The views expressed in FMSO publications and reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Department of the Army,
Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

International Ramifications of Yugoslavia's Serial Wars: the Challenge of Ethno-national Conflicts for a Post - Cold-War, European Order

by Dr. Jacob W. Kipp and Mr. Timothy L. Thomas
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

This essay was originally published in European Security
[I, No. 4 (Winter 93)] and subsequently in
Central European Security Concerns: Barrier, Buffer, or Bridge?
(London: Frank Cass & Co., 1994).

"All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion."

Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.


Lev Tolstoy's remarks about the Karenin family and its tragic fate is a particularly apropos analogy to the ethno-nationalist conflicts that have torn asunder Yugoslavia and to a greater-or-lesser degree threaten the rest of Central and Eastern Europe and the successor states of the former Soviet Union. The Yugoslav case, as the most violent manifestation of the dangers of associated with the processes of de-communization and re-nationalization at work in this region deserves close scrutiny for several very explicit reasons. First, the detonation of the Yugoslav crisis in stages highlights the complexity and diversity of ethno-national conflicts, especially the interconnections among the political, economic, social, cultural and security problems of de-communization. Second, it raises serious questions about the relationship between such "domestic conflicts" and their international ramifications. Third, it highlights the tensions which profound changes in the international system impose upon the applicability of such well-established concepts of international order as non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the right of national self-determination, and the inviolability of borders. Fourth, it underscores the limitations of existing European institutions to deal with the international ramifications of such conflict and need to develop effective and timely measures for conflict management and resolution in dealing with the internal instability of multi-national polities in the process of de-communization. Fifth, it raises fundamental questions about the very character of the continent in the post -Communist era, especially regarding the viability of a single, Euro-Atlantic community, based upon a system of nation-states, dedicated to democratic values and open societies.

Failure of the Euro-Atlantic community to resolve Yugoslavia's ethno-national conflicts and bring about the re-integration of its successor states into such a common order will doom any notion of a collective security system to manage change. The intractability of Yugoslavia will give considerable support to those who see the continent as once again divided and would create a cordon sanitaire to isolate those areas of unresolvable conflict. At best, Western Europe and selected states of Central and Eastern Europe might hope for some form of collective defense, trying to manage the spill-over effects of such "peripheral" conflicts; at worst, such conflicts could rend the North Atlantic Community and sink even a West European-based security structure because of tensions among its members over the need for intervention in Central and Eastern Europe. The unhappiness of a single member of the family of nations, especially if its leads to violence among its members, rarely leaves the rest of international community untouched or unmoved.


"For the time being, Yugoslavia exists by some sort of a miracle, . . . But you, as a historian, will recognize that miracles are facts of history -- not to be underestimated."1 Thus, Stevan K. Pavlowitch, quoting the well-known Yugoslav writer, Ivo Andric (1892-1975), began his history of modern Yugoslavia. This "miracle," like the great stone bridge linking Muslim Bosnia with Serbian Bosnia in Andric's novel, The Bridge on the Drina, has been shattered. As Andric, a Bosnian Serbia, has his character, the hodja -- a Muslim Slav, observe the destruction of the old stone bridge during World War I and saw it as the ending of one world and the onset of a chaos that defied God's reason and compassion. The hodja, reflecting on the this tragic turn of events, expressed only one hope:

Anything might happen. But one thing could not happen; it could not be that great and wise men of exalted soul who would raise lasting buildings for the love of God, so that the world should be more beautiful and men live in it better and more easily, should everywhere and for all time vanish from this earth. Should they too vanish, it would mean that the love of God was extinguished and had disappeared from the world. That could not be.2

The bridge itself became a metaphor for the fate of "miracles" in the face of such forces of destruction. For West Europeans of the late twentieth century Sarajevo is the starting point for this century of total war. The assassination of an Austrian Archduke and his wife in its winding streets became the proximate cause for mobilization and war among the European powers in August 1914 and led to a war which military art could not bring to decisive conclusion and statecraft could not terminate by compromise. In this sense, the tragedy of Sarajevo can be seen as a sign of progress. Conflict there has not sent armies marching across Europe, in spite of the fact that throughout the Cold War a political crisis in Yugoslavia was seen by most statesmen and strategists as one of the gravest dangers for general war in Europe. With the end of the Cold War, the abolition of the Warsaw Pact, and the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe such a danger of general war, with its horrendous nuclear consequences, has disappeared. In that sense the Sarajevos of 1914 and 1992 are distant relatives somehow related in the modern consciousness to the snowy scenes of Sarajevo of the 1984 winter Olympics -- one part sports, one part tourism, and one part television, mixed with slivovitz.

Total war and totalitarianism, although the midwives of the Sarajevo of 1984, were best forgotten or ignored as unseemly associates for a Europe that, although divided, was stable, prosperous, and orderly. The city's Holiday Inn was a new "proud tower" and a monument to progress. Now it is a gutted shell, a target for Serbian tank and artillery fire from the surrounding hills. Thus, the Sarajevo of 1914 and that of 1992, as seen from a local perspective have much in common. The assassination of June 28, 1914, not only set of a world war, it also unleashed in Sarajevo a "pogrom" among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox believers. As Ivo Andric describes "the Sarajevo frenzy of hate," pent-up hatreds waiting only for a breakdown in reason and law to become a forest fire of hate, that would overtime burn itself out. Those same fires have erupted now three times in our century.3 Thanks to this constellation of events our century of total war also became a century of revolutionary upheaval and totalitarianism.4

That initial chaos and violence, which marked the onset of a century of total war, give birth to the Yugoslav monarchy, or Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes as it was originally called. This state, in its turn, was swept away by German invasion. A third Yugoslavia, that of Andric's miracle, was born during the subsequent Partisan War. That Yugoslavia, the second Yugoslavia of this century, i. e., the Yugoslavia of Tito, the Partisan War, the struggle against Stalinism, and the new class, has collapsed. In its ashes a rump Yugoslavia, a third Yugoslavia incorporating the values of Milosevic's Greater Serbia and uniting the territories of the Republics of Montenegro and Serbia, including in the later the ethnically diverse provinces of the Vojevodina and Kosovo with their respective Magyar and Albanian populations. Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have declared their independence and had it recognized by the international community. In Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina the "Serbian Question" has been the source of a brutal and costly "people's war." In Bosnia-Herzegovina alone nine month so fighting has cost more than 150, 000 killed and missing and 1.5 million refugees.5

Yugoslavia's civil war has moved through three stages, each succeeding stage more intense, brutal, and costly than the one preceding it. Now Serbian rule in Kosovo stands on overt military power imposed upon a restless and hostile Albania population. Moderate Serbs attempted to enlist Albanian support through concessions granting greater autonomy and self-rule within Serbia in their electoral struggle against Milosevic and his allies. But these efforts met with no success since Kosovo's Albanians sees internationalization of the issue of self-determination as an immediate and direct road to independence and future unification with Albania proper. Macedonia has declared its independence but has had international recognition blocked by Greek opposition to its very name -- a name the Greek government implies would represent a claim to the historic territories of Greater Macedonia, including much of Thrace. Within Macedonia its Albanian minority [20-40% of the population depending upon whose statistics one uses] has become more assertive of its right to self-determination. On October 14 UN envoy Cyrus Vance warned: "a spark in Macedonia could ignite the Balkan region."6 Recent unrest in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, has pitted Albanian youths against the predominantly Slav authorities and could, if continues to grow in size and intensity, provide such a spark.7 In short, not only has Yugoslavia collapsed as a state, but its constituent parts have become unstable and rent with conflict. Prospects for a restoration of peace and stability in the lands of Yugoslavia and throughout the Balkans will depend in good measure upon the ability to find a viable substitute for the order that has been swept away over the last two years.

One of the secrets of the "miracle" of Tito's non-aligned and neutral Yugoslavia was its successful integration into the bi-polar order of Cold War Europe. Once that order collapsed, the days of Tito's Yugoslavia were numbered. In short, "the Yugoslav miracle" ended because of a complex interaction between domestic crises and instability in the international system. The response by the international community has been piecemeal, situational, and symptomatic -- dealing with the outbreaks of fighting, seeking cease fires in the absence of settlements among the belligerents, and using humanitarian relief to aid the victims and sanctions to punish the aggressors. As yet, there is no internationally-sanctioned settlement to reconcile the opposing forces, unleashed by the collapse of the old order, and to integrate the successor states into a new order in Europe. Indeed, no new order has emerged to date.

Moreover, the manner of the collapse of "the Yugoslav miracle" has made the particular tensions associated with ethno-nationalism the source of communal violence and conflict. Some analysts would point to the rampant patterns of ethnic hatred and communal violence to assert that nothing has changed in the Balkans. The collapse of Communism simply unleashed the old tensions, and these are the current source of instability. In this interpretation of events Communism in Yugoslavia, the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, and even the former Soviet Union was some unnatural imposition without organic roots or long-term consequences. The Balkan horrors of today in this view are no different than those condemned by Gladstone over a century ago. Communism, like the Ottoman Yoke, need not trouble this "high Whig" view of progress, civilization, and the triumph of order. It was enough to get rid of Communism to set in motion progress. The voluntary movement of a few folks of one ethnic community to another might be required, but nothing more serious could be expected -- certainly not the ignition of a "peoples' war."8 When war did break out and took the form of bloody ethnic conflict, these same authors then evoked the dead hand of the past as explanation for what was then termed another inevitable "Balkan" conflict.

But Communism and its legacy in this region will not be so easily buried. The very complexity of this legacy has frustrated many statesmen and scholars. Indeed, one senses in the uneasiness and confusion of some analysts a longing for a simpler, bi-polar world, where Communists and democrats or Communists and capitalists -- depending upon one's ideological perspective -- once again fought the cold war's battles.9 As the struggle has gone on and become more complex and intractable, other visions of the conflict have emerged. One of the most disturbing is that found among "Red-Brown" opponents of democracy and an open society in Russia, who have invoked the war in Yugoslavia as another round of the struggle between Slav and Teuton. They have spoken of the war as the first step in a new Drang nach Osten, refer to Slovenia and Croatia as "General Governments" of a new "Greater Germany," proclaim Russian-Serb solidarity and speak of the EC actions and UN sanctions against Yugoslavia as "maneuvers preceding the start of combat actions on the territory of the USSR."10 General Viktor Filatov, one of the prominent advocates of such views, was reported by Radio Serbia as saying during a visit to Serbian positions in Herzegovina in early November 1992 that he would recommend to the Russian General Staff that it support the Serbs in their struggle.11 Disheartening in their simplifications of complex and tragic events, such views link the Yugoslav crisis to a more general crisis in Europe but distort the nature of both to provide ammunition for implicit ideological assumptions about an implacable conflict dividing Europe, and ignore or grossly distort the origins of the very same conflicts. But before we accept any of these explanations of the Yugoslav crisis, with their historical and ideological presuppositions, it would be wise to address the context of the current crisis, its course, and ramifications.

In Yugoslavia, as in Albania, Communist rule did not arrive on the bayonets of the Red Army but out of guerilla warfare and, therefore, differed from the pattern of imposed Soviet client regimes in rest of Eastern Europe. Yugoslav Communism proclaimed a "solution" to the ethno-national conflicts that had de-stabilized the Yugoslav monarchy and fed the bloody genocide, associated with German conquest, Axis rule, and the Ustashe death camps. Communist Yugoslavia, which grew out of the partisan war and social revolution, was built upon the charisma of Tito's leadership, the Party's control of the instruments of power, the maintenance of an authoritarian ideology justifying one-party rule, a variation on Marxist-Leninist nationality policy tolerating national cultural forms and socialist content that stressed the long-term goal of a socialist trans-national identity called "Yugoslav," and later a decentralized, workers-management economy. The existence of a monopoly on violence within the state that precluded any armed challenge to the state's sovereignty and legitimacy permitted Tito's Yugoslavia to resist Stalin's efforts to topple its version of national Communism in the late 1940s. That this monopoly on violence could incorporate the concept of a "defense of the entire people," i. e., the creation of the bases for mass, partisan warfare, suggests that the viability of the regime included a significant element of popular support. By the end of Tito's Yugoslavia the Yugoslav Peoples' Army [JNA] was the last institution left still struggling to maintain a socialist, federal system, which had lost that popular support.

