Serb Massacres & NATO Intervention

In Nov. 2004, the Bosnian Serb Republic issued a detailed document estimating the number missing as close to 8000, and apologized for the killing of thousands by the Serb forces. That is standardly misreported…

The massacre, whatever its scale, can hardly be used as justification for NATO intervention, though one could, I suppose, offer it as a condemnation of NATO non-intervention, and in particular US refusal to send ground troops along with other NATO powers. Srebrenica was lightly defended by a small Dutch government contingent, and was regarded as unviable by the NATO command. The Dutch government did a careful inquiry. They concluded that Milosevic knew nothing about the massacre and was appalled at the discovery of the facts, which undermines the charge of “genocide” at the Tribunal; and also reported that the Clinton administration had been involved, along with Iran, in bringing in radical Islamist mojahadeen to support its side in the civil war, in violation of the official embargo. Shortly after the Srebrenica massacre, and the mass expulsion of Serbs from Krajina shortly after by US-backed Croat forces, the Clinton administration supervised the Dayton peace agreement, welcoming Milosevic and Tudjman (his quite comparable Croatian counterpart) as participants. Serious questions were raised right at once concerning the refusal of the US to support the (rather similar) Vance-Owen proposals under consideration in 1992, and its encouragement of Bosnians to reject them in anticipation of direct US military support which never came; and about whether not only Srebrenica, Krajina and other atrocities but the slaughter of the intervening years could have been avoided.

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