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bunker1

(Originally published in IHT/New York Times on 5 August 2011)

The Yugoslav Army would have been hard pressed to find a more scenic spot to build a nuclear bunker.

Originally begun in the 1950s and completed in the late 1970s, the bunker — which cost over $4.6 billion — was intended to be used as a shelter for the Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito and 350 elites of the Yugoslav Army in case of a nuclear attack. Located an hour from Sarajevo, near the central Herzegovinian town of Konjic, the bunker is built into the green and lush hillside overlooking the tumbling Nevetra River and is surrounded by conifer peaks and valleys. Read more

sarajevo

When Aida, my Bosnian translator, and I climb into the back of the patrol car, officers Emir Lakota and Radaslic Sabahudin say that because it’s Ramadan and also a Monday, things will hopefully be quiet. As we speed off in their Volkswagen, swinging passed parks, dimly lit alleys and through the hopping bar district, they tell disheartening tale after tale of how the security and judicial systems in Bosnia have broken down 14 years after the war ended here.Though crime statistics in the Bosnian capital appear down this year,  these two Sarajevan cops—who have both been on the force for over 15 years—say they are frustrated more than ever. Read more