Long-Range Strategy for the Former Yugoslavia

Regarding the editorial "Airdrops and Ethnic Cleansing," March 11: The editorial's thrust is for a long-range strategy as part of a coherent national policy. It is well past time for a sea change in our nation's functioning as the leader of the West - indeed, toward provision for US security and long-term well-being.

The author's query as to whether half-hearted, symbolic gestures, or even unilateral disarmament, can cast fear into the hearts of the Serbian military is on target.

The brutality of ethnic cleansing leads me to conclude that the "solutions" reached so far rest on false foundations; only the proper application of power can be persuasive. This would move the Serbian military to talk along constructive lines and force compliance with agreements for bringing peace and tranquillity to the once-beautiful, much respected Yugoslavia.

The West has several options: missile strikes, behind-the-lines air drops of food and medicine, commando raids, and economic offensives.

Even in a limited war, the primary consideration is the superiority of power. Only then can diplomacy be carried out with assurance. Gilven M. Slonim, Falls Church, Va.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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