U.S. Shuttle Diplomacy

U.S. Shuttle Diplomacy (Mapping the Dayton Peace Accords, 2015)

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“Shuttle Diplomacy is the action of an outside party in serving as an intermediary between (or among) principals in a dispute without direct principal-to-principal contact. The process entails successive travel ("shuttling") by the intermediary from one principal's working location to another.”

Travel Schedule
“With a travel schedule that changed every few hours, we moved so unpredictably across Europe that Washington often did not know where we were, driven by the bombing and by the sense that it was now all or nothing.”

(Richard Holbrooke)

NATO Air Strikes
“NATO Air Strikes have made diplomacy easier, just as the reluctance to use force earlier had made diplomatic success impossible. The Alliance was now united, President Clinton was committed, and the obstacles to using force had been overcome. At the same time, Milosevic was anxious to gain relief from the economic sanctions that were imposed against Yugoslavia.”

(Madeleine Albright)

U.S. Negotiations “Shuttle” Team

Richard Holbrooke

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Chief of the Dayton Peace Accords

Wesley Clark

Lieutenant General, U.S. Army; Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, JCS

James Pardew

Director, Balkan Task Force, Department of Defense

Rosemarie Pauli

U.S. Department of State; Executive Assistant to Ambassador Holbrooke

Chris Hill

Director, Office of the South-Central European Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Roberts Owen

Legal advisor on shuttle team

Donald Kerrick

Brigadier (later Major) General, U.S. Army; Senior staff member, NSC

Preparations for Negotiations in Dayton (September 1995)
  • Holbrooke-Milošević Meeting, Belgrade

MILOŠEVIĆ: „This paper creates a joint Yugoslav-Republika Srpska delegation for all future peace talks. I will be the head of the joint delegation.“

Milosevic agrees that the state of Bosnia had legal existence - thus clearly implying a retroactive acceptance of Bosnia’s claim of independence (…). Bosnia would be the same country that had been recognized by many nations and set in the United Nations. (…) He insisted that the Serb portion of the country be referred to as “Republika Srpska”.

  • Holbrooke-Izetbegović Meeting, Ankara

Izetbegović objected.

HOLBROOKE: „It is the best we can do with Milošević at this time. We do not believe that the name Republika Srpska, awful though it is, means much as long as you get everything else: international recognition, defined borders, acceptance of your legal status.“

A long pause.

MUHAMED SACIRBEY: „This is bad for my President, but we will try to accept it.“

(Excerpts from Richard Holbrooke’s book “To End a War”)

U.S. Shuttle Diplomacy (Mapping the Dayton Peace Accords, 2015)