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The Collapse Of 'The West'

Courtesy Reuters

OLD THINKING IN A NEW WORLD

UNDERLYING THE RECENT debates over Bosnia, the Balkans and Eastern Europe more generally, there is a much broader and unanswered question about the condition and future of the West. The proponents of intervention in the Balkans believe that, simply put, the West should go East. William Pfaff was surely speaking for many when he argued eloquently in these pages that the West should act through NATO-"the true Great Power in Europe today"-to guarantee existing frontiers in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, "so as to deprive transnational ethnic rivalry of its political and military explosiveness." The NATO guarantee to these new states should be backed up by force if necessary. Only such a policy, it is claimed, can both recover for the West the moral and political ground it has lost through its mishandling of the Yugoslav crisis and lay a base of

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