Intervention in Kosovo: U.S. and NATO Involvement Term Paper

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INTERVENTION in KOSOVO: U.S. & NATO INVOLVEMENT

The objective of this work is to discuss the sources of the conflict in Kosovo and the efforts taken by the international community, specifically the United States and NATO in efforts to stem the violence. Finally, this work will address changes that could have been undertaken or what might have been done differently and what steps could be taken in the present or in the future to improve the country and its stability.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Intervention in Kosovo: U.S. & NATO Involvement Assignment

Kosovo is a province of Serbia and is the central area of the old Yugoslavia in which 90% of those in the region are Albanian in their origin with the remainder being Serbs. Under the former government, that of the old Yugoslavia this region was characterized by a great deal of autonomy. However, this autonomy was taken away by President Slobodan Milosevic in 1989 who was seeking what he called a 'Greater Serbia' seeking to secure it through a nationalist campaign. The Kosovo region was the site of a historic and emotionally charged defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1389 and therefore has great significance to Serbian nationalists residing in the Kosovo region. Upon this region, losing its autonomy at the hands of Milosevic a conflict ensued due to the ethnic-Albanian people striving to have their cultural rights restored. The Kosovo Liberation Army, also known as the KLA drove the conflict toward the radical edge through entering violent conflicts with arms and their demand of full independence while simultaneously the Serbs were fiercely determined to keep the province. The United States and NATO entered the situation when hundreds of thousands of ethnic-Albanians were forced from their homes in what was destined to be a humanitarian disaster resulting in refugees strewn across an entire continent. Furthermore, this conflict was believed to likely have involved neighboring countries of Albania and Macedonia as well as Russia, all of whom have ties of ethnicity and religion to the Serbs and inclusive was the possible involvement of Iran due to the Muslim Albanians in Kosovo. NATO has been opposed to independence for Kosovo based on the possibility of this setting a precedent for succession of regions elsewhere in the world but has acknowledged that a resolution for this situation in Kosovo is unlikely. The United States and NATO have both intervened and attempted to bring the two sides of this conflict to some type of agreement that would result in peace. From the onset, it was acknowledged that Milosevic was unlikely to be moved unless military forces of NATO were involved, at least this was the track-record of Milosevic and added to this was Milosevic's determination to form a 'Greater Serbia'. Furthermore, the KLA became a dominant force in Kosovo although at the onset the KLA was not highly organized or unified but the KLA was highly determined and had gained some ground by the time the U.S. And NATO entered into the conflict. U.S. European allies desired the United States to take the stance of a peacekeeping force in the Kosovo region however, the Clinton administration struggled and won congressional approval for military intervention even though the military commanders were unsettled about risking soldier's lives in this situation where neither side desired the presence of the United States and NATO in the region.

I. REPORT of SECRETARY of STATE ALBRIGHT (1999)

Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright in a Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee- U.S. Department of State on April 20, 1999, and documented in the work entitled: "U.S. And NATO Policy Toward the Crisis in Kosovo" states that the "potential dangers of the situation in Kosovo" have been acknowledged throughout the decade of the 1990s and states that Slobodan Milosevic: "...first vaulted to prominence by exploiting the fears of ethnic Serbs in this province" and that in the latter part of the 1980's that Milosevic "...catered to those fears by robbing Kosovo Albanians of their cherished autonomy." The Kosovo Albanians are stated to have sought a peaceable means to recover their rights however, by 1992, fighting had broken out "elsewhere in the Balkans" with the former President Bush, Sr. having "issued a warning against Serb military repression in Kosovo." (Albright, 1999) at this time, a warning was issued against military repression by the Serbs in Kosovo by former President Bush, Sr. Simultaneously, President Milosevic had instigated three wars by attacking Slovenia, Croatia and managed to trigger an ongoing and devastating conflict in Bosnia. Early in 1998, Milosevic is stated to have "initiated a more extensive and violent campaign of repression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo: resulting in a humanitarian crisis in which "tens of thousands of people fled their homes." (Albright, 1999) Secondly, the Kosovar Liberation Army (KLA) had strengthened and had provoked further unrest. The United States along with its allies, partners and Russia "sought to end this cycle of violence by diplomatic means." (Albright, 1999) While Milosevic agreed to a ceasefire as well as withdrawal of his security forces in 1989 as well as agreeing to "the entry of a verification mission from the OSCE...It soon became clear that Milosevic never had any intention of living up to this agreement. Instead of withdrawing, his security forces positioned themselves for a new offensive..." (Albright, 1999) Early in 1990, Milosevic's security forces massacred the village of Racak. Secretary of State, Madeline Albright states that at the same time that Milosevic was blocking diplomatic efforts he was also in the midst of making preparations of a "barbaric plan for expelling or forcing the total submission of the Kosovo Albanian community." (Albright, 1999) Milosevic's security forces not only threatened but then "forced the withdrawal of the OSCE mission. Then a new rampage of terror began." (Albright, 1999) Albright states that all have "seen the resulting images of families uprooted and put on trains, children crying for parents they cannot find, refugees recounting how loved ones were separated and led away, and ominous aerial photos of freshly-upturned earth. Behind these images is a reality of people no different in their fundamental rights or humanity" than any other individual and these children are the same as those in the United States except these children were "cut off from their homes, deprived of their families, robbed of their dreams." (Albright, 1999) President Clinton "repeatedly urged" consultation of the location of Kosovo in that it is a region "with a large historical importance and a vital role to play in Europe's future." (Albright, 1999) the reason for this is that the Kosovo region "is a crossroads where the Western and Orthodox branches of Christianity and the Islamic world meet. It is where World War I began, major battles of World War II were fought, and the worst fighting in Europe since Hitler's surrender occurred..." (Albright, 1999) the stability of Kosovo has a direct affect on the security of U.S. allies, specifically Greek and Turkey to the south and the U.S. allies, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to the north. Albright states that Kosovo is "surrounded by small and struggling democracies that are being overwhelmed by the flood of refuges Milosevic's ruthless policies are creating." (Albright, 1999)

The action of Belgrade which rejected a peace plan that the Kosovo Albanians had accepted which included disarmament provisions for the KLA and which would safeguard the rights of all of Kosovars which included the ethnic Serbs, has "created a critical test of NATO, whose strength and credibility have defended freedom and ensured our security for five decades." (Albright, 1999) Because of this reason, Albright states that the decision to use force against Milosevic and his regime was "necessary and right and the conditions the Alliance has set for ending its campaign are clear, just and firm." (Albright, 1999) in 1999, Albright states that the policy for diplomacy has several objectives:

1) to ensure that NATO remains united and firm;

2) to help leaders in the countries directly affected to cope with the humanitarian crisis;

3) to prevent a wider conflict;

4) to ensure that NATO's message is understood around the world; " (1999) Stated as the specific goal is the transformation of the Balkans from the "continent's primary source of instability into an integral part of the European mainstream...[and];

5) "...to build a solid foundation for a new generation of peace - so that future wars are prevented, economies grow, democratic institutions are strengthened and the rights of all are preserved." (Albright, 1999)

II. SEVEN WEEKS INTO U.S./NATO INTERVENTION (1999)

The work of Starr (1999) entitled: "The Choice in Kosovo" states that since the Soviet Union collapsed Americans have held a sense of uncertainty regarding precisely what the bases of U.S. foreign policy should be and specifically as related to military power usage. Since fighting communism is no longer the primary cause the question posed was stated by Starr in 1999 to be whether the U.S. should "follow the dictates of national interest narrowly understood, or do democratic values and commitments to human rights oblige us to conceive of our… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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