Cross-posted from JohnFeffer.com.
When I traveled through Yugoslavia in 1990, a number of people confessed their fears to me. They were worried about the rise of nationalism, particularly in Serbia with Slobodan Milosevic. They were concerned about the economic situation – the high level of national debt, the overall stagnation, the persistent gap between the more prosperous northern republics and the less prosperous south. And they feared that the federal structure of the country could not withstand these centrifugal forces.
When I met political scientist Mitja Zagar in Slovenia, he provided the most chilling prediction. “I believe that the only way of dismantling Yugoslavia without creating any kind of new links or forms of common living would be if there is a war in some parts, maybe Kosovo-Serbia, maybe Croatia,” he told me. “But I think the most dangerous spot is Bosnia-Herzegovina.”