Book Description

Amazon.com Review Between 1991 and 1995 over a quarter million people died during the conflict in the Balkan states. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe did not understand--or chose not to understand--what this war was about. The U.N. sent peacekeeping forces to aid the helpless, but would not assert its will to bring a peaceful end to the atrocities. In a bold, contentious move by Clinton's first administration, a peace delegation was sent to Bosnia to secure an accord at any cost. A vocal proponent of this was Richard Holbrooke, then assistant secretary of state, who believed in hawkish diplomacy and a willingness to impose the moral will of America, if necessary. Holbrooke's belligerent pursuit of peace can be attributed in part to the tragedy of losing three of his team on the way through Sarajevo, making his quest for peace purposeful and passionate. In To End a War, an honest assessment and account of the events that followed, Holbrooke walks us through the complexities of the Dayton Accord from the perspective of the politicians and military men involved. It provides a fascinating insight into modern political diplomacy and the role of America in the international arena. Without being a crusader, Holbrooke stresses throughout the need for responsible public service, subtly attacking some modern-day diplomats who use their positions irresponsibly. Ultimately he concludes that this peace process demonstrates the need for countries of power, such as the U.S., to take their of leadership roles seriously. To End a War is the definitive account of the peace process in the former Yugoslavia, important to anyone who wishes to understand the conflict in its entirety. --Jeremy Storey --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more From Publishers Weekly American negotiator Holbrooke offers a fast-paced, first-person account of the American-led diplomatic initiative that ended the bloodshed of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia in 1995. A veteran of the Vietnam peace talks, one-time ambassador to Germany and assistant secretary of state, Holbrooke guides readers through 'fourteen weeks... filled with conflict, confusion, and tragedy before... success.' This is a penetrating portrait of modern diplomacyAwhat the author describes as 'something like a combination of chess and mountain climbing.' Spurred on by the deaths of three colleagues on his negotiating team (their armored personnel carrier toppled over a cliff on a treacherous approach to Sarajevo), Holbrooke hammers out a cease-fire in an intensive shuttle among the three Balkan presidents, and then presides over the three-week cloistered peace conference in Dayton, Ohio. He covers the elements of crafting effective foreign policy: coordination among various agencies and personalities in Washington; dealing with European allies; ensuring that military and diplomatic efforts work in concert; negotiating with ethnic nationalist leaders; 'spinning' the press; and selling the peace plan to a skeptical Congress and public. While he provides scant background into the historical roots of the Balkan conflict, Holbrooke details the various stages of the negotiating process and vividly describes the Balkan leaders: the arrogant Tudjman, the sly Milosevic and the bickering and disorganized Bosnian Muslims. Although often self-justifying, Holbrooke acknowledges several errors, such as allowing the Bosnian Serb entity to retain the 'blood-soaked name' of Republika Srpska. Still, his achievement in forging peace in Bosnia is beyond question, and his account of that process is essential for understanding how American power can be brought to bear on the course of history. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more See all Editorial Reviews

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