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 Bosnian War (1992-1995): Intelligence and Clinton's Presidency

Bosnian War (1992-1995)
 Bosnia, Intelligence and Clinton's Presidency
 CIA, State Department, Department of Defense & White House Files

2,346 pages of CIA, State Department, DOD, National Security Council and White House files concerning the Bosnian War, CIA Intelligence, Clinton Administration's policy decisions, and the Dayton Peace Accords.


Bosnian War (1992-1995) Bosnia, Intelligence and Clinton's Presidency CIA Files

This collection includes many documents that were not released by the CIA until October 1, 2013.

The documents date from 1990 to 1997. The focus of this collection of files is a set of documents which reveal the role of the intelligence services in informing the Clinton Administration about the war in the Balkans. The release of these documents by the CIA sheds light on the supporting role intelligence played in the Clinton Administration's policy decisions during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, the worst armed conflict in Europe since World War II. Many of the files document the role of intelligence in ending armed conflict and the challenges of sharing intelligence.

The collection highlights the accomplishments of the Director of Central Intelligence Interagency Balkan Task Force in streamlining intelligence for decision makers through a groundbreaking level of collaboration among federal agencies.

This collection of 343 declassified documents highlights the accomplishments of the Clinton Administration in brokering the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which resolved the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, and the role the Director of Central Intelligence Interagency Balkan Task Force (BTF) played in informing policymakers' decisions. The compilation contains Statements of Conclusions from National Security Council meetings where senior officials made decisions on the Bosnian conflict, BTF memoranda pertaining to those meetings, key intelligence assessments, finished intelligence reports, memoranda, background studies, and conference reports.

It should be noted that may of documents were declassified by the CIA's Historical Review Program less than 17 years after their creation.  For the CIA this is a much more accelerated track for the declassification and release of secret documents. These are the youngest documents ever released by the Historical Collections Division of the CIA's Information Management Services.

The collection also includes White House memorandums, State Department and Department of Defense communications and selected materials from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The records center around 1995, the year in which the Dayton Accords were signed.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs, supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro, responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "Greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife. The final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995. The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy.

Highlights among the documents.

This collection includes the Presidential Review Directive (PRD) 1, which was not declassified and released by the CIA until October 1, 2013. It was created on January 22, 1993, the very first PRD of the Clinton Administration.  The PRD series was the mechanism used by the Clinton Administration to direct specific reviews and analyses to be undertaken by the Executive Branch's departments and agencies. The objective of this PRD was to foster the development of broad strategic goals and strategies to guide Administration policy toward the former Yugoslavia.

Six months after the signing of peace accords the State Department's Dayton History Project interviewed several key American participants in the peace talks. This collection includes the transcripts of the oral histories given by Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Strobe Talbott, Robert Owen, Christopher Hill, and Peter Tarnoff.

The titles of some of the most important documents not previously released before October 2013 include:

1991-12-19 CIA Directorate of Intelligence Memorandum Bosnia-Herzegovina on the Edge of the Abyss

1992-06-12 CIA Memo Establishing the Interagency Balkan Task Force

1993-01-22 Presidential Review Directive 1 US Policy Regarding the Situation in the Former Yugoslavia, January 22, 1993

1993-02-19 Memo, Anthony Lake to President Clinton, SUBJ Presidential Decision on Humanitarian Air Drops for Bosnia

1993-04-02 CIA Directorate of Intelligence Memorandum, Rape as an Instrument of Ethnic Cleansing

1993-08-25 Memo, Anthony Lake to President Clinton, SUBJ Bosnian End Game Strategy, August 25, 1993

1994-01-26 BTF Assessment Some Implications of an UNPROFOR Withdrawal from Bosnia, January 26, 1994

1994-04-16 BTF Assessment Bosnian Serb Air Defense Threat in Gorazde Area

1994-04-18 CIA Pre-Meeting Memo on 18 Apr 1994 Principals Committee Meeting on Bosnia

1994-04-29 CIA Directorate of Intelligence Memorandum Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina

1994-11-15 BTF Assessment Bihac Implications for the worst case scenario

1994-11-23 BTF Assessment The Milosevic-Karadzic Break Stalemated for Now, November 23, 1994

1994-11-27 Memo, Anthony Lake to President Clinton, SUBJ Bosnia Policy after the fall of Bihac, November 27, 1994

1994-12-13 Memo, Anthony Lake to President Clinton, SUBJ Principals Review of Bosnia Policy, December 13, 1994

1995-07-25 NSC Discussion Paper, Schematic of Endgame Strategy

1995-10-06 BTF Assessment Mass Graves in the Former Yugoslavia

1995-11-02 Memo, Don Kerrick to Anthony Lake, SUBJ Dayton SITREP #1; November 2, 1995 9:00 pm

1995-11-17 Memo, Don Kerrick to Anthony Lake, SUBJ Dayton SITREP#12; November 17, 1995 11:10 am

1995-12-02 Letter, Karadzic to President Clinton Accepting the Dayton Agreement

State Department Official History of Dayton Peace Process

This collection also includes:

The Road to Dayton - U.S. Diplomacy and the Bosnia Peace Process, May -December 1995 U.S. Department of State, Dayton History Project, (May 1997)

In the spring of 1996, Secretary of State Warren Christopher directed the Department of State to undertake an internal study of America's successful effort to bring peace to Bosnia. The study would be limited to the period from May through early December 1995, from the end of the cease-fire in Bosnia to the signing of the Dayton Agreement in Paris. It would focus on three periods in particular: the formulation of a new U.S. diplomatic initiative between May and early August; the conduct of shuttle diplomacy and agreement on broad principles for a peace settlement between mid-August and October; and the actual proximity talks at Dayton in November.

The State Department's stated goal of what became the Dayton History Project were twofold: to write a classified history based both on classified documents and numerous interviews with key participants while their recollections remained detailed and fresh; and to create a comprehensive archive of these materials. The Project was sponsored by the Executive Secretary of the Department William Burns; the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Thomas Donilon; and the Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs, John Kornblum. It was directed by Bennett Freeman, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary-Public Affairs.

The 278 page report contains the chapters: Chapter 1 - The Summer Crisis: June-July 1995, Chapter 2 - Through the Window of Opportunity: The Endgame Strategy, Chapter 3 - Tragedy as Turning Point: The First Shuttle, Mt. Igman, and Operation Deliberate Force, Chapter 4 - The Road to Geneva: The Patriarch Letter and NATO Bombing, Chapter 5 - Force and Diplomacy: NATO Bombing Ends, The Western Offensive Heats Up, Chapter 6 - The New York Agreement, Negotiating a Cease-fire, and Approaching a Settlement, Chapter 7 - Preparing for Proximity Talks, Chapter 8 - Opening Talks and Clearing Away the Underbrush: Dayton, November 1-10, Chapter 9 - Endgame: Dayton, November 11-21.

Bosnian War (1992-1995): Bosnia, Intelligence and Clinton's Presidency: CIA, State Department, Department of Defense & White House Files



The Road to Dayton - U.S. Diplomacy and the Bosnia Peace Process, May -December 1995 U.S. Department of State, Dayton History Project, (May 1997)