In its efforts to retain that support, Titoist Yugoslavia created certain myths which served as the foundations for the regime's legitimacy, including the world-historical significance of the anti-Fascist, Partisan War of 1941-1945, the viability of a new ideologically-created super-national identity, the Yugoslav, which was supposed to build upon and ultimately supersede the existing ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, the historical significance of the struggle against Stalin in defining a Yugoslav road to Communism, the viability of a third path in Europe which was socialist but non-aligned, and the historically-conditioned legitimacy of a workers-directed socialism, which, in practice, became a defense of the New Class and its privileges. In order to maintain the viability of these myths the Yugoslav League of Communists imposed what Milan Kundera has called a "forced forgetting" of elements of national and ethnic history that did not fit the accepted YCL mythology. The turn of Yugoslav Communism in the early 1970s away from democratization but not from Tito's federalism had a particularly pernicious impact upon ethnic tensions and laid the foundations for a Serbian nationalist revival, which after Tito's death turned upon Yugoslav unitarianism and sought to build a new ideology around Greater Serbia as historical necessity.12

Such political transformations confronted cultural patterns of historic sweep which have shaped Yugoslavia and the Balkans. These patterns were not buried in the political, economic, and social modernizations [capitalist and communist] of this century. Instead, old values survived and took on modified forms. Milovan Djilas, a leader of the Partisan War and later dissident in Tito's Yugoslav, asserted this linkage between past, present and future in his memoirs of his early life in pre-war Montenegro. There an individual found meaning to his life through his ties to kin and the land, myths that binds men to their own by ties to ancient heroes and leaders, men who struggled to preserve the tribe and the land. Geography, ethnos, and history became fate.

The story of a family can also portray the soul of a land.

This is especially so in Montenegro, where the people are divided into clans and tribes to which each family is indissolubly bound. The life of the family reflects the life of the broader community of kin and through it of the entire land.13

One consequence of this "primeval self-awareness" was a an identification with outlaw heroes, who defended clan, tribe, and nation from all oppressors, especially during the centuries of Ottoman rule. Violence, blood feud, and vengeance became the unifying theme of clan and national life.

As Traian Stoianovich observed, Communism made a particular gamble in dealing with those patterns:

The rise of Communism has not fundamentally altered the direction of movement except to some degree in regard to property. Communism differs from capitalism, however, in a very important respect; It looks to a more distant past and forward to a more distant future. In so doing, it may be able to effect a reconciliation between the older values and the new personality and culture, but precisely how remains a question. Moreover, with new experience, there may arise new sets of "new men." No, human personality is not unchanging, although the old Chaos remains in the Balkans, as in us all.14

In the end the ossification of the ideology and the banal interests of the New Class [the functionaries of Communist Yugoslavia, who owed their status, power, and prosperity to the system] undercut all efforts at reform and the regeneration of the ruling myths.

Once the Communists myths had lost their vitality the struggle became one of finding a useable past upon which to create a new order. Nationalism recommended itself as the best alternative ideology by which men might re-define their place in the world, protect their rights, seek privileges for their group and identify those forces which threatened the rights and privileges of their group. As President Vaclav Havel observed in a discussion of the break-up of Czecho-Slovakia, the rise of ethno-nationalism in post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe has had its own political logic.

In some cases nations were not able to search freely for and find their own independence for tens and even hundreds of years. We cannot be surprised that now, when the strait-jacket of communism has been torn off, all the countries wish to establish their independence and self-determination.15

Yet, behind this political logic Havel saw a more disturbing psychological factor, an uneasiness with the uncertainties of freedom and responsibility and a search for a collective guarantee of place and identity.

A second reason is that for many years the individual citizen was not used to living in freedom. the people got used to a certain structure of guarantees, albeit unpleasant ones. The people are shocked by the freedoms to a certain extent. They are looking for replacement guarantees. And the guarantees of one's own tribe seem to be the most accessible.16

This nationalism, in distinction from the inclusive nationalism that has been the building-block of West European cooperation and integration over the last four decades, has in the lands of Yugoslavia been integral, exclusive, often xenophobic, militant, prone to authoritarianism and too often murderous. As one American witness to the ethnic violence observed, its poison, fed by fear, hatred, and vendetta, has been broadcast so far and reached so deep as to represent an epidemic. One tale from the Croatian phase of the war in Yugoslavia, told by an elderly father in shock over what he had done, reveals much about the cycle of violence unleashed in Yugoslavia.

Last night my son and I (both Croats) were having supper together when a Serbian patrol entered the house and shot and killed my son. He was a schoolteacher who never did anything to anyone. I went next door. Here lived my neighbor of 50 years, who was eating supper with his family. He is a Serb. I shot and killed all of them.17

During the past year and a half, the civil war among and within the successor states to Tito's Yugoslavia have brought Post Cold-War Europe face-to-face with unbridled ethnic hatred and its consequences: civil war, concentration camps, the indiscriminate shelling of civilian centers, "ethnic cleansing," organized rape as instrument of political-ethnic hegemony and a tide of refugees. Self-determination, achieved by blood and iron, once again is on the march. Concepts and actions associated with the darkest moments of the Third Reich and Stalin's Soviet Union have been given new life. The euphoria of 1989-1990 and its Velvet Revolutions has given way to fear over events that seem beyond control. The instruments created by the international community to resolve crises, manage conflicts, and end hostilities during the Cold War have not brought an end to the escalating violence. Institutions created to handle the confrontations of the Cold War era have proven ill-suited to deal with the Yugoslav crises. The inability of Europe broadly defined -- to include its Atlantic and Eurasian members -- to end the violence has cast a shadow over the concept of a new European security order, an Atlantic-Eurasian system stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok, and raised the specter of a wave of ethno-national conflict across the very same area.

The efforts of European institutions did not forestall events in Yugoslavia. Precipitated by a lethal mixture of economic backwardness, historical animosity and revenge, and the suppression of human and minority rights, the Yugoslav conflict has become a case study of the local consequences of the breakdown of one international system, that of the Cold War, bi-polar, military confrontation, and the pains associated with the emergence of another, i. e., the willingness of states and peoples to take recourse to violence and even indiscriminate slaughter to achieve national self-determination. It has become a terrible reminder that modern Europe has the ability to slip back into barbaric patterns of behavior. Europeans are, after the fact, now seeking to restore peace and foster the development of "civic societies" in the Balkans as a long-term hedge against renewed violence while wondering whether the acts perpetrated there can and will be repeated in other parts of Central and Eastern Europe with the same intensity. Further, one fears that the potential is growing for such conflicts to precipitate larger confrontations among other states with the potential to cause the splintering of NATO and the emergence of new axis of conflict -- East-East, East-West, and North-South..


Historians familiar with Yugoslavia's past have called attention to the fact that today's crises have much in common with earlier Balkan crises. stretching from the Congress of Vienna to the Cold War. Balkan Crises in the nineteenth Century led frequently to local wars, the subsequent intervention of the Great Powers, and either resolution by the Concert of Europe or the widening of the local conflict into a European War. Those general wars were preceded by an international system in crisis, as a result of events outside the Balkans, and great instability in the Balkans. The fate of the South Slavs, which had become the key element of a domestic political crisis within the Dual Monarchy, set off World War I. Nazi Germany's intervention in the Balkans in the spring of 1941, at once a part of its struggle against British power in the mediterranean and a necessary precondition for its intended assault upon the Soviet Union, put an end to the Yugoslav Monarchy created by the Versailles system, but this external coup de grace came after its internal support had been eaten away by Croat discontent over the monarchy's efforts to build a Serbian-centered state. Tito's Yugoslavia, a product of war and revolution, became a keystone of the bi-polar, post-war settlement in Central and Eastern Europe. The fate of Tito's Yugoslavia, the resolution of its status between East and West, was part of the stabilizing process, which contributed to the emergence of the Cold War order in Europe. Once again, with the collapse of that order, the "South Slav" question stands at the heart of a new international order in Europe. In the process of disintegration of Socialist Yugoslavia, the South Slav Question assumed a new form, as Lenard J. Cohen has asserted, the "Serbian Question," raising the issue of fate and status of the Serbian diaspora, outside the boundaries of the Serbian republic.18 Given the ethnic minorities living within Serbia proper, especially the Albanian majority in Kosovo, the "Serbian Question" has the potential for becoming the "Balkan Question" or even the "Eastern Question" in a new and perplexing form.19 The ability of the international community to agree upon and finally sanction a resolution of these questions will in large measure define the character of the European security system in the so-called "new world order."

The revolutionary events that occurred in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union from 1989 to 1991 did away with the Cold War system that had dominated the European continent for four decades, bringing Europe its longest interval of general peace since that following the Congress of Vienna. The disappearance of the Cold War confrontation, created greater room for maneuver by states. Many saw the end of the Cold War as the first step to integration into a deepened and broadened European Community. Neutral countries, such as Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland, sought via the European Free Trade Association to position themselves for inclusion within the broadened European Community. The Visegrad Triangle of Poland, Hungary, and the Czecho-Slovak Federal Republic sought economic and security integration with the West via closer ties to NATO, the EC, and the WEU. Even the USSR and its successor states welcomed the prospect of broader contacts with NATO and a dialogue on security issues. Yugoslavia, however, proved an exception to this general optimism and euphoria about an emerging new order. Tito's Yugoslavia had been both neutral and non-aligned, i.e., neutral in the military confrontation in Central Europe and non-aligned in the Third World's struggle with neo-colonialism. The end of the Cold War unleashed significant domestic forces, which had been restrained by the Cold War. On the one hand, powerful ethnic tensions that had been hidden and to some extent muted by the Soviet-U.S. confrontation re-emerged. Yugoslav Communists, confronted by economic stagnation, political inertia, and corruption, sought to regain legitimacy by overt ethnic appeal. Slobodan Milosevic emerged as a political force in Serbia by championing the claims of the Serbian minority in Kosovo in the face of nationalist demands by the overwhelming demographic majority of its Albanian population. In 1989 at Gazi Mestan, on the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, where the medieval Serbian Kingdom suffered defeat at the hands of the Ottomans, Milosevic spoke openly of the danger posed to Serbs and the fact that political struggles could, indeed, become armed struggles.20 Once released, such ethnic claims challenged the existing federal system and posited only two alternative outcomes: either a Communist Yugoslavia accepted Serbian hegemony within the federal state or the destruction of the federal state itself and the creation of a Greater Serbia by force of arms. In this context competing ethnic claims gave way to ethnic fears -- the Serbian nationalist revival was linked to plans for the creation of a "Greater Serbia" and served as a powerful stimulate to calls for the rapid dismantling of the Yugoslav Federal state. The deep freeze, which Communist hegemony had placed upon ethnic claims, had ceased to function. By the late 1980s Yugoslav politics were pitting reform-minded Communists in Slovenia against Milosevic's campaign for a re-invigorated socialism and Serbian nationalism. One road led towards Social Democracy and integration with the West, the other towards a revival of authoritarian tendencies and integral nationalism. The dismantling of one-party rule in the republics after the collapse of the 14th Extraordinary Congress of the Party when the delegates from Slovenia walked out set the stage for the national movements in Slovenia and Croatia to shift their goal from resisting Serbian hegemony to seeking sovereignty and independence. In the first multi-party elections in Slovenia DEMOS, a center-right party, defeated the reformed Communists to become the leading political organization in Slovenia and quickly adopted a program of seeking national independence. In Croatia the same elections brought to power the Croatian Democratic Union [HDZ], a rightist movement led by Dr. Franjo Tudjman, a former communist who now proclaimed the goal of creating a greater, unitary Croatian state. While DEMOS and HDZ were both re-asserting national agendas in the face of Milosevic's plans for Greater Serbia, Tudjman's HDZ did not operate in the same sort of ethnic environment as DEMOS. In Croatia wartime memories of Ustashe massacres and forced conversions of Serbs contributed to the awaking of a Serbian separatist movement among Croatia's 600,000 Serbian community, which became allied with but was not completely controlled by Milosevic's nationalist government in Belgrade. Those tensions were significantly under-estimated by the international community, which saw a post-Communist Yugoslavia as a manner of minor adjustments, another Velvet Revolution, this time taking apart of federal order peacefully with minimal disruption. The reality proved much different. "As if buried beneath a sheet of ice...ethnic conflicts were in a state of suspended animation under communist rule. Now that this sheet has cracked, these conflicts are surfacing violently," German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel wrote recently in the Mainz Allgemeine Zeitung.21

Instability was further buttressed by the economic mayhem resulting from the shift toward market-capitalism, the absence of democratic traditions, and the utilization of minorities as scapegoats, pushing the conflicts to the point of explosion. Under these conditions, nationalism was reduced to an uncompromising tribalism, where the right to independence could be claimed by even the most bantam ethnic group willing to resort to force of arms to support its claim.22

Thus, ethnic tensions, or ethno-nationalism, became the new source of instability in the international order. In Yugoslavia, as ethnic conflict expanded and the national economy went deeper into chaos, a climate of violence took hold. The struggle was seen as one over shrinking resources. This encouraged popular despair that undermined any semblance of civic institutions and values that might have served as a check on ethno-national conflict. At the same time such violence undermined prospects for the integration of these states into the European economy by discouraging investment, closing borders to normal population movement, disrupting tourism, and terminating access to existing markets.


