Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The National Interest: "Balkanizing Barack"

by Gordon N. Bardos

As if a collapsing economy and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza were not problematic enough, there is increasing recognition that President Obama will need to devote more U.S. attention to southeastern Europe. Yet in many ways, his greatest challenge there will not entail dealing with recalcitrant nationalists. Rather, it will involve rejecting official Washington’s essentially neoconservative understanding of the Balkans. This approach says that problems in the region can be reduced to a Manichean struggle between “good” and “bad” nationalisms, which can be dealt with by ignoring international institutions such as the UN, and encouraging unilateral American action and the application military force. For the past fifteen years, the neocon’s strategy for the Balkans has been tried and has clearly failed. President Obama needs a new framework for dealing with the region.....The National Interest

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