Letter: Nato too late again

Sir: Just as Nato's Bosnian adventure mirrors Brer Rabbit's briar patch entanglement with the Tar Baby, so there is the curious incident - to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes - of the Nato watchdog that did nothing in the night-time.

Alarm bells should have rung when Albania collapsed into anarchy. Weapons from looted armouries found their way into Kosovo via KLA training camps in northern Albania. When the KLA went on the warpath, common sense and international law dictated that Nato seal Albania's lawless border with Serbia to stem the flow of men and materials to the KLA. Instead, Nato's megaphone "bomb the Serbs" threats emboldened the KLA. Even the world's multi-ethnicists cheered on a Greater Albania, unaware of the contradiction.

The KLA proceeded to control a large swath of Kosovo. Washington quaked at the prospect of negotiating with insurrectionists that were gunning for an all-out solution. The nod was given to Belgrade and Nato's threats subsided. The KLA were quashed, the rural population predictably suffering. Nato quickly resumed its bombing threats, ostensibly for humanitarian reasons but in reality to counter any suggestions that Milosevic had again called Nato's bluff. So much for Nato as the handmaiden of sensible policy.