Of all the Slav countries, Yugoslavia is the one which presents the greatest degree of variety. As economic development proceeds life inevitably becomes more uniform, more standadrdized, but this sameness is no where less marked than in Yugoslavia. A strage country if ever there was one, Yugoslavia is a zone formed by the overlapping of two worlds and is a part of both of them; a country whose mixed inheritance, Byzantine and Greek, Turkish, Austrian Latin, seems not so much superimposed on the Slav foundation as integrated into it, not only in the most obviously colourful aspects of folk life but in the very minds of the population.23

The lands of the South Slavs form an integral part of that larger region known as East-Central Europe -- what Alan Palmer has called "the lands between," i. e., those lands and peoples between Germany and Italy in the west and Russia in the East.24 Geography and history have combined to place the peoples and territories of Yugoslav between geographic regions (the Danubian Basin and the Balkan Ranges), empires (Eastern and Western Roman, Ottoman and Hapsburg), religions (Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, Protestantism, Islam, Judaism), scripts (Cyrillic and Latin), and cold war politics and ideologies. These realities have been a source of diversity and conflict.

The immediate cause of war among the republics, which had made up Yugoslavia, was the unleashing of national emancipatory and separatist forces due to the region-wide wave of democratization and political pluralism; and the explosion of mounting tensions between two political, ideological and national groupings, the centralist coalition and a loosely grouped opposition.25 The centralist coalition represented the federal army's high command, the federal government, and the Serbian-led political bloc, with the coalition's aim being the preservation of the essentials of Yugoslavia's socialist political set-up and asserting Serbia's dominant role in the federal state. The opposition, formed by most political parties and the newly elected governments in Slovenia and Croatia, as well as some parties in Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Vojvodina, was ideologically and nationally heterogenous and pursued the goal of transforming Yugoslavia into a multi-party democracy and a confederation of sovereign states with greatly diminished powers for the Belgrade-based bureaucracy.26

The secondary, and most important, cause of the war was the fact that Yugoslavia as a state was the by-product of an historical development focused initially on a religious and ethnic compartmentalization as a result of Balkan wars and the spread of the Hapsburg and Ottoman mpires. Inter-war Yugoslav proved unable to deal with this legacy and foundered upon its unbridgeable cleavages. Communist Yugoslav had counted upon the construction of socialism and Party hegemony to mute and then eliminate these tensions. But in the 1974 constitution, Tito had acknowledged the failure of that policy and had moved towards economic decentralizationand Party unitarianism. Economic decline and crisis in the 1980s greatly exacerbated the existing compartmentalization at a time of deepening political crisis. Tito's legacy of authoritarian rule, which showed any opposition by individuals or organizations no mercy, fostered more distrust and division among groups, families, and communities, and was equally responsible for the state's final breakdown and the ensuing wars.27

The nationality factor was, however, the major cause of war. Ivo Lederer, in one of the best essays on the complex role of nationalism in Yugoslavia, has written that "nationalism has been the fundamental fact of life for nearly two hundred years." Indeed, the complexity of the nationality question in Yugoslavia has made it the most baffling problem for both the nations living within its borders and for Europe at large:

Among the Yugoslavs specific nationalisms have intertwined with an over-all nationalism, with regionalism, and (if the word existed) with "ethnocratisms" of diverse sorts: religious, linguistic, cultural, and economic. Such multiplicity characterizes a number of Eastern European societies and has been further compounded by conflicting territorial ambitions and competing cultural claims. In these respects, the territory of the Yugoslavs has unfolded as a microcosm of the region as a whole.28

By "enthnocratism" Lederer has in mind the notion that no nation or people can have fulfilled their destiny without achieving the creation of a nation-state embracing all its "fellow nationals," broadly defined. In this fashion, Croatian proponents of a South Slav state could speak of Bosnian Muslims and Serbians as Muslim and Orthodox Croats. Serbian nationalists, likewise, interpreted their vision of Yugoslavia, making the very concept one charged with potential for inter-ethnic conflict. Only in a climate of tolerance might Muslim Slavs expect to have their religious and cultural autonomy respected, and Communist national policy did not foster sufficient pluralism to instil tolerance of diversity from below.


The unfolding of the war in Yugoslavia by stages has had many consequences for security hinking on the European continent. Obviously, the majority of these consequences have been negative and have the potential to affect the continent for years to come. As a result, statesmen the world over are examining this conflict as a case study for understanding the causes, implications, and other "lessons learned" from ethnic conflict in the 21st century in a European context. This is especially so for all the nations of Europe, which are seeks means to prepare for such outbreaks and adopting policies to contain and limit conflict.


With the fall of the Berlin Wall there has been an accelerated change from a bipolar to a multipolar world and the emergence of an entirely new set of states. In many cases this has led to the rejection of the Marxist-Leninist nationality policy and to a desire to build a new system around a single ethnic identity. These changes have focused on ethno-national rights at the expense of human rights, and have challenged stability in many European countries as well as existing political borders. For all those who draw their political values from the Enlightenment nationalism, including classical liberal and Marxist thinkers, was a passing phase in a more general march of progress towards either liberal states or socialist societies. Wilson might willingly lend his support to the dissolution of multi-national empires of Central and Eastern Europe in the hope that once these "prisons of the nations" had disappeared a new order of self-determining liberal states would replace them. Lenin and the Bolsheviks, like other Marxists of Central and Eastern Europe, became adept at manipulating nationality issues in their struggle to telescope the revolutionary process and overthrow the old regime and displace other weak pretenders to power on the road to the world revolution and a socialist society. That neither Wilson nor Lenin could master the power of nationalism did not preclude a persistence of ideological assumptions which ignored the power and diversity of nationalism in the modern world. Stalinism "resolved" this problem for ruling Communist parties by creating the "ethno-nation" as both a political category and academic entity to serve the social engineering of the rulers and their official ideology.29 But the Party and its leaders ruled in the name of a victorious class, for which it claimed historic and international preeminence.

Europe is now paying the price for this arrogance. Nationalism in its diverse forms is, as Liah Greenfield has asserted in her recent study of comparative of the formation of nationhood in England, France, Germany and the United States, a both a product of distinct modernization processes and a manifestation of the political modernity itself.30 For much but not all of the West, nationalism has been a blend of national identity based upon ethnic ties of common language and culture, but reinforced by universalist claims of inalienable rights of man and citizen. In this form nationality can assert its independence from either geo-political or ethnic factors. Yet, as American experience itself asserts, such universalization, i. e., the transcending of ethnic and national definitions of community, is not achieved without great costs. In the end, the American Civil War became both a total war and a moral crusade when it was transformed into a struggle over the extension of such claims to blacks, since blood and iron finally decided the issue of abolition and the granting to freed blacks of those rights of man and citizen proclaimed by the founding fathers but negated by the very existence of slavery as an institution. Wilson, for all his claims of a special destiny for America in the world and his hopes for a just international order, was still southerner enough to remember Sherman's march to the sea and the sacking of Columbia and be uneasy about the unlimited use of military power to achieve such commendable ends as permanent peace, long-term prosperity, and the internationalization of progressivism. At bottom, the contest between Cabot Lodge and Wilson over the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles became, as Michael Pearlman has asserted, was a struggle over the means America might employ to achieve those ends.31

In this sense, ethno-national poses an unresolved challenge to a liberal "new world order" by underscoring the tension between ethnicity and universality in the nationalisms of Central and Eastern Europe. The conflicting claims of national self-determination by the dominant nationalities and the ethno-national minorities within Yugoslavia's successor states because they have invoked so questionable means to achieve "noble ends" places this tension between the ethnic and universal elements of nationalism at the core of current debate over what values will buttress a new European order. During the Cold War, East and West invoked ideological abstractions about human rights without worrying about how such rights would be put into practice by dominant nationalities within a multi-national polities.

Ethnic violence has shocked Western sensibilities by its ruthlessness and "irrationality." The international community has treated such violence as a problem of public health by trying to quarantine the disease to prevent its spread beyond the borders of the state infected by it. This response, which is quite logical because such ethnic disputes do draw upon religious and territorial claims and can invoke secessionist and irredentist claims where ethno-national disputes affect nationalities outside the immediate state in crisis, is not sufficient. Finally, ethnic disputes ripen in climates that prohibit the development of civic societies, and these are the majority of the societies in Central and Eastern Europe. Arrested political development, intolerance, authoritarianism, and destain for pluralism haunt Central and Eastern Europe today. This legacy of the Communist era has defied the prophets of the "end of history."

Ethnic conflict grew in intensity in these systems because they did not promote the assimilation of ethnic groups into an open, civic society and thus do not mute ethnic cleavages through enhanced social mobility and transience, by which we mean a consciousness hostile to ascription and the imposition of permanent roles, duties, professions, and status by birth right. Marxist-Leninist nationality policy by freezing ethnic relations as a social category within a Party-sponsored framework might alter the relative status of one nation at the expense of another and even create "imagined communities" but it could not foster the social mobility and ethnic interaction necessary to blunt ascription. The Yugoslav "new man," like his Soviet counter-part, did not appear as an effective social actor outside the Party's own caste politics. With the collapse of that system the rights of man and citizen, popular sovereignty, and nationhood become the exclusive property of a dominant ethnic group at the expense of minorities, whose very existence becomes tied to the ideas of nation and territory, cult and faith, blood and land.32 As a result, the grievances of nationalities, which could be spoken of or remembered only by exiles or dissidents, exploded into open conflict.


It is both ironic and instructive that the outbreak of fighting should come in the one Yugoslav republic with the least ethnic diversity, i. e., Slovenia. Slovenia's historic ties to Central Europe via Austria give its struggle for independence greater immediate appeal and support in Western Europe. Unlike Croatia, where memories of Ustashe excesses blunted broad, immediate backing for the drive for independence within the international community, Slovenia's cause seemed just and deserving. Its political institutions had been democratized, the drive for independence was broadly supported, Slovenia could claim a both ethnic unity within its borders and significant cultural and linguistic diversity from Serbs and Croats to justify separation, and finally, its level of economic development was sufficiently high to make it seem an integral part of Central Europe.

But Slovenia's role, connected with its higher level of prosperity and integration into the economy of Western Europe, underscores the connections between ethno-national conflict and the socio-economic situation in Europe. At the heart of the ethnic conflict in Yugoslavia lies the protracted economic crisis of Yugoslav socialism of the 1980s, i. e., its legacy of its de-centralized, worker-management system and its role as a marginal player in the West European economy, including the exports of cheap industrial goods, tourism, and transfer payments via migrant labor, which made it particularly sensitive to new trends in the economy of Western Europe. With the end of the Cold War and the efforts of other East European states to gain the same sort of access enjoyed by Yugoslavia during the Cold War, Yugoslavia's economic position, which had been shaky since the mid-1980s, became desperate. In this context the uneven economic development of Yugoslavia in the context of European integration actually provided a framework for a radical shift in political posture of the individual republics. It helped to push Slovenia and Croatia from seeking autonomy inside a confederated Yugoslavia towards complete independence. Slovenia, the most prosperous and the most Western-oriented of the Yugoslav republics, proved the most willing to embark upon national independence and was the first to challenge the JNA by armed resistance. Disengagement from the rest of Yugoslavia was seen in Ljubljana as casting free of an unwanted burden of paying for the economic transformation of the less developed southern republics.

This desire to be free of an economic drain took on such sharp a character because of a conjunction of events: a crisis of the Yugoslav Socialist economy, the simultaneous march of the rest of the non-EC states towards Brussels, and a general recession in Europe. There is an inverse relationship between deepening economic crises, brought on by super-inflation, for example, and the rise of voices of a radical, anti-democratic opposition, which often times assumes a fascist/corporatist nature. These forces, which are not confined to Central and Eastern Europe, assume that a shrinking economic pie demands harsh measures of triage to save the "nation" from a sea of foreigners, whether superfluous guest workers, economic refugees, or political exiles. Such forces, that challenge the tolerance and inclusive nationalism upon which peace, prosperity, and harmony in Western Europe have been build, represent one of the most volatile forces unleashed by the revolutionary transformation of the last few years. Their violent assaults upon human rights and civic order cannot be tolerated, but repressive measures which fail to take into account the sources of fear that empower such movements are, likewise, doomed to failure.

