In the early 1990s, as the war in Yugoslavia spread to Bosnia, I took what I considered to be a principled position. I backed the UN-imposed arms embargo to the region. I urged friends and colleagues not to support actions to escalate the war. I believed that I was in the pro-peace camp. I hoped for a ceasefire. I yearned for more resolute diplomacy. I was sickened by all the bloodshed.
The war had begun in earnest in 1991, particularly after Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia that June. Ethnic Serb enclaves in turn broke away from Croatia, and the Yugoslav army intervened on their behalf. Beginning with the siege of Vukovar in August, the war escalated with terrifying rapidity.
In early 1992, the war spread to the multiethnic republic of Bosnia, after ethnic Serbs there followed the example of their brethren in Croatia and created their own Republika Srpska. In late February 1992, Bosnia held a referendum on independence. The result was overwhelming: over 99 percent wanted Bosnia to become a new state. Many ethnic Serbs, however, boycotted the vote. The government of Alija Izetbegović nevertheless went ahead and declared Bosnia independent on March 3.
As soon as Bosnia declared independence, Serbia …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies