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Outpost

Outpost

Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir

An “inside the room” memoir from one of our most distinguished ambassadors who—in a career of service to the country—was sent to some of the most dangerous outposts of American diplomacy. From the wars in the Balkans to the brutality of North Korea to the endless war in Iraq, this is the real life of an American diplomat.

Hill was on the front lines in the Balkans at the breakup of Yugoslavia. He takes us from one-on-one meetings with the dictator Milosevic, to Bosnia and Kosovo, to the Dayton conference, where a truce was brokered. Hill draws upon lessons learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon early on in his career and details his prodigious experience as a US ambassador. He was the first American Ambassador to Macedonia; Ambassador to Poland, where he also served in the depth of the cold war; Ambassador to South Korea and chief disarmament negotiator in North Korea; and Hillary Clinton’s hand-picked Ambassador to Iraq.

Hill’s account is an adventure story of danger, loss of comrades, high stakes negotiations, and imperfect options. There are fascinating portraits of war criminals (Mladic, Karadzic), of presidents and vice presidents (Clinton, Bush and Cheney, and Obama), of Secretaries of State (Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton), of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and of Ambassadors Richard Holbrooke and Lawrence Eagleburger. Hill writes bluntly about the bureaucratic warfare in DC and expresses strong criticism of America’s aggressive interventions and wars of choice.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451685916 | 
  • October 2014
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Read an Excerpt

Outpost PROLOGUE
It was July 2009 and I had never been to the capital of Dhi Qar Province before. Nasiriya lies in south-central Iraq about 185 dusty miles southeast of Baghdad. It looked like other impoverished southern Iraqi towns I had seen in my first few months in Iraq, neglected for decades by Saddam Hussein, left out in the desert sun and sandstorms to fend for themselves. The motorcade trip up from Tallil Air Base, where I had arrived in a small military prop aircraft earlier in the morning, took about an hour and a half but seemed much... see more

About the Author

Christopher R. Hill
Wayne Armstrong/University of Denver

Christopher R. Hill

Christopher R. Hill is currently the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a monthly columnist for the online journal Project Syndicate. He was a career diplomat, a four-time ambassador, nominated by three presidents, who served as Ambassador to Iraq, the Republic of Korea, Poland, and the Republic of Macedonia and as President Bush’s assistant secretary to East Asia. Hill has received many State Department awards including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award and the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations.

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