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8 A Certain Kind of Technology Belgrade and Sarajevo, September 23–25, 1995 We had more room and the environment was less frantic without Holbrooke on the flight to Belgrade. Milosevic was waiting for Chris Hill, Roberts Owen, and me at the presidential palace for a strategy session before we met with the Bosnian Serbs. This meeting was to hear his advice on how the US negotiators should present their proposals to best bring the Bosnian Serbs to the position Holbrooke and Milosevic had already agreed on—what Milosevic referred to as political “technology.” When Hill and Owen were out of the room, Milosevic picked up a paper on territorial proposals I laid next to him. He reacted strongly to the idea that Sarajevo would be a unified city. “No. This is not possible. The Republika Srpska must control Ilidza and Grbavica [two Sarajevo suburbs]. Sarajevo is not to be like Berlin, but the Federation cannot control the [whole] city,” Milosevic demanded. I argued that if he was to get the Serbian corridor in northern Bosnia connecting east and west, the Serbs would have to negotiate seriously on Sarajevo. “Without a territorial agreement, we will reach no real agreement,” I said. Milosevic warned that a discussion of Sarajevo would get a very strong reaction from the Bosnian Serbs. “We have to cross that bridge at some point. Why not now?” I said. He nodded, but he was not about to give away a prize as valuable as Sarajevo at that point. Then Milosevic turned to a future NATO presence in Bosnia and why the force should be small. “No one will challenge NATO,” he argued. He kept returning to this point. A Certain Kind of Technology 73 “NATO will carry its own guarantee. The US concept today is overwhelming force, but they can reduce the size rapidly depending on the situation ,” I said. Milosevic later urged us to describe the political superstructure in the new Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a “tin roof” to the Bosnian Serbs— a term we would hear again in the future. The Bosnian Serb Map We departed the Belgrade presidential palace for the villa in the hunting preserve at Dobanovci where Karadzic, Koljevic, Krajisnic, and other Serbs waited for us. Karadzic was in the same dark-maroon suit. I noted a small Orthodox cross pin he was wearing on his lapel. He took it off and offered to give it to me. I declined. The talks did not go well as Hill and Owen laid out their proposals. I could envision Milosevic back in Belgrade with a glass of whiskey and a cigarillo chuckling to himself about the Americans at the villa verbally wrestling with the obstinate and confrontational Serbs from Bosnia. On the political superstructure of a future Bosnia, Krajisnic said, “The Muslims want an iron roof [i.e., strong central government in Bosnia]. We can accept a paper roof. I want no roof.” The Bosnian Serbs wanted an extremely weak government for the nation , in which they would have a veto on any decision that government made. The republic they favored was one in which the Serbs would have virtual independence. “We are not making a state here. We should never have accepted the Agreed Basic Principles in Geneva,” Krajisnik asserted. After a break, we came back to the territorial discussion. It went no better than the constitutional discussion. Krajisnik quickly sketched the Bosnian Serbs’ position for Sarajevo on a map. They claimed flexibility, then showed none. Krajisnik, who was the point man on this subject, came with a stack of maps and presented a hard set of demands. Krajisnik was a meticulous man who cared about his appearance. He was always neatly dressed in a conservative suit. His hair was carefully trimmed, and his hands manicured. Below the bushy eyebrows, he occasionally smiled, but there was no mirth in his eyes. Karadzic and Mladic were the public face of the Bosnian Serbs, but Krajisnik was their leader. I judged that if the Bosnian Serbs were to be 74 Bosnia: Shuttle Diplomacy convinced to negotiate a settlement, Krajisnik must be convinced, and that might not be possible. He was the steel in the Bosnian Serb delegation. Krajisnik laid out their territorial position: 1. Sarajevo was to be a divided city with the Muslim-Croat Federation in the North. The Republika Srpska would control the South and approaches from the east and west. Sarajevo was to be the capital of the Republika Srpska. 2...


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