For my Political Science 3520 class with Dr. Cleveland, I was assigned the role of Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation concerning the Bosnia and Herzegovina Peace Treaty Simulation. The following writing is my memo concerning our contributions to the peace treaty and is designed to be actualized in the 1990’s.
It’s only been four years since the birth of the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s no surprise that our stake in the global arena has shifted and we have lost power. But as a neutral state in our part of the world, we plan to change that. Concerning the conflict occurring in Bosnia Herzegovina currently, we plan to take strong and swift action in the most appropriate way possible. And this is how we will do it.
The conflict going on has been truly destructive. Yugoslavia has fallen which has put many countries at risk via a domino effect. This has caused a large territorial fight between the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnians. The Serbs have been methodically ethnically cleansing in one of the most destructive ways we’ve seen since World War II. This fight over the territory of Bosnia truly has no clear ending in sight. To make things even worse, NATO has decided to relentlessly bomb the area. (Clinton, 2009).
The Russian Federation has decided to become a strong unbiased actor in this situation. Our interests are as follows. Overall, we hope to become the main overseer and intervener as Bosnia has slipped into the category of a failed state. By doing this we want to stop the NATO bombings, give asylum to the Bosnian refugees and return them to their country, decentralize the Bosnian government and influence a new one, create new elections and have our own influence, gain allies, and secure our position as a global superpower. As Foreign Minister to the Russian Federation, I stand behind these interests and believe that it will be the best thing we can do, not only for Bosnia but for ourselves as well. Yes, a crisis between the Serbs and Bosnians need to be solved. But we are also having our own crisis, and by stepping up to the plate, we may be able to help our country as well.
In order to reach our interests, we have to allocate our resources and propose fresh strategies. While we want to be a major force in the peacekeeping of Bosnia, we simply do not have the economic standing to fund all of our troops. Therefore, we need to reach out to countries that can. Germany is going to be the first ally we go after. Statistically, Germany relies heavily on natural gas imports at a rate of 74.7%, (International Energy Agency, 2012). We would like to reach out to them and inform them of their lack of natural gas and our abundance of it. We could give them a much better deal on the price of natural gas, compared to others in the European Union, if they agree to foot our bill for the peacekeeping operation. Another point of interest for them would be that we would also be replacing their troops with our own, which would save many lives overall. As a neutral presence in the area, both Bosnians and Serbs are less likely to fire on us. If the Germans were to send their own troops in, more violence would occur. It’s this idea of saving more German lives and getting a deal on something that benefits their country as a whole that might sway them.
If Germany does not agree to be our ally and foot our bill, we have brainstormed a backup state: the United States of America. While we certainly do not have the best relationship with the US, we do have certain information that may persuade them to help us out financially. US officials have been aware of illegal smuggling of weapons to Bosnia since 1992. This is ironic, considering the United States has been supporting the UN embargo on Bosnia. (Pomfret and Ottaway, 1996). If we were to reveal this information, the legitimacy of the United States would be decreased immensely and could hinder their ruling as a superpower. This would be very detrimental to the country and seems to be something that could highly sway them. Power has always been very important to the United States and in order to hold onto it, they might just make a few donations towards the operation.
While it does seem persuasive, we do know that the United States, and other countries, will not just hand over money without some sort of benefit to themselves. To make funding seem more desirable we are willing to put in advisors from the contributing countries. This way they can have a sense of influence on the operations. We will still be the majority though, and it will be the Russian flag and name used during the peacekeeping. This will work out in everyone’s favor because of our position. As said before, we are a neutral state and the best one to communicate with the Bosnians and Serbs. By going this route, we can appease many powerful countries by giving the guarantee that the Serbs will give up their weapons. We may have a slightly troubled past with them but they are still our allies at this point in time.
There are a few outcomes that could come from this, but we hope to have the best outcome as long as our preparation and strategies all work beforehand. Our main and ideal outcome is that through signing the treaty we are able to rebuild Bosnia and give each group a proper and fair territory. This conflict started over territorial concerns so the first thing that should be fixed is borders. Next, we hope to go into Bosnia as the main peacekeeping operator for a certain amount of years and help them work on a new and better government. This will start with elections, for both the Bosnians and the Serbs. No matter the results of the elections, we hope to avoid insurgencies through negotiations. With our powerful influence, we may even help shape a much better, communist state. All refugees will be safely returned to their home and the threat of violence will be diminished. At the end of the day, we will once again become a hegemon because of our strong and influential actions during this time of crisis.
For us, there aren’t many worst-case scenarios, because we refuse to be lenient with the treaty. This is a very critical time in our world and will go down in history. Why would we sign for something that we don’t believe benefits them and us? This doesn’t mean that we are not going to be a little bit flexible, for the sake of Bosnia. Therefore, our worst-case scenario would be signing a treaty under the influence of the United Nations. The UN and NATO will deny our interest in being the main peacekeeper and go in with their own name. We understand that the UN is an international namesake and holds the interests of many states in our world, but they have already caused enough damage in our part of the world. This could cause much more violence and destruction from belligerents because of previous bombings. This would all domino effect into less governmental control and more damage. While this is not our ideal treaty, we would still be willing to sign it. If anything, at least we could say, “we told you so”.
To realists, all states act in their own self-interest. This can definitely apply to Russia concerning the simulation. While we are looking for ways to solve the crisis in Bosnia, we are also acting in ways that will benefit our state as well. Through the rebuilding of the government, we will try to spread the influence of communism. By sending in our troops and building alliances with richer countries, we are receiving a financial income that could greatly boost our economy. By stepping up to the plate instead of sitting on the sidelines, we are grasping greater power and legitimacy in the global arena. So while we are working to form a treaty that will work for everyone, especially those representing the mercilessly attacked and killed in Bosnia, we are also working to rebuild our own state into a much greater empire.
Clinton, Bill. “Dayton Accords | International Agreement.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.
“Oil and Gas Security: Emergency Response of IEA Countries.” International Energy Agency, 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.
Pomfret, John, and David Ottaway. “U.S. Allies’ Arms Aid to Bosnia Detailed.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 1996. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.