A Botched Just War

A Botched Just War

I have suffered much anguish over NATO’s war in Yugoslavia. Unlike almost every U.S. military intervention of the past half century, this is a just war—but badly and irresponsibly led. It was cowardly of the White House to decide on high-altitude bombing in order to spare itself the painful decision to use ground troops. How reassuring to Milosevic that no military expert believes the war can be won by air power alone.

The stand I have taken—favoring intervention and the use of ground troops (but opposing bombing cities)—horrifies my relatives, longtime associates, and close friends in Belgrade. Most of them, even those who are staunch critics of the Milosevic regime, absolutely oppose the NATO war. (Distressingly, almost none of the opposition groups in Serbia have tempered their condemnations of NATO with real words of regret for the regime’s ethnic cleansing and war crimes in Kosovo.) Years of friendship have melted in the face of this disagreement, and I feel great personal loss.

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