Holbrooke's book is a must-read for anyone closely interested in the wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia. It is a chronology with, at its core, a blow-by-blow and sometimes hour-by-hour description of the summer and autumn of 1995 when the Dayton accords took shape. The book is oft-criticized as Holbrooke's attempts to win back the swarms of people he alienated with his abrasive personality during his return to public service. If that was his intent, he probably failed, because his much-publicized anti-social behavior continues unabated to this day. In the unlikely event that any of his enemies were gullible enough to be flattered by the book, Holbrooke has no doubt subsequently given them fresh reason to dislike him. However, the book is still important, and, while self-aggrandizing, Holbrooke is possessed of a certain clarity of vision regarding the balkan wars. His list of five reasons, in chapter 2, for the West's failure to intervene in Yugoslavia is...
Mr. Holbrooke gives us a quite detaily led account of the negotiations a Dayton and before. He nevertheless makes good use of the book to tap himself over the shoukder numerous times. I beleive Mr.Holbrooke skipped Modesty 101 in college!! Furthermore it is very interesting to see that the European counterparts are conveniently forgotten as if they did not participate in the entire Dayton process. Luckily they all also have written their own version of the facts which kind of keeps the balance.
The Bosnian War of 1992-95 was a grueling conflict pitting the numerically superior (44% of the population of pre-war Bosnia and Herzegovina) but poorly armed Bosnian government forces against the fewer (33% of pre-war B.&H.) though better-equipped Bosnian Serbs. Within this overarching Bosnian-Bosnian Serb opposition, the smaller-still Bosnian Croat community (17% of pre-war B.&H.) at times fought both the Bosnian government and Bosnian Serb forces, until being pressured by the United States in 1994 into a tepid-at-best federation with the Bosnian government. This grinding war continued into its third year in summer of 1995 with shocking casualties and atrocities on all sides, repeated humiliations of U.N."peacekeeping" forces, but very little change in the disposition of the front-lines, with the Bosnian Serbs controlling roughly 65% and the Bosnian-Croat Federation 35% of the territory of pre-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Deceased diplomat (he died of a ruptured...
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