Nationalism, aggression and superpower responses, 1991-2004

  1. The collapse of Yugoslavia from 1991
  2. The international response to the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  3. Growing Eastern European nationalism
  4. Superpower responses to international aggression
  5. The U.S and Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan
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  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 21-04-14 16:02

The collapse of Yugoslavia from 1991

  • Communist regimes of East Europe in state of collapse by 1991
  • by 1991 Communist power in Yugoslavia was undermined
  • multiparty elections of 1991 weakened former Communist domination
  • by late 1990 each of republics which made up Yugoslavia were ruled by non-communist elites
  • Comm party shared common ideology, political ideas and had loyalties across republics. New leders had no common goals. This was primary factor in the violent disintegration of Yugoslavian state
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wars of independence and the international respons

  • June 1991 - SLovenia and Croatia declare independence - triggered a civil war
  • Serbian minority in Croatia determined not to give up their links with Serbia
  • conflict spread in to Bosnia-Herzegovina which also declared independence March 1992
  • Serbia rejected independent Bosnian state. Conflict deepened by various ethnicities present in the area
  • break up of Yugoslavia - each state trying to enforce own agenda - over 10 years 100,000 died
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  • nationalist leaders come in mid 1990, demanding independence from yugoslavia by mid june 1991
  • led to confrontation with Yugoslav national army
  • leaders hoped conflict would lead to European intervention and international recognition of independence
  • Slovenia convinced European Committe would act as mediator to preserve peace in Europe
  • conflict a media and propganda coup for Slovenia
  • Yugoslav army presented as invaders
  • 7th July 1991 - E.C negotiated cease fire
  • Slovenia + Yugoslavia gave EC chance to assert itself as international force
  • EC sent 3 state representatives to Yugoslavia. All sides agreed to Brioni Accords - ended fighting + 3 month moratorium of independence for Slovenia
  • Accord simply a mean of buying time
  • Many Slovenes felt EC forcing them to stay in Yugoslavia
  • by agreeing to Brioni Accord, yugoslavia gov gave up control of Slovenia
  • 18th july Yugoslav army withdrew
  • October 1991 - EC monatorium ended, Slovenia restated declaration of independence
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  • also wanted independence
  • Serb militia groups wanted to maintain control over Serb dominated areas within Croatia, mainly Krajina
  • 2nd May 1991 Croatian police ambushed by Serb militia in east Slovenia
  • Yugoslav army tried to stand between Croats and Serbs - seen by Croats as aiding Serbs
  • August 1991 - Croatia regarded Yugoslav federal army as an army of occupation
  • May 1991 - Croatia formed Croatian National Guard
  • November 1991 - fighting reached stalemate
  • August 1991 - EC announced Peace conference in Yugoslavia
  • EC ministers also gave Yugoslav army+Serb militia an ultimatum requiring them to observe the cease fire. Failure to comply = 'international action'
  • EC tried to broker reconstruction of Yugoslavia based on alliance of states
  • special status for national minorities in areas where they were in majority. Special legislature + judicaries
  • Slovenia already had independence and Serb Militia had control over Serb majority in Croatia. EC plan was doomed to fail - too late
  • January 1992 - E.C recognised independence of Slovenia and Croatia though Britain and France skeptical
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  • E.C recognition of independences ignored cooperation of minorities
  • E.C failed to address militant opposition from minority groups - Serbs in Croatia
  • enabled violence to continue
  • international response negative and counter-productive
  • October 1991 - UN assumed role of peacemaker:
    • Cyrus Vance appointed UN Secretary - General's personal envoy to Yugoslavia
    • Croation government agreed to UN mediation
    • Vance negotiated deployment 14,000 UN troops in Croatia
    • Vance organised creation of UNPA's(United Nation's Protected Areas). Would be demilitarised
  • Babic, leader of Serb Krajina, argued withdrawal of military from Yugoslavia would leave Serbs unprotected. Little faith in UN protection
  • standoff developed. 1955 - America offered support to integrate the 4 UNPA's in to Croatia. U.S hoped to use Croatia to settle Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict
  • U.S backing gave Croatia confidence to take over UNPA's without need to reach political compromise with Kajina Serbs
  • May 1995 - process starts, Croatian army occupied western Slovenia
  • August+September - same actions followed in Krajina region of western Bosnia
  • int support for Croatia meant by 1998 last UNPA in east Slovenia bought under control
  • Ethnic cleansing complete - 94% of Croatia declared to be Croat

