Some memoirs concentrate on self-promotion and score-settling, but Hill avoids the former and mostly eschews the latter. He focuses instead on the on-the-ground work of the diplomat, which may entail dangerous forays far beyond embassy walls. What comes through with exceptional clarity in this book is Hill's concept of service.
The scent of nationalism was present in the former-Yugoslavia before Vladimir Putin effectively assumed power in Moscow. Already during the early stages of the conflict in Bosnia & Herzegovina, "BiH" solutions were being fashioned in the hope of, well appeasing is perhaps an appropriate term, those leaders in the region but also Moscow who saw feudal nationalism as the vehicle to replace authoritarian communism.
The News Sorority is a dish fest -- if you care what Katie and Diane and Christiane are really like, for God's sake do not start reading on a Friday night, because you'll miss Bill Maher and may just be finishing when John Oliver comes on.
Every year we commemorate the genocide, we expect that those who betrayed Srebrenica might this time ask for forgiveness from the survivors. Instead, much of Europe appears inclined to forget Srebrenica and punish all Bosnian & Herzegovinians ("BiH") for reminding it of its collective failure to prevent the genocide.
Sarajevo 1914 does not appear so distant, at least in terms of rhetoric and inclination to dehumanize the other. But, then perhaps our awareness has been raised to the danger.
Natasha Srdoc, who has done stints in international banking, the think tank world, and politics, is a firm believer in free market capitalism. She doesn't think what took place in former Yugoslavia comes anywhere close to her understanding of how capitalism works.
I am concerned not only for the safety of our diplomatic corps, but also from the growing perception that they are not a priority concern. Right now we are busily chopping the Pentagon's budget, which in my view is long overdue, but at the same time we need to beef up our diplomatic budget.
In the annals of U.S. foreign policy, Afghanistan stands as a typical case where a flawed military strategy has sidelined viable political solutions. Washington incentivized war through perks and privileges, and four-star promotions and undermined peace efforts. The U.S. has had a war strategy, but no political strategy or a clear exit strategy.
The Srebrenica genocide was a dark chapter in an already nasty Balkan conflict. One group committed ethnic cleansing against another, as a largely passive international community helplessly, and needlessly, watched it from the sidelines.
From the massacre of all its defenders, "Remember the Alamo" became the call to victory. Executing all the defenders of Srebrenica and expelling all its Bosniak residents was the tactic that was intended to also wipe away all of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The question that I have been asked is: Will Samantha Power be more inclined toward her idealist roots or the vast policy/political apparatus?
Foreign policy writing is not meant to be passionate. Perhaps for just that reason, in foreign affairs big personalities can look even bigger, and passion is spoken of in code phrases like "political will." Richard Holbrooke was one of those big personalities.
Lady Thatcher invited me to her home as the Special Envoy as well as BiH UN Ambassador. The home, conversation, and the tea served was what one would expect: neat, direct, and English.
The Holbrooke/Obama controversy is heating up again. One of Holbrooke's closest advisors, Vali Nasr, claims that Holbrooke tried to convince President Obama that the best solution to the Afghan conflict was to seek a diplomatic solution even while waging war.
One false way to convince "people" the world over (including in our very own USA) that you're "doing something" when you actually have nothing to do/decide upon, is to be "on the move," with the complacent media, eager for any story, "reporting" on your "new initiative."
Today, American public diplomacy, once implemented by an independent and very imperfect agency, is hidden away at the regulations-driven State Department, some would say like a coffin at a funeral home, despite the good intentions of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.