Skip to comments.US puts brakes on EU plans for Bosnia (Clash of Empires?)
Posted on 06/03/2003 6:06:57 PM PDT by Destro
US puts brakes on EU plans for Bosnia
By Judy Dempsey in Madrid
Published: June 3 2003 16:44 | Last Updated: June 3 2003 16:44
The US on Tuesday put the brakes on European Union plans to take over the large Nato-led mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina by the middle of next year, citing security reasons and continuing problems with war criminals.
US officials attending a meeting of Nato foreign ministers, said "it was premature" to talk about the EU replacing the Nato-led Sfor mission that has currently 12,000 troops in Bosnia, reduced from 40,000 seven years ago.
Senior EU diplomats said they were surprised by the US decision. "Bosnia is a much bigger challenge for the Europeans. But why the US should be so against the idea is strange. The US should be delighted we are prepared to take over the military responsibilities in Bosnia," said a European foreign minister.
But a US official brushed aside any suggestion this was yet another transatlantic dispute. "Anyone who says it is a dispute is trying to cause trouble," he said. Lord Robertson, Nato secretary general, said Nato had "not yet the time" to deal with Bosnia. The EU plan, he added, was under consideration.
At its summit last December in Copenhagen, EU leaders said they saw no reason why an EU-led force could not take over the Sfor operation by the middle of 2004.
Sfor, which operates under a United Nations mandate, was set up in Bosnia in 1996 following the Dayton accords that ended the civil war in the republic. It has a mandate to provide security and stability as well capture alleged war criminals and send them to special court set up in The Hague.
Britain staunchly supported the EU plan for Bosnia believing it would be an incentive for the Europeans to improve military capabilities, take on more of the burden sharing in the Balkans and allow the US to redeploy its forces elsewhere.
That support was beefed up further in February during the Anglo-French summit at Le Touquet where both sides backed an EU-led mission in Bosnia.
Over the past seven years, the EU has increasingly taken the responsibility for the political, economic and civilian aspects of the Balkans. In Bosnia alone, Europeans have contributed the majority of the troops, with the US providing 1,500.
Last January, the EU for the first time launched a police operation in Bosnia last January as part of its European Security Defence Policy. In March, it took over the small Nato-led force in Macedonia.
When it was a case of giving the dirty work over to our trusted underlings so much the better but now things have changed and the Bosnian protectorate with its vital link to control of the east-west routes will not be so easily be handed over to a potential competitor. Bosnia is a hard won "imperial" outpost. It took a lot of effort to organize the jihadi groups, import them into the Balkans, get the jihadis allied to the MPRI officered Croatians so as to clean out those defiant minded Serbs.
By default if not design Bush continues the policies set up by Clinton (or rather by the think tanks that advised Clinton and are still in business - in the corridors of power).
As a student of history, Bush may have a wider view of the situation than this article believes.
The truth is that, under the current circumstances, the United States is not going to turn over so much as a smidgen to any organization that is heavily influenced by the French.
The EU fits that definition, NATO doesn't.
It's all about the French...
Well if it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!!
People in Norway were burning American flags during the Iraqi war and why arent they boycotting Norwegian oil and Jarlsberg cheeze?