The lessons from Bosnia shaped responses to Rwanda, Kosovo, Macedonia, Cyprus, East Timor and the conflicts in the South Caucasus and the Middle East. In effect, the international community -- the Western one at least -- learned that stopping a war is hard enough; rebuilding a functional country is nearly impossible.
President Bush is most responsible for the ISIS deluge. The Obama administration has played a malign, but secondary, role. Like its predecessor, it also intervened too much rather than too little. For instance, President Obama continued to back Iraq's Maliki government despite the latter's sectarian excesses.
Less attention has been paid to the émigrés who worked on behalf of peace and reconciliation in former Yugoslavia. These activists supported peace organizations in the region, helped to spread the word of human rights violations, and worked in large numbers for international organizations, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague.
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 morning of June 28, 1914 dawned bright for most Europeans. By sunset a geopolitical cataclysm loomed. World War I demonstrated the importance of saying no. Any of the great powers could have stopped the march toward war. America could have refused to join the parade after it started. The world would have been a better place had one or all done so. Today, Washington is filled with routine proposals for new interventions: bombing campaigns, foreign invasions, and military occupations. Most seem unlikely to trigger a new world war. But a century ago no one expected an assassination in a distant Balkan province to do so either. That is reason enough for Americans to make war truly a last resort.