Portrait: Sir Michael Rose, UNPROFOR Commander in BH
9 May 1994
Year and place of birth:
1940, Quetta, Great Britain.
Brilliant. Educated in Cheltenham, Oxford and the Sorbonne; in special units, 1964; major, 1973; Commander of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment, 1979; Commander of 39 Infantry Brigade in Northern Ireland, 1987; Commandant Royal School of Infantry, 1987; Director Special Forces Command, 1987; General Officer Commanding North East District, 1989; Commandant of The Staff College, Camberly, 1989; April 1993 appointed Commandant Ground Army of the United Kingdom and Inspector General of the British Army; UNPROFOR Commander in Bosnia since January 1994.
How he became ``Sir'':
Knighted in the New Year's honours list in 1994 for special merits in the Falkland war.
his operations in the Falklands where he led the marines in action deep behind the enemy lines and personally arranged and received the capitulation of the Argentinean commanderinchief.
Also known for:
apart from Yasushi Akashi, has the authority to call NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serb positions which he did during the Gorazde crisis having previously called Bosnian Serb Army Commander General Ratko Mladic an ``asshole.''
two Serb tanks and one command post destroyed (according to Western sources), i.e. one Serb house and an ambulance (according to Serb sources).
Dejan Anastasijevic Strictly sticking to the SAS motto, ``He who dareswins''; accordingly prone to adventurism. On at least two occasions (in the operation of freeing the hostages in the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980 and in the Falklands) he carried out the actions independently skipping the chain of command and directly speaking with the Prime Minister.
Bosnian Serb accusations:
that the ``British soldiers of UNPROFOR took up wearing turbans since his arrival'' (Serb military sources), that ``he is dangerous, rather extremely dangerous for Europe,'' that ``he can cause WW3'' (Radovan Karadzic), that he is a puppet in Muslim hands, who blackmail him with threats to publicise war crimes his people committed during the war in the Faukland Islands, and that he is a war criminal himself since he ordered bombing of an ambulance and is responsible for deaths of two medics.
Bosnian Government accusations:
that he prevented NATO airstrikes with his statements that the Serbs had completely withdrawn or put under control their heavy weapons around Sarajevo even though the withdrawal was allegedly only partial; that the bombing of the Serbs around Gorazde was weak and belated; that he lied about the Serb withdrawal to 20 km outside the city and again prevented airstrikes; that he follows the proSerb orientation of the British Government policy in the Balkans.
U.S. Administration accusations:
in an official demarche to the U.N. in February 1994, the State Department expressed concern about General Rose's ``flexible interpretation'' of the conditions of the NATO ultimatum. In April, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., protested several times against the General's public criticism of U.S. support of wider airstrikes against the Serbs.
Is there anyone who likes him? There is. In a recent TV interview U.S. President Bill Clinton said that Rose is ``a resolute man'' and he had ``unbounded confidence in him.'' U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali said ``Rose continues to enjoy his confidence.''
He should be wary of:
not so much the warring sides in Bosnia who disapprove of his style, but of politicians and bureaucrats in a State Department U.N.NATO triangle, and of being sacrificed at some point for their own aims, and, of himself, i.e. his conviction that he can beat every opponent.
He can hope for:
If the lasting peace in Bosnia is signed during his mandate he can count on an adequate award, if not he will face a choice as his predecessors did: showbusiness (McKenzie) or politics (Morillion).
General Sir Michael Rose's Gentle Talk
``Gentle talk and a big stick of NATO can produce some results.''
Reuters, February 15, 1994
``I have a very dirty mind. I can invent all their plots just as well as they can (Serbs, Croats, and Muslims).'' BBC, February 16, 1994
``I am responsible for 15,000 young men within UNPROFOR, and I have no intention to demand of them to wage war.'' BBC, February 21, 1994
``Listen, your asshole. You had your warning. Cease tank, antiaircraft and artillery fire on the city. You've got 10 minutes.''
To Bosnian Serb Army General Ratko Mladic, over the radioconnection, immediately after the first NATO strike around Gorazde, April 12, 1994 (according to the official U.N. record)
``Instinct tells me that there will be no spreading of the war in the Balkans.'' `Der Spiegel', April 21, 1994
``They thing that we should fight their battles for them. They turned around and ran away letting us clear up the situation. They were not overly interested. Sod them!''
Referring to the defenders of Gorazde, April 28, before a group of journalists in Sarajevo. Note: the majority of reporters dropped the last sentence
``We took peacekeeping as far as it could go. We took it right to the line.'' `The Guardian', April 30, 1994