The recent outbreak of ethnic violence in Kosovo has led to a good deal of soul-searching within the international community. A noble experiment in building a multi-ethnic Kosovo seems to have ended in failure. European governments are rethinking their approach. Talk of partition is gaining currency.
Such a reappraisal is indeed in order, but not because a poorly conceived strategy for Kosovo has failed. Rather the time has come to reevaluate, in the light of changing circumstances, a policy based upon calculated risk that has so far yielded largely positive results...
James Dobbins heads the International Security and Defense Center at the RAND Corporation. He held senior White House and State Department positions under four presidents, including special envoy for Kosovo during the Clinton administration.
The remainder of this op-ed can be found at nytimes.com.
This commentary originally appeared in International Herald Tribune on August 2, 2004.