Letter: Mired in Bosnia

Related Topics
Sir: Washington's adventure in Bosnia is beginning to resemble Brer Rabbit's entanglement with the Tar Baby. President Clinton has decided to extend, more or less indefinitely, the stay of the US military in Bosnia in order to prevent the resumption of war ("US rules out Bosnia troop withdrawal", 19 December). But this is a problem mainly of his own making.

Washington's train-and-equip programme, which was much opposed by Europe, is tilting the military balance in favour of the Muslims. Whereas the Bosnian Serbs have merely to lift a finger to invite massive Nato airstrikes, the Muslims quite accurately discount the possibility that Nato would turn against them should they go on the warpath.

Rather than being mired indefinitely in Bosnia, Nato troops could still pull out on time next year without leaving a security vacuum. The key would be a solemn declaration by the international community that the demarcation line between Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Bosnian Federation will henceforth be treated as an inviolable international frontier in the case of military transgressions from either side.

With their entity's security thus ensured, Bosnian Serbs would co-operate in facilitating the exchange of those refugees wanting to return. As for the Muslim authorities in Sarajevo, they would have to ditch their campaign to exert control over the whole of Bosnia and, instead, negotiate with Republika Srpska over practical matters.

There would, admittedly, remain the problem of the Muslim-Croat federative entity. Since this unnatural coupling was engineered by Washington for tactical military reasons which are no longer relevant, the State Department should be tasked with speedily resolving its future.

Misha Simic


React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General


Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Norovirus the food poisoning bug that causes violent stomach flu  

A flu pandemic could decide next year’s election

Matthew Norman
J. Jayalalithaa gestures to her party supporters while standing on the balcony of her residence in Chennai. Former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is one of India's most colourful and controversial politicians  

The jailing of former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is a drama even Bollywood couldn’t produce

Andrew Buncombe
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn