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Sounding The Bosnia Alarm Again

Bosnian Serb man wears a mask in the likeness of war crimes indictee Radovan Karadzic during a protest in Banja Luka in September
James Lyon and Kurt Bassuener are the latest Balkan watchers to warn of the dangers of a Bosnia crisis rearing its ugly head once again. Richard Holbrooke and Paddy Ashdown made a similar warning in "The Guardian" on October 22.

Writing in "The Wall Street Journal," Lyon and Bassuener recommend that EU leaders should:

"bolster the international security forces in the region to deter nationalist politicians. If they wish to halt the slide toward renewed conflict, the EU must push for fundamental constitutional reform that would create a functional state that is not subject to ethnic obstruction. This will require strong support from the U.S., a more serious international security commitment to Bosnia, and an EU special representative with a robust mandate that would include the ability to remove obstructionist politicians from power, freeze assets, initiate criminal prosecutions and place people on the EU visa-ban list."

Talk of the international community's indifference and impotence and escalating nationalist tensions is depressingly familiar. But is it overblown? Writing in separate pieces in "The Guardian" recently, Niheer Dasandi and Goran Milosevic certainly think so.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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