Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?: Scholarly Debate and the Realities of Eastern Europe

The problem set the West by the Yugoslav wars between 1991 and 1995 was at bottom a simple one: whether to intervene on the ground to defeat the Serb forces in Croatia and Bosnia, and then stay.

Issue: Fall 1997

The problem set the West by the Yugoslav wars between 1991 and 1995
was at bottom a simple one: whether to intervene on the ground to
defeat the Serb forces in Croatia and Bosnia, and then keep
substantial forces there for a long period to hold down the Serbs and
maintain a united Bosnia. The answer was an equally simple one:
refusal, because it was assumed--probably correctly--that Western
electorates would support neither the loss of life among their own
troops nor the permanent commitment of men and money required. In the
end, the war was terminated (or suspended, we don't know yet) by the
victory of one of the warring nations, the Croats, armed by the
United States and supported to a limited degree by NATO airpower. In
consequence, naturally enough, the Croats have dictated the contours
of the peace settlement on the ground. An accident of geography, and

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!