A Slow Start: Dayton, November 1–10
The delegations began arriving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on the afternoon of October 31, the day before the opening of what were officially called the “Proximity Peace Talks.” Wright-Patterson is one of the major Air Force bases in the United States—partly named for the Dayton-born Wright brothers, the enormous facility housed Air Force test pilots in the 1950s and later served as a training center for NASA’s Mercury astronauts. The area around the sprawling, 8,000-acre military base is typical of the American Midwest—flat, sparse, and in November, often cold and grey. Ohio itself is larger than Bosnia (and U.S. negotiators had created a map showing such), and far away from the New York air that Milosevic claimed to want to smell. Dayton, like many communities in middle America, is a quiet city, large enough to have its own television station but small enough to still have a drive-in movie theater. Although delegates rarely strayed far from base, the city enthusiastically played host, and it was easy to see the Dayton Chamber of Commerce envisioning a tourist industry centered upon a new city of “international peace.”
KeywordsSlow Start Contact Group Framework Agreement Opening Ceremony Tough Issue
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