James Forsyth

Key Clinton adviser wants more US troops sent to the Balkans

Key Clinton adviser wants more US troops sent to the Balkans
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Richard Holbrooke, America’s UN Ambassador under Bill Clinton who is expected to become Secretary of State if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, has an op-ed in the Washington Post today arguing for more US troops to be sent to the Balkans to deal with the fallout from a Kosovan declaration of independence which is expected before the end of the year. As Holbrooke notes, if Kosovo declares independence then the Serb portion of Bosnia will likely follow suit. On top of this, the Russians will try and link the issue to that of breakaway republics in the former Soviet Union.

Holbrooke pins the blame for the current situation on Vladimir Putin and the Bush administration’s failure to realise how serious his threats were. Some would dispute Holbrooke’s analysis but what is certain is that Putin would see forcing the West to back down on this issue as a fitting end to a presidency that has been all about restoring “Russia’s dignity” on the world stage. The Americans, however, have no desire to let Russia be rewarded for throwing its weight around. The last line of Holbrooke’s piece shows just how serious the situation is, “It is not too late to prevent violence, but it will take American-led action and time is running out.” 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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