War Over Kosovo


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After 8 Years in Limbo, Frustrated Kosovo Awaits Its Future

However, the reactions of those two powers were largely irrelevant to U.

Operation Allied Force

Two decades later, it is hard to imagine a U. Nor would there be cries from Europeans to act, as there were in when the British and French pushed for the intervention in Libya.


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Would they simply stand by today under similar circumstances given current attitudes toward military intervention? The U. Just four years before the Kosovo intervention, the Clinton administration was jubilant after brokering a peace agreement in Dayton , Ohio, ending the nearly four-year war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was by no means an easy feat, and it came only after the largest act of mass killing in Europe since World War II.

In recognizing the ethnically cleansed Republika Srpska i. Following Dayton, it seemed that an armed conflict would encourage the international community to intervene and resolve the situation sooner — creating what some have termed the moral hazard of humanitarian intervention. In short, the stage was set for the intensification of the Serb-Albanian conflict. By February , Kosovo was embroiled in a full-scale civil war. All of these were in vain and some even outright counterproductive, as in the case of an arms embargo on the significantly weaker Kosovar Albanian forces.

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As the human rights violations, large-scale displacement and death counts began to soar, and the international attempts at mediation failed, it became clear direct military intervention remained as the last resort. Yet, it was only after the first mass graves of Albanian civilians were uncovered and massacres continued in January that U. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced that diplomacy combined with a credible threat of force would be the American strategy moving forward. As the Yugoslav military campaign appeared to target the civilian population in a manner reminiscent of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO acted based on the doctrine of humanitarian intervention and launched its Operation Allied Force on March 24, That same day, U.

The debate over whether NATO was right to resort to the use of force after having failed to obtain a U. Security Council resolution which would authorize such action continues to provide plenty of fodder for international law scholars and students. Kosovo was, in a way, the opportunity for the West to atone for its failure to prevent the genocides of the mids. It set a precedent, however, for U. Ivanovic, 64, who was shot five times in the chest on a street, his body splayed out on the sidewalk just steps from the office of the political party he led.

As Mr. The Serb leader tried to walk a fine line on his visit, working to satisfy different audiences — the Serbian people, and the Western leaders he is courting as he seeks to join the European Union. Vucic is a political descendant of the former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic , who rose to power on the backs of Kosovo Serbs in the late s.

As the leader of Serbia, both as prime minister and now as president, Mr. Vucic is taking a page from the Milosevic playbook, casting himself as the central figure in the lives of Serbs living in Kosovo. Vucic, who was greeted by high church officials with a loaf of bread and a thimble of salt on his arrival at the Banjska monastery, has also sought to keep close ties with the Serbian Orthodox Church and is thought to be the main patron of Serb politicians serving in the Kosovo Parliament.

Kosovo War - Wikipedia

But unlike Mr. Milosevic, who defied and fought the West during his rule, Mr. Vucic has cast himself as pro-Western, declaring a break with his radical past as Serbia tries to join the European Union. And while it must show a track record of improved relations with its neighbor in order to join the bloc, the ties have soured in recent years.

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In Serbia, the news media routinely lashes out against Albanians and Serbs who back any sort of compromise on Kosovo, using derogatory language to disseminate Mr. Vucic is no exception. If he wants to remain in power, Mr. Popovic said, he must keep Serbs in a constant state of fear, particularly in Kosovo, where he has tried to cast himself their protector and savior.

Popovic said.

After laying a wreath on the sidewalk where Mr. Ivanovic was killed, Mr. He knew his message was not one that many in the crowd wanted to hear.

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