Case 269 - The Dutch in Srebrenica: A Noble Mission Fails
Lamy, Steven L.
This case study reviews the actions of the Netherlands, NATO, the United Nations, and the major powers of the West during the war in Bosnia. More specifically, it discusses the failed “safe area” policy which contributed to one of the greatest massacres in postwar European history at Srebrenica. Dutch citizens, concerned about the ethnic cleansing and destruction in Yugoslavia, launched a major campaign to force their government to lead the West in stopping the conflict and preventing additional killings. The tensions between the U.N. and NATO, and between the U.S. and its European allies, are explored in detail. Fundamentally, this case is about making tough choices, where seemingly right or ethical actions are in competition: e.g., national interests vs. human interests.