The Foreign Service Journal, September 2018

72 SEPTEMBER 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Pardew’s book is an easy read. His largely unadorned and clear prose, and occasional use of lists and bullet points are effective in helping the reader situate endlessly shifting policy and negotiating positions in the complex history of the Balkan wars in the 1990s. What sets this book apart from the crowded field of memoirs written about the Balkans in the 1990s is Pardew’s focus on the mechanics and practicalities of how U.S. policy succeeded in the Balkans, particularly the series of negotiations fromDayton to Rambouillet to Ohrid. Pardew offers straightforward, sound advice on everything frommanaging the media to how to leverage foreign surveil- lance to your advantage in a negotiation. This is useful instruction for a new genera- tion of U.S. diplomats faced with today’s conflicts. This is a book about Americans and American power in the Balkans; the coun- tries of the former Yugoslavia and their locales, characters and cultures are not the stars of this show (although Slobodan Milosevic comes closest). Those looking for in-depth information about the Bal- kans are advised to look elsewhere. With such a unique front-row view of history, one wishes, however, that Pardew had included more of his personal experience, or observations about the people and places he encountered along the way. In Pardew’s view, the U.S. intervention in the Balkans set the ex-Yugoslav coun- tries on the path to becoming members of the European Union and NATO. Several countries have achieved that goal. For the What Diplomacy Can Achieve Peacemakers: American Leadership and the End of Genocide in the Balkans James W. Pardew, The University Press of Kentucky, 2018, $39.95/hardcover; $24.99/Kindle, 424 pages. Reviewed By Ross Johnston Ambassador James Pardew’s Peacemak- ers is a practically minded story of the “efficient and successful” series of U.S. interventions in the Balkans following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Taking place at the height of American power in the unipolar moment following the collapse of communism, Pardew’s story surely differs in context from the debate Americans are now having on fundamental questions about our role in the world. It is, however, a powerful argu- ment for what diplomacy can achieve and provides detailed and useful advice on how to make diplomacy and development successful. Pardew played a remarkable role in the U.S. interventions in the Balkans begin- ning in 1995, and his involvement drives the book chronologically. He first served on Richard Holbrooke’s negotiating team in the Dayton process and led the train-and-equip program for the Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation’s armed forces following the signing of the Dayton Accords. After Bosnia, he was involved in the U.S. intervention in Kosovo and then led the talks to end ethnically driven violence in Macedonia, which culminated in the Ohrid Agreement. Throughout, Pardew tells a story filled with the details of U.S. policy develop- ment, politics inside the U.S. government and with European partners, and negotia- tions that finally ended the violence. For an insider memoir of U.S. diplomacy, BOOKS remainder, this claim deserves to be examined skeptically. The majority of Peacemak- ers is dedicated to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nearly 23 years after the Dayton Peace Accords were signed, some of the same issues Pardew touches on, but does not examine in depth, have become central problems for Bosnia and U.S. policy towards it. Corrup- tion, which Pardew identified as the main threat to the train-and-equip program he ran, remains a profound threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its future in Western institutions. So, too, does the concept of citizen- ship based on the collective identity of ethnicity that was enshrined in the Dayton constitution and remains the bedrock of Bosnian politics. Most glaringly in Bosnia, but also throughout the region, there are profound political and societal problems that lead many to worry whether these countries will ever succeed in their quest for integration into Western institutions. But in the midst of war and the threat of further violence, that was not Pardew’s mission. Set against today’s concerns, the lives saved and the peace created in the Balkans by U.S. intervention are facts. Pardew’s story is one of remarkable suc- cess that deserves to be studied today. Ross Johnston is a Foreign Service officer who previously served in the Political sec- tion of U.S. Embassy Sarajevo. He currently works in the Department of State’s Executive Secretariat. The author is writing in his per- sonal capacity, and his views do not neces- sarily reflect those of the U.S. government. This memoir offers useful instruction for a new generation of U.S. diplomats faced with today’s conflicts.