March 15, 2011 2:50 am

No-fly zone was a substitute for decisive action in Bosnia

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From Mr François Heisbourg.

Sir, Paddy Ashdown is mistaken to invoke the Bosnian war as a precedent in favour of a no-fly zone over Libya (“It is time for Europe to back a no-fly zone”, March 14).

The existence of a no-fly zone in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a politically convenient substitute for decisive action: it did nothing to prevent ethnic cleansing including the Srebrenica massacre.

A forceful military intervention by Nato’s air and ground forces was required to put an end to mass murder in Bosnia – followed, as Lord Ashdown well knows by 15 years (and counting) of western military presence on the ground.

François Heisbourg,

Special Adviser,

Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique,

Paris, France

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