It was a decisive moment for the NATO alliance, a make-or-break point in the quest to control genocide in the Balkans, and the low point in post-Cold War relations between Russia and the United States. The 1999 Kosovo war, coming on the eve of a U.S. presidential race and amid an impeachment campaign against the Russian president, came closer to producing an absolute rupture in U.S.-Russian relations, including a near military confrontation, than any event in the last decade and a half. Although already the subject of a dozen books and memoirs, no one has pulled the war's tale together quite as Norris has -- teaching even those who had central roles, such as the Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, things they did not know. Because NATO allies also often did not agree, and even the U.S. commander in Europe fought with the U.S. secretary of defense, it makes for a saga as tempestuous as it was crucial.
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