdorfer, "New U.S. Sanctions Imposed on Serbia," Washington Post, June 24, 1992, p. A-21.

(15) Lewis, "Weakness and Shame."

(16) Center for Security Policy, "For Whom the Bell Tolls: The Serbian Dress-Rehearsal for the Coming Crisis in Europe," Decision Brief no. 91-D 77, August 13, 1991, p. 1; and Center for Security Policy, "'Accessory to a Crime': U.S. Recogni tion Policy toward Croatia Empowers Serbian Aggressors," Decision Brief no. 92-D 6, January 20, 1992, p. 2.

(17) Center for Security Policy, "'Tired of Killing Each Oth er...': Eagleburger Statement Shows Depth of Administration's Error in Yugoslav Crisis," Decision Brief no. 92-D 47, May 1, 1992, p. 1; James L. Graff, "The Butcher of the Balkans," Time, June 8, 1992, pp. 37-38; and "Stop the Butcher of the Balkans," editorial, New York Times, April 15, 1992, p. A-26. In a similar vein, Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.) states that "the Serbian regime is engaged in an immoral, illegal, and despicable war of conquest." U.S. Senate, Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, Statement by Larry Pressler, June 11, 1992, typescript, p. 1.

(18) For discussions of Tudjman's increasingly autocratic rule, see David Martin, "Croatia's Borders: Over the Edge," New York Times, November 22, 1991, p. A-31; and Andrew Borowiec, "Tudjman's Rule Strains Croatia's Frail Democracy," Washington Times, June 18, 1992, p. A-8. Even the former U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann, concedes that Tudjman has made "some very bad mistakes," such as mistreating Serbs in Croatia and advocating the partition of Bosnia between Croatia and Serbia. David Binder, "Haunted by What the U.S. Didn't Do in Yugoslavia," New York Times, June 14, 1992, p. E-9.

(19) See, for example, "Pariah State," editorial, Washington Post, May 29, 1992, p. A-22, which insisted that a political solution must be based "on the territorial inviolability of all the former Yugoslavia's states." Center for Security Policy, "Blessed are the Peacemakers," likewise advocates restoration of "the various republics' preconflict territori al boundaries" (p. 4). Columnist Gwynne Dyer even argues that by admitting Croatia and Bosnia as members, the United Nations "implicitly committed itself to defending their existing legal borders." Gwynne Dyer, "Putting Borders Back," Washington Times, June 10, 1992, p. G-4.

(20) For a concise discussion of this point, see Martin, "Croatia's Borders."

(21) Richard M. Nixon, "How the West Can Bring Peace to Yugo slavia," Wall Street Journal, December 17, 1991.

(22) Paul Greenberg, "Where They Never Learn," Washington Times, June 3, 1992, p. G-3. That point also seems to im press Anthony Lewis, who observes that "this terrible century began its downward slide 78 years ago in Sarajevo." Anthony Lewis, "The New World Order."

(23) Quoted in McManus and Ross.

(24) Jenonne Walker, "Statement on the Use of Force in Bosnia," Submitted to the Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Senate, June 11, 1992, typescript, p. 1; Lewis, "Weakness and Shame"; and Gelb, "A Balkan Plan."

(25) The best comprehensive discussion of that process can be found in Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987).

(26) For a discussion of the historical roots of the many Balkans disputes, especially those involving Macedonia, see Robert D. Kaplan, "History's Cauldron," Atlantic, June 1991, pp. 93-104.

(27) Benjamin Schwarz, "Leave the Little Wars Alone," Los Angeles Times, June 8, 1992, p. B-5.

(28) In addition, Turkey, which would have an obvious interest in dampening a wider Balkans conflict, has more than 579,000 active-duty personnel to support an EC intervention.

(29) On the reasons for the European Community's caution to this point, see James E. Goodby, "Peacekeeping in the New Europe," Washington Quarterly 15 (Spring 1992): 155-62. British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, citing London's frustrating experience in Northern Ireland, warned his EC colleagues of two points when considering military interven tion: it is easier to put troops in than to get them out, and the scale of effort at the start bears no resemblance to the scale of effort later on. Hurd's comments suggest that EC inaction has been due less to incompetence (the assessment of U.S. critics) than prudence.

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