The United States should prepare to use military force, in concert with European allies, to deliver humanitarian supplies to the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The United States should help defend personnel assigned to the United Nations from attack. The United States should use its mountains of food and medicine to insure that Bosnian civilians have enough. The United States should consider use of military force to open the gates of the alleged 105 Serbian-run concentration camps -- if U.N. monitors confirm their existence -- as well as such camps maintained by others.
President Bush has moved correctly, if slowly, to obtain U.N. Security Council resolutions to create United Nations authority for limited military intervention for humanitarian purposes. Gov. Bill Clinton has been right, if imprecise, in his calls for action. The pit bulls of both political parties should be leashed from attacks on the other side on this issue. The tragedy of Yugoslavia belongs in the American election campaign, but as a test of the presidential qualities of Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton -- not their skills in demagogy.
What the U.S. should not do is act alone militarily in a European catastrophe. The U.S. should be clear that the objectives of military action are humanitarian, not political. The U.S. should not intervene militarily to stop the fighting, which would spread the fighting. The U.S. should not try to throw the Serbs out of Bosnia because we would absorb high casualties and fail, in terrain that favors guerrillas and that the Austrian, Turkish and German Nazi empires, in turn, failed to pacify.