In Yugoslavia, it is relatively easy to identify those negative factors that affected the national economy and eventually led to economic crises and spawned ethnic conflict. An economic irrationality that made the actual calculation of the costs of production impossible because political criteria replaced market forces. Yugoslavia fell into the trap of surviving by foreign loans, in which newly borrowed founds were used to pay off old debts with a resulting interest burden. While breaking with centralized planning Yugoslav socialism never was able to resolve the contradiction between enterprise "self-management" and the "social ownership of the means of production." Low worker productivity and quality control marginalized Yugoslav industrial products and kept them uncompetitive. Frequent scandals and strikes exacerbated by inflation and underemployment created a climate of crisis and low expectations. Goods famines were followed by rationing of some commodities, then price and wage controls. The decentralization initiated by the 1974 constitution led to ruinous competition among the republics and created further impediments to the free flow of goods and capital across republic borders. Each republic looked upon such transfers as a net loss of resources. Slovenes and Croats insisted they were contributing much more to the central treasury than they were getting back. Thus, by the time that the Communist system was about to collapse conditions had emerged for the triumph of narrow ethnic interpretation of economic interests. Western nations were thus particularly sympathetic to the desire of the Slovenes to leave Yugoslavia and tolerated the creation of a Slovene armed forces before independence was declared.

When fighting did break out in June 1991, the JNA mounted very limited operations designed to seize back customs posts and points of international access to the republic as part of a political move to maintain the legitimacy of the federation as a sovereign state. Those operations, when met by effective, well-organized, partisan warfare by the Slovene defense forces, collapsed and a cease fire and disengagement were quickly negotiated between the belligerents under the auspices of the EC. Slovenia seemed to confirm that the de-communization of Yugoslavia, like that of the rest of Eastern Europe in 1989, was a matter of minimal risk and maximum gain. However, the peculiarities of Slovenia, i. e., its demographic and historical remoteness to the Serbian Question, made its easy departure from Yugoslavia the exception. Moreover, having already decided the question of the survival of a Titoist, socialist, federal Yugoslavia in the negative, Slovenia's de facto departure set the stage for a key shift in the military center of gravity: the Serbianization of the Yugoslav People's Army and the transformation of the Civil War into a people's war. Slovenia's success set the stage for the outbreak of fighting in Croatia.


In Croatia, ethno-nationalism became the main direction of the conflict. Croatia, a multi-ethnic republic with a population dominated by its Croat majority but including a Serbian minority of 600,000 concentrated in Krajina in the west and Slavonia in the east, was, likewise, more prosperous than the rest of Yugoslavia to its south and east. It too had cultural and historic ties to Central Europe, especially Hungary. But its Balkan ties, especially the settlement of Serbs -- the chetniks of Serbian lore -- along the Habsburg-Ottoman military frontier amd the existence of Croatian communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, were also quite strong. Ethno-national issues left unsolved and festering by the two World Wars now are playing themselves out. In the period preceding the outbreak of fighting relations between the Serbian minority and the Croat majority deteriorated rapidly. Memories of atrocities committed against the Serbs during the war inflamed fears of political change. The HDZ government proved unwilling to take those concerns into account and even supported the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from some areas of Croatia.

In the initial phase of fighting, the re-deployment of JNA units from Slovenia to Croatia, a necessary pre-condition for the end of fighting there, set off fighting in Croatia. Croatian attacks upon the JNA garrisons, which resembled in form the successful Slovene struggle for national independence, actually masked change in content of the war: the transformation of the war from one about the survival of the federation to one of carving out new states by force of arms within the borders of individual republics. This shift went hand-in-hand with the transformation of the JNA into a Serbian Army and its gradual alliance with the forces of the Serbian minorities in Krajina and Slavonia in a struggle for control of territory. With the withdrawal of the JNA's garrisons from Zagreb and other Croatian towns, the struggle ceased to be about the survival of Yugoslavia and became a struggle over the carving out of Serbian ethnic regions within Croatia itself. In the fall of 1991 with the heavy fighting around Vukovar, the rest of the world saw the full implications of ethno-national conflict. Serbian paramilitary formations enjoyed the support of JNA units used the instruments of modern warfare against a civilian population to inflict sufficient destruction and casualties to induce terror and flight.

Countries, not consumed by the conflict in Slovenia, became concerned about the character of the war in Croatia. The international community, which had quickly found a political solution in Slovenia was not so successful in Croatia. The Concil on Security and Cooperation in Europe gave the European Community the responsiblity for managing and solving the Yugoslav Crisis and in September agreement with the Yugoslav parties to conduct a peace conference. As Lord Carrington, its Chairman, has pointed out, the Peace Conference worked under three assumptionms: the achievement of a geniune and lasting cease fire, none recognition of any of the republics as sovereign and independent states until a comprehensive and mutually agreed upon settlement had been acheived among the parties; and no changes in borders except by peaceful means.33 Both the EC and the UN sought to use their good auspices to bring about a cease fire and an end to the fighting. But in the fall of 1991 each cease fire quickly collapsed into renewed fighting. Frustration with Serbian intransigence and revulsion at the tactics employed by the Serbs moved the EC under German leadership towards the recognition of both Slovenia and Croatia. This was done in early 1992. At the same time UN envoy Cyrus Vance finally achieved a cease fire that held, the contesting sides agreed to the positioning of UN peace-keeping forces, and expressed the hope that a long-term political settlement could be achieved in the near future. On February 21, 1992, the Security Council passed Resolution 743 to create and deploy the United Nations Protection Force [UNPROFOR] as a peace-keeping tool to assist in creating the conditions of peace and security necessary to negotiate an overall settlement of the Yugoslav crisis. Part of the UN peace-keeping forces to monitor the Croatian cease fire was to be based in Sarajevo.

In Central and Eastern Europe the discussions of the collapse of the system of Yalta and Potsdam, which had dominated the foreign policy communities in every capital, gave way to even more ominous calls for change. In many countries of the region there are political parties and movements that proclaim a desire to redraw the boundaries established by the Versailles system of treaties that ended World War I. In that case no border in the region would be beyond challenge, and force could become the only arbitrator of such claims. The recognition of Slovenia and Croatia and the armistice thus placed the fate of the other Yugoslav republics in the balance.

Early identification of such potential conflicts had now assumed special importance in crisis management for the international community. But once again, awareness of the potential problem did not mean that either sufficient will or a broad international consensus existed to take timely actions to limit their impact before such conflicts took on a momentum of their own and passed beyond stage of control by outside actors, short of the direct use of force. The history of the Balkans are replete with cases of late identification of unfolding crises, which quickly passed beyond the realm of peaceful resolution and took on grave international complications. The failure of external powers to intervene often left the initiative there in the hands of that actor most willing to act decisively and ruthlessly.

History has doubly cursed the Balkans. It not only energizes the combatants in the most perverse way imaginable, it also paralyzes the would-be peacemakers. While the crises deepens, well-intentioned outsiders ponder their options and fret about the risks in terms borrowed from other wars in other eras.34

The lesson which emerged from Croatia was the need to re-examine the problems associated with minority issues in the entire region and the identification of potential flash points in an attempt to defuse the potential crisis before it erupted into violence. Unless these issues were addressed, blood and iron would once again emerge as the preferred instrument for achieving national self-determination and territorial acquisition of "historic lands" or "living space." Late recognition of both Slovenia and Croatia had, it was assumed, contributed to the outbreak of fighting. Preemptive recognition of new states, if those states met well-defined criteria establishing its lawful order, democratic institutions, and commitment to human rights, would reduce the threat of internal civil war. The EC sought to use this tool to defuse an emerging crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which Lord Carrington desscribed as a "tinderbox."35 In mid-January it recommended a referendum in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a first step towards recognition of its independence.36


On February 29 - March 1, 1992, at the behest of the European Community, Bosnia-Herzegovina held a referendum on the issue of independence. Croats and Muslims in overwhelming numbers voted for independence. Serbs, who had earlier voted in their own referendum to stay in a rump Yugoslavia, boycotted the polls. Immediately after the vote Serbs briefly threw up barricades, but without support from the Yugoslav Army their rebellion quickly collapsed.37 President Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of Bosian's Muslims, vowed to create a sovereign, united, and secular state. Efforts by Lord Carrington to achieve a compromise settlement through negotiations among Muslim, Croat, and Serb political leaders sought to recreate the constitutional relationship among the three communities, which had existed when Bosnia-Herzegovina was part of Yugoslavia. In these negotiations leading up to the Statement of Principles of March 18 the Croat and Serb negotiators found common cause to support a confederal strcuture, while the representative of the Muslim Slavs favored a unitary state.38 Within days, however, it was clear that the country was still drifting towards civil war with increased reports of armed actions by the contending parties. The opposing sides continued the process of arming themselves and erecting barricades. Hopes for a negotiated settlement faded as the level of violence increased.

On April 7th the European Community and the United States recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state on the basis of the Statement of Principles, while delaying action on Macedonia's request for recognition because of Greek opposition to its name.39 This served as the final spark that unleashed large-scale fighting between Muslims and Croats, on one side, and the Serbs.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, the traditional core of the South Slav Question, has been particularly cursed. The annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Dual Monarchy after three decades of administrative occupation in 1908 set the stage for the unfolding Balkan crises which led to World War I. The Serb-Croat agreement of 1939 to stabilize the Yugoslav Monarchy had at its base a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tito's constitution of 1974, which recognized Muslim Slav as an ethnic category made Bosnia-Herzegovina into the keystone of a revised nationality policy, which Serb nationalists came to interpret as concessions made at their expense. And in 1992 the outbreak of a three-sided civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina raised the complexity, intensity, and impact of Yugoslavia's disintegration. All of Bosnia-Herzegovina's ethnic communities have had their own, distinct agendas, and have worked to achieve unilateral advantage at the expense of others. Croats voted for Bosnian independence in order to end any association with Milosevic's Yugoslavia, were willing to enter into temporary alliance with the Muslim Slavs to achieve that, but prefer their own Croatian cantonments as a first step to joining Croatia proper. The Muslim Slavs of Bosnia-Herzegovina voted to end their association with Yugoslavia and sought to create a unified state in which they would be the largest single ethno-religious group. The Serbs, on the other hand, opposed any end of Bosnia-Herzegovina's ties with Yugoslavia, boycotted the EC-mandated vote on independence, and resorted to civil war rather than accept inclusion in a new unitary state.

As a result of the interplay of these forces, conflict erupted in the spring of 1992. As John Zametica has pointed out, the European Community in inviting Bosnia-Herzegovina to seek de jure recognition as an independent state ignored the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina was Yugoslavia in microcosm. By encouraging plebiscitary democracy as the road to national independence and international recognition the Community ignored the fact that the core political assumption for a stable Bosnia-Herzegovina within Tito's Yugoslavia had been "the constitutional equality of all three constituent nations."40 Even assuming symmetrical political interests between Muslim Slavs and Croats, plebiscitary democracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina assumed that an alliance between two of the constituent nations was sufficient to overthrow the exisitng constitutional order among the three nations. If the Bosnian Serbs, as the odd-man-out in this political process, resorted to insurrection, the de facto test of the legitimacy of Bosnia-Herzegovina's sovereignty would be its ability to suppress just such an insurrection. Western recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, unless linked with a commitment to support the new state's suppression of a Serbian insurrection, was a hollow bluff.

With the aid of the surviving rump Yugoslavia the Serbs of Bosnia under the leadership of Radovan Karadzic called that bluff and sought to create a Serbian state in Bosnia-Herzegovina and linking it to Serbian and the Serbian-controlled territories in Croatia. Serbian forces in Bosnia followed a three-part strategy. They carved out new enclaves by ethnic cleansing, i. e., through a deliberate war against the Muslim and Croatian civilian populations and sought to build a bridge of Serbian-controlled territory across Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Serbia enclaves earlier carved out of Croatia by force of arms. With an overwhelming military superiority on the ground and in the air Serbian forces seized the initiative and mounted attacks which put them in control of 2/3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina's territory and drove Muslim and Croatian civilians from their homes. Finally, they laid siege to Sarajevo to terrorize the population and undermine the legitimacy of the government.

Their actions have rekindled the intense ethnic hatreds of World War II and created a flood of refugees. Governments outside the conflict area, while quick to recognize the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were less sure how to react to this bloody "peoples war," worried that they might become bogged down in a crises without having understood properly either the risks associated with intervening or articulating the explicit political objectives, which are the necessary prerequisite to the use of force. With UNPROFOR troops already deploying to Bosnia-Herzegovina to support their mission in Croatia, it became a matter of ease for the UN Security Council to expand the mission of UNPROFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina to include the creation of a Bosnia-Herzegovina Command [BHC] and authorized the use of BHC to keep the airport open and assist in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Sarajevo and other points under siege.41 Under UN and EC auspices sustained efforts were mounted to limit the level of violence and to get the belligerents to agree to an armistice. At the London Conference in August the Bosnia Serbs agreed to turn over their heavy artillery to the UN but then found a host of reasons to renege on this promise. And as the fighitng continued and the toll in civlian casualities mounted, the UN Security Council moved to seek a limitation on the use air power by Serbian forces. In September upon the agreement of President Tudjman of Croatia and President Cosic of Yugoslavia to permit the deployment of observers at airfields in their respective states to monitor the airspace of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Security Council imposed a no-fly zone in that air space.42 In practice, however, unauthorized flights of aircraft over Bosnia-Herzegovina continued -- in the period November 13-19, 1992, there were 73 such flights by fixed and rotary aircraft. This led US to press for Security Council authorization for the use of force to maintain the no-fly zone.43 Hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina continued with the Serbs holding their territorial gains and Sarajevo and other Muslim towns under siege.


