This paper, containing remarks made at the 415th Wilton Park Conference on the subject of Europe's Balkan wars, reflects a U.S. perspective on the Balkan crisis. Throughout this century U.S. institutions and individuals have played an increasingly significant role in the Balkans. Currently, the United States has geopolitical, global, and moral interests at stake in the former Yugoslavia. These interests arise in a new political setting in which the threat of Soviet communism has disappeared and the U.S. domestic political agenda commands priority. A variety of factors--including a desire to see justice done but matched by reluctance to use ground troops, as well as the challenge of managing alliance relations--are shaping U.S. policy. The most likely U.S. approach will be to stay engaged but not play a leading role.
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