Sunday, February 24, 2008

White House doesn't try to maintain Balkan or Israeli/Palestinian stability

Laura Rozen quotes the LA Times to explain why the instability in Serbia and Kosovo is a direct result of Bush administration incompetence.
"Far from stabilizing the region, as the Bush administration had forecast, the move by Kosovo has launched a period of volatile uncertainty."

As a former US diplomat involved in the Balkans commented to me today, "There simply is no serious US leadership at this point on Serbia and Kosovo. It is being handled three or four levels down in the bureaucracy."
Then Laura quotes Melman & Raviv explaining why the right-wing Israeli government's use of assassination of terrorist leaders hasn't worked.
"Israel’s experience shows that assassination – or what Israel terms 'targeted killing' – is a double-edged sword. The policy only pays off in a few special cases. When a state deals with a terrorist group that is basically a 'one-man show,' chopping off the snake’s head by killing the leader can neutralize the group – so that can be justified in cost-effectiveness terms. But when a country encounters a highly motivated, solidified and structured terrorist group, killing its senior members proves to be counter-productive. The dead are soon replaced by members who are sometimes more skillful and more determined."
The common thread between the two stories is hands-off attitude of the Bush White House. They have ignored the Kosovo - Serbian situation until it has now blown up in their face, and they have allowed the Israeli right-wing extremist government free rein in its handling of the Israeli - Palestinian problems. In both cases the Bush administration ignorance and failure to get involved is causing greater problems internationally. That refusal to act is further demonstration of the foreign policy incompetence of the Bush administration.

If you don't regularly read Laura Rozen's blog War and Piece you are missing some of the clearest explanations of current events on-line.

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