Psychologically, the entire continent has been affected by the fighting in Yugoslavia. First, this conflict is unchecked with regard to attacks upon civilian populations and has the potential to spread to neighboring lands. Ethnic warfare, unlike the Cold War confrontation in Europe, is not subject to deterrence.

Collective security has replaced bloc security as the international community seeks to re-establish peace and punish aggression. International terrorism, which lost much of its infrastructure with the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, has taken on an ethnic edge to challenge international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of Paris. The once enshrined concept of non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states has given way to an uneasy and halting recognition that internationally-sanctioned intervention in the form of coercive diplomacy may be the only tool available to provide order, ensure public welfare, and establish legitimacy in situations like Yugoslavia, fraught with grave risks of escalation and internationalization. As Edward Kolodziej has pointed out, such situations require an in-depth analysis of the nature of the regional conflicts in question and the appropriate means to be applied to ameliorate the conflict. The appropriate solutions depend upon the "gravity, saliency, and temporality" of the conflict. These are, in turn, conditioned by the propensity of the each of the rivals to resort to force or threat of force.44 Yugoslavia's disintegration has created a series of conflicts, to which Kolodziej's term "immature anarchy" seems applicable.

European leaders have tried to cope with this trend. The EC has prepared criteria for recognition by individual states and by regional organizations and the United Nations. At the heart of the problem of recognizing secession governments is the tension between de facto recognition based upon power and mandate and the de jure recognition based by criteria of legitimacy. To deal with this problem four guidelines have been suggested to achieve the goal of encouraging the spread of democracy. They are: grant a large measure of self-government to dissident ethnic groups; develop a set of principles to govern when new states should be given diplomatic recognition, and what they must explicitly do to qualify for admission into international bodies; and work out rules and criteria for determining when external, multi-lateral, international intervention is justified to prevent ethnic bloodshed, and to develop mechanisms to carry it out.

American policy-makers, like their colleagues in Europe, have been forced to reexamine the existing policy of linking national self-determination with democracy and freedom within sovereign nation-states and defending the territorial integrity of those states when significant minorities within those very states express their will to break the existing social contract and declare their independence. Statesmen have sought a delicate balance between realism and idealism in dealing with such conflicts and reflect long upon the nature and scale of the commitment being made at the time of the recognition of each new state. The implicit criteria that secession is tolerable so long as it is within existing territorial frontiers, even though those territorial boundaries have neither historical nor ethnic foundation must be weighed against the reality of armed insurrection within such new states. That such events are driven by larger international forces and directed by local actors makes the dilemma of great power policy and collective response all the more difficult. As in past Balkan crises, each great power, including the U.S., must weigh its loss of prestige with other powers if it adopts a "hands off" policy against the need to sustain its own leadership position.

For the U.S., Yugoslavia in its various manifestations -- Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina to date and Kosovo and Macedonia to come -- has invited invidious comparisons with its overt, direct, and immediate involvement in punishing aggression in the Persian Gulf. The dilemma is that the aggression is not so clear cut. The suffering of the civilian population in Sarajevo is often compared with that in Kuwait as a grounds for intervention on the side of the Bosnian government, but the relationship between the civilian population and the belligerents is much more complex than that which existed between Iraqis and Kuwaitis in the Gulf War. The comparison is closer to that of Beirut, where the conflict was not between states but communities. There is significant pressure for the powers to act militarily in the name of humanity before there is any clear idea what the political objectives are. Moreover, it is much easier to speak of vague humanitarian objectives than it is to discuss in public the explicit political objectives and probable consequences of such intervention. Yet, there is a profound need for just such a political consensus to control the use of force and legitimize it. Unless there is clear evidence of a sustained diplomatic effort to bring all the principles to the conference table and massive and sustained political intervention by the powers to impose a just, and lasting peace, there will never be a sufficient domestic consensus supporting sustained military action among any of the potential intervening powers. The failure of the powers to achieve such minimal conditions could lead regional powers, who must deal with the immediate effects of the crisis, i.e., Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and/or Romania to contemplate unilateral actions. Because of the terrible losses inflicted upon the Muslim Slav civilian population in Bosnia-Herzegovina there is an additional risk of intervention by other Muslim states, whose populations fear the martyrdom of their co-religionists and accuse the West of a callous indifference to their suffering. That these same states are now often being challenged by powerful fundamentalist movements within creates a linkage between their response to the hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the potential conflicts in the Sandzak, Kosovo, and Macedonia and their domestic politics and internal stability.

In addition, cultural sophistication and civilized behavior are no longer viewed as "fixed" entities of peaceful European order. Barbarity in Bosnia-Herzegovina provides an implicit license for inhumanity in some other countries of Europe. Associating modern day Yugoslavia with barbarity was unconscionable just over 18 months ago. Much of the early optimism about an easy road to confederation in Yugoslavia in 1990-1991 was based upon the assumption, held by many scholars and statesmen, that such barbarous behavior simply could not occur because this was not the Yugoslavia of World War II. Unfortunately, this conclusion proved ill-founded. For Europe, confronting so many profound and deep changes, Yugoslavia opened a Pandora's box of ethnic hatreds.

The psychological impact of large-scale, ethnic violence can be seen in the echoes of ethnic violence against marginalized minorities in other European countries, most notably in Germany, transforming immigrant shelter houses into arsonists' targets and turning "skin heads" into epigones of Brown shirts. This violence has forced the German government to consider abandoning Europe's most liberal law governing political refugees. Skinheads are on the march in Eastern Europo as well.

Within Yugoslavia another type of psychosis is advancing, one associated with the level of savagery:

Whether these stories of atrocities are fact or fiction is almost irrelevant: what people think is happening determines behavior, and has led to retribution on an exceedingly progressive scale. People have constructed their own version of reality to justify their aggression, noting, for example, that there is no ethnic cleansing, just ethnic shifting accomplished to protect people."45

This has produced an atmosphere in which it appears that no cease fire will work, and in which terrorism is winning in its advance against civic values built on tolerance. This has primarily been accomplished by instituting a war on civilians, where they are not secondary but primary targets. Their casualties and suffering are not "collateral damage" but sinister, intended consequences of military policy. Most tragic of all is that the conflict has initiated another group of Balkan residents into the custom of "pogrom and genocide," lessons the world hoped would skip this generation of Europeans.


As a new international order is being born, a new compass heading is required, one different from that used during the Cold War. Concepts that lay at the heart of the pre-Cold War vision of international community (Wilsonianism) are being redefined. The once sacred assumption regarding non-intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The West remains committed to the concept of self-determinism, but in a multi-ethnic state there is the clear recognition that human rights must be recognized and protected from this new form of ethnic warfare. As a result, the world must address the tension between self-determination and the redrawing of borders, once thought to be inviolable. The euphoria of 1989's Velvet Revolution has given way to a more somber assessment of the radical instabilities facing Central and Eastern Europe. The new world order became disorder. Political observers have noted the grave risks of escalation associated with the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be permitted to fester. Such festering will make a Balkan war inevitable. The most obvious danger to the world at large is that the current conflict could spread beyond the borders of Yugoslavia. The war has injected new impetus toward de-stabilizing the Balkan area and the borderlands of the former Soviet Union. Historical grievances held by Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary and Greece are being recast by events in Yugoslavia to create new combinations and new cleavages far removed from any Cold War template. The mistreatment of ethno-national groups within Yugoslavia could bring them to intervene and transform a widening civil war into a regional war.

Refugee problems, which emerged as a problem when the conflict assumed an ethno-national character in Croatia, expanded by ten fold in Bosnia-Herzegovina and have created a host of problems for the belligerents, neighboring states, and the rest of Europe. Refugees forced to flee from these conflicts could carry the struggles with them, i.e., coalescing in exile communities united by their opposition to the regime which expelled them. Such centers, in turn, invite further aggression, as the regime in question seeks to strike against such forces now located within another sovereign state. Such groups also may pose a threat to the state that accepted them because of increased economic, cultural, political, or social (drugs, black marketing, prostitution, etc.) tensions. Even the absence of overt conflict between the host and emigre populations, the refugees present an unanticipated budgetary cost and drain on the economy with potential long-term economic consequences as well. Refugee flows must be treated by the state absorbing such refugees as a projection of ethnic conflict onto the territory of another country "by other means," thus increasing the danger of being drawn into the conflict.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has noted that this was the largest uprooting of population in Europe since the Second World War. These people, with little hope of returning, could become the Palestinians of the 1990s, with no homeland. This siutation has pushed the UN away from a narrow peace-keeping role towards "a comprehensive appraoch, which embraces the return of millions of ewfugees to their former homes, rehabilitation, the reform of national administrations, the integration of armies of former enemies and much more besides."46 At the same time the Secretary General noted that in the post Cold War era the UN was facing a multiplication of such problems spread all over the globe.

The Yugoslavias conflicts also have the potential to change its form and spread from a predominantly ethnic conflict to a pan-Islamic, pan-Turkic, or pan-Slavic one. Recent statements by Iranian officials indicate a willingness to aid Muslim Slavs by direct armed intervention. Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei noted: "If Western governments are unable to stop the massacre of Muslims there, then they should allow our Muslim combatants to give the Serbs their dues."47 On September 4, 1992, Croatian officials reported that they had intercepted an Iranian arms ship bound for Bosnia at Zagreb airport.48 Moreover, the Middle Eastern press is replete with such statements of solidarity and commitment by Muslim spokesmen, who speak of a double standard in leaving Bosnian Muslims to their fate.49 By fall 1992 Western press reports on Turkish, Iranian and Saudi mujahedin fighters already in Bosnia were increasing. While their presence was small, their impact has been significant -- a sign of solidarity, bortherhood in arms, to a people left to face a better-armed and ruthless foe.50 The Serbian press is full of accounts of the role that Muslim volunteers already fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina are playing. Their presence is used to support Serbian claims of a Muslim Slav design to create an Islamic state in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Muslim Slavs, who are by no means Islamic fundamentalists, are being drawn into a redefinition of their struggle, one that invokes a Jihad or Holy War. The presence of even a handful of such volunteers connects this Balkan crisis with the instability of the Middle East.

For Turkey, which has both historic ties with Bosnia-Herzegovina and three million Bosnians within its own population, the plight of the Muslims in Bosnia had become so serious challenge to regional stability that by the fall of 1992 its government was pressing the UN Security Council to adopt a program of military measures to stop Serbian agression. The Turkish Government made the case for such intervention precisely as a means of heading off any chance for "religious fundamentalists" to gain the upper hand.51 Opposition figures criticized the Turkish Government's pressure group tactics and call for unilateral actions. Bulent Ecevit of the Democratic Leftist Party stated: ". . . if Turkey cannot defend the rights of the communities that pin their hopes on it and if it cannot preserve an atmosphere of peace, it will lose the trust of the Turkic world stertching from the Adriatic to China.52

The appearance of Russian volunteers in Bosnia-Herzegovina has added its own complications. In this case, however, their imagery of the conflict evokes World War III. "What is under way is the suppression of the whole of Slavdom in Europe. And not only Russians but also Serbs, Poles and other Slavs. . . . The point is that we shall have to make war in the immediate future."53 This imagery is both a warning about the dangers of a revival, in a more deadly version, of the Eastern Question and a reflection of the internal conflicts within Russian society over its domestic course and foreign policy orientation. These dangers of pan-escalation should be treated as warnings -- alarm bells in the night --- underscoring the dangers of counting on the conflicts just burning themselves out.

The point is to articulate a combination of political outcomes and military means which will offer an immediate termination of hostilities and the prospects for a viable and inclusive peace settlement. As Chris Cviic has pointed out, a Balkan War and a revival of the accursed Eastern Question are not inevitable. But both become more probable the longer the conflict continues.

There is nothing automatic about a third Balkan War but much will depend on the outcome of the current war in Bosnia. If this ends soon and if a Serbia weakened by war and UN sanctions concedes the principle of a united Bosnia underpinned by international guarantees and a UN presence (possibly even trusteeship as some in Bosnia are advocating), this could clear the way for an eventual non-violent settlement of the Kosovo and Macedonia issues.54

Such an outcome would require the intervention of the international community and would go beyond peace-keeping and humanitarian assistance to embrace peace-making.


In the aftermath of the Gulf War there was much discussion of a new world order where collective security would make aggression a futile act. Some commentators stressed the multi-lateral character of this "new world order" and pointed to the role of the UN in resolving residual Third-World conflicts left over from the Cold War. These commentators saw the fiscal and material contributions of US allies to the ad hoc coalition organized by the US against Iraq as harbingers of the successful application of collective security on a broad scale and underscored the importance of a competitive cooperation among the major Western powers at its foundation. The US, according to President Bush, would seek to lead this coalition of like-minded powers to preserve order in a Post-Cold War world. Other commentators dismissed this multi-lateralism is a sham. In the Gulf multi-lateralism had been only a useful tool, not a commitment which impacted upon political ends and military means. It was just "cover" for a defense of vital American interests.55 There was only one super power and the Gulf War had marked the beginning of a new era of a "unipolar" world in which the US would act decisively and globally:

. . . where the United States defends its vital interests not with deterrence and the strategic defense but with assurance and the strategic offensive. As the principles of war dictate, the objective of the strategic offensive is to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. Thus freedom of action is key.56

As these proclamations were being made the wars in Yugoslavia had entered their first phase. A month later Moscow's August Coup set in motion the final collapse of Soviet Communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. With the end of the Cold War and an unstable international system the trouble with freedom of action was that it required a political vision of a new order it would work to achieve and an associated redefinition of the role of military power in achieving that order. A year and a half later it is quite easy to criticize the euphoria and hubris involved in both interpretations of the Gulf War. The pace of change, the scale of instability in Eurasia, and the complexity of the interactions of a host of new international actors have made both tasks daunting. It is precisely the linkages among strategy, politics, and statecraft which have made the international community's responses to Yugoslavia's wars so tentative.

The initial response of the Bush Administration to the Yugoslav crisis was to let the Europeans handle a matter that was clearly vital to their interests and of immediate geo-political concern. As the crisis deepened in 1991 the United States began to weigh the costs of its "hands off" policy in Yugoslavia versus its involvement in the Persian Gulf. The US organization of a grand coalition of states under UN mandate against overt aggression was thus compared with its initial inaction and subsequent limited measures. But the comparison with Iraq, where the US has gone from a war against Iraqi aggression against Kuwait to military intervention to protect ethnic and religious minorities inside the Iraqi state -- Kurds in the north and Shiia in the south -- telescopes the stages of strategic response between August 1990 and January 1991. It ignores the defensive phase of "Desert Shield" during which US military power was committed to the direct task of defending Saudi Arabia and not the immediate liberation of Kuwait, neglects the role of coalition-building that went on throughout the fall of 1991, down plays the application of attrition measures of blockade and embrago which were applied in the same period to get Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait peacefully, under-estimates the importance of the shift in strategic direction in November 1991, when President Bush authorized the planning of offensive operations for the liberation of Kuwait, and slights the political importance of securing a UN mandate and congressional support for an operation to liberate Kuwait. Finally, it confuses the decisive application of violent force against Iraqi external aggression with the limited, "coercive" force applied to protect Kurds and Shiia. A distinct prism for viewing the relationship between politics and war applies in the context of ethnic hatreds and partisan warfare.

The conflict in Bosnia is unchecked with regard to attacks upon civilian populations and has the potential to spread to neighboring lands. Both these features have heightened calls for coercive diplomacy to deter further aggression. The evidence of mass mistreatment of Bosnian civilians in Serbian detention camps, which came to light in early August 1992, brought more calls for Western military intervention. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher added her voice to the calls military intervention.57 Some have argued that the failure to deter further aggression in Yugoslavia has reversed the most positive accomplishment the Gulf War, namely the fact that "the international community will band together to force an aggressor to give up his gains." In this case, at least to date, they argue international law has lost to aggression.58

However, ethnic warfare, unlike the Cold War or the Gulf War, is not deterred by threats of strategic escalation. Among Clausewitz's trinity of the state, the army, and the people, i. e., mind, power, and passion, it is the latter, which defines the struggle. Since the people are both the target of the violence and the center of gravity of the aggressor force, its active or passive base of support, the coercive means applied must in some fashion break the bond between army and people. In Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina the aggressor could assume that no external power had any interest in employing strategic escalation as a counter-threat to the violence unleashed in such conflicts.

The very presence of civilians of all nationalities around the aggressor forces makes the issue of collateral damage even with conventional weapons a matter of intense concern. High-precision weapons, while they offer significant advantages in comparison with nuclear or standard conventional weapons, can not hit those targets that are at the center of gravity of the aggressor force, which in this case is not -- as it was in the Gulf War -- a conventional, tank-heavy military establishment in a desert theater of military operations, but masses of regular and irregular infantry armed with conventional arms and deployed in a theater dominated by mountains and forests. The search for a military-technical "silver bullet" to end the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has frustrated the best military minds. It has left the various international organizations and the powers, especially the US, with two equally unappealing options: the massive commitment of ground forces to mount decisive combat operations within Bosnia but without any clear forecast of the political-military consequences of such actions in the rest of rump Yugoslavia and the Balkans or the application of an attrition strategy within Bosnia-Herzegovina in combination with a negotiated political settlement.

The international community through the UN and the CSCE has applied a series of attrition tools to rump Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serbs since the outbreak of fighting in April 1992. These have ranged from diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions and warnings concerning the international community's intent to hold those guilty of war crimes accountable for their actions to threats of military action. These have included not only the imposition upon Serbian air power of a no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina and continued discussions regarding the use of force to sustain it. In this context, the changing rules of engagement governing UNPROFOR units delivering humanitarian assistance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is likewise an tool of attrition since such aid by ensuring the feeding of Bosnia's civilian population would frustrate the political-military objectives of Serbian forces seeking to starve that population into submission or flight. Unwilling to sanction the large-scale use of ground combat power -- General Lewis MacKenzie of the Canadian Army, the then out-going Commander of UNPROFOR, estimated that it would take 75,000 troops to pacify Sarajevo and a million troops to occupy the country in the face of sustained resistance -- the international community has haltingly adopted an incremental solution, i. e., maintain an attrition strategy. In July 1992 in lieu of sending in combat divisions, General John Glavin, former NATO Supreme Commander, advocated the assessment of other military measures, to coerce compliance.59 Attrition strategy in this fashion served as a tool for coalition development and maintenance, since it was far easier to seek agreement among allies for incremental increases in pressure than to contemplate a shift in strategy.

Gradual escalation of this attrition strategy in conjunction with intensive diplomatic efforts to secure a political solution among the protagonists, however, carries its own risks. Rendering minimal aid to a civilian population which is being tormented by an aggressor does not win the "benefactor" either the affection or respect of that population. The anger shown by many Bosnian Muslims towards UNPROFOR and the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and fear that Bosnia's government would prefer to gamble on another military effort to lift the siege of Sarajevo, rather than negotiate a settlement under UN mandate, demonstrates how difficult it is for the UN to sustain a coordinated military-political course of action.60

Such attrition strategy operating in a limbo between peace-keeping and peace-making operations imposes asymmetrical costs upon attacker and defender; the latter must bear continued high costs in human suffering imposed directly upon its civilian population. At the same time, it robs the defender of any opportunity to seize back the initiative and by a counter-offensive impose termination upon the attacker. Instead Bosian forces are left with the need to mount counter-attacks to prevent the further deterioration of their position and forestall the collapse of their shaky authority over the territory they still control.61

Noting the existence of a window of opportunity for a political solution at the forthcoming negotiations among the five principles of the Bosnian War, Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, the co-chairman of the UN-EC sponsored Geneva peace initiative, have warned that their efforts to get a settlement in Bosnia via such negotiations "could blow up tomorrow."62 The intransigence of President Izetbegovic and his government has had a very sound political basis in fact. Gambling on a military operation to lift the siege of Sarajevo, however, was not a zero-sum risk for the Izetbegovic government since failure will derail a compromise settlement and will bring increased pressure upon the UN, EC, and the powers to take more resolute military actions in support of Bosnia, i. e., rachet up the attrition strategy one more notch. Over time a succession of such incremental steps could transform the commitment of the international community to the Muslim cause. It could, given increased commitments and serious danger of failure, take on a new character and impose a draconian choice between a new and qualitatively-different strategy, i. e., a strategy of annihilation, and disengagement.

The commitment to attrition strategy in Bosnia is based upon a combination of factors, ranging from lack of agreement among the powers about the end-state to be achieved in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the rest of Yugoslavia, and the Balkans as a whole to divergent assessments of the military-political character of the struggle and the appropriate military-technical means to be applied.

When there is no consensus on long-term objectives or the costs to be born to achieve them, attrition becomes a matter of limited commitment and political signalling. Frustration over the the content and direction of policy, especially the emphasis to be placed upon negotiations as opposed to coercive diplomacy, has brought into the open policy disputes with the Bush Administration. In late August George Kenney, deputy chief and then acting chief of Yugoslav Affairs in the US State Department, resigned to protest what he categorized as its "ineffective and irresponsible" policies towards Bosnia.63 In an editorial The New York Times described Kenney as a "courageous Foreign Service officer," who had exposed the "sham" and "do-nothing policy" of the Bush Administration.64 Kenney timed his resignation to underscore the likely failure of the London Peace Talks, which Prime Minister John Major was supposed to host in September. Kenney placed full responsibility for the war on Serbs, accused the Bush Administration of tailoring its policy to fit public opinion in an election year, and made a powerful case of the need to do something before the onset of winter. Moreover, the failure of US leadership in Bosnia was setting the stage for a wider conflict and introducing a new era of brutality to Europe.65

Indeed, the sub-text to much of the discussion of military options in Bosnia throughout the contest has been about maintaining a limited commitment to achieve imprecise political ends. By the end of 1992 Anthony Lewis, writing in The New York Times, was arguing that a show of force, resolve, would force Milosevic and Serbia to back down. Once again Munich and Hitler have been trotted out to explain how sufficient backbone and a show of force will deter aggression. But then the small print of such resolve becomes apparent: bombs not troops on the ground will stop aggression. High-tech wiz bang, the Tom Clancy school of military strategy, replaces strategic choices with alterative target sets over which the proponents of intervention can argue.66 George Kenney, who has forcefully made the case for US intervention, stated the limitation quite explicitly:

Really, if we were to get involved -- and not on the ground. I'm not suggesting that -- most Bosnians would be very happy. And I think there are some very easy things we can do, things that would make a lot of difference to the fighting in Bosnia and wouldn't cost us a great deal and would address some of these larger problems.67

He went on to outline the set measures already discussed above. This argument, which cogently expresses the lack of sufficient domestic political support for such efforts in the face of sustained casualties runs the risk of invoking such casualties by initiating a process of escalation by stages, in which the commit of ground power is the unintended but final stage of an ill-conceived strategic exercise.

Bombing Belgrade, while it might be effectively restricted to strictly military targets and elements of national command authority, would not change the military balance in the field. Attacking lines of communication between Bosnia and Serbia, if not linked to a major change in the correlation of forces on the ground, would mean an acceptance of a strategy of attrition and protracted war. Neutralizing Serbian aviation over Bosnia might reduce Serbian combat power and a suspension of offensive actions against new towns. Ending the arms embargo on Bosnia could permit the Bosnian-Muslim fighters to take back the initiative after a sufficient period of training and re-organization. One can reasonably assume that the proponents of lifting the arms embargo on Bosnia do not intend to stop there. They have in mind more than cash-and-carry purchases of arms on the world market and anticipate military training missions to accelerate the process of creating a Bosnian field army. All these military measures taken together would not end the war quickly or decisively. None of them are ever discussed in the context of probable counter-measures by the Serbs or their impact upon the UN coalition endorsing such actions. Indecisive half-measures would certainly invite counter-attacks against the UNPROFOR units already deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina for humanitarian assistance. Each action will involve the articulation of complex and politically sensitive rules of engagement, which in the course of operations will become a topic of conflict and dispute between the political leadership and the military and among the intervening powers. Undertaken as successive, escalatory measures with do time to note their impact upon the political will of Milosevic, his government, and the Bosnian Serbs, they amount to strategic incoherence of the type seen in Vietnam and Lebanon. Such incoherence has been effectively analyzed and rejected by informed military commentators.68

Bruce George and Nick Ryan argued in the fall of 1992 that the initial reluctance of the United States to support a policy of military intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a function of its government's inability "to sustain a decisive leadership role within the current geo-political arena."69 Yet, it is precisely the undefined nature of the military commitment to the protection of Kurds and Shiia in Iraq that raises questions about applying a strategy of attrition in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Given the instability of Central and Eastern Europe and the incipient civil wars already underway in the successor states of the USSR, one must candidly ask how many military commitments of uncertain duration and magnitude can the international community under UN and/or CSCE mandate sustain. US leadership in the post Cold-War world will depend in equal parts upon its practical capabilities, sustained national will, a continuation of broad support among the international community, and a basic prudence in exercising its leadership.

Since George and Ryan wrote their essay the US has acted to enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq, worked to secure a UN-mandated no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina and led a UN-mandated military intervention in Somalia to secure the safe delivery of humanitarian relief in a country deep in famine and racked by clan violence. At the same time the Bush Administration has sought to secure an endorsement of the use of air power to enforce that Bosnian no-fly zone. Britain and France, with forces on the ground in UNPROFOR, have been reluctant to take this step for good reason. More recently, the Administration has considered a compromise over the timing of the application of force to sustain the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina and would delay its implementation until mid-January, until after the current round of the Geneva peace talks under UN and EC auspices.70 This became the topic of a joint Bush-Mitterand statement in which they voiced their agreement on enforcing the no-fly zone but agreed to postpone enforcement while the Geneva talks were underway.71

In short, all the measures under discussion and taken to date stay within the bounds of a strategy of attrition and should be viewed as quantitative extensions of the economic sanctions already in place. They rely upon time for their impact. But alone they provide no mechanism for a coherent, timely, shift to decisive action, aimed at bringing about conflict termination.72 At best, limited intervention in the absence of a political settlement can promise the Muslim Slavs something akin to the status of the Kurds in Northern Iraq, a breathing space in a protracted war. At worst, indecision will gradually undermine the very commitment of those institutions and states which authorized the use of force but did not provide sufficient rationale to their populations to justify the assumption of additional, enduring burdens.

General Colin Powell, who as Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff had been the senior military leader in Operation "Just Cause" in Panama and Operations "Desert Shield and Desert Storm" in the Gulf, responding to a spate of criticism about the US military's reluctance to use force in Bosnia-Herzegovina stated:

The reason for our success [in these and other recent operations] is that in every instance we have carefully matched the use of force to our political objectives.73

General Powell did not exclude the use of force in "murky and unpredictable" situation, but warned against squandering lives for unclear purposes, citing a number of failed situations. "If force is used imprecisely or out of frustration rather than clear analysis the situation can be made worse."74

General Powell's statements opposing limited military intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina thus warned of the dangers of being provoked into piecemeal escalation because of the frustrations associated with such an attrition strategy in the absence of well-defined political objectives. His views reflect the profound understanding of the relationship between politics and war in the late twentieth century. War is not just limited in Clausewitz's sense of practical war being distinct from "absolute war" as a theoretical category. In the past some states may have approached such absolute wars in their destruction, but modern states possessing fair size arsenals of weapons of mass destruction have the very means to fight absolute wars, even if they do not intend to do so. It imposes upon such states an awesome responsibilities, when they consider the use of force or seek to deter the use of force.75

In this revolution in security policy, the expression, "war is an extension of politics by other means," takes on far greater complexity. Now politics also controls war and dictates a symmetry between political ends to be achieved and the form and content of the military means employed. This symmetry between means and ends has been at the heart of US "limited war theory" throughout the Cold War and still applies in practice.76 This relationship underscores the importance of securing both the domestic support for and international sanction of any military effort. As J. Loeser and D. Proektor have pointed out, in the late twentieth century "a realistic security policy is unthinkable without political foresight."77

General Powell's statements were also a reminder that the use of force is a matter of probabilities, art, and risk. Will that does not seek to fathom this relationship in all its complexity acts blindly, without foresight. And in statecraft and strategy there are no substitutes for foresight, however, difficult the process may be. The professional soldier, understanding the nature of his craft, i. e., that it is about violence and coercion, rightly rejects the notion of "do something now!" with implied caveat "and then we will figure out what to do next." Ad hoc policies, in the absence of a compelling vision of the final end-state to be achieved, have resulted in unintended consequences, i. e., both a deepening and widening of these conflicts. The very power of the arsenals available to states makes this concern for probable consequences, military art, and risk matters of political control over the use of force. As Daniel Proektor observed regarding the Gulf War:

In other words, contemporary military forces have arisen on the foundation of a scientific-technical revolution. This revolution has made force so absolute [in the sense that Clausewitz uses that term] that its direct, massed use has become more and more improbable. The possibility of its discrete, limited employment in some extreme situations remains. Military decisions are made with much greater difficulty than in the past. Too much has to be calculated and taken into account.78
From this point follows the telling observation that this situation has led to an explosion in the number of local wars, but "without absolute victories."

Punishing aggression and military intervention to maintain the "political status of states" do remain legitimate functions for military power. But they are, by their very nature, instruments of last resort. To them can be added humanitarian assistance to a civilian population in distress because of natural disasters and social breakdowns. But the legitimacy of these actions in no way negates the necessity of political foresight. It is easier, as a host of local wars affirm, to embark upon the use of force than it is to end the ensuing conflict, to commit forces than to deal with the unanticipated consequences of those actions. Political foresight informed by an understanding of military options, in a host of instances in this century, could have made clear the colossal costs against the minimal political gains which could accrue from the use of force.79 This was the core message of President Bush's address to the cadets of the US Military Academy at West Point just weeks before leaving office.

Using military force makes sense as a policy where the stakes warrant, where and when force can be effective, where no other policies are likely to prove effective, where its application can be limited in scope and time and where the potential benefits justify the potential costs and sacrifice.80

President Bush stated that the United States should lead in such instances but added "we will want to act in concert, where possible, involving the United Nations or other multinational grouping."81 Finally, President Bush returned to the requirement for "a clear and achievable mission, a realistic plan for accomplishing the mission, and criteria no less realistic for withdrawing U. S. forces once the mission is complete."82

These principles brings us back to the difficult problem of forecasting the political consequences of various courses of action in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As Harvey M. Sapolsky has observed, in America the costs of military operations are now measured not only in terms of friendly casualties but also the level of collateral damage, civilian casualties, and even enemy combat casualties.83 Given the nature of the civilian casualties on the in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the pressure to intervene for humanitarian reasons --- to just end the killing -- is both understandable and fraught with grave risks because of the potential disconnect between the commitment of forces, the ambiguity of their mission, and the indefiniteness of the political end-state to be achieved.

Military logic in this case is clear and self-evident. The commitment of large-scale ground forces to the theater, a shift to a strategy of annihilation, would make possible a rapid campaign of annihilation against the aggressor. Overwhelming force can reduce casualties for all sides by bringing about a rapid end of hostilities. The probable, large-scale commitment of ground forces would represent a sufficient threat to Serbian control over disputed territory in Bosnia and/or the possibility of carrying the war into Serbia proper to coerce a termination of any Serbian threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Quantity in this case would take on a quality all its own. Intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina with ground forces would entail the formation of a coalition force and the articulation of an international mandate to sanction such peace-making actions. Since the Oslo meeting in the spring of 1992 NATO, as a consensual alliance of sovereign states, has had as a stated policy a willingness to consider out-of-area actions under CSCE mandate. The point is to have clear-cut and well-defined military missions for those forces, missions in keeping with explicitly stated political objectives. But this military logic is thus dependent upon a political context for action. The existence of a coalition of forces with an internationally-recognized mandate to intervene depends upon political agreement among the powers.

Here, once again, political concerns limit the application of a strategy of annihilation. There must be some linkage between military success and a stable political end-state. Even the prospect of large-scale deployment of ground forces under a UN or CSCE mandate can not guarantee, in the absence of a political settlement that protects the legitimate interests of the Serbian, Muslim and Croatian civilian populations in the disputed areas, that military success in Bosnia-Herzegovina will culminate in a politically viable end-state. The issue comes down to the assessment of how the politics of conflict termination play out against the military/humanitarian situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina itself.

Initial reluctance to intervene in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a function of a strategic dead end associated with treating the consequences of military actions and not their underlying causes. The issue then is a matter of defining the political objective to which the instruments of national power, including military power, might be applied. And in this regard a definition of US national interests in the region becomes the first proximate concern of policy. In this regard it is important to draw a distinction between the particular struggle in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its larger consequences for the region and Europe at large. Michael G. Roskin has addressed this point and advocated an "indirect strategy of pressure on Serbia."

An independent Bosnia has nothing to do with US national interests. A stable Balkans does have something to do with US national interests in the general sense that chaos anywhere is a potential enemy. Fighting for Bosnian independence would mean a wrong-headed and nasty war that would merely bring greater instability to the region and more civilian casualties. An indirect approach of constraining the Serbs by putting political and military pressure on Serbia's borders, on the other hand, would set an example of multilateral European and American commitment to stability.84

However, protractedness carries with it risks of uncontrolled escalation (increased refugee flows, political instability in East and Central Europe, and the prospect of the internationalization of the Yugoslav crises by the covert, overt active intervention of other states seeking to impose a new territorial and political settlement by force of arms in the Balkans). The pressures to intervene developed as a function of the fact that inaction was, in reality, aiding the Serbs in carving out Greater Serbia. The very risks of indecisive military actions and confusion over positive political goals beyond preventing the creation of Greater Serbia by force of arms, however, contributed to an indirect strategic approach.

There is now some convincing evidence that this strategy may have paid an immediate dividend. While the world has focused on the savage siege of Sarajevo, the actual military fate of Greater Serbia has been played out across northern Bosnia. There Serbian forces pressed their attacks in conjunction with ethnic cleansing to create a corridor between the Serbs in Eastern Bosnia and those in Western Bosnia and Krajina. In November it appeared that Serbian forces had created such a corridor, but recent counter-attacks by Bosnian and Croatian forces have narrowed that corridor and are threatening to cut it. In addition, in the very areas where ethnic cleansing was supposed to have guaranteed easy control, Bosnian commando units are now operating, using the heavy forests and mountains as effective cover. The impact of economic sanctions in rump Yugoslavia has also brought home the costs of supporting Serbian expansion in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In short, the Serbian military situation does not support the conclusion that Greater Serbia can be achieved easily or without great costs.85

This new military situation may have created the conditions for a political settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There are significant motivations for all sides to stop the fighting and accept a compromise. Should such a settlement not be achieved because of Serbian intransigence, the use of force, under a UN mandate, can now be linked to a broadly defined political settlement. And in the absence of territorial concessions from the Serbs, it can serve as a political end-state to define the mission before an intervening force.


In response to the Yugoslav crisis the international community via the UN and CSCE has sought to apply crisis management, routinization and containment, and reduction, but have been unable to date to achieve either resolution or institutionalization of cooperative accords. Recent measures have been taken to prevent the widening or deepening of the conflicts. On 28 December the New York Times reported that the Bush Administration had warned its the Serbian and Yugoslav governments both orally and in writing against extending the war to Kosovo. The written message, was reported to have said: " . . . in the event of conflict in Kosovo caused by Serbian action, the United States will be prepared to employ military force against the Serbs in Kosovo and in Serbia proper." Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic was particularly upset by the American warning.86 Thus, certain steps and principles have been applied to halt the conflict in its present stage.

These have involved the articulation of a broadly supported concept of post-war order for the successor states. Without this explicit political goal the use of military power would not transcend the treating of symptoms, i. e., attrition strategy with its continuing flood of civilian casualties, domestic political costs for the intervening powers, and grave risks of escalation and internationalization. The Geneva talks under UN mandate have as their immediate objective the imposition of an armistice and an ending of the siege of Sarajevo and other cities. The powers, acting in concert, are seeking to use their considerable power, including the threat of the decisive use of force, including even large-scale ground combat power, to impose a binding armistice, as the first step to a settlement which provides order, public welfare, and legitimacy to the successor states. Those who were forced from their homes are to be return, and peace-making forces are to be put in position to guarantee that return. Those who made war upon civilian populations deserve the full sanction of international law against them. All sides have been charged with addressing the issue of disarming the paramilitaries and restoring public order. A significant UN military presence will be a necessary component to this peace-making function. International agencies will have to assist in the development of infrastructures, peace-keeping, humanitarian assistance, and so on.

The principles that have been adopted set conditions upon majority rule and provide protection of minority rights. Cantonization along strict ethnic lines, which had become synonymous with a de facto recognition of Serbian conquests and the imposition of a unitary state, has been rejected. This settlement would repudiate the acceptance of any territorial gains achieved by force of arms. Instead, a UN protectorate for a federal Bosnian state would become the vehicle to restore and preserve peace. It would deny any claim of Serbs to create a Greater Serbia or to carve out a Serbian state in Bosnia, while offering the Serbian communities within the newly independent state a guarantee of their legal status as a recognized ethnic minority. The division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into ten provinces and two enclaves is to be based upon the creation of "areas as geographically coherent as possible, taking into account ethnic, geographical, historical, communication, economic viability and other relevant factors."87 This settlement would create three provinces where Muslims would predominate; Serbs would predominate in one province, which would have two unattached enclaves within a larger Muslim-predominate province; in four others Muslims and Croats or Serbs would predominate; Sarajevo and its environs would be a "mixed," province. The raising of its siege and de-militarization would be immediate objectives of the peace process. UN peace-keeping forces would be deployed to secure five "throughways" to city and to guarantee "full freedom of movement." No ethnically pure zones would be created. As the first round of the Geneva negotiations have suggested, they will involve hard bargaining involved over the status of many disputed villages.88 Nevertheless, this Swiss model, adapted to Balkan realities, could assist in the stabilization of Bosnia-Herzegovina and serve as the basis for a more general settlement of the Yugoslav crisis. This model would recognize minority rights in language and culture to preclude ethno-national majority from imposing some variety of democratic authoritarianism in areas where a clear majority could use the ballot to disenfranchise a national minority. It represents a compromise political settlement and may by, as Secretary General Boutros-Ghali has suggested, "the last chance for peace in the Balkans."89 So far, the military option has remained an instrument of attrition used to achieve limited political objectives, objectives which have become clearer over time. This process of clarification has stripped policy of much of its idealism and given it a tragic realism, thanks to the interactions of the hard bargaining necessary to secure collective actions among sovereign states with their own discrete interests and thanks to the harsh realities of the Yugoslav conflict.

Neither Marxism-Leninism nor Wilsonianism have articulated policies that deal effectively with the challenge of ethno-nationalism. Proclamations about human rights that do not acknowledge the dangers of cultural and linguistic hegemony miss the point. The international community will either apply the political-military measures discussed above to deal with ethno-national conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina or it will condemn Central and Eastern Europe, including the successor states of the former Soviet Union, to grave risk of ethnic conflicts, local wars, and worse.

The Yugoslav question, like the Eastern Question a century ago, has become the acid test of the European order's ability to deal with the instability unleashed by ethno-nationalism. The misapplication of military power can, as it did on numerous occasions in connection with the Eastern Question, have the most unanticipated and negative consequences for those who initiate them. The point is to adapt strategy, politics, and statecraft to the concrete circumstances of Yugoslavia's serial wars in order to prevent the next act of this tragedy and, thereby, enhance the stability of a European order still in its infancy.


1. Stevan K. Pavlowitch, The Improbable Survivor: Yugoslavia and its Problems, 1918-1988 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1988), p. viii.BACK

2. Ivo Andric, The Bridge on the Drina, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1959), p. 314.BACK

3. Ivo Andric, Gospodija, (Zagreb" Mladost, 1961), p. 77.BACK

4. Charles Gati, "From Sarajevo to Sarajevo," Foreign Affairs, LXXI, No. 4 (Fall 1992), pp. 64-78.BACK

5. The New York Times, (December 30, 1992).BACK

6. SOVSET, "RFE/RL Daily Report," (October 14, 1992).BACK

7. The New York Times, (10 November 1992).BACK

8. Radek Sikorski, "Irreconcilable Differences." National Review, (18 March 1991), pp. 26-27.BACK

9. Radek Sikorski, "War in Europe Again." National Review, 16 December 1991, pp. 40-43. BACK

10. Viktor Filatov, "Pobil chas voina," Den', No. 43 (71), (25-31 October 1992), p. 4.BACK

11. SOVSET, RFE/RL Daily Report, (6 November 1992).BACK

12. For a discussion of this process of myth rejection and creation see: Ivo Banac, "Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe: Yugoslavia," American Historical Review, 97, No. 4 (October 1992), pp. 1084-1104. BACK

13. Milovan Djilas, Land Without Justice, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1958), p. 3.BACK

14. Traian Stoianovich, A Study in Balkan Civilization (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), p. 197.BACK

15. Time, (August 17, 1992), pp. 25-26.BACK

16. Ibid..BACK

17. Retold to Timothy Thomas by Ivan Volgyes (June 1992).BACK

18. Lenard J. Cohen, "The Disintegration of Yugoslavia," Current History, (November 1992), p. 371.BACK

19. M. S. Anderson, The Eastern Question, 1774-1923 (London: St. Martin's Press, 1966), pp. 388-398. In its classic form the Eastern Question revolved around the contradictions posed by a declining Ottoman Empire and a rising tide of nationalism among the Balkan peoples in which Britain sought to stabilize and reform "the sick man of Europe" and autocratic Russia championed the national claims of its subject peoples. The involvement of other powers made the Eastern Question a persistent source of conflict and "and the most intractable of all European political problems." At most, the great powers could achieve no more than crisis management; at worst, the Eastern Question became the source of general wars among the powers. In its new form, the Eastern Question may have different protagonists and distinct geo-strategic combinations. It is, however, very likely to be just as intractable and dangerous for European stability and order. BACK

20. Slobodan Milosevic, :Ravnopravni i slozni odnosi uslov za opstanak Jugoslavije," Politika, (June 29, 1989), p. 4.BACK

21. Juan O. Tamayo, "Old Europe is dying a tempestuous death," The Kansas City Star, July 12, 1992, p. K-6.BACK

22. Ibid.BACK

23. Roger Portal, The Slavs (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1965), p. 449.BACK

24. Alan Palmer, The Lands Between: A Histor og East-Central Europe since the Congress of Vienna (London: Weidenfled and Nicolson, 1970), p. 1ff.BACK

25. Anton Bebler, "Yugoslavia's agony: civil war becomes savage chaos," International Defense Review, 9/1992, pp 813-816.BACK

26. Ibid.. See also: James Gow, Legitimacy and the Military" The Yugoslav Crisis (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992).BACK

27. Alex N. Dragnich, Serbs and Croats, (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992), p. 155.BACK

28. Ivo J. Lederer, "Nationalism and the Yugoslavs," in: Peter F, Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer, eds., Nationalism in Eastern Europe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969), pp. 396-397.BACK

29. Valery A. Tishkov "Inventions and Manifestations of Ethno-Nationalism in and After the Soviet Union," in: Kumar Rupenstighe et al., ed., Ethnicity and Conflict in the Post-Communist World (London: St. Martin's Press, 1992), pp. 41-65.BACK

30. Liah Greenfield, Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992).BACK

31. Michael Pearlman, "In Search of Strategy: Ends, Ways, and Means in America's Wars." (Unpublished Manuscript). BACK

32. Dr. Jacob Kipp and LTC Timothy L. Thomas, "Ethnic Conflict: Scourge of the 1990s?", FMSO paper, July 1992, p 1 of executive summary.BACK

33. Lord Carrington, "Turmoil in the Balkans: Developments and Prospects," RUSI Journal, (October 1992), p. 1.BACK

34. Strobe Talbott, "Why Bosnia is not Vietnam," Time, (August 24 1992), p 49. BACK

35. Carrington, "Turmoil in the Balkans: Developments and Prospects," RUSI Journal, (October 1992), p. 2.BACK

36. SOVSET, RFE/RL Daily Report, (16 January 1992).BACK

37. The Economist. 323, (April 4, 1992), p. 62. BACK

38. Carrington, "Turmoil in the Balkans: Developments and Prospects," RUSI Journal, (October 1992), p. 2.BACK

39. The Economist, 323 (April 11, 1992), p. 51. BACK

40. John Zametica, The Yugoslav Conflict in: Adelphi Paper 270, (London: Brassey's, 1992), pp. 37-38.BACK

41. The United Nations, Security Council, "Further Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 743 (1992), S/24848, (24 November 1992), pp. 12-13.BACK

42. Ibid., p. 13.BACK

43. United Nations, Security Council, ""Letter Dated 20 November 1992 from the Secretary-General Addressed to the President of the Security Council," S/24840 (24 November 1992), /1.BACK

44. Edward A. Kolodziej, "Coping with Regional Conflict: A Global Approach," a paper presented at: 1992 Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, (Boston, Mass., November 12-14, 1992), /1-15.BACK

45. Bruce W. Nelan, "Rumor and Reality," Time, 24 August 1992, p 46-48.BACK

46. The NFinancial Times, (September 21, 1992).BACK

47. The Kansas City Star, (October 9, 1992).BACK

48. The Christian Science Monitor, (November 3, 1992), p. 8.BACK

49. Ibid..BACK

50. Newsweek, (October 5, 1992), pp. 52-53.BACK

51. "Foreign Minister Interviewed on Bosnia Conflict," NRC Handelsbald, (August 17, 1992).BACK

52.TRT Television Network, Ankara, (1700 GMT, September 6, 1992).BACK

53. Igor Nekrasov, "As Told by Yuri Belyayev," Moscow News, No. 49 (December 6-13, 1992), p. 12.BACK

54. C. Cviic, "Balkan War: Possible, not Inevitable," ex-YugoFAX No. 13, (1/8/92), p. 3.BACK

55. Charles Krauthammer, "The Lonely Superpower," The New Republic, (July 29, 1991), pp. 23-27.BACK

56. Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy II: A Critical Analysis of the Gulf War (New York: A Dell Book, 1992), p. 253.BACK

57. SOVSET, "RFE/RL Daily Report," (August 7, 1992).BACK

58. George J. Church, "Aggression 1, International Law 0," Time, (July 2,7 1992), p. 47.BACK

59. The Washington Post, (June 11, 1992).BACK

60. .The New York Times (January 1, 1992).BACK

61. Ibid.BACK

62. Ibid..BACK

63. "Does Bosnia Matter to the United States? George Kenney interviewed by Susan Berfield," World Policy Journal, IX, No. 4 (Fall/Winter 1992), pp. 639-640. BACK

64. The New York Times, (August 27, 1992).BACK

65. Ibid..BACK

66. The New York Times, (January 1, 1992). To put the problem bluntly, Bosnia-Herzegovina is not Czechoslovakia but Spain. It is not a conflict to be prevented but one to be stopped. By the time of Munich in September 1938 Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco had won the Spanish Civil War. The response of the Western powers, as opposed to Soviet Union, had been exactly a mishmash of non-intervention, even-handedness and spasmatic actions.BACK

67."Does Bosnia Matter to the United State?" World Policy Forum, IX, No. 4 (Fall/Winter 1992), p. 646.BACK

68. Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: The Vietnam War in Context (Washington, DC: GPO, 1981).BACK

69. Bruce George and Nick Ryan, "The War in Former Yugoslavia: Prospects for Resolution," A paper presented at the North Atlantic Council Meeting in Bruges, Belgium, November 9, 1992./45.BACK

70. The Kansas City Star, (January 3, 1992).BACK

71. The New York Times, (January 4, 1992).BACK

72. Kieth A. Dunn, "The Missing Link in Copnflict Termination Thought: Strategy," in Stephen J. Cimbala and Keith A. Dunn, eds., Conflict Termination and Military Strategy: Coercion, Prsuasion, and War in: Studies in International Security and Military Strategy (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), pp. 175-193. My own thought on the applicability of a strategy of attrition are much informed by the writings of A. A. Svechin on this topic. See: Jacob W. Kipp, "General-Major A. A. Svechin and Modern War: Military History and Military Theory," Introductory essay for: Kent Lee, editor, A. A. Svechin, Strategy (Minneapolis: East View Publications, 1992). BACK

73. Colin Powell, "Why Generals Get Nervous," The New York Times, (October 8, 1992). BACK

74. Ibid..BACK

75. Colin Powell, "U. S. Forces: Challenges Ahead," Foreign Affairs, (Winter 1992/93), pp. 36-38.BACK

76. Michael W. Cannon, "The Development of the American Thoery of Limited War, 1945-1963," Armed Forces and Society, 19, No. 1 (Fall 1992), pp. 71-104.BACK

77. J. Loeser and D. Proektor, Revoliutsiia v politike bezopasnosti (Moscow: Novesti, 1992), p. 10.BACK

78. Ibid., p. 61.BACK

79. Ibid..BACK

80. The New York Times, (January 6, 1993).BACK

81. Ibid..BACK

82. Ibid..BACK

83. Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Comparing Health and Defense," Defense and Arms Control Studies Program Working Paper, (Cambridge, Mass: Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992), pp. 809.BACK

84. Michael G. Roskin, "The Bosnian-Serb Problem: What We Should and Should Not Do," Parameters, (Winter 1992-1993), p. 31.BACK

85. The New York Times, (December 30, 1992).BACK

86. The New York Times, (December 28, 1992). BACK

87. The New York Times, (January 3, 1992).BACK

88. The New York Times, (January 4, 1992).BACK

89. Ibid..BACK