“‘We don’t have a dog in that fight.’James Baker, U.S. secretary of state, June 1991, speaking of the impending dissolution of Yugoslavia.

‘We don’t exclude territorial adjustments. … We think they’ve got to solve it for themselves.’ John Bolton, U.S. national security advisor, August 2018, speaking of talks on territorial swaps between Serbia and Kosovo.

When the next history of the Balkans is written, these two statements will prove to be the most consequential by any U.S. officials. It was James Baker’s statement that gave the green light for Slobodan Milosevic to unleash the full arsenal of former Yugoslavia on breakaway Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. A calamitous, decadelong series of conflicts in the region—all almost wholly avoidable—was the result.

John Bolton’s statement now threatens to undo the ensuing two decade-plus international effort to make peace. Building on rumors about private talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo to swap territory as a means of ending their standoff, and hints of a change in U.S. policy, Bolton has now given the green light to Serbia and Kosovo to trade territory as a way of ending their decadelong—in fact, centurylong—standoff.” (Full article at Foreign Policy)