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  • Fran Leskovar

The Bosnian War: Defining Moment for US Foreign Policy

At the inflection point in the 1990s, the United States struggled to define its role in the new order. After almost fifty years of promoting a containment paradigm and constantly focusing on global problems, Washington thought it was time to prioritize domestic issues and address foreign policy through multilateral coalitions and international institutions. The post-Cold War period was also a time of immense optimism when, as Francis Fukuyama describes, history ended. Decades of nuclear anxiety and divisions on the European continent resulted in the spread of democracy, liberal values, and Eastern Europe’s desire to join the West. If there was a moment Kant’s concept of “perpetual peace” could be materialized, this was the time. In this idealized environment, the United States wanted to be first among equals and less of a hegemonic power intervening in every crisis.


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