This is a nightmare prospect, for these are fearless and ferocious warriors. Guerrilla resistance in Yugoslavia during the Second World War was able to tie up many German divisions and remained undefeated. And the Germans were able at that time to use anti-guerrilla methods of collective reprisal which no civilized government could get away with today.
Some Bush Administration leaks regarding military intervention in the former Yugoslavia indicated that the American share of the intervention would be limited to the air, and implied that the Europeans were to take care of the war on the ground. The above analysis of the probable nature and duration of the occupation should show why Europeans are not attracted by this American idea of an appropriate division of labor.
Yet Americans are not alone in believing that Europeans, and specifically the European Community, must take most of the heat and carry most of the burden in the territory Most members of the United Nations (though not of the Security Council) believe something of the kind. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali clearly feels that the United States is too ready to press the UN to make commitments in Yugoslavia when the wealthy Europeans should be coming to the rescue of their European neighbors. The secretary general, an African himself, feels that equally great horrors in Africa-in Somalia and Mozambique, for example are receiving scant attention while the advanced world concentrates (however ineffectively) on Bosnia.
European government leaders are not greatly impressed by these expectations. Thinking, like politicians everywhere, of their own political future first and foremost, they know that to send their nationals "to die for Balkan peace" would mean their own political deaths, as soon as the price of peace-with-attrition began to be realized. So government leaders will supply diplomatic efforts, economic sanctions, and humanitarian aid under armed convoy, and be willing to take part in limited air strikes. But no ground troops. Nor is there any significant popular demand for serious military intervention.
Many Americans seem to think that Western Europeans should feel an urge to come to the rescue of fellow Europeans. But the urge is not there. "Fellow Europeans" is an expression very seldom heard, and when heard it has no such overtones as has the heartwarming "Fellow Americans!" of presidential speeches.
Even within the Community the pulse of European solidarity beats very feebly indeed-although it is enormously amplified by official rhetoric. There will be no United States of Eu-rope: Maastricht is a false clown. Outside the borders of the Community, European solidarity is even more tenuous. And the former Yugoslavia is not felt to be part of Europe at all. It is felt to be part of "the Balkans": a distinct region, and a zone of dangerous instability.