The failure of a policy is not measured by one mistake, but by the constant repetition of that mistake, and this is something that the US State Department has failed to understand when dealing with the complex affairs of Southeast Europe.
Around our Balkan neighborhood, Condoleezza Rice’s constant repetition of the rigid stance held by the United States prior to the summit in Bucharest will not help the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s bid for entry into NATO. “The hope is that the name issue can be resolved very quickly now,” Rice commented during an official visit to France last week. She added that the dispute between Athens and Skopje over FYROM’s constitutional name “should not get in the way of the admission of Macedonia to NATO.” This fresh pressure from Washington comes as the UN mediator for the Macedonia name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, calls a new round of talks.
All Rice’s stance achieves is to encourage intransigence in young leaders, and now, with the events in South Ossetia, we have all seen where this can lead.