Paddy Ashdown’s Lecture

Yesterday Paddy Ashdown gave a lecture here in at the University of Kent. He spoke only little on Bosnia, but instead offered both a biting critique of unilateral intervention a la Iraq and an equally staunch defense of intervention in Bosnia and other countries, if done multilaterally.
Most interesting was his lessons learned from intervention, some already generally accepted in the policy community such as rule of law first, elections second, others, although obvious, were more instructive, such as don’t model the country on (an idealized version of) your own country. A number of these lessons seem to be the result of reflecting after his mission as HR in Bosnia. In particular, he favors the abolition of the Bonn powers and movement towards greater self-governance in Bosnia. Considering that he was arguably the most interventionist high rep, the call for less intervention should be instructive for current discussions on extending the mandate of the OHR in Bosnia.

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