Yugoslavia, what issues? what policies?

by Marten van Heuven


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In the fall of 1990 it was foreseeable that the Serbians would press their quest for hegemony, that Yugoslavia would fragment, that the breakup would be violent, and that unrest in Kosovo could occur. What was not foreseen was that European countries would split on the issue according to their interests, would fail to solve the conflict, and that the United Nations Security Council would send in a UN force. It is clear now that important Western interests are at stake. Unfortunately, NATO was never used for a discussion of possible outcomes. We now face increasingly difficult questions about the possibilities of a settlement, the danger of spillover, and the desirability of dividing the Balkans on ethnic lines. There is also the issue whether we are dealing with a humanitarian problem or with the exercise of force to effect territorial conquest. Any eventual settlement must take into account Russian, Turkish, Greek, and Iranian interests.

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