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Letter: Troops must go in

Sir: Stuart Russell (letter, 28 April) appears to agree with me that the crimes committed by the Serb forces in Kosovo cannot be regarded as genocide comparable to the Holocaust. He nevertheless believes that the "moral similarities" between "the two acts of barbarism" are sufficiently great to justify "Nato's attempts to rectify" the situation by going to war with Serbia.

For this argument to be persuasive Russell must show us that these efforts are succeeding, or are likely to succeed. This will not be easy. By common consent, the plight of the Kosovan Albanians is far worse than it was before the bombing campaign began. Nor it is clear how intensified air- strikes that, as Robert Fisk's reports demonstrate daily, increasingly target Serb civilians contribute to the "rectification" that Russell and I both desire. If the Kosovars are finally returned to their ruined homes by the might of Nato arms, they will find themselves in a shattered, polluted and impoverished Balkans, a breeding ground for yet more wars to which they may once again fall victim.


Professor of Politics

University of York