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  • run by coalition of 3 national groups:
    • (Muslim) Party of Democratic Action(SDA)
    • Serb Democratic Party(SDS)
    • Croat Democratic Party(HDZ)
  • SDA wanted united and centralised Bosnia-Herzegovina, independent from other Yugoslav republics - Serbs rejected and demanded divided Bosnia-Herze and creation of Serb state
  • Croat group called for Bosnian Croat state to be created
  • March 1992 - Muslim leader Izetbegoviccalled for referendum upon issue of independence
  • 63.4% of registered voters voted - 99.8% voted for independence. Serbs decalred it invalid
  • Leaders of SDS, Karadzic, warned of outbreak of war
  • Karadzic insisted Bosnian serbs opposed to withdrawing from Yugolslavia
  • Muslim declaration caused Serbs to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • 7th April 1992 - EC+U.S recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina independence
  • 1993 - Muslims became known as Bosniacs
  • conflicts in Bos-Herz lasted until end of 1995
  • some historians claim the conflict defined in 3 stages
    • 1992-3 war between Muslim-Croat coalition and Serb forces
    • 1993-4 Muslim Croat war and Musclim-Muslim war
    • establishment of joint NATO, Muslim, Croatian offensives against Serbs, March-October 1995
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Bosnia - Herzegovina

  • Bosnians lacked personell + industrial resources to compete against Serbs
  • Muslim forces had no access to sea to recieve military supplies from outside - Serbs did
  • Muslims controlled more than half of the country
  • Serb determination increased by propaganda saying Muslims trying to establish Muslim fundamentalist state
  • Bosniacs said they could only win with outside help
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international response to Bos-Herz - UN,EC,NATO

  • EC+U.S not willing to support new gov. with military aid
  • main income for Muslim gov = Saudi Arabi, pakistan, Iran, Turkey
  • May 1992 - UN imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia for bombing civilians in Sarajevo. little effect
  • April 1993 - Serb artillery attacks Bosnian town Srebrenica - UN declares it a "safe place free from armed attack or other hostile act"
  • May 1993 - same status extended to other towns vulnerable to Serb artillery - protected Muslim population + military
  • UN revealed evidence of massacres, tortures, neglect of prisoners against Muslims and May 1994 UN Security council established tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the crimes
  • July 1995 - President of Serb republic, Karadzic, and chief of staff of Serb armed forces, Mladic, indicted for war crimes
  • 1992 - Vance-Owen Peace Plan - called for country to be divided in to 10 provinces, each independent. Failed to recognise Serb demand for united Serb state - rejected by Serbs and Bosniacs
  • Owen-Staltenberg plan recognised Serb demands by dividing Bos-Herz into 3 republics. Muslims rjected as it offered them too little territory
  • U.S proposed creation of Muslim-Croat federation in Bos-Herz. Feb 1994 agreed a federation should be established.
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international response to Bos-Herz - UN,EC,NATO

  • April 1994 - negotiations widened to include Russia, France, germany, Britain
  • Plan to divide Bos-Herz giving Muslim Federation 51% - rest given to Bosnian Serbs; latter refused to accept
  • Serbs must be made to accept plan - even if force encessary
  • August 1995 - NATO launched operation Deliberate Force. began air strikes on Serb positions. Action was caused by massacre at Markala market in Sarajevo, a 'UN safe area' - 30 killed by Serb artillery
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The Dayton Agreement, Nov 1995

  • U.S needed to broker a settlement in Bos-Herz - convinced UN+EU intervention would not succeed
  • August 1995 - U.S began bringing key players together
  • U.S realised Bos-Herz issue may divide Europeans and alienate them from U.S
  • settlement by U.S would minimise these effects
  • 26th October - 'General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina' agreed. 14th December formally signed in Paris
  • supervision force set up to make agreement work. 'Implementation force' - under NATO command. Was to last for 1 year then replaced by a stabilisation force.
  • Dayton agreement only had limited success. Conflict and accompanying slaughter stopped.
  • None of the parties achieved their objective
  • unified state the Bosniacs wanted wasn't achieved
  • Serbs and Croats failed to break away from Bos-Herz
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  • 1996 - nationalism large issue
  • March-April - Kosovo Liberation Army attacked Serbs
  • September - Yugoslav army in Kosovo attacked
  • Dec 1997 - at funeral of murdered Kosovan, KLA fighters announced "Serbia is massacaring Albanians. the KLA is the only force fighting for the freedom of Kosovo" - within months KLA developed into mass guerilla force
  • Yugoslav army response = harsh - August 1988 thousands Kosovans turned into refugees
  • September 1998 - Un security council passed resolution 1119 calling for cease-fire
  • October - NATO 'activation order' for air strikes against Serbia and Montenegro
  • under this pressure Milosevic agreed to withdraw - cease-fire overssen by U.S observers
  • KLA happy as it allowed them to recover territory lost to Yugoslav military. Enabled them to ready for any future military operations
  • Jan 1999 - observers became aware of massacre of 45 Kosov Albanians. Triggered U.S + NATO to summon meeting near Paris Feb 1999 - NATO forces would replace Yugoslav army in Kosovo
  • Milosevic refused this proposal
  • NATO would intervene by force to implement the proposals and this would make KLA Liberation of Kosovo a fait accompli(accomplished fact)
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  • March 1999 - NATO bombing began. protect civilians and minimise Yugoslav military power in Kosovo. Also dropped anti-Mitosevic propaganda - wanted him out
  • May 1999 - Milosevic convicted for war crimes at the Hague
  • NATO bombing failed to undermine Yugoslav military power
  • June 1999 peace agreement established. Negotiated by Russian and EU envoys
    • All military forces to withdraw from Kosovo
    • NATO force would support civilian admin. with substancial autonomy for Kosovo within Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
  • both sides could claim this a victory, as could NATO and int. community
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growing eastern European nationalism

