Grading Russia on Bosnia

Twelve years after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke goes back to review and criticize the progress toward the goals. On follow up, he awards Russia an “F” for running interference on the diplomatic efforts of Miroslav Lajcak. I doubt that the Bosnian model of Federalism will be pushed by Russia to help solve the frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Follow-up. International Community: C- United States: C+ Russia: F Many people I talked to made the same point: Political progress started to decline when it became clear that Bosnia was not a priority for the Bush administration. Washington must remember that without strong American leadership, the gains in Bosnia could still disappear. The decision to replace NATO with a smaller European Union military force was a terrible mistake, apparently dictated by then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A weak successor to Ashdown further undermined reform, thus emboldening opportunistic politicians to play the ethnic card again. The new high representative, Miroslav Lajcak from Slovakia, is a skilled diplomat, but he is not getting enough backing from Brussels, and almost everything he does is opposed by the Russians, who are trying to undermine the agreement they helped negotiate.