CHAPTER THREE: DIVIDE AND QUIT"Though the European Union Action Plan appeared to mark the lowest point of European policy towards Bosnia, in which the divide and rule aims of Milosevic and Tudjman were accepted despite the terrible war of attrition each had waged to achieve them, 1994, in fact, constituted a turning point in Western policy which was marked by a gradual shift from divide and rule to divide and quit policies: that is, it marked a move away from letting domestic actors set the terms of negotiation and a move towards enlarging the role of European institutions in establishing a peace based on partition."
This opening section neatly summarizes the gist of Kumar's analysis of Western intervention in Bosnia from the winter of 1994 through to the Dayton Agreement. This review has dragged out longer than I had hoped; since the book has turned out to be more of a history of events within a framework (namely, her "divide and rule" versus "divide and quit" colonialist pattern of ethnic partition), and since I have been terribly short of time recently, I am not going to review this chapter in any detail. I make this decision only because I assume most readers of this blog are already familiar with the military and diplomatic events in Bosnia from 1994 through to the Dayton Agreement, and I see little need to postpone the other projects I have planned any further just for the sake of running us all through a familiar narrative one more time.
In other words, I am assuming that anyone reading this review already knows about US diplomacy to end the Muslim-Croat war by establishing the Federation; of the continued fighting in and around Bihac; of the growing military prowess of the Croatian armed foreces; of Milosevic's gradual distancing of his government first from the Krajina Serbs and then the Bosnian Serb leadership as well; of Bosnian Serb duplicity and UN hostage-taking; the genocide at Srebrenica and Zepa; and so on.
I am not making this decision because I find fault with this book, or because I find it lacking; Kumar's grasp of events and her knowledge of facts are impressive, and I am enjoying the book so far. But I have already discussed the framework within which she is considering events; if I had the luxury of more time I might very well take the time to demonstrate how she continues to develop her thesis in more detail, but I would very much like to keep the time frame on this review as brief as possible.
I hope the reader will understand, and I hope that I have done Ms. Kumar's work some measure of due credit to this point.