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To End a War
ISBN 037550057X / 9780375500572 / 0-375-50057-X
Publisher Random House
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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 [via]