Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo

Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo

Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo

Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo

Synopsis

"As a confrontation over Kosovo's final push for independence looms, this book offers seminal insight into the negotiations that took place between the United States and Russia in an effort to set the terms for ending the conflict. This study in brinkmanship and deception is an essential background for anyone trying to understand Russia's uneasy relations with the West." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

by Strobe Talbott

The seventy-eight-day bombing campaign against Serbia in the spring and early summer of 1999 was the last major international conflict in the bloodiest of all centuries. It was also a first in several respects—the first time in fifty years of existence that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization went to war, the first time that a coalition of countries attacked a regime to end its brutalization of a national minority, the first time airpower alone was enough to ensure victory, and the first time that U.S. armed forces conducted a sustained military operation without suffering a single combat fatality.

These distinctions of Operation Allied Force gave us a glimpse of a new feature of world politics and a new form of warfare. Slobodan Milosevic may be in the dock at the UN International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, but his species of predatory tyrant is not extinct. War will continue to be necessary from time to time as part of the larger effort to reverse aggression, stop the depredations of dictators, re-impose order on chaos, and more generally, defend the interests and enforce the norms of an abstraction that is trying to become a reality—the international community.

To the extent that there is such a thing as an international community, it owes much to NATO. The alliance was founded for the sole purpose of deterring—and if necessary, defeating—the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact if they ever attacked the West. Yet by 1999, that country and that alliance no longer existed. Many commentators and some political leaders were asking whether NATO, having served its original purpose, should go into honorable retirement.

The conflict in the Balkans was a reminder that the end of the cold war . . .

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