breathing space has been created for local leaders to use in order to resolve the many outstanding issues which remain. It is up to them to decide if they will squander yet another opportunity for peace.
Slobodan Milosevic, although firmly in power and boosted by the events of the last five months of 1995, still finds himself having to constantly play the game he plays so well. He must manipulate and neutralize any potential threat to his power, while continually measuring his compliance with ever increasing demands from his new partners in Washington. All the countries that have emerged in the space of the former Yugoslavia are engaged in political battles for power and economic recovery. Milosevic will seek to bolster his popular support through economic growth and through greater repression of opposing voices. His efforts to silence the independent media began under the cover of international preoccupation with the implementation of the Dayton Agreement.
Ironically, the nationalist passions which Milosevic helped unleash are now the most serious challenge to his rule. Among the plethora of problems awaiting him are: the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Krajina and Bosnia, the deep national humiliation resulting from his capitulation to international pressure and his betrayal of the Krajina and Bosnian Serbs, a disastrous economy, and an increasingly vocal opposition. These could explode at anytime and put his ability to overcome crisis to a severe test. Milosevic can no longer use as effectively the threat of war to silence his opponents and sweep problems under the rug. In the end, the words of a Bosnian Serb soldier have a haunting premonition: "The war is over, or so they tell us. But no one can tell for how long."38