The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new chapter in the world politics that the previous stable and predictable system of international relations replaced with an insecure international framework characterized by fragmentation in the international relations and the emergence of strong nationalist tendencies within states. It was manifested through certain events that prevailed on the international political scene at that time. The defeat of Communism, manifested by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, imposed the need for redefining the relations on a global level.
During the Cold War, the American – Yugoslav relations were defined within the broader context of relations East – West. The United States supported Yugoslavia in its independent course since decided to go to the way of self-governing socialism, separated from the USSR with the Resolution from the Inform bureau in 1948. Relations between Yugoslavia and the United States basically remained good over the years due to the fact that the United States respected Tito in order to prevent any association of Yugoslavia to the Soviet Union. In other words, the United States needed an ally in the region in order to prevent penetration of the USSR to the heart of Europe.
Besides the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States faced new problems in the region of South Eastern Europe, especially in the Balkans. With the end of the Cold War, the ethnic hatred reached the boiling point and the state began to fall apart. Among the other factors, the disintegration of Yugoslavia was caused primarily by nationalist tensions among the two biggest nations, Serbian and Croatian. Serbian nationalism was embodied through Milosevic’s efforts to create a Greater Serbia, and the thesis of supporters of Milosevic that they were the last line of defense and rescue of Yugoslavia as an equal union of all Yugoslav nations in which the Serbian people should get an equal position. The Croatian nationalism unlike Serbian was dedicated to the creation of a new independent state that was largely distinct from those of the other Yugoslav peoples. The supporters of Tudjman developed discourse in which Croatian nationalism constituted contrary to the others, especially against the Serbs / Yugoslavs, which hampered the real development of the Croatian people. The Croats communist system interpreted as something that is imposed from the outside – by Serbia in this particular case, not by the Soviet Union.
The question is: “What was the position of the United States in the new world order?” Given the fact that the future of the Soviet Union was clear, thus much more clear was the role of the United States in the new world order. After the Cold Warthe United States were the most powerful country on the world’s political scene, militarily as well as economically and politically.
In the period between 1989 – 1990, the focus of Bush’s policies were aimed at finding a way to deal with the collapse of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and consequently, how to deal with the effects that were caused by the collapse. Alongside this, the Bush administration was engaged in war with Iraq known as the Gulf War.
The administration of President George Bush supported the promotion of democratic – liberal values around the world, especially in the countries that emerged with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and the new states in Eastern and Central Europe. Perhaps the greatest triumph of the Bush administration aimed at spreading democracy worldwide was the moment of spreading democracy in Latin America, especially with the election of Violeta Chamorro as president of Nicaragua, which marked the end of the eleven years of governance of the regime of Sandinista.
During the winter of 1990 -1991, the Bush administration was concerned with the resistance to changes in the Soviet Union. The situation became especially alarming when Eduard Shevardnadze resigned from the position of Foreign Affairs Minister, accusing Gorbachev that he was moving too much to the right and its approach to the right could result in reforming the Communist Party, or worse with preparing a military coup. In such a situation, Washington had to recognize that its impact on Moscow was limited, given the fact that certain events on the domestic political scene in the USSR might have a negative outcome for U.S. policy in the region.
Perhaps the biggest failure of the Bush administration was the failure to comply with the European Union on the issue of the dissolution of Yugoslavia, since they were engaged with the events in the Middle East or the development of the situation that culminated with the attack of United States on Iraq as a result of the Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Where theAmerican interests were threatened, the ultimate asset of diplomacy was used. Thus, the United States used force to deal with the problems that emerged in the Middle East. Through the launch of “Operation Desert Storm,” U.S. foreign policy was focused on events related to the Gulf War.
In 1991, Yugoslavia amid fierce ethnic fighting faced the collapse of the long-standing common state. The conditions for collapse of the political regime of “self-governing socialism” and the conditions for failure of his model “real socialism”, among other factors, should be sought in the immanent weakness of this regime, which among other things included institutionalized political monopoly of the Communist Party (SKJ), permanent inferiority of the “self-governing social economy” compared to the market economy in terms of meeting the material needs of members of society, the growing deficit, as well as the legitimacy of the regime.
The dissolution of Yugoslavia was the final outcome of the open hostilities among the member states of the Yugoslav federation. In less than four years the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed as a result of the three year exhaustive war on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina with which two entities were established: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.
Several years after the Dayton agreement, Kosovo was the flashpoint of a new conflict. The situation once again required a long standing political, financial and even military assistance from the Western countries. The reason for such set of circumstances, inevitably leads to the question about the quality of the politics of the Western countries in this region.