After the election of Joe Biden as the new United States (U.S.) president, hopes were raised that a new era would also start for our country Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), more precisely, that greater and more concrete U.S. action could be expected. However, it is now questionable how realistic it is to given the content of Antony Blinken’s letter.
It was believed that Biden would engage in removing obstacles to our country’s progress on the Euro-Atlantic path, punishing those who advocate the division of the country, and helping economic progress.
We based our hopes on the fact that Biden knows very well the opportunities in BiH and that he is a friend of our country. Besides that, many pro-Bosnian forces were encouraged by Biden’s much harsher attitude towards Russian leader Vladimir Putin, protector of Milorad Dodik.
Expectations went from realistic hopes of increased U.S. political engagement to radical options that went as far as invoking U.S. military intervention in our country.
However, the letter of the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to the Presidency of BiH, which arrived on Thursday, for the first time gave clear signs of what the American policy will be in the upcoming period. The key thing that can be read from the letter by Biden’s first man for foreign policy is that Biden is not planning any major, colossal intervention in BiH.
“I know there are voices in BiH calling for patience instead of urgency, including those who believe the U.S. and our European partners are preparing ‘Dayton 2’ to fundamentally change the agreement on the distribution of power in the Dayton Agreement. We have seen earlier attempts at reform failed in BiH because they tried to do a lot at once, ” Blinken wrote.
Thus, he clearly rejected the possibility of holding not only some kind of great conference about our country but even any big, sudden changes in BiH.
He added that the U.S. believes that “we need to focus on limited but significant” constitutional, electoral, economic reforms and those concerning the rule of law.
The goal of these reforms is to “ensure the rights of every citizen in the electoral process, improve the integrity of the judiciary, reduce corruption level, boost economic recovery, and begin to restore citizens’ trust.”
So, the U.S. wants to be engaged in BiH, but will primarily focus on targeted, limited reforms and step-by-step progress.
Blinken added that this is an achievable goal and requires only political will to persevere in compromise. He also added that the U.S. will be a partner in this process and that the BiH leaders have the responsibility.
Changes must come from within
This may sound like a clichéd sentence, which it usually is, but in this case, it is very important, because it shows, once again, that Washington will not take any big initiative, but will support domestic leaders and will ask from them that all solutions be agreed between all sides.
So, we can forget the dream of Joe Biden’s colossal, political, or military engagement in our country, which would mark a great turning point and make BiH a functional state overnight.
It is needed to adjust as soon as possible to what U.S. politics in BiH will really look like. The U.S. remains a partner of our country, which is ready to help in all areas, but only when we, ie our politicians, offer good solutions and find a compromise for our problems.
Changes will not come from outside, but can only come from within, Klix.ba writes.