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U.S Involvement In Bosnia

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The United States Involvement in Bosnia; is it positive or negative. After a lifetime of war in Bosnia, can the United States really offer positive change? To truly get a feel for the conflict in this region we must first look at the long-standing hatred between the occupying ethnic groups: Serbs, Muslims, and Croats. From 1481 to 1903 the Ottoman Empire was the ruling body over the entire Balkan region. By the early nineteen hundreds the Ottoman Empire had collapsed. In 1918, at the end of World War One, Russia annexed the Balkan region renaming it Yugoslavia. In 1919 Joseph Stalin, Communist ruler of Russia and its satellite states (i.e. Yugoslavia), appointed Tito to be the head of Yugoslavia. Tito quickly became an iron fisted and ruthless dictator. The Machiavellian characteristics exhibited by Tito have given all Serbs a reputation as being strong armed and merciless. With Tito's death in 1991, Yugoslavia collapsed and split into 3 independent states: Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatia. In 1994 Slovadon Malosovitch was elected ruler of the Serbian state. Incidents of mass genocide and several other war crimes became regular occurrences under his rule. The Bosnian crisis has shown the world the worst of human nature. On behalf of the United Nations, in an effort to settle the unrest in the Balkan region, The United States became involved in 1995. The United States involvement includes: the commitment of twenty thousand troops, the troop support of legions of tanks and other vehicles, and the "full support" of the United States Government. Unfortunately this upset the native Bosnian people. So, although the United States feels obligated to help the Bosnian Cause, they may be worsening the situation with their involvement, both there and in the U.S There are two sides to this story. The first is the opinion that the United States should completely withdraw from Bosnia. The other opinion is that the United States should go headlong and give Bosnia their full support, and commit more troops and more supplies to the Bosnian Cause. There are some positive things done by the United States in Bosnia. The presence of U.S troops did bring temporary peace to the area. Although the peace is purely an act, it does give leaders time to talk and plan without worrying about their people dying. Also, the United States presence in Bosnia helped to eradicate the most horrific problem in Bosnia, large Serbian concentration camps and mass Albanian genocide. United States troops were deployed to tear down old concentration camps and free the inhabitants of current ones. The troops also uncovered mass burial sites where the Serbian Government, under Slovadon Malosavitch, ordered the killing of thousands of ethnic Albanians. The discovery of these sites is a key element in the conviction of Slovado Malosovitch on war crimes charges taking place presently. Had the U.S properly occupied the region, providing aide while allowing educated economic analyst to run the economy, it is possible they could have restored the economy. Although there are good things being done, The United States affairs in Bosnian are impairing their foreign policy, and the bad things heavily outweigh the goods. The United States is torn with whom to side in this dispute. If the United States side with the Serbian government, then the Croats and Muslims become their enemies. On the other hand if they side with the Muslim and Croat extremist then, a very powerful, very influential Serbian government looks on them in abhorrence. If they pull out all together, the on looking nations of the U.N might view the action as weak and lacking commitment. Either way, there is no clean "out" for the United States in this situation. "Rather than making clear to our allies and to the belligerents themselves the limits of American involvement, Ms. Albright's comments hold out the prospect of greater involvement. There is no reasonable number of ground troops that can end this crisis" (Time, 2). This quote states the general feeling of the people in the Clinton Administration towards the United States actions in Bosnia. In relation to foreign policy, the United States has made another grave mistake. Their involvement is too little to do the job they set for themselves. The United States committed twenty thousand troops to Bosnia, yet they set a clearly defined goal to restore peace, create unity, end racial bigotry, and provide economic stability to the Balkan Region. The potential was there for the United States to do some real good in Bosnia. Unfortunately, their efforts only complicated the situation more. Even in a place as horrible as Bosnia, the United States has no place there. It is not their fight. They need to consider their own affairs and think about reconciling domestic issues before worrying about troop commitments. "Contrary to public knowledge Bosnians do not want the United States there" (Fareed 2). This is the feeling of the general Bosnian public stated by an expert. The only people United States troops are reassuring are the heads of state. All the United States is doing by "helping" the Bosnian Cause is exactly what the Ottoman Empire did for 427 years. They are occupying a foreign nation against their will. The United States efforts in Bosnia are made in good intention but are needed on the home front as well. Instead of funding the needs of other countries the United States should divert these funds into focus on domestic problems. There are many large problems in the United States that the billions of dollars going to Bosnia could help. For instance, Mississippi is the poorest state in the United States and the Appalachian Mountain region is home to some of the poorest people in the world. These people are living lives of subsistence. They need additional medical, educational and food aid to improve their standard of living. Instead of focusing on ending racial bigotry in Bosnia the United States should focus on the racial bigotry domestically. Instances of rioting in Los Angeles, Cincinnati and other major cities stem from racial conflict. Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles experiences racially motivated disturbances regularly. A majority of black entertainers refuse to go to Cincinnati because of the wide spread racism and recent killing of a black teen by a white officer. Even in rural areas such as Jasper, Texas horrible hate crimes involving racism occur. Not only are there white on black racial problems in rural East Texas, but also Jasper is home to one of the largest Black Panther groups in the south. This mixed with a very strong Klu Klux Klan chapter makes Jasper, a prime place to fund the stop of racial bigotry. If the United States cannot eliminate two hundred years of racism between their very shores; it seems highly unlikely that they will have very credible influence on a hatred that stretches centuries into history. The twenty



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