Monitor: The German press reflects on the British position in the Balkan conflict
All the News of the World
Friday 21 May 1999
SCHRoDER OPENLY speaks out against the deployment of ground troops. This is directed against Blair, the hawk from London, who is becoming more and more isolated in the Western alliance. It seems as if Clinton is now banking on the German Chancellor and no longer on the British Prime Minister. Clinton has to save his and Nato's reputation. He now seems to have realised that.
CLINTON REFLECTS the perplexity felt by the US. Europeans are becoming independent with their own plans. The British Government is calling openly for the use of ground troops because it sees no political latitude any more. For reasons of political survival at home, Germany and Italy are making diplomatic efforts.
BLAIR IS pushing forward, Clinton is hesitating. There are three scenarios for the deployment of troops: submissive, semi-permissive, non-permissive. Within Nato, Britain is probably the only member prepared to let the Alliance go as far as step three. Robin Cook will again beat the drum today in Washington. British diplomats have the task of using US domestic politics to influence the White House, namely [by suggesting] that compromise with Milosevic would not help Al Gore's election campaign. For the British Government, there is more at risk than the future of Kosovo: it could isolate itself in Europe once again and even alienate itself from the US. Since Blair has stuck his neck out more than all the others, an ambiguous compromise in Kosovo would appear to the British public as a New Labour defeat - that would be the most embarrassing end to Blair's Sturm und Drang period.
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