|Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (1746–1817). Polish revolutionary who fought in the American Revolution. He led an uprising against Russia in 1794 that garnered sympathy, but no help, from the powerless and isolationist United States. He went into exile in France, refusing to help either the Russians or the French control Poland. See also partitions of Poland.|
|Kosovo. Violence erupted in this one-time Yugoslav province in 1968 and again on a larger scale in 1981, when its population demanded to be upgraded to the status of a republic within Yugoslavia. Instead, in 1989 its autonomy was stripped away and it became a mere province of Serbia. The population of Kosovo is 95 percent Albanian, but after the breakup of Yugoslavia this majority found itself a despised minority still tied to Serbia, which by then was ruled by a rabid nationalist and aggressive opportunist, Slobodan Miloševiċ. In 1992 U.S. president George H. Bush warned Serbia that any attempt at ethnic cleansing in Kosovo would lead to direct U.S. intervention. The reason for the United States’ concern with Kosovo while a larger war was allowed to rage in nearby Bosnia was that the Turkish government in Ankara had indicated that any attempt by Serbia to expel the Kosovo Albanians (who are mostly Muslim, with many desiring union with Albania) would bring Turkish intervention. If that happened Greece, too, would have been drawn in, and a general war might have engulfed the region. In mid-1993 Serbia ordered CSCE observers to leave Kosovo. A small-scale guerrilla campaign was begun by the ethnically Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). |
In 1998, after a failure of all multilateral diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute, the Serb military (Yugoslav Army) began ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. In the midst of his worst personal scandal, U.S. president Clinton prevaricated. Ultimately, however, he led a NATO coalition into war in Kosovo, although more to protect the cohesion of NATO than to protect the Kosovars. Em-
ploying a theory of coercive diplomacy, and in preference for political expedience over military effectiveness, Clinton made a huge initial mistake: he publicly renounced a ground war option in favor of exclusive reliance on air power. As calibrated NATO bombing failed to destroy Serb military power, depredations against Kosovar civilians actually accelerated (as many as 10,000 were killed) until most of the population was driven from the province, settling into rough refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia. The campaign resulted in Serb withdrawal only when NATO switched to attacks on civilian infrastructure in Serbia proper. The Kosovar population then mostly returned, and with it came fighters of the KLA, who resumed guerrilla attacks on Serb border and police posts and conducted a smaller-scale ethnic cleansing of Serb civilians. This effected a de facto partition of Kosovo that NATO proved helpless, or unwilling, to stop. By 2001 Kosovo was an undeclared NATO protectorate.