Sarajevo-Therewas a big turnout at the NATO SFOR ("Stabilization Force") Press Centerin downtown Sarajevo two weeks ago, where NATO's outgoing Secretary-GeneralJavier Solana gave a press conference. Solana was a regular visitor here backin the day when the NATO peacekeeping operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina was thealliance's biggest chore. A few months of bombing Yugoslavia and the task oforganizing NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo, however, have left Bosnia on the backburner. This was Solana's first time back in town in months.
Solana willsoon leave his NATO post to take the job of defense czar for the European Union.It's more a tightrope walk than a change in jobs. At present, Solana brokersthe often competing and conflicting desires of NATO members. In his new role,he must create a more autonomous defense capability for a Europe that's stillsmarting from American dominance of the Kosovo campaign-without ripping NATOasunder and driving American influence and military power from the continent.Good luck.