Kosovo’s End Game – meer NAVO-troepen nodig? (Lee Hudson Teslik /CFR)

After more than eight years under a UN protectorate, and centuries of ethnic wrangling, Kosovo seems on the verge of settling its political status—sort of. On December 10, a UN deadline for settling the Serbian province’s “final status” expired without resolution (BBC). The United States and many EU supporters of a supervised Kosovo independence plan remain deadlocked with veto-wielding UN Security Council member Russia, which wants Kosovo to remain part of Serbia. At some point soon, Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians, the overwhelming majority of the province’s population, say they will unilaterally declare independence (AP). What might happen after that remains anyone’s guess, but international troops are bracing for possible violence (VOA). A unilateral declaration raises several potential problems…

Moscow might benefit if the upshot of negotiations in Kosovo is a “frozen conflict” that would halt the expansion of NATO forces, says a top RFE/RL analyst on Kosovo. In either case, Holbrooke says that the most pressing matter now is for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to dispatch additional troops into Kosovo to stave off the immediate possibility of violence. “We always talk about ‘preventative diplomacy,’” Holbrooke says. “Here is a classic case where a few troops now might prevent the need for more troops later.”

Kosovo’s End Game – meer NAVO-troepen nodig? (Lee Hudson Teslik /CFR)


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