  • 1989 onward most European states began transitions:
    • communist dictatorship -> democracy
    • centrally controlled economy -> free market capitalism
    • Direct/Indirect Soviet control -> full independence
  • When Communism collapsed there was explosion of national euphoria
  • 1993 independent state of Czechoslovakia formed. Ex-Communist PM, Mexicar, commented "we have waited 1000 years for this opportunity"
  • nationalist euphoria also generated xenophobia and intolerant nationalism
  • development heightened by the failure to deliver rapid improvements in living standards and consumerism
  • post communist era led to slow transition to new democratic system - allowed aggressive nationalism to develop in Eastern Europe
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Kuwait and Gulf War, 1991


  • 1980-88 Iraq engaged in war with Iran. By the end Iraq owed $100 billion to foreign creditors
  • Iraq's main source of income came from oil sales - oil prices had fallen
  • 1988 - Iraq's income only $10 billion annually
  • economic crisis threatened political survivial of Saddam Hussain
  • Iraq had relations with non-middle-east powers
  • U.S keen to have an ally in Middle East after pro-Americans in Iraq fell in 1979
  • by 1990 U.S was providing $3 billion in trade
  • France sold weapons to Saddam - increased debt
  • clear that debts could not be paid by 1990
  • early 1990 - oil prices dropped to $18 per barrel. Deepened crisis even further
  • only thing Husain had was powerful military
  • He saw it as a survival route
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The invasion of Kuwait

  • July 1990 - Saddam accused Kuwait of stealing from its oil fields. Demanded repay on $2 billion
  • blamed kuwait overproduction for price depression
  • solution = reduced production and increase prices for kuwait to suspend all war debts owed by Iraq
  • moves supported by massive Iraqi troops movements towards kuwait border
  • Kuwait refused to be threatened by Iraq and ignored threats
  • July - US Ambassador, Glaspie, met with Saddam and failed to emphasise any potential military response by U.S should Iraq invade Kuwait
  • end of July - 100,000 Iraqi troops stationed on Iraq-Kuwait border, George Bush took no further action to prevent invasion
  • 2nd August 1990 - Iraqi forces invade kuwait. Resistance over within hours
  • Sadam Hussein's economic problems over as he now controlled all Kuwait oil production
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Kuwait - international response

  • imposed economic sanctions on Iraq through UN + demanded immediate withdrawal from kuwait
  • real force behind the response was U.S. Iraq held 20% of world oil production and in position to threaten further 20% in Saudi Arabia
  • U.S recieved large imports of oil from Saudi Arabia - Persian Gulf also under threat - main trade route for oil to Europe and Japan
  • 6th August 1990 - Saudi Arabia gave go ahead for U.S Operation Desert Shield - moving up to 250,000 troops in to Saudi Arabia
  • deadline for Iraq withdrawal from Kuwait = 15th January 1991. If deadline met, Desert Shield would turn in to Desert Storm. Kuwait forcefully liberated.
  • Egypt's $6 billion U.S debt written off. Egypt joined coalition. Syria's president Assad joined coalition. Jordan+Israel remained neutral. Israel contribution would have alienated Arab states and undermined coalition
  • Britain fully behind U.S - Thatcher committed Britainto anti-Iraq coalition
  • Operation Granby(UK) committed 45,000 troops
  • French were long-term supporters of Iraq
  • Germans provided financial aid and accepted redeployment of U.S troops from Europe
  • Greece, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands - naval+air support

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Kuwait - international response

  • November - UN passed resolution 678 - authorised use of force unless Iraq withdrew by 15th january
  • 16th january 1991 - U.S + coalition launched Desert Storm against Iraq and engaged in Gulf War
  • Iraqi forces pushed from Kuwait, but coalition forces struck deep in to Iraq itself(going further than they should have).
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Safwan surrender talks, March 1991

