Heading for the End-State The Continuing Humanitarian Dilemma
Unable to match the Serbs' firepower, the Muslims increasingly came to face-to-face with the bleak choice of either continuing a desperate struggle for a united state or of accepting partition on the best conditions offered. The latter option entailed trying to survive in camp-like cantonments dependent on foreign largesse. With hundreds of thousands of its citizens unable to return to their homes and forced into what seemed an inviable patchwork of territories, the Bosnian government oscillated between the two options. Even into 1994, the leadership's avowed ideal remained a united, multiconfessional Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the Bosnian government appearing willing to compromise if others were.
With the military situation having at least stabilized in much of Bosnia- Herzegovina by late 1993, the Bosnian government was encouraged to try to hold on in order to improve the terms of future negotiations toward an endstate. Yet, by the end of 1993, Bosnian leadership appeared increasingly, but reluctantly, less hopeful that achieving a completely reunified country was feasible. Leaders seemed resigned to the inevitability of partition in some form. However distasteful and fraught with uncertainty it might be, partition could at least offer a respite for the Muslims over a particularly difficult period. Gradually, in light of the international community's apparent reluctance to become involved more directly or to lift the arms embargo, the ultimate goal evolved into the establishment of some type of Bosnian state. This proposed state, although smaller, was at no time intended to be exclu-