Yesterday, on a thread about Wes Clark, a commenter at the end of his post discussed his service and experience with Clark in Kosovo.
It reminded me of our Kosovo involvement, which began in 1999, and continues for Nato today, and as far out into the future as anyone can see.
Kosovo is no success story. You can read the non-advertised version here.
Our experience in Kosovo may be instructive to what we now face in Iraq. Read the comments from the post and the following DW article.
Ret LTC said:__________________________________________________________
"...the facts are that almost nothing in that article is credible, and it's quite obvious the author knows nothing about military operations in Kosovo. By his own admission -- his id on Free Republic -- author CP is an "anti-war Republican." And while I strongly suspect he is really only an anti-started-by-a-Democrat-war Republican, his lack of any military background or experience is likewise obvious.
The vast majority of us who actually served as part of the Bosnia/Kosovo team know that General Clark was an outstanding commander, both militarily and in his ability to maintain NATO's political support thru the conclusion of the war. That's why so many of us supported Wes Clark for president in '04, and who will be there for him next time should he decide to run."
Sun Jan 07, 11:20:42 AM EST
I confess to have been one that was skeptical about the wisdom of taking sides in Kosovo. It was a very complicated historical clash between Islam and the Christian West. Typing the sentence is in itself a distortion by over-simplification of the problem.
In retrospect, we replaced the winning side of an ethnic-cleansing operation with an opposition that is now determined to ethnic-cleanse the other side. Since the Albanian and Muslim population has returned to Kosovo, there has been the systematic destruction and attempt to cleanse the Christian Serbs from Kosovo. This is deeply embarrassing and mostly ignored by those that were decrying the successful ethnic-cleansing done by the Serbs against the Muslims.
I believe Kosovo is relevant to the awful contradictions involved when one intervenes in a civil or religious conflict as we are doing in Iraq. External military remedies, imposed by outsiders, who barely understand the context of the conflict, are not going to succeed.
Deutsche Welle in a brief story discusses the continued involvement of the EU and Nato micro-experiment in nation building and social engineering in Kosovo. The EU is going to be involved in little Kosovo for a very long time. The obvious outcome should not be pleasing to anyone except the winning ethnic-cleansing Muslim Albanians.
European Union | 07.01.2007
German FM: Kosovo Biggest Problem Right Now
"No negotiations -- self determination" reads the graffiti in Kosovo's capital, Pristina
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned Sunday that stability in the Balkans depended on how the future status of Kosovo is resolved and said the EU will work to ensure peace in the Serbian province.
Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Germany, which on Jan. 1 assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, would contribute financing and personnel for a European civil mission when the time came.
"We will have to deal with Kosovo right at the beginning of the year," Steinmeier said when asked about the biggest problem facing him in 2007. "The upcoming decision about its future status is closely linked to the issue of stability in the Balkans. The EU, which will take over responsibility from the UN, will do everything in its power to prevent any new conflicts with Serbia."
Steinmeier said the EU wanted a "functioning community" in Kosovo "in which all citizens -- Albanians as well as Serbs -- can live in peace and security."
He noted that the EU mission in Kosovo would include police officers as well as justice and administrative officials from across the bloc.
"It will cost money and we will need people," he said. "But you only need to recall the horrors of the Balkans wars in the 1990s to know that stability in the Balkans is of great importance and deserves our complete engagement."
Biggest European civil mission
Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since 1999 when a NATO bombing campaign ended a crackdown by Belgrade on separatist ethnic Albanian rebels.
UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari began difficult negotiations in February 2006 with Serbian and Kosovo authorities to define the future status of the province, described by the Serb constitution as an integral part of the country.
He was due to make recommendations to the UN by the end of the year, but has now said that he will reveal his plans for the future of the majority ethnic-Albanian region after the general elections in Serbia on Jan. 21.
The decision will trigger the deployment of the biggest European civil mission ever assembled.
Is there relevance to the situation in Iraq?