Letter: Balkan dilemma

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The Independent Culture
Sir: When will the West learn that the only approach to take towards a military conflict is a direct one? The "campaign" in the Balkans is running on, and shows signs that it will continue to do so, with no decisive result in sight.

From time to time we see reports of air attacks against targets in Iraq, some nine years down the line. The tentative approach to conducting a relatively low-risk campaign over an extended period of time ends up causing more damage, more hardship and more casualties than a short, decisive engagement drawn up under tight military control and conducted with precise political objectives.

Dragging situations out with no decisive conclusion not only harms the civilian populations in the region, it also leads to heightened tension between world powers, ongoing cost and the risk of maintaining an active military presence a long way from the territory that they exist to protect. If this is not realised, there will be precious few Six Day Wars for us in the future, to the detriment of all.

JOHN SPENCER

Uxbridge, Middlesex

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