0001199 - The United States and Croatia: The Bilateral...

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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 39 The United States and Croatia: The Bilateral Relationship Since 1991 Thomas P. Melady Professor and Senior Diplomat in Residence, Institute of World Politics United States Ambassador to the Holy See, 1989-1993 United States Ambassador to Uganda, 1972-1973 United States Ambassador to Burundi, 1969-1972 Senior Advisor to the US Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly President Emeritus of Sacred Heart University Former United States Assistant Secretary for Post Secondary Education he period of 1991-2008 witnessed significant development in the bilateral relations between Croatia and the United States. Is this situation due to one person or several? Did events energize this change or was it the result of a series of well conceived strategies? Before proceeding with the diagnosis, it would be appropriate to examine briefly the history of Croatia. Croatia: An Ancient Nation but a New State As a nation united in language and values, Croatia has existed in Europe for over 1,500 years and has had a significant impact on the region today. In order to understand the changes in the US-Croatia bilateral relationship, the evolution of US policy in the western Balkans should be examined. At the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson pushed for the break up of the Austro- Hungarian monarchy. He championed the principles of national self-determination and democracy; he disliked empires based on absolutism. He also made little effort to disguise his dislike for the Central European kingdom that for over four centuries held the different nations together. Events birthed the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, Slovenes at the end of 1918. The idea was for national unity of the Southern Slavs. While the new nation recognized the Croats and the Slovenes along with the Serbs, the new state ignored and marginalized the other national groups, such as Montenegrins and Macedonians, inside the future Yugoslavia. The author appreciates the research assistance of Ms. Ferida Mandic and the editorial assistance of Mr. Brooks Sommer, Executive Assistant, at the Institute of World Politics, in preparing this article. T Croatia, an independent nation since 1991, has a population of approximately 4.5 million (about the size of West Virginia). Source : The World Factbook, 2008.
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Spring 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 40 The constitution of the Kingdom of Croats, Serbs and Slovenes represented the implementation of President Wilson’s principle of self determination. The Wilson plan for the Southern Slavs was a matter of great discussion at the Versailles Conference. Despite its idealism, the plan ignored a very important political fact of Serb domination. By 1929, when the kingdom took the name of Yugoslavia, many discerned that Serbian institutions, particularly the military, the political establishment and the civil service, dominated the new state. An Equally Complicating Factor Results From Past US-Yugoslav History
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0001199 - The United States and Croatia: The Bilateral...

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