Реферат: Kosovo Crisis Essay Research Paper The tension

Kosovo Crisis Essay, Research Paper

The tension in Kosovo has existed for centuries, dating back as far as 1389 when

Serbs lost an epic battle to the Ottoman Turks in Kosovo. Not until 1912, more

than 500 years later did the Serbs regain control when Kosovo became part of the

Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes following the collapse of the

Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the conclusion of World War II, as an absolute

monarchy under the name Yugoslavia, the country became a communist republic.

Autonomy was granted to Kosovo in 1974 in a revised constitution. Kosovo,

although a Serbian province, was largely occupied by ethnic Albanians who

established Albanian-language schools and institutions. In 1987, Slobodan

Milosevic rose to power in Yugoslavia, riding the wave of Serbian nationalism

with his promises of a ?Greater Serbia.? Escalating tensions between the

Serbs and the ethnic Albanians and the fear of secession prompted Milosevic to

strip Kosovo, though 90 percent Albanian, of it?s autonomy and army troops and

police were deployed in battle strength to maintain order. Kosovo?s Albanian

majority voted in 1992 to secede from Yugoslavia, voicing a desire to merge with

Albania. President Bush warned Serbs that the United States would use force if

the Serbs attacked Kosovo. In 1997, The Kosovo Liberation Army began killing

Serb policemen and others supporters of the Serbs. The conflict turned into a

guerilla war after Milosevic sent troops into the areas controlled by the Kosovo

Liberation Army and killed 80 Kosovars. Shortly after, talks were held for the

first time advocating a peaceful path to independence for Kosovo, but the

Albanian side boycotted further meetings. Later, the United Nations Security

Council called for an immediate cease-fire and political negotiations, but with

little support from either side. NATO allies then authorized airstrikes against

Serb military targets, but were not prompted to take action because Milosevic

agreed to withdraw troops and accept unarmed international monitors. Following a

number of failed peace talks NATO launched airstrikes on March 24th of this

year. The involvement of NATO in this conflict is unprecedented and raises

questions about why action was not taken under the auspices of the United

Nations rather than NATO. The United Nations has not voted on the use of force

against Yugoslavia because both Russia and China would almost certainly veto

military action. Russia has a traditional alliance with the Serbs, while China

(particularly because of their own political situation and human rights

violations) opposes any international intervention in the domestic affairs of

sovereign nations like Yugoslavia. The crisis in Kosovo is of particular

interest to Russia because it is ultimately a test of the relative weights of

sovereignty and the right to self-determination. As the outlying areas of Russia

are home to a myriad of ethnic groups, the settlement of the situation in Kosovo

will provide a precedent (albeit perhaps a reluctant one) to which future

conflicts might be resolved. Once the governments of the NATO countries decided

it was necessary to intervene in Kosovo, they acted without taking the issue to

the United Nations Security Council because of the certain resistance of China

and Russia. The United States and NATO objectives are to stop the killing and

achieve a durable peace that prevents further repression and provides for

democratic self-government for the Kosovar people. The United States and NATO

have three strong interests at stake in the Kosovo conflict: averting a

humanitarian catastrophe; preserving stability in a key part of Europe; and

maintaining the credibility of NATO. The Serbian?s sustained and accelerating

repression in Kosovo is creating a humanitarian crisis of a staggering

dimension. Serb forces have killed hundreds of ethnic Albanians in an effort

Serbs call ?ethnic cleansing?, and displaced an estimated 250,000 by burning

and looting their homes. Currently 40,000 Serbian police and military troops are

positioned in and around Kosovo poised for a military offensive. The instability

in Kosovo directly threatens peace in the Balkans and the stability of Europe,

which could have viable consequences to the United States as well as the rest of

the world. There is no natural boundary to this violence; World War I began in

this same tinderbox. If actions are not taken now to stop the conflict, it will

spread and both the cost and the risk will increase substantially. Continued

fighting in Kosovo has the potential to re-ignite chaos in Albania and

destabilize Macedonia. In addition the conflict could exacerbate rivalries

