Yugoslavia's Wars: The Problem from Hell: Strategic Studies Institute

 
9781482099317: Yugoslavia's Wars: The Problem from Hell: Strategic Studies Institute
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By the summer of 1995 it appeared possible that the wars in the former Yugoslavia had reached a climactic point. During that summer Croatia's army revealed itself as a professional, competent force and recaptured the Krajina territory lost to Serbia in 1991. Though this campaign led to thousands of Serb refugees, neither the UN nor the West did anything and, indeed, it was clear that this offensive enjoyed tacit Western support. In August 1995, immediately following this campaign, the United States launched its own diplomatic offensive that combined its political standing, Croatia's military prowess, and NATO bombing of Bosnian Serb positions due to Serb shelling of Sarajevo and other safe havens. While the outline of an accord was signed in Geneva on September 8, 1995, stating that Bosnia would be a state within its internationally recognized borders and would contain a Serbian entity (Respublika Srpska) that could have ties abroad, the bombing continued as the Bosnian Serb military leadership refused to bow to NATO demands for withdrawal of its artillery from the exclusion zone around Sarajevo. Thus, although a peace accord, or the outline of one exists, the wars are hardly over and most, if not all, political issues, remain to be settled. This most recent turn of events, described above, reflects the fact that already by June 1995 United States and its allies stood at a dangerous fork in the road in confronting the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The truce negotiated in December 1994 never was really effective and by April it had broken down totally. In May, Croatia launched a new offensive to regain Serbian-inhabited territories lost when Serbia invaded in 1991. By doing this Zagreb further exposed the inadequacy of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), the UN mission in Yugoslavia, as a force for peacekeeping. Since Croatia, Bosnia, and the Bosnian Serbs were all willing to go on fighting because they believed that they had more to gain from war than they did from any negotiation, these events made the position of the UN's forces even more precarious. These events, by June, had led to increased shelling by both sides in the vicinity of Sarajevo and other major Bosnian cities. These truce violations further dramatized the helplessness of the UN's forces and once again revealed that they were ultimately hostages to the belligerents' intentions. When General Rupert Smith of the United Kingdom, UNPROFOR's CINC, called for NATO air strikes on the Bosnian Serbs on May 25-26, 1995, the Serbs retaliated by making hostages out of the UN soldiers. Thus, for the second time, UNPROFOR found itself in danger of exposure asan ineffective military force. Worse yet, until the Croatian Army swung into action, it seemed as if the Bosnian Serbs would be able to go on defying the world, seizing cities, conducting massacres and ethnic cleansing, and so on with impunity.

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9781288271955: Yugoslavia's Wars: The Problem from Hell

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ISBN 10:  1288271956 ISBN 13:  9781288271955
Publisher: Bibliogov, 2012
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