The Sit Room: In the Theater of War and Peace

ISBN : 9780190860639

David Scheffer
352 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The Sit Room brings you inside the secretive Situation Room of the White House, the most important deliberative room in the world, during the early 1990s when the author was one of the policymakers who framed the Clinton Administration's policy towards the bloody Balkans War. Drawing upon newly declassified documents and his own notes, David Scheffer, who later became America's first Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, weaves the true story of how policy options were debated in the Sit Room among the highest national security officials. The road to a final peace deal in late 1995 came at the high price of the murderous siege of Sarajevo and ethnic cleansing of mostly Bosnian Muslims from their homes and towns, including the genocide of Srebrenica's men and teenage boys. The Sit Room reveals the behind-the-scenes story about how American policy evolved-often futilely-to try to stop an intractable war and its shocking atrocities. Main actors in the Sit Room include: the assertive Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright; the State Department's ace negotiator, Richard Holbrooke; the cerebral National Security Adviser, Tony Lake; the immigrant Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashvili; the bulldog Deputy National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger; and White House moralist, David Gergen. For almost three years, the Sit Room was littered with shattered proposals to end the war-until armed force backed up diplomacy to compel a fragile peace deal. The Sit Room reveals authentic policy-making at the highest levels, with a unique journey into the arena of war and peace where spirited debate guided America's foreign policy.


Cast of Characters
Entities and Actions
Chapter I: Shattered Plans, 1993
Chapter II: Ethnic Cleansing Wins, 1994
Chapter III: To Stay or Not to Stay, January-June 1995
Chapter IV: Finally, Diplomacy Backed by Force, July-August 1995
Chapter V: Forging Peace, September-December 1995


David Scheffer worked in the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council during the early 1990's when the Balkans War raged. He then became America's first Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001). A graduate of Harvard, Oxford, and Georgetown universities, he is the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and is widely published in international law and politics. Ambassador Scheffer was one of Foreign Policy Magazine's Top Global Thinkers of 2011, won the Berlin Prize in 2013, and received the Champion of Justice Award from the Center for Justice and Accountability in 2018.