According to Samantha Power, journalist, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, Zimmermann’s career in Yugoslavia was marked by frustration with the resistance of the Bush’s administration to intervene. His last official act before he was recalled to the United States on May 16, 1992, was to write a confidential memo called Who Killed Yugoslavia? to the secretary of state. Each of the five sections of the memo was headed by a verse from the poem "Who Killed Cock Robin?". In Zimmermann’s analysis, the nationalism of the Balkan leaders had led to the demise of the country.
However, according to Robert W. Tucker, Professor Emeritus of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University and David C. Hendrickson, a Professor at Colorado College, Zimmerman may have scuttled the Lisbon Agreement. This was an agreement that would have made peace between Muslims, Serbs and Croats living within the bounds of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the creation of a cantons system, such as exist in Switzerland. On March 28 1992, after the agreement had been signed he met with Alija Ali Izetbegovic, leader of the Bosnian Muslims and all indications point toward that fact he made that assurances of U.S. support for a full independent nation. "Izetbegovic’s repudiation of the […] agreement […] was the immediate trigger for the war. Whether the Muslim leader repudiated this agreement because of pressure from militants at home […] or because he understood America's advice to reject it as an implicit pledge of military support remains unclear. Given the distribution of military power in Bosnia at the time, the only way to make sense of Izetbegovic's decision is to assume that he did believe that the United States would make good on his military inferiority; the support Izetbegovic received from the United States to oppose cantonization may well have given him the confidence to take this fateful step." The later signed Dayton Accord proposed a very similar canton system, which ended a bloody two year civil war.
Following his ambassadorship in Yugoslavia, Zimmermann authored two books: Origins of a Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers — America's Last Ambassador Tells What Happened and Why, published in 1996, and First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power, a work about Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, Elihu Root, and Admiral Alfred T. Mahan, published in 2002.
Teddy Roosevelt's hidden legacy: how an "imperialist" president's record makes the case for military restraint. (Culture & Reviews).(First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power)(Book Review)
Jun 01, 2003; First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power, by Warren Zimmermann, New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux,...