I FOUND JIM RICE'S commentary, "Into Bosnia: Mixed motives and good fruit," in the January-February 1996 issue, to be unbalanced in its presentation of the facts. Far from wanting to get into Bosnia, most military people I know, active and retired, have been opposed to U.S. intervention in Bosnia for years. They see it as a no-win situation and a major danger to the lives of our young men and women deployed in that troubled area.
This is not to suggest that the civilians within the Department of Defense all support intervention. In fact, many DoD civilians are strongly opposed. On the other hand, some military people believe we should intervene. I am a supporter of intervention. I believe that lines have to be drawn. I often ask people if, in 1941, Germany had NOT declared war on the United States, would we ever have moved to help take down that murderous tyranny? I ask if a CNN-like look at the death camps would have made a difference? This makes people uncomfortable.
I, for one, would like to see an alternative to sending military forces into a peacekeeping operation. But, there are no quick and easy solutions. The discipline required to make such an enterprise work is very great. For your information, I am a retired U.S. Air Force colonel with experience in operations and strategy and three-and-a-half years as a professor at the National War College. I went to Southeast Asia twice. I have been a reader of Sojourners for a dozen years.