The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned

The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned

The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned

The Kosovo Report: Conflict, International Response, Lessons Learned

Synopsis

The war in Kosovo was a turning point: NATO deployed its armed forces in war for the first time, and placed the controversial doctrine of 'humanitarian intervention' squarely in the world's eye. It was an armed intervention for the purpose of implementing Security Council resolutions-butwithout Security Council authorization. This report tries to answer a number of burning questions, such as why the international community was unable to act earlier and prevent the escalation of the conflict, as well as focusing on the capacity of the United Nations to act as global peacekeeper. The Commission recommends a new status for Kosovo, 'conditional independence', with the goal of lasting peace and security for Kosovo-and for the Balkan region in general. But many of the conslusions may be beneficially applied to conflicts the world-over.

Excerpt

The origins of the crisis have to be understood in terms of a new wave of nationalism that led to the rise of Milosevic and the official adoption of an extreme Serbian nationalist agenda. The revocation of Kosovo's autonomy in 1989 was followed by a Belgrade policy aimed at changing the ethnic composition of Kosovo and creating an apartheid-like society.

From the early 1990s onwards, governments and international institutions were aware of the impending conflict in Kosovo. There were plenty of warnings, and moreover, the Kosovo conflict was part of the unfolding tragedy of the break-up of Yugoslavia. Yet prior to 1998, the international community failed to take sufficient preventative action. There were some diplomatic initiatives especially in 1992-3, but they were confused and not backed by sufficient high-level pressure. More importantly, insufficient support was provided to the non-violent resistance movement, which created its own parallel institutions and which managed to prevent large-scale violence in Kosovo up to 1997. The decision to exclude the Kosovo question from the Dayton negotiations, and the lack of results achieved by the strategy of non-violence, led many Kosovar Albanians to conclude that violence was the only way to attract international attention. It was during this period that the kla groups first made their appearance. Until late

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