Letter: Russia's Nato fears

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Sir: Violence and coercion have been exhaustively researched and tested over several millennia, culminating in what has probably been the most violent century in human history - in which we have, finally, devised weapons capable of extinguishing our own species. Manifestly, the military approach doesn't work; it only enriches arms manufacturers.

So far, Iraquising Serbia has accelerated Milosevic's ethnic cleansing programme, disabled internal opposition to him, sidelined and insulted the Russians, and vastly increased the danger of destabilisation of an entire region. The political immaturity of throwing our military weight around and demanding total surrender and humiliation contrasts with Tony Blair's correct tactic in Northern Ireland: of wearing out the IRA by unremitting, constantly renewed negotiation. Even they can now see that a return to violence would leave them discredited.

The steps to peace and resolution are truth, trust, and finally consent, however long and hard the road. At present, in the Balkans, we aren't even attempting them.


Witney, Oxfordshire