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August 11, 2007

Globe & Mail

One way or another, Kosovo will become an independent state. The real question is how to get from here to there without blowing up the Balkans. The solution may lie in coaxing Kosovo's leaders into issuing the most limited and self-constraining declaration of independence in world history.

Nominally part of Serbia, the territory has been administered by the United Nations since 1999, when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombed Serb positions and deployed peacekeepers to protect the province's majority Albanian population. In practice, Kosovo has been a separate state for eight years, under international authority.

There is no realistic prospect of reintegrating Kosovo into Serbia. The local population is overwhelmingly opposed and will almost certainly fight to prevent it. The last thing the region needs is a return to ethnic bloodletting, which would be difficult to contain within Kosovo's boundaries.

Last March, UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari proposed that the w...

October 1, 2002

Political Science Quarterly 117:3 (Fall 2002), pp. 423-50
 

AbstractIn the spring of 1999, American political leaders debated how to respond to the ongoing military and humanitarian crisis in the Kosovo region of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, where armed Serbs under the control of then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic appeared to be conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign against the province’s predominantly Albanian population. Six months earlier in the fall of 1998, the Yugoslav army had forced members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an armed separatist group comprised of ethnic Albanians, into the remote mountains of Kosovo, along with thousands of civilians. With winter approaching and the civilians in danger of freezing, the United States and other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) threatened attacks against Serb forces unless civilians were allowed to return to their homes unmolested. Serbian leaders relented and drew back their forces, but...

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Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

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