Chapter 30: ConclusionBecause this book was published in 1996, this final chapter is obviously somewhat dated, but unfortunately not nearly enough--the pessimistic tone of this closing chapter remains largely justified. War did not return to Bosnia or Croatia, and both Milosevic and Tudjman have done the world the favor of dying, but on the other hand this book was written before the Kosova war so the author's concerns about possible future conflict was not unmerited, even if the worst-case scenarios or renewed conflict in Bosnia and a possible wider Balkan war was mercifully avoided.
The Dayton agreement achieved peace by institutionalizing ethnic separation, and the biggest winners were Tudjman and Milosevic, even if both Croatia and the rump Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro were still maintaining the fiction of Federal Yugoslavia) were suffering the effects of economic hardship and autocratic rule.
And so this excellent book--probably the best one book to read on the Yugoslav wars (except Kosova, obviously)--comes to a close. The authors make no projections for the future, nor do they suggest a road map. They are too aware of how flawed and compromised Bosnia's chances were, and how limited the international community was to anything other than a simplistic "stability" which could keep the region out of the news.
If you haven't read this book, it is an essential account of the war. If you are looking for suggestions on where Bosnia and its allies need to go from here, you will need to look otherwise--but the next time you are arguing with someone who has been fooled into thinking that the "standard narrative" of the Bosnian war is an emotionally-charged and ideologically-slanted justification for Western intervention, you can rest assured that they have never read this sober, methodical account.