Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Kostas G. Messas | Go to book overview

peacekeeping operation, implying consent, was pushed in the direction of enforcement actions against the Serbs.

Moreover, if it could not count on cooperation by the Bosnian Serbs in the performance of its functions, UNPROFOR needed to be a larger force with heavier weaponry than was established. To the extent UNPROFOR was expected to take enforcement actions against the Bosnian Serbs, it needed capabilities member states were unwilling to provide. For UN officials, trying to operate successfully with the resources provided, there was considerable frustration. At one point, the head of UN peacekeeping operations is reported to have said: "I believe the UN is being made a scapegoat. It is absolutely unfair when member states do not want to take the risks, when they do not want to commit the resources, but blame the UN for failure to act."37

All of this is not to say that UNPROFOR was a complete failure in Bosnia- Herzegovina. It was largely unsuccessful where its role required confrontation with the Bosnian Serbs. In those tasks where its third party status could be utilized and where more traditional peacekeeping and mediation functions were performed, it had some short term and limited successes.


Conclusion

From the perspective of the effectiveness and development of the United Nations, the most important conclusion to be drawn from the UN experience in the former Yugoslavia is that moving from peacekeeping to peace making and peace enforcement is risky and ought to be done only in restricted circumstances. The UN has been successful in enforcement activities, as "Desert Storm" indicates. However, the success in enforcement depended upon the central interest and role of the United States. Because Washington had a strong concern with protecting Kuwait and other interests in the Gulf region, it was willing to commit the overwhelming resources and military force necessary. "Desert Storm" was essentially an American operation with multilateral support and under UN auspices.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, no major power had sufficient interest to take the risks or commit the resources necessary to confront militarily the Bosnian Serbs. In those circumstances, the UN was not given the capabilities to undertake that confrontation. UNPROFOR was unusually large and expensive as a traditional peacekeeping operation but it had neither the size nor the weaponry to carry out nontraditional peacemaking or enforcement tasks in the face of strong military resistance from the Bosnian Serbs. It was bound to be frustrated and, through its

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Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Ethnonationalism, Security, and Conflict in the Balkans 1
  • Notes 17
  • 2: Of Shatter Belts and Powder Kegs: A Brief Survey of Yugoslav History 19
  • Notes 41
  • 3: Defeating "Greater Serbia," Building Greater Milosevic 47
  • Notes 70
  • 4: Franjo Tudjman's Croatia and the Balkans 75
  • Notes 89
  • 5: Bosnian Muslim Views of National Security 93
  • Notes 110
  • 6: Montenegro: Beyond the Myth 113
  • Notes 131
  • 7: The Balkan Crisis and the Republic of Macedonia 135
  • Notes 150
  • 8: Greece's Policies in the Post-Cold War Balkans 153
  • Conclusions 165
  • 9: Albanian Nationalism and Prospects for Greater Albania 169
  • Notes 190
  • 10: Bulgaria and the Balkans 195
  • Notes 208
  • 11: Turkey and the Balkans: Searching for Stability1 211
  • Conclusion 220
  • Notes 221
  • 12: Romania and the Balkan Imbroglio 225
  • Notes 237
  • 13: Troubles in the Balkans: The View from Hungary 241
  • Notes 255
  • 14: Moscow and the Yugoslav Secession Crisis 257
  • Notes 271
  • 15: US Policy in the Balkans: From Containment to Strategic Reengagement 275
  • Notes 292
  • 16: France, Germany, and the Yugoslavian Wars 297
  • Notes 309
  • 17: Failure in Former Yugoslavia: Hard Lessons for the European Union 311
  • Notes 324
  • 18: NATO and the Bosnian Quagmire: Reluctant Peacemaker 331
  • Notes 347
  • 19: The United Nations and the Conflict in Former Yugoslavia 351
  • Conclusion 367
  • Notes 368
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
  • Index 381
  • About the Book 390
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