Letter: Bosnia: Thus far but no farther

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The Independent Online
Sir: When the initial decision to commit British troops to Bosnia was being debated and decided in August 1992, I warned that such commitment would inevitably lead sooner or later to yet further embroilment in a quarrel that had nothing to do with British interests. That further embroilment has now taken place, thanks to the pressure brought on the Government by the kind of emotional moralisers who wring their hands in your letter columns, and, of course, to pressure from Washington, which takes the high moral line in the happy knowledge that it has not a single soldier on the ground.

We may be sure that General Sir Michael Rose, an outstandingly able commander, will do all that is possible in a fraught and complex situation to execute his mission while safeguarding the allied soldiers under his command. However, now is surely the time when Nato and its members must resolutely decide a) that, no matter how the situation develops in Bosnia, they will not allow themselves to be dragged one step further into the quagmire, and b) that, come what may, their existing troops will be pulled out during the coming summer season of good weather. For the presence of foreign troops (together with supplies of stolen 'humanitarian' aid) only helps to keep the war going, not least by encouraging the stubborn not to sign a peace.

Yours faithfully,

CORRELLI BARNETT

Churchill College, Cambridge

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