Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security

Worlds Apart tells of a well-meaning foreign policy establishment often deaf to the voices of everyday people. Its focus is the Bosnian War, but its implications extend to any situation that prompts the consideration of military intervention on humanitarian grounds. Ambassador Swanee Hunt served in Vienna during the Bosnian War and was intimately involved in American policy toward the Balkans. During her tenure as ambassador and after, she made scores of trips throughout Bosnia, and the rest of the former Yugoslavia, attempting to understand the costly delays in foreign military intervention. To that end, she had hundreds of conversations with a wide range of politicians, refugees, journalists, farmers, clergy, aid workers, diplomats, soldiers, and others. In Worlds Apart, Hunt’s eighty vignettes alternate between those living out the war and “the internationals” deciding whether or how to intervene. From these stories, most of which she herself witnessed, she draws six lessons applicable to current conflicts throughout the world. These lessons cannot be learned from afar, Hunt says, with insiders and outsiders working apart. Only by bridging those worlds can we build a stronger paradigm of inclusive international security

Praise for Worlds Apart

“Swanee Hunt has written an intelligent, insightful, and highly readable account of the Bosnia conflict and America’s response to it. She brings to her analysis the passion appropriate to a firsthand account, together with a critical and sophisticated appreciation for the larger political context. Those interested in lessons important to future policy will not be disappointed. The book is an important addition to the literature on Bosnia, and on the continuing debate over appropriate circumstances for military intervention for humanitarian purposes.”
—Ambassador Robert Gallucci, former Dean, Georgetown School of Foreign Service

“The slaughter in Bosnia in the 1990s still haunts policymakers everywhere. With Worlds Apart, Swanee Hunt brings us all into the room alongside the decision-makers at the center of an international crisis, and simultaneously draws important lessons from those events for the resolution of future conflicts. It’s a compelling read for anyone motivated to learn those larger lessons from a tragedy that tested the will of the free world.”
—Senator John Kerry, Chair, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“Good research. Brilliant analysis. Important book. These lessons about global security are especially urgent in light of today’s headlines.”
—Dan Rather, internationally acclaimed veteran newscaster

“Ambassador Hunt has given us a bold, firsthand, outspoken book. It comes as close as we’ve gotten to answering the wherefores of Bosnia’s stark violence. Her juxtaposition of inside realities and outside misconceptions is convincing support for the broader lessons she offers us.”
—General John Galvin, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, and former Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University