The most tragic lesson arising from the UN's humiliation in Gorazde is that any peace settlement will hereafter be subject to the same terrors as the war. The Bosnian Serbs will fear no one if they choose to dishonour their agreement; the government forces will have every incentive to expand the borders of an unviable state; and the UN troops required to police a settlement, if they ever appear, will be caught in continual crossfire.
The only justification for a UN initiative in Bosnia has always been the need to intervene militarily on behalf of a defenceless population. If all the civilised world can manage is cant and bluster about safe havens, it would be far better, even now, to bring our useless soldiers home and to lift the arms embargo against the Bosnian government. Already without credibility, the UN will not survive complicity in war crimes.
Department of Government
University of Manchester
18 AprilReuse content