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Paddy Ashdown: if we want return to war in the Balkans we are going about it exactly the right way

As the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 2000s, Paddy Ashdown was the nation’s de facto leader, helping the country on the path to peace. Now, he fears a return to war

By Steve Bloomfield   October 2018

Photo: Jayne Russell/Zuma Press/PA Images

How did we get here?

If you’re going to build peace after conflict you need strategic patience, which the west hasn’t got. They also thought “good old Paddy has done it all, let’s not bother about Bosnia any longer.” Bosnia has got worse and worse and the EU has shrugged its shoulders. We have lost will-power. The disasters of Afghanistan and Iraq have robbed the west of its omnipotence and self-confidence to stop bad things happening. So we leave a space…

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