Strategy Creep in the Balkans: Up To Our Knees and Advancing

Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans are Europe's hangnail, not its heart. Developments there may be disgusting and tragic, but they have meager potential to disrupt even the European, much less the global, strategic environment.

Issue: Summer 1996

President Clinton contends that the Bosnian conflict lies at the heart of Europe and threatens to destabilize the entire continent. He has said that "the conflict in Bosnia is the most dangerous threat to European security since the end of the Second World War", and that "there is the very real risk that it could spread beyond Bosnia, and involve Europe's new democracies as well as our NATO allies." This argument misconstrues both geography and history. Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans are Europe's hangnail, not its heart. Developments there may be disgusting and tragic, but they have meager potential to disrupt even the European, much less the global, strategic environment.

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