Letter: Lesson in logic over Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: Although Michael Dummett is a professor of logic, there was more gut emotion than logic in his letter (14 July) calling for intervention in Bosnia 'at once with decisive military force', and by Britain alone if other Western nations prove unwilling. Has he calculated the size of expeditionary force needed and, likewise, the scale of logistic support necessary? Has he considered how all this might be paid for by a country running a pounds 50bn budget deficit?

I would suggest that logic ought to guide him to the conclusion that an early end of hostilities (as now appears imminent) offers the prospect of a peace deal based (unlike the Vance-Owen plan) on the military realities on the ground.

And should not logic also lead him to the conclusion that the failure of the UN to mediate a peace in former Yugoslavia, coupled with the utter mess in Somalia, spells the end of the fantasy that the UN ought to act as a global nanny. As Sir Brian Urquhart points out, the UN was founded in order to prevent aggression between states, not civil broils.

Yours faithfully,

CORRELLI BARNETT

Churchill College

Cambridge

14 July

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