between Greece and Turkey, two NATO allies. Greece and Turkey have different

ethnic, religious, and political allegiances to the peoples living in Kosovo and

the nations surrounding Yugoslavia. The conflict could draw those countries in

to protect their own national interests. Lastly, so many displaced people

creates a breeding ground for international criminals, drug traffickers and

terrorists. Perhaps the most decisive motive behind NATO?s involvement in

Kosovo is the certain risk of losing credibility through inaction. NATO?s

credible threat of force was solely responsible in originally obtaining

Milosevic?s agreement to a cease-fire and the establishment of OSCE and NATO

verification regimes. This agreement enabled hundreds of thousands of Kosovars

to come down from the hills and temporarily return to their homes. As of today,

Milosevic has not come into compliance with the October agreements and his

repression continues. NATO warned Milosevic that it would respond under such

circumstances. Given the situation, action is required on the part of NATO to

ensure it?s continued credibility. The preference of NATO has been to achieve

these objectives through peaceful means. The international community has been

actively seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict through diplomacy. The

agreement produced at the Rambouillet and Paris talks keeps Kosovo in Serbia,

but gives Kosovars the self-government they deserve, however Milosevic has

refused to sign the agreement. Milosevic has rejected all efforts to achieve a

peaceful solution. Milosevic has been out of compliance with the solemn

commitments to NATO and OSCE since October. Serb forces have consistently and

blatantly violated the cease-fire, moved troops and police out of garrison in

violation of his commitments, refused to cooperate with and continued to impede

the work of the Kosovo Verification Mission and international relief agencies,

and committed atrocities such as the Racak massacre in mid-January. NATO has

outlined three clear objectives in the Kosovo conflict. NATO intends to

demonstrate its seriousness of purpose in order to make clear to Milosevic the

imperative of reversing course. It also must deter Milosevic from launching an

all-out offensive against helpless civilians. Finally, to seriously damage

Milosevic?s military capability to take repressive action against Kosovars.

What is to be done to reconcile both the right to Yugoslav territorial integrity

and the right to self-determination on the part of the Kosovars? There will need

to be two policy prescriptions. Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic has warned

the United States and its allies that any initiation of a ground war would

result in a conflict that would make Vietnam look like nothing. But the

situation would become very different to the one in Southeast Asia. After an

extensive air campaign, new conditions provide an end to NATO air strikes from

the outset, not completion of Serbian withdrawal from Kosovo. From there on in,

armed NATO peacekeepers will administer the safe return of Kosovar refugees. In

this sense, and with the knowledge of human rights violations, the international

community will justly revoke Yugoslavia?s sovereignty. The second policy

prescription is the most difficult. Slobodan Milosevic and his supporters must

be removed from office and new, democratic institutions put in place to ensure

both the maintenance of the Yugoslav state and the wider participation and

self-determination of Kosovars. The second policy prescription?s success

relies upon the Serbian people. A vocal minority will be hateful of the measure.

It will be a matter of harnessing the anti-Milosevic sentiments present during

the protests of 1991 and 1997 to remove him from office. He will not retire

without a struggle. His removal by his own constituents proves the key component

to the success of new democratic institutions. Democratic institutions, in which

the Kosovars, Montenegrins, and Serbians alike may be represented, seem the best

(though not the perfect) solution to opposing sovereignty and self-determination

rights. Much as in Bosnia, a peacekeeping force will be required for years to

attempt to fortify the new constitutional government against what amounts to

over 600 years of distrust between the Serbian and Kosovar parties. This

solution is ideal in the respect that it is a compromise attractive to the

international community. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia

will be maintained. A medium for some safe exercise of self-determination rights

will be provided. No clear preference will be shown between the two, and

international law can continue to operate case-by-case.

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