Why Repeat History in Bosnia?

The article is a one dimensional analysis of a complex problem. Blaming the failure of peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia on the US's restricted participation is wishful thinking. Remember that the US's strong involvement in Somalia did not result in much peace.

The conflict in Bosnia includes ethnic and religious rivalry that has smoldered for hundreds of years, among a population that is so thoroughly intermingled that separating the various sides would be impossible without condoning ethnic cleansing. Comparing this situation to Kuwait where clear borders exist is ridiculous.

Further assuming a ground war in Bosnia would be as simple as the desert war in Iraq is unfounded. The Iraqis could be evicted from Kuwait and prevented from returning. In Bosnia, all the factions live within the war zone. A forceful intervention would result in either a prolonged and bloody occupation (think Vietnam) or a short and bloody abandoned occupation (think Somalia).

Certainly future UN peacekeeping missions stand a better chance of success with greater US support, but concluding that this is the only criterion for success disregards the intractable nature of some conflicts and the limited value of militarily enforcing ``peace.'' Andrew Seirup, Shelton, Conn.

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