That Ratko Mladic has been sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide during the Bosnian War is good news indeed. It is too bad that it has taken more than twenty years for justice to be done. What is worse is that the international community failed to prevent his atrocities in the first place.
The break-up of Yugoslavia began in 1991, following swiftly on the heels of the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The primary fear of Nato, the UN and other relevant international agencies at the time was plainly that conflict among the constituent Yugoslav peoples would spiral into a broader Balkan war – perhaps triggering violence in former Soviet satellites.
As a consequence, the international community stood by as Bosnia and Herzegovina, having declared independence, descended into chaos.