In This Review

Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security
Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security
By Swanee Hunt
Duke University Press Books, 2011, 296 pp

The Bosnian tragedy, like so many international conflicts, demonstrated the harm decision-makers can cause when they have no firsthand knowledge of conditions on the ground. Hunt spent much of her four years as U.S. President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Austria attempting to intercede in the conflict. In hindsight, she writes, “wretched mistakes were made by well-intentioned people who were distracted, lost their nerve, and misjudged actors and events.” Part apology, part cri de coeur, her book culminates in a catalog of specific lessons applicable to much more than the Bosnian experience. She advises potential intervenors to “test truisms” and to locate allies and partners within the local community rather than rely on outsiders who reside in the Pentagon or in sanctuaries protected by sandbags and concrete barriers.