The US and the Bosnian war : an analytical survey on the formulation of US policy from the Yugoslav dissolution to the Dayton Accords, 1991-1995
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Yugoslavia’s collapse in the early 1990s was the first European post cold-war challenge for the West, the EU and the US, to meet. However, it is clear that, following from a slow and flawed start, the US did not provide the required leadership to which Europe had been accustomed though it occasionally came up with meaningful policy options to stop the genocidal war in Bosnia, while the Europeans looked all-too-willing to accept the ‘facts on the ground’. During the course of the three-and-half year long war, which claimed about two hundred thousands of lives, the US-EU split became quite visible, and at various times, it looked to many as if the US had changed its traditional policy of leadership for a much more reduced role in crises management on European soil, an assumption boastfully confirmed by the Europeans until the US came back to the scene in 1995. The return of the US with long-sought leadership and resources put an end to the carnage in Bosnia and brought about the Dayton Accords. At the same time, it underlined the fact that the EU is unable to put things in order on its own continent, and that the US’ traditional role is bound to continue in Europe. The dissertation is a short survey of the US’ initial flawed diagnosis of the dissolution of Yugoslavia and then of Bosnia, the wrangling between the US and the EU which became more and more visible in the course of 1993 and 1994 and finally the US’ policy of knocking heads together to achieve the Dayton Accords.