Global Politics

Examining the violence in Kosovo

(Condy Rice has called for calm. I wonder if you feel this area could be headed towards another war?) I don't think so. The Balkans have Balkanized as much as they can, and all possible areas have already broken up. (Could there not be provocations within the Balkanization result in more bloodshed?) What's happened is unfortunate but is nothing like the period of '91-'95. We had a Ukrainian peacekeeper killed yesterday, the first to die in the entire situation. (What's NATO's stance right now?) NATO is the peacekeeping force in Kosovo and on the whole it's done a good job. The Balkans are a success story for much of the international community. The violent reaction is not surprising but it doesn't mean the whole Balkans are coming apart. (Are the parallels to be drawn between the successes of Kosovo and what's happening in Iraq?) There are many parallels and important differences. With the Balkans, the US led an intervention that was supported by Europe. We had extended diplomacy throughout the operation and did close military and political planning. In the case of Iraq, the US went at it alone with only Britain to help. This was opposed by the rest of the world and the Bush administration did not do any serious planning. What they've done though is set in motion events in Iraq which will lead to the Balkanization of the country: the Kurds, who perhaps do parallel the Kosovar people, have never been reconciled in Iraq and now see themselves as a de facto independent state. They often talk about Kosovo in fact.