Slobodan Milosevic, then President of Serbia, was planning to organize the assassination of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic at the end of the war in BiH, but he did not do it in order to avoid that the two of them become martyrs, according to a recently declassified documents of the US State Department.
In fact, in the document from the 1st of December 1995, Toby Gati, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence, wrote to the Acting Secretary of State that Milosevic is not planning to suppress “Serbian rebels” in BiH since he sees himself as a leader of Serbianism, and that one of his options was to remove the leadership of the Serbs in BiH by organizing the assassination of two of them.
Gati wrote that it is much more likely that Milosevic will hide Karadzic in some villa on the Adriatic coast where he would hold him under the threat of extradition to The Hague if he refuses to withdraw from politics.
“When it comes to Mladic, direct approach is much more likely: as an officer of the Yugoslav Army with Bosnian roots, Mladic would probably obey the orders to return to Belgrade, especially if he would get legal protection. When they both get under his control, he will have the opportunity to extradite them to The Hague,” said Gati.
Tobi concluded that Milosevic was not sincere when he assured Americans that he introduced the boycott to the RS from 1994.
“If Milosevic really wanted to, he could tighten them much stronger. Bosnian Serbs would not be easy to isolate, but if he just interrupted the flow of petroleum products, it would be very painful for them,” she said.
She added that their cooperation with BH Croats in evading sanctions would reduce the influence of Milosevic to some extent, but that economies of the RS and Yugoslavia were so permeated that Milosevic’s influence remained substantial. Regarding the sanctions on weapons, Gati stated the Army of RS is practically extension of the Yugoslav Army.
“Although he cannot confiscate weapons and ammunition storage, which they need in case of new conflicts on the ground, Milosevic could revoke officer corps who are in fact members of the Yugoslav Army just there to work. He could stop the flow of ammunition, fuel, aircraft, missiles, rockets, payment of salaries, equipment maintenance, air defense systems and the treatment of wounded soldiers,” she concluded.
The problem for Milosevic to do this, according to her, is that the nationalist core, especially in the army, would considered him as a traitor of Serbian interests.