This week U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried said that the U.S. is satisfied with the progress Kosovo. He also add that:
“It is a place completely independent, regardless of whether a UN resolution says that exists or not. It is independent. Kosovo has been recognized by two-thirds of the EU sates, Europe, Japan and Australia. It is as an independent country. I feel sorry that Russia has chosen to make this thing more difficult rather than to ease it, risking the stability but also the European future of Serbia”.
- Completely independent must be a joke. Kosovo is UN protectorate where UN and EU are arguing who has authority to supervise it, Kosovo is occupied by KFOR troops owns one of the biggest Nato bases in its territory and has all symptoms to come next “failed state” in World.
- Recognizing as argument fails also: 40 countries is not the world, some World´s biggest countries – Brazil, China, India, Russia have not recognized it are not planning to do it before new negotiations about status.
- Russia has indeed made thing more difficult because it has defended UN Charter and international law which US&allies have been breaking last decades.
- Strong arguments could be made that US Balkan policy has been risking the Balkan stability by creating a precedent to some 5000 ethnic groups scattered across the globe.
James Bisset was Canada’s ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost authorities on Balkan politics. I agree with most of his analysis and quote one of them here:
“United States policy in the Balkans has been dysfunctional since March 1992 when their Ambassador, Warren Zimmerman, persuaded Izetbegovic the Islamist leader of the Bosnian Muslims to withdraw his signature to the Lisbon Agreement. This decision which led to US acceptance of the results of an illegal referendum and recognition of the first Muslim state in Europe triggered civil war in Bosnia and led directly to the death and destruction that followed. In the following years US decisions have proven to be equally disastrous for the region.
The decision of the United States government to support the cause of the terrorist KLA in its armed rebellion to secede from Yugoslavia is another example of US policy making gone wrong.Their current policy supporting independence for Kosovo is but another chapter in an unfolding series of strategic errors.
United States policy in the Balkans has been characterized by cynicism, duplicity and short term tactical gain. By backing Islamist aims in the region and supporting terrorist groups in Kosovo there might be the immediate advantage of establishing a large military base in Kosovo or appeasing further Albanian demands by advocating independence for Kosovo but in the long term it will backfire.”
To me it is alarming, that this US policy has made both during democratic and republican US presidents and not only in Balkans but e.g. in Iraq also. Future shows if the change will come with new president, will he change old advisers also. And will US succeed to gain support for these actions either through the use of NATO or by persuading the European Community or the newly emerging states of Central and Eastern Europe to get on side.