First Do No Harm
Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Table of Contents
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This book is the product of my long-standing interest in foreign intervention. As I grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, the unfolding disaster of US intervention in Vietnam sparked my interest in this topic. I remember well when I heard in 1969 the first details of the My Lai massacre and was disturbed ...
1. The Rise of Humanitarian Intervention
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The period following the end of the Cold War proved less stable and potentially less benign than many had hoped. Conflicts in Haiti, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and several regions of sub-Saharan Africa suggested that civil wars and ethno-religious hatreds had replaced East-West tensions as the principal...
2. US Predominance and the Logic of Interventionism
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One of the main functions of this book is to refute the notion that US and Western intervention in the Yugoslavia conflict was not based on any concrete interests or considerations of realpolitik. On the contrary, external intervention in Yugoslavia was based on traditional considerations of national...
3. Origins of the Yugoslav Conflict
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Before we discuss in detail the international politics of the Yugoslav conflict, we will assess its origins at the domestic level. This chapter accomplishes two goals. First, it debunks several myths about how the conflict started. Most assessments of the Yugoslav wars overemphasize the salience of Serb aggressiveness....
4. Germany Drops a Match
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The Yugoslav conflict began in 1991, a year when US policy makers were, to say the least, distracted. The year had begun with the Persian Gulf War— the largest use of US military force since Vietnam—and ended with the final breakup of the Soviet Union. Accordingly, Yugoslavia was one conflict...
5. The War Spreads to Bosnia-Herzegovina
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The breakup of the Yugoslav federation was a gradual event that occurred in distinct phases. The secessions of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991 represented the first phase of the breakup, which encouraged further acts of secession by the remaining republics. The trend toward secession then established a ...
6. Only the Weak Rely on Diplomacy: The Clinton Administration Faces Bosnia
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When the Democratic administration headed by President Bill Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993, the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was immediately recognized as a major challenge. Shortly before the inauguration, an analysis by Richard Holbrooke set the tone: “Bosnia will be the key test of...
7. Kosovo and the Reaffirmation of American Power
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From 1991 to 1999, the international response to the Yugoslavia case evolved considerably. In the early phases, during 1991–1992, the world community opposed the use of violence to resolve conflict and condemned the Yugoslav military for its very modest use of force to stop secession in Slovenia. Both...
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The concept of humanitarian interventionism has recently endured new challenges as a result of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Presented as a straightforward case of humanitarian intervention, the invasion was intended to “liberate the people of Iraq from a cruel and violent dictator,” in the words of President George W. Bush.1 Indeed, Bush’s speeches during the lead-up to...
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Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2009