Winning Ugly: NATO's War to Save Kosovo

As instant books go, this one is rather good. Daalder and O'Hanlon, both fellows at the Brookings Institution, speak less from the heart than from the head. To its credit, the book is heavily footnoted and conventional, in the nonpejorative sense of the term: it analyzes diplomatic gambits, organizational structures, event chronologies, and military plans. The authors draw heavily on the staggering array of public material about a war conducted in the brilliant illumination of the information age. Even so, some questions remain open -- including precisely why Slobodan Milosevic gave up.

This work will no doubt require revision or replacement in a few years after an inevitable flood of memoirs and more revelations of official secrets. But for the interim, it is remarkably reliable and successfully meets the objectives that the authors have set for themselves.

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