Advertisement

Prologue: America and the Bosnia Nightmare

  • Derek Chollet

Abstract

From 1991 to 1995, the crisis in Bosnia cast a dark shadow over American foreign policy. All other accomplishments abroad during those years were diminished by Bosnia’s bleeding. This shattered the world’s confidence in American leadership and power. It also spoiled the hopes of many for a new Europe and a transformed U.S.-European relationship. When the war erupted in 1992, the European powers saw an opportunity to test their mettle, and to increase the influence of their fledgling political bloc then known as the European Community (EC). As Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister and EC President Jacques Poos famously said at the time, “the hour of Europe has dawned.” Yet as time went on, Europe’s response proved feckless, and the introduction of European troops under a United Nations mandate did little to stop the horrendous bloodshed. By the spring of 1995, as the crisis threatened to spin out of control, nearly 300,000 people had been killed, and 1.2 million were refugees.

Keywords

Security Council Contact Group American Foreign Policy Humanitarian Relief American Leadership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Warren Christopher, In the Stream of History: Shaping Foreign Policy for a New Era (Stanford University Press, 1998), pp. 344–345.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For the history of Yugoslavia and the origins of the Bosnia conflict, see Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (TV Books, 1996);Google Scholar
  3. Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia (Penguin Books, 1994);Google Scholar
  4. Steven L. Burg and Paul S. Shoup, The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina (M.E. Sharpe, 1999);Google Scholar
  5. Roger Cohen, Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo (Random House, 1998);Google Scholar
  6. and Mark Mazower, The Balkans (The Modern Library, 2000).Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    Warren Zimmermann, Origins of a Catastrophe (Times Books, 1996), p. 164.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    James A. Baker, III, The Politics of Diplomacy (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995), p. 651.Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Richard Holbrooke, To End a War (Random House, 1998), pp. 41–42;Google Scholar
  10. Ivo Daalder, Getting to Dayton: The Making of America’s Bosnia Policy (Brookings, 2000), pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  11. 6.
    Madeleine Albright, Madam Secretary (Miramax Books, 2003), p. 180; Christopher, In the Stream of History, pp. 345–347; Elaine Sciolino, “Bosnia Policy Shaped by U.S. Military Role, New York Times, July 29, 1996.Google Scholar
  12. 7.
    John Harris, The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House (Random House, 2005), p. 47.Google Scholar
  13. 5.
    Chirac had been inaugurated into office on May 17. See David Halberstam, War In A Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals (Simon & Schuster, 2001), p. 303;Google Scholar
  14. and Brian Rathbun, Partisan Interventions (Cornell University Press, 2004), pp. 141–143.Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    See Vershbow interview, September 26, 1996; Daalder, Getting to Dayton, pp. 52–55; Harris, The Survivor, pp. 193–194; Elizabeth Drew, Showdown: The Struggle Between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House (Simon & Schuster 1996), pp. 245–247;Google Scholar
  16. Dick Morris, Behind the Oval Office: Getting Reelected Against All Odds (Renaissance Books, 1999), p. 253;Google Scholar
  17. George Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education (Little, Brown, 1999), p. 355.Google Scholar
  18. 13.
    O’Grady, a U.S. Air Force pilot, had been shot down by a Bosnian Serb missile over Banja Luka on June 2, and rescued six days later. See Francis X. Clines, “The Rescue; Downed US Pilot Rescued in Bosnia During Daring Raid,” New York Times, June 9, 1995; on Clinton’s difficult political situation, see Nancy Soderberg, The Superpower Myth: The Use and Misuse of American Might (Wiley, 2005), p. 81.Google Scholar
  19. 14.
    See memorandum from Secretary Christopher to President Clinton, “Your meeting with French President Chirac,” June 9, 1995; Holbrooke, To End a War, p. 65; Bob Woodward, The Choice (Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 255.Google Scholar
  20. 39.
    See Silber and Little, Death of a Nation, pp. 345–361; Honig and Both, Record of a War Crime, pp. 3–67; David Rohde, Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, Europe’s Worst Massacre Since World War II (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997);Google Scholar
  21. Samantha Power, “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (Basic Books, 2002), pp. 391–421; and The Fall of Srebrenica, Report of the Secretary General Pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35, November 15, 1999, available at http://www.un.org/peace/srebrenica.pdf, pp. 57–87.Google Scholar
  22. 57.
    See Vershbow interview, September 26, 1996; Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Unvanquished: A U.S.-UN Saga (Random House, 1999), p. 239.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Derek Chollet 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Chollet

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations