20 years later, the lessons of Bosnia-Herzegovina
By Daniel M. Gerstein
·Published August 19, 2015
The French armored personnel carrier carrying a team of American diplomats and French soldiers was traveling on a muddy mountain “road” leading into Sarajevo when tragedy struck: Without warning, the vehicle lurched to the right, and then seemed to teeter for a moment before beginning a deadly series of rollovers. Five of the eight passengers died in that crash 20 years ago this week. I was one of the survivors.
The delegation had been en route to a meeting with the Bosnian president to discuss halting the fighting in Bosnia that had begun in 1992. With one tragic accident, three U.S. peacekeeping envoys, with deep experience in the region, were suddenly gone – Ambassador Robert Frasure, a deputy assistant secretary of state who had been the chief U.S. negotiator for Bosnia; Joseph Kruzel, deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO Affairs; and Air Force Col. Samuel Nelson Drew, director of European Affairs for the National Security Council.