By David Chandler
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Additional resources for Bosnia: Faking Democracy After Dayton
The Bosnian Serbs were both directly and, through their links with Serbia, indirectly dependent on the international community policy-makers. Isolated by the international community sanctions, which Serbia was forced to join, they were reliant on the US to halt the Croatian and Muslim offensives in north-western Bosnia when, with the Bosnian Serb army in disarray, it seemed likely that Banja Luka could fall without Washington’s intervention (Silber and Little, 1996, p. 368). The Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was empowered to negotiate on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs as international indictments for war crimes had been issued against Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, preventing them from travelling abroad without facing arrest.
As US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stated in March 1998: ‘to a great extent the Dayton Accords and the peace process they built were made in America’ (USDoS, 1998c). It has been US President Clinton, the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff who have in practice established the framework of international engagement in the Bosnian state, and the benchmarks or goals which would need to be met for the international administration to end (ICG, 1998a; USDoS, 1998a; USDoS, 1998c).
For Woodward, fragmentation and war were essentially a continuation of electoral competition, as political leaders used their access to state resources to secure their hold on power and marginalise the opposition: DEMOCRATISATION 31 In Bosnia-Herzegovina … These leaders, to retain their position as representatives of their nation, not just in electoral terms but in terms of territorial rights to self-determination, had to go beyond holding a monopoly over an ethnic constituency within Bosnia-Herzegovina to destroying the constitutional alternative for an independent Bosnia – the idea of a civic state where ethnic difference was not politically defining and citizens were loyal to ethnic tolerance and multicultural civilisation.