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Kosovo, after its incorporation into the Serbian Republic of Yugoslavia, became increasingly restive during the 1990s as Yugoslavia plunged into internal war and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian residents (Kosovars) sought autonomy. In March 1999, NATO forces began airstrikes against targets in Kosovo and Serbia in an effort to protect Kosovars against persecution. The bombing campaign ended in June 1999, and Kosovo was placed under transitional UN administration while negotiations on its status ensued. Kosovo eventually declared independence in 2008. Despite internal political tension and economic problems, the new nation has been recognized by many other countries and most of its inhabitants welcome its separation from Serbia. In Liberating Kosovo, David Phillips offers a compelling account of the negotiations and military actions that culminated in Kosovo's independence. Drawing on his own participation in the diplomatic process and interviews with leading participants, Phillips chronicles Slobodan Milosevic's rise to power, the sufferings of the Kosovars, and the events that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia. He analyzes how NATO, the United Nations, and the United States employed diplomacy, aerial bombing, and peacekeeping forces to set in motion the process that led to independence for Kosovo. He also offers important insights into a critical issue in contemporary international politics: how and when the United States, other nations, and NGOs should act to prevent ethnic cleansing and severe human-rights abuses.
Things didn't go wrong in postwar Iraq because the United States lacked a plan. Things went wrong because the United States was blinded by ideology and ignored planning that was already underway. Losing Iraq tells the story of the tragedy of Iraq, from the first discreet meetings to plan the political transition through the debacle the United States finally created. Losing Iraq is a stunning and revealing look at our recent past--with a candid take on how we can prevent this sort of tragedy from happening again.
Phillips, now a deputy director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, resigned from the US State Department's Future of Iraq Group in September of 2003 after he came to the conclusion that its recommendations were being ignored by the White House and the Pentagon. The neglect of these recommendations, he argues, is one of the prime causes for the failure to consolidate victory in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad to US forces. In this work, he recounts the work of the Group, and examines how the mistakes of the subsequent Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and of L. Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, helped lead to the disaster Iraq is facing today. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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