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42Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton$
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Michael Nelson, Barbara A. Perry, and Russell L. Riley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454066

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454066.001.0001

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The Reluctant Grand Strategist at War

The Reluctant Grand Strategist at War

Diplomacy and Force in Bosnia and Kosovo

(p.193) 8 The Reluctant Grand Strategist at War

Spencer D. Bakich

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how Clinton championed the eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to protect Europe’s fledgling democracies. Despite significant strategic challenges and the at-times yawning gap separating the objectives of the states in the region, NATO proved itself a viable security alliance in the wars of Bosnia (1995) and Kosovo (1999), while Russia and the West forged ways of cooperating to resolve the conflicts short of dramatic escalation. In other words, America’s strategies in the Bosnia and Kosovo wars succeeded. In both cases, strategic success—the realization of America’s political objectives through the skillful combination of diplomacy and force—was produced by a decision making process that was open, inclusive, and flexible. Indeed, a common feature in both of America’s Balkan wars was the deftness of the Clinton administration’s foreign policy process.

Keywords:   NATO, Bosnian war, Kosovo war, diplomacy, foreign policy

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