Change of Change: U.S. & Balkans

American history professor Charles Ingrao said that he expects the new U.S. administration’s Balkans policy to differ from that of George Bush. U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has already gathered a group of advisers who have great experience with the Balkans, Ingrao told Belgrade daily Večernje Novosti. (Source: Vecernje novosti, Tanjug and B92 5th January 2009)

I found also three other interesting remarks from his interview as he said

  • that Obama is “a lot more capable of analyzing complex issues” and that he would use his term to build relations with European partners and would not ignore the Balkans.
  • that a group of 300 American scientists, historians, sociologists and lawyers will submit a special report on U.S. policies for the Balkans over the last two decades in late January.
  • that “The U.S. government lied to its citizens regarding its resolve to arrest war crimes suspects, including Radovan Karadžić, to whom Richard Holbrooke promised that he would not be arrested if he withdrew from political and public life, and Ratko Mladić as well,” Ingrao said

After hearing which persons Obama has gathered around him I have had and still have some doubts about new Balkans policy of U.S. Persons like Biden, Holbrooke or Kaplan can have long experience, but their actions have been quite anti-Serb and biased. Of course there is change when Bush administration is replaced with ex Clinton cronies – one could predict the second coming of the Clinton Administration.

However today I have some optimism related to coming U.S. Balkans policy. I believe that Obama is more analytical person than Bush and he can base his position more to facts than fiction so there is possibility to new pragmatic approach to Balkan problems. Anyway let’s give a change to change.

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