Peace at Any Price

How the World Failed Kosovo

Part of the Crises in World Politics series
August 2006 9781850658429 303pp
Temporarily out of stock


In Peace at any Price, Iain King and Whit Mason describe why, despite an unprecedented commitment of resources, the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), supported militarily by NATO, failed to achieve its goals. Their in-depth account is personal and passionate yet analytical and tightly argued. Both authors served with UNMIK and believe that the international community has a duty to intervene in regional conflicts, but they suggest that Kosovo reveals the difficult challenges inherent in such interventions. They also identify avoidable mistakes made at nearly every juncture by the UN and NATO. We can be sure that the international community will be called on to intervene again to restore the peace of shattered countries. The lessons of Kosovo, cogently presented in Peace at any Price, will be critically important to those charged with future missions.


‘Cogent, timely and comprehensive, this well written and often compelling book should be read by all who want to make a success of what the international community has so far mostly failed at—rebuilding states after conflict. Kosovo is, on a per capita basis, the world’s most heavyweight modern attempt at reconstructing a state after war. It has so far failed and we need to know why, what went wrong and what we need to do better. This book, written by two people who took part, is the first comprehensive study of the Kosovo operation and provides a much needed, balanced and convincing review of what has happened and what we must not allow to happen again.’ — Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, former High Representative for Bosnia and Hercegovina

‘The authors have lived and worked the issues they write about for years. The benefits are evident: a book that is profoundly researched, sensible, intelligent and important.’ — Jason Burke, The Observer


Iain King is director of programmes at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Whit Mason has worked in Pristina for the International Crisis Group before joining UNMIK as a speechwriter and public affairs strategist.

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