LETTER:Bosnia: failure to deliver medical aid, and a promise not kept

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The Independent Online
From Dr John A. Thompson

Sir: In his eloquent and obviously deeply felt columns on Bosnia, there is one issue that Andrew Marr has not addressed.

If, by military intervention, we bring about some settlement of the conflict, how are we going to ensure that this will outlast our withdrawal? In the Balkan context, it is surely naive to believe that a negotiated "settlement" will stick if it is not backed by force. Yet, it is inconceivable that our troops could stay there as long as they have in Northern Ireland.

The case against intervention is that the more we affect the outcome, the greater our moral responsibility becomes. By recognising Bosnia, we raised false expectations of what we are prepared to do to defend its integrity.

We must not again lead people there to put their trust in commitments that are not, in fact, politically sustainable in any Western country.

Yours faithfully,


St Catharine's College


5 June