Authors: Major General William L. Nash, U.S. Army (Ret.), and Amelia Branczik
Council on Foreign Relations Press
Council Special Report No. 8
The price of U.S. and EU inaction in the western Balkans was amply illustrated in the 1990s, as opportunities for preventive action were squandered and the former Yugoslavia descended into brutal and devastating ethnic conflict, first in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and later on in Kosovo.
As is always the case, military intervention and the need for post-conflict reconstruction consumed significant U.S. resources—far more than the cost of thoughtful and decisive preventive action. A decade and a half later, the United States has another opportunity for preventive action, this time to avert a renewed crisis in Kosovo and achieve progress in Bosnia and Serbia and Montenegro that will help stabilize the region.
This report builds on the Center for Preventive Action's 2002 Task Force report, Balkans 2010. It identifies the principal steps that the United States can take to secure the investment it has made in the western Balkans and facilitate the region's progress toward its rightful destiny within the EU. In doing so, Forgotten Intervention? lays out a straightforward and doable strategy for the United States that will pay dividends.
This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.
Center for Preventive Action
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Amelia Branczik is a Research Associate at the Center for Preventive Action. She has worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro on refugee return and resettlement and joined the Council on Foreign Relations in 2003. She holds an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in modern history from the University of Oxford.
William L. Nash, U.S. Army (Ret.), is the General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. General Nash leads the Council's efforts to work with governments, international organizations, the business community, and nongovernmental organizations to anticipate international crises and to provide analysis and specific recommendations for preventive action.