Lessons to Be Learned From Bosnian Crisis

While I agree with the principal conclusion of the front-page analysis ``Why Only US Can Win Peace,'' Dec. 2, I believe the author has disregarded important factors in the United States decision to avoid making a stand for a ``new world order'' in Bosnia.

First, maintaining good relations with Russia competes with the desire to avoid casualties as the decisive factor in the US decision to not seek enforcement action against the Serbs. Not only would Russia veto United Nations-sponsored enforcement, but the resulting fracture in US-Russian relations would precipitate a review of defense and arms control policies in both countries. Thus such a course of action would have far-reaching political and economic consequences.

A second factor not explicitly acknowledged by the author is the difference in international legal terms between the aggression by the Serbian people and that by the Iraqi state. He alludes to this difference when he refers to ``the invasion of Kuwait'' and ``the war in Bosnia.'' While a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina may be seen as the victim of aggression, the majority of aggressors are citizens of that state.

What does this say about the ``new world order''? While the major lesson to be learned from Bosnia may well be the need for US leadership, it also reminds us that unanimity in the Security Council, a defining symbol of the ``new world order,'' cannot be taken for granted. Darrell Stanaford, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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