After eleven weeks of bombing in the spring of 1999, the United States and NATO ultimately won the war in Kosovo. Serbian troops were forced to withdraw, enabling an international military and political presence to take charge in the region. But was this war inevitable or was it the product of failed western diplomacy prior to the conflict? And once it became necessary to use force, did NATO adopt a sound strategy to achieve its aims of stabilizing Kosovo? In this first in-depth study of the Kosovo crisis, Ivo Daalder and Michael O'Hanlon answer these and other questions about the causes, conduct, and consequences of the war. Based on interviews with many of the key participants, they conclude that notwithstanding important diplomatic mistakes before the conflict, it would have been difficult to avoid the Kosovo war. That being the case, U.S. and NATO conduct of the war left much to be desired. For more than four weeks, the Serbs succeeded where NATO failed, forcefully changing Kosovo's ethnic balance by forcing 1.5 million Albanians from their home and more than 800,000 from the country. Had they chosen to massacre more of their victims, NATO would have been powerless to stop them. In the end, NATO won the war by increasing the scope and intensity of bombing, making serious plans for a ground invasion, and moving diplomacy into full gear in order to convince Belgrade that this was a war Serbia would never win. The Kosovo crisis is a cautionary tale for those who believe force can be used easily and in limited increments to stop genocide, mass killing, and the forceful expulsion of entire populations. Daalder and O'Hanlon conclude that the crisis holds important diplomatic and military lessons that must be learned so that others in the future might avoid the mistakes that were made in this case.
"As instant books go, this one is rather good. Daalder and O'Hanlon, both fellows at the Brookings Institution, speak less from the heart than from the head. To its credit, the book is heavily footnoted and conventional, in the nonpejorative sense of the t" --Eliot Cohen, Foreign Affairs, 9/1/2000 "This is a serious and worthwhile study which analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of American leadership and the NATO system in its first offensive war... Daalder and O'Hanlon make clear that we have a lot to learn if we are going to engage in campai" --Newt Gingrich, newt.org, 9/3/2000 "A thorough, lucid, hard-hitting examination of Western, and especially American, policy, scrupulously examining the real alternatives available at the time. On the internal dispute sof Washington policymaker [Daalder and O'Hanlon] are fascinating." --Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books, 9/3/2000 "Must Read" --Lex Ticonderoga, Today's Books / Public News Service, 12/5/2000 "Winning Ugly, a new book published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy organization, provides substantial evidence suggesting that U.S. leaders were terribly negligent when planning last year's air war against Serbia." --James Ron, Baltimore Sun, 1/9/2001 "thoughtful conclusions" -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/9/2001 "Daalder and O'Hanlon are eminently qualified to produce the first comprehensive analysis of the Kosovo crises." --JP Dunn, Converse College, Choice, 1/11/2001 "This volume will prove to be one of the most comprehensive and thorough critiques of how and why NATO's decisions were made in Operation Allied Force." --Timothy Shaw, Contemporary Security Policy, 3/20/2001 "As befits two Brookings Institution members... the authors are adept at pointing out the contradictions between military realities and politicians' rationalizations." --Tom Donnelly & Gary Schmitt, Weekly Standard, 4/24/2001 "It is by far the most comprehensive analysis of the Kosovo war so far." --Fiona Simpson, University of St. Andrews, International Affairs, 4/24/2001 "Mr. Daalder knows the Balkans well and Mr. O'Hanlon fully understands warfare. They make an outstanding team." --Alan Gropman, Washington Times, 7/19/2001 "Daalder and O'Hanlon chronicle in convincing and painful detail how NATO for more than a year tried hard to head off a military confrontation." --Christopher Civic, Survival "Brookings Institution scholars Ivo H. Daalder (Getting to Dayton: The Making of America's Bosnia Policy) and Michael O'Hanlon (Technological Change and the Future of Warfare) analyze the [Kosovo] conflict in Winning Ugly: NATO's War to Save Kosovo. Their" -- Publishers Weekly "Some officials, including Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, have contended that the allies' qualms hampered the air war, delayed victory and endangered allied pilots. But in Winning Ugly, a book about the war released Thursday, foreign policy scholars" --Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times "An outstanding contribution to the study of U.S. foreign policy making." --Ryan Hendrickson, Eastern Illinois University, National Security Studies Quarterly "A substantial Kosovo war literature has sprouted during the year since NATO's victory over Serbia, and Winning Ugly by Ivo Daalder and Michael O'Hanlon is probably the most impressive contribution to date. It manages to achieve a fair and balanced treat" --Janus Bugajski, Washington Times "... it is an excellent first generation study. The detailed chronology and documents in the appendixes are exceptionally valuable." --J.P. Dunn, Converse College, Choice, vol. 38, no. 7, 3/1/2001 "It will be difficult to produce a better book devoted to the anatomy of Western decisionmaking- the authors have interviewed an impressively wide range of US and NATO officials, and their analysis succeeds in bringing the reader inside the confusing and approximate world of strategic choice." --Dr. R. Craig Nation, U.S. Army War College, Parameters, U.S. Army War College Quarterly, 7/1/2001 "This book enhances our understanding of what may become the future of NATO as well as some part of the future of war." --Tom Fedyszyn, Naval War College, Naval War College Review, 1/1/2002 "Their account is heartening and sobering at the same time. It is heartening because the authors offer a number of fascinating and intellectually rigorous anlayses into the possible alternatives to NATO's approach." --Jamie Shea, Director of NATO's Office of Information and Press, NATO Review, 7/1/2001 "... excellent work... an impressive array of documents supplemented by extensive interviews." --Tom Mockaitis, Depaul University, Chicago, Small Wars & Insurgencies, 4/1/2002 "... one of the first comprehensive accounts of the Kosovo conflict of 1999. The book's greatest strength is its excellent analysis of the political and diplomatic background to the crisis... Should be required reading for anyone involved with events in the Balkans or interested in the area." --Milan Vego, Naval War College, United States Naval Institute Proceedings, 11/1/2000 "An engrossing story of how we went to war, with important lessons for how we should wage peace." --Anthony Lake,, Assistant to President Bill Clinton for National Security Affairs, 1993-97, 7/19/2001 "Winning Ugly sets the standard against which American and European actions in the Kosovo war will be measured. The authors provide an authoritative and convincing account of the policy conflicts within the U.S. government, the gap between our political a" --Warren Zimmermann, U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia 1989-1992, 7/19/2001 "Winning Ugly proves a much needed lesson on the efficacy of early, forceful U.S. intervention in the Balkans. Equally importantly, it demonstrates that prevarication can be deadly, and that half-measures yield half-results." --Senator Bob Dole, 7/19/2001 "An incisive and revealing dissection of an ambiguous triumph... providing new information on a complex decision and a difficult conflict." --Zbigniew Brzezinski, Assistant to President Jimmy Carter for National Security Affairs, 1977-81, 7/19/2001 "Whether you ultimately accept their conclusions or not, Daalder and O'Hanlon have produced a thought-provoking analysis that represents an important contribution to the debate over when and how to use force in pursuit of foreign policy objectives." --Senator John McCain, 7/19/2001