In Bosnia and Kosovo, US-NATO can improve its global image

In October 1990, the CIA produced a national intelligence estimate titled Transformed Yugoslavia. He prophesied that the country would cease to function as a federal state within a year and dissolve into two. The assessment expected a protracted armed uprising by the Albanians in Kosovo and ruled out full-scale inter-republic war, but warned that a serious inter-conflict conflict will accompany the breakdown. “The violence will be intractable and bitter. “

Over the next four years, the United States gave a cold response to the Bosnian war, believing that it was Europe’s ball game and that the Europeans should deal with the problem on their own. US President Bill Clinton in 1995 suddenly shifted gears and decided to assert American leadership to end the war in the Western Balkans.

The Dayton peace accord negotiated by Washington ended the Bosnian war of more than three years by establishing a bicameral legislature in the two administrative units, the predominantly Serbian Republika Srpska and the Russian-dominated Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croats and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). While the deal has been criticized for entrenching the ethnic divisions that fueled past conflicts, it gave state-level veto powers to the Serbian entity, which frequently exploited authority to block the legislation for over 25 years.

The treaty did not resolve the status or even make any mention of Kosovo, primarily a predominantly Muslim territory that Serbia considers its province. The Kosovar Albanians launched a rebellion against the Serbian regime in 1998. Citing the actions and policies of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) regarding Kosovo as a threat to US national security and progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Clinton declared a state of emergency national law on June 9, 1998.

In March 2019, NATO opened a large barrier against the brutal repression of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and offensives against Albanian villages and rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army. During the air campaign (between March and the end of June) at least 10,000 people were killed by Serbian forces in Kosovo and around 90% of the population were forcibly evicted.

The Serbian forces’ systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse Kosovo included looting of homes and businesses, widespread burning of houses, use of Kosovar Albanians as a human shield, detention, summary executions, exhumation mass graves, rape, violation of medical neutrality, identity cleansing, torture, sexual assault, imprisonment in inhumane camps, persecution and psychological abuse.

America’s role in Dayton has been “disinterested first, then disinterested, and finally decisive.” The international community, which has “stumbled and fumbled” for years, finally agreed to a solution that was not much different from the plans previously discussed and negotiated. Nor has he moved aggressively on the Kosovo issue.

Pristina declared independence in 2008 and is recognized by nearly 100 countries, including the United States, which remains the largest contingent with 635 troops in the Western Balkans. Deployed primarily at a sprawling military base, Camp Bondsteel, in central Kosovo, they are known as the “Forgotten Battalion” during the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO has no military withdrawal plan to ensure a safe and secure environment in Kosovo; it is not a long term solution to the conflict.

The Western Balkans – including the “enlargement countries” Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo for their prospect of joining the European Union – are expected to experience faster economic growth (5, 9%) in 2021 after the 3.1 of the previous year. % contraction. This rebound is due to the fall in the infection rate, the easing of mobility restrictions, the increase in domestic consumption and tourist arrivals as well as the positive spillover effects of the strengthening of external demand. of Europe in advanced economies.

However, the economic recovery is fragile because the poverty rate in the region, despite a drop of 1%, would remain at 20.3% with an increase in unemployment until the first half of 2021. While the optimistic outlook for the region is tainted with risks linked to inflationary pressures, Serbian separatists threaten to create their own army endangering regional economic rejuvenation and Dayton other than by exposing Sarajevo to the dangers of fragmentation and a return to conflict.

If BiH is pushed towards disintegration, it will negatively affect Kosovo and EU enlargement policy which are in deep crisis; nevertheless undertakes to make strategic investments in peace, stability, security and economic growth across the European continent through the economic and investment plan of 30 billion euros for the “inner courtyard” of the ‘Union.

Amid mounting tensions in the two subnational Bosnian territories, US President Joe Biden is sending his envoys to the Western Balkans to resolve the issue of BiH. Donald Trump comes to the fore as he deploys his “envoy” to defuse tensions on the border between Belgrade and Pristina over the operation to combat smuggling in Kosovo.

These peace promotion efforts should be supported by the international community, in particular the EU, to prevent genocide such as the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslims by Serbs and promote peace for the sustainable economic growth of the region. Most importantly, it offers the United States and NATO the opportunity to improve their image as a peace builder after the devastating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted in The Express Tribune, November 18e, 2021.

As Opinion and editorial on Facebook, to follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all of our daily coins.

Comments are closed.