SURREY – Since Yugoslavian leaders decide to take their countries on the path of independence in early 1990’s USA was and remains one of the most important partners in resolution of all disputes. Four US presidents two from family Bush and two Democrat presidents (Clinton and Obama) were forced to use their knowledge or strength in effort to save lives in Balkan wars or to move these countries close to European Union or NATO membership. But now when United States are in big (post)recession tumble and fighting for its own fiscal and political stability is a time for local leaders to take a faith Balkan countries in their hands and lead them into better future. On the other side European Union must to step into action and help those on this quest, but not as enforcer of decision rather as consultant whose opinion would be valued but not the most important element in making decisions. Some of Balkan countries are working hardly on moving forwards, but some are still stuck in a same place where they started independence adventure. Actions like this one are permanently needed in three countries Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, Croatia and Montenegro are way ahead of them and I’m pretty sure that these two will be able to carve path to the EU and other international institutions with respectful success.
Dozens of US diplomats, ambassadors and high ranking officials build their careers on work in war and post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina during last two decades, some of them with bigger or smaller success and other without any success in changing Bosnian situation. Bosnia was battle ground for presidency races; Bosnia was bargaining point in United Nations and inter-party negotiations during Clinton terms on Pennsylvania Avenue. US stop the war in Bosnia by forcing Izetbegovic, Milosevic and Tudjman on agreement in Dayton in 1995, getting nothing done in the future except making divides much bigger and wider during last decade and a half. Having USA as referee in every occasion just didn’t helped Bosnia’s transformation from war and post-war country to fully functioning democracy.
Three ethnic and national groups supported by religious leaders succeed in making strange mixture of theocracy and democracy in Bosnia, disabling country to move away from war disputes and clashes regarding who is bigger and more hurt victim in last war. During previous constitutional or political crises USA and EU would step in and order local politicians how to form government drafting agreements and playing well known game of carrot and stick forcing them to obey wishes from outside. Today when USA is busy fighting inner wars and hoping that Democrats and GOP will forge an agreement on budget and debt ceiling Bosnia is standing in one place for almost a year without federal government. Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats are fighting among each other for better position in that government, or in plain language fight is not over policies or agenda but over chair and titles in federal government.
In my sincere opinion inner US fights over political future of one of the most important nations in the world are good thing for Bosnia. They’re good because I’m hoping that this situation would force local politicians to start cooperating and finding own ways in reaching quality and productive agreements on behalf of all citizens. If Milorad Dodik, Sulejman Tihic and Dragan Covic reach strong political decision on governmental formation that could easily mean Bosnia and Herzegovina beside all divides and disagreements has a promising future, without a need for foreign intervention. Decade and a half of foreign interference was enough; my hopes are with local guys at this moment.