01 March 2011

Kosovo: A Template for Bungling and Blowback in the Wars of Empire

Advocates of humanitarian intervention like to remember Kosovo as an example of a "good" war to distinguish it from Bush's bad war in Iraq and the Bush/Obama bungles in Afghanistan.  But Kosovo was really a template for bungling and blowback in the wars of empire that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The attached article summarizes some of the reasons why this is so.*
* For a summary of the military's lessons in Kosovo, see the discussion beginning on page 61 at this link.

Wrong choice in Kosovo
By GREGORY CLARK,  Japan Times, 1 March 2011
A recent Council of Europe report says that during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, militia leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) tortured and killed hundreds of Serbs and political rivals in secret Albanian hideouts, removed their organs for sale and dumped their bodies in local rivers.
The report added that these people were also heavily involved in drug, sex and illegal immigrant trafficking across Europe. Yet while all this was going on, the NATO powers had decreed that Serbia should be bombed into accepting the KLA as Kosovo's legitimate rulers — rather than the more popular Democratic League of Kosovo headed by the nationalist intellectual Ibrahim Rugova advocating nonviolent independence. 
Recent years have not been kind to Western policymakers. They have shown an almost unerring ability to choose the wrong people for the wrong policies. Think back to the procession of incompetents chosen to rescue Indochina from the communist enemy. Does anyone even remember their names today? Yet at the time they were supposed to be nation-savers. ... continued.