  • U.S military commander Schwarkopf met with iran deputy chief of staff Ahmed
  • U.S made no attempt to remove Sadam Hussein, nor prevent Iraqi forces from using helicopters over Iraqi soil. These were used to crush Shia rebels in South Iraq and defeat kurdish uprising in north
  • U.S believed overthrow of Hussain would come from inside Iraq
  • Bush insisted Gulf War not about defending Kuwait, was about "big idea; a new world order" - this potimistic view faced with growing terrorism
  • although gulf war brought to an end - was beginning of long term monitoring of Iraq.
  • drastic economic sanctions followed
  • April 1991 - UN inspection teams identified Saddam Hussein's possesion of nuclear weapons
  • Iraq refused to cooperate - expelled U.S inspection team
  • December 1998 - Britain + U.S launch operation Desert Fox
    • bombing campaign aimed at suspected biological, chamical and nuclear production sites
    • complete failure
  • October 1999 - UN abandoned weapons inspection efforts
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U.S + Britain in Iraq & Afghanistan - 9/11

  • 11sth September 2001 - two airliners - twin towers manhattan - 3,000 dead
  • 3rd airliner damage pentagon, fourth crash landed in Pensylvania field
  • Feb 1998 - World Islamic Front declared Jihad against U.S
  • war on terror declared after tower attacks. Terrorists + regimes and states that preached them were targetted
  • January 2002 - george W. Bush made new era of international security absolutely clear -"Our...goal is to preent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction" "an axis of evil"
  • included in axis of evil were Iran, Iraq, North Korea
  • terrorism, dictators that backed it and weapons of mass destruction all linked together as "axis of evil"
  • war on terrorism turned in to a worldwide problem - new approach legitimised the U.S to take whatever action it wanted, whenever and wherever it deemed necessary in battle on terrorism.
  • any notion of post cold war collective security ended of as 11th September 2001
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Afghanistan, 2001

  • driving force of Islamic terrorism = Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda
  • May 1996 - Bin Laden began terrorist training camps in Afghanistan
  • October 2001 - Bush declared Bin Laden to be prime suspect for 9/11
  • U.S demanded Taliban regime hand over Al-Qaeda leaders and enable U.S to ensure all Al-Qaeda training camps be closed. Taliban denied all links between Bin-Laden and 9/11
  • 7th october 2001 - U.S + Britain launch Operation Enduring Freedom - capture Bin Laden, destroy Al-Qaeda, remove Taliban regime. No UN authorisation given.
  • U.S insisited it was out of self defence rather than aggression. Consistent with article 51 of UN charter
  • success as Taliban regime removed, but Bin Laden not captured
  • December 2001 - UN security council set up International Security Assistance Force - authority to help Afghan Interim Authority to maintain security
  • August 2003 - command of force passed to NATO
  • by 2003 the Taliban were regaining strength and clear coalition had not succeeded in removing militants
  • military action in Afghanistan not ended by 2004
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  • march 2003 - U.S + British forces invade Iraq
  • December 2003 - Saddam Hussein captured
  • U.S had taken view any action was legitimate if U.S blieved it was under threat
  • many historians - by adopting this approach the U.S fell into Bin Laden's trap of alienating Muslims worldwide and committed self+allies to a conflict they could not withdraw from.
  • fight against terrorism created instability, rather than security for U.S
  • war against terrorism linked Irq with having capacity to develop nukes available to Al-Qaeda - huge threat to U.S
  • Feb 2003 - Sec State Colin Powell announces at UN -"our concern is not just about these illicit weapons. It's the way these weapons can be connected to terrorism and terrorist organisations"
  • Saudi Arabi conviced U.S saw it opportunity in Iraq to establish western control over Arab oil
  • 2004 - UN lifted sanctions on exports of oil from Iraq - could begin once production exceeded domestic demand
  • U.S hidden agenda remained - who will allocate spending of oil revenue and what will determine these actions?
  • Key factor for invading Iraq was Saddam Hussein support for terrorism
  • U.S gov. keen to establish link between Laden, Husein, 9/11 and Iraq war in minds of U.S public
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Iraq, 2003

  • evidence for nukes has been meagre
  • 17th July 2003 - Tony Blair conceeded that him and Bush would be forgivven by history no WOMD found
  • much evidence of nukes was based on Hussein's boasts in 80's that his scientists working on nukes
  • March 2003 - little evidence of WOMD so U.S pointed to german companies who sold chemicals to Iraq that could have been used to create such weapons
  • Iraq declined UN inspection efforts
  • evidence found of biological weapons - iraq declared possesion of 8,500 liters Anthrax
  • chemical weapons used by Iraq in war against Iran
  • Daily Telegraph -"Tony Blair stands charged in effect of committing British troops on the basis of a lie"
  • U.S argued if they left Hussein in power, Middle East would become even more unstable and terrorism would have flourished
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