res05e Thumbnail
User-Created Content
By res05e
On July 27, 2021

Lesson Plan: U.S. Intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo

Conflict in Bosnia

President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, described the civil war in Bosnia.


Students will learn about foreign policy strategies, a brief background on the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and joint NATO and United States military operations in the Balkans during President William Clinton's administration in the 1990's.


  • Set-Up

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model, or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or students can move at their own pace and complete the activities independently.

    You can post links to the videos in the lesson, save and share the following Google resources and engage in discussion to share responses on a discussion board or learning management system.

    Handout: NATO & U.S. Intervention in Bosnia & Kosovo (Google Doc)

    Interactive Slides: U.S. Foreign Policy and Intervention in the Balkans (Google Slides)

    In Google, choose "File" then "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. You can make any needed adjustments in the instructions such as which activities students need to complete, when it is due, etc. and then make it available to them via Google.

  • Step 1: Warm-Up

    Students will discuss the following question which can be found on slide 4:

    If you were the president, how would you convince other countries to change their laws and policies? Be specific.

  • Step 2: Examine Foreign Policy Strategies

    Using slides 5-7, students will explore examples of three specific foreign policy strategies: foreign aid, diplomacy, and military force. They can read the linked texts and take notes on the handout.

  • Step 3: Read about the background of human rights abuses in Bosnia and Kosovo

    Using slides 10-15, students will examine the geography of the Balkans, and read summaries of the ethnic conflicts and genocides in Bosnia and Kosovo and answer guiding questions.

  • Step 4: Students will watch the following video clips and complete guiding questions on the related handout. (Warning: Graphic descriptions of violence.)

    Video Clip 1: Former Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic (5:50)

    Former Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic described the atrocities committed during the civil war in Bosnia.

    • When did Bosnian President Izetbegovic deliver these comments? Who is his audience?

    • Approximately how many casualties were reported per day? How many refugees fled Bosnia?

    • Explain why international organizations were not delivering aid to Bosnia.

    • How could the United States help prevent further violence in Bosnia?
  • Video Clip 2: President Clinton Announces Troop Deployment to Bosnia (4:02)

    President William J. Clinton holds a press conference announcing the deployment of U.S. troops to Bosnia.

    • When did President Clinton deliver this speech? Who is his audience?

    • Describe the U.S. mission in Bosnia.

    • Why does President Clinton claim that military invention is “the right thing to do”?

    • Why do you think that President Clinton compares U.S. involvement in World War II with the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia?
  • Video Clip 3: Bosnian Peace Agreement (3:10)

    President Clinton addresses foreign leaders during the signing of Bosnian peace accords.

    • When did President Clinton deliver this speech? Who is his audience?

    • Which nations were involved in the peace negotiations? Which nation does President Milosevic represent?

    • What does President Clinton ask the Balkan leaders to do?

    • If the war in Bosnia has ended, why is President Clinton deploying more U.S. troops to the region?
  • Video Clip 4: Military Strikes in Kosovo (4:48)

    President Clinton announces that the United States will be joining NATO air strikes in Kosovo.

    • When did President Clinton deliver this address? Who is his audience?

    • Who was Slobadan Milosevic? How had he governed the people of Kosovo?

    • Why is the United States joining NATO airstrikes in Kosovo? Describe two reasons that President Clinton mentioned in his speech.

    • Why does President Clinton discuss World War I and World War II? Is this comparison to Kosovo persuasive? Why or why not?
  • Video Clip 5: Serbian News Report (2:30)

    A Serbian television newscast covers the NATO airstrikes.

    • When did this program air? Who is the audience for this newscast?

    • What are some examples of bias in the newscast?

    • Is this a reliable source? Support your response with evidence from the video.

    • What are some of the consequences of military airstrikes in Kosovo according to this newsreel?
  • Video Clip 6: 15 Years After the Bosnian War (2:11)

    Former Bosnian President Bakir Izetbegović discusses the aftermath of the war in Bosnia.

    • When was this video created? Is this a reliable source?

    • How has life in Bosnia changed since the end of the civil war?

    • Based on Izetbegović’s comments, was U.S. military intervention justified? Why or why not?
  • Conclusion:

    Students will complete a brief essay response to the following prompt which can be found on page 2 of the handout:

    Can the United States promote global peace through military intervention? Support your response with evidence from the videos.

    Handout: NATO & U.S. Intervention in Bosnia & Kosovo

Additional Resources


  • Ally
  • Autonomy
  • Bosnia
  • Diplomacy
  • Ethnic
  • Faction
  • Genocide
  • Holocaust
  • President
  • Province
  • Reconciliation
  • Refugee
  • Serbs
  • Stability
  • Tyranny
  • United Nations


Executive BranchForeign PolicyU.S. HistoryWorld History


High SchoolUniversity