Sir: It is difficult to disagree with your analysis (leading article, 25 November) that "the Europeans ... were not up to the task of settling the [Bosnian] conflict" and that "we are not yet ready to shake off 50 years of dependence on Washington". However, there is a wider context (the UN and the interests of, particularly, the Islamic countries) and a wider agenda (demonstrating to potential aggressors that the civilised nations will not, in the end, allow a return to mayhem).
Neither should we forget that the peace process did not seriously get under way until the Bosnian Serbs' battlefield advantage had been removed: nor that this required the abdication by the Secretary-General of his right of veto.
To avoid the consequences of your gloomy conclusion - "there is no guarantee that, in future, the United States will be prepared to act" - we must ensure that all disputes in member states are settled through the auspices of the UN, and that the UN has the muscle and the will to intervene when necessary.
James R. Adams
26 NovemberReuse content