This link is to a report from the United States Institute for Peace’s report on ethnic conflict in Kosovo. The report argues that the international community's military and financial investments in the Balkans over the past fifteen years have led to substantial improvements in most of the territories of the former Yugoslavia, but that this progress will be put at risk if talks on Kosovo's status lead to de facto ethnoterritorial separation, with Serbs governed on their own territory by Belgrade. Partition could trigger another wave of violence, mass displacement of civilians, and instability in multiethnic states of the region.
This report from the International Crisis Group argues that as Kosovo comes closer to achieving statehood, more planning for Kosovo's security is required. The report argues that a key component of post-independence security structures should be an army built in part upon the Kosovo Protection Corps, oriented to international missions like peacekeeping and subject in the first years to strict NATO control and limitations on its size and capabilities.
Despite years of involvement by the United States and its allies, the Balkans region is suffering from economic stagnation and high unemployment; hundreds of thousands of refugees still await resettlement; prominent war criminals remain at large; and political and legal reform is impeded by endemic corruption, organized crime, and in some cases, a lack of political will. Yet after a decade of extensive involvement and peacemaking in the Balkans, the United States and its allies are winding down their commitment to the region. At this critical juncture, warns this independent Task Force report, if the problems besieging the Balkan states are left unresolved, they will lead to serious social and economic instability for southeastern Europe.
The Independent International Commission on Kosovo prepared a report on Kosovo in 2000; the link below displays the executive summary. The commission’s mission statement said,
“The Independent International Commission on Kosovo will examine key developments prior to, during and after the Kosovo war, including systematic violations of human rights in the region. The Commission will present a detailed, objective analysis of the options that were available to the international community to cope with the crisis. It will focus on the origins of the Kosovo crisis, the diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, the role of the United Nations and Nato's decision to intervene militarily. It will examine the resulting refugee crisis including the responses of the international community to resolve the crisis. The effect of the conflict on regional and other states will also be examined. Furthermore, the Commission will assess the role of humanitarian workers, NGOs and the media during the Kosovo war. Finally, the Commission will identify the norms of international law and diplomacy brought to the fore by the Kosovo war and the adequacy of present norms and institutions in preventing or responding to comparable crises in the future.”
The conflict in Kosovo, less than four years after the brutal civil war in Bosnia, was a wake-up call to the international community. The West and others had once again underestimated the powerful forces of ethnic hatred and historical grievances in the Balkans. According to this independent Task Force report, economic reconstruction alone will not be sufficient to bring long-term peace and stability to the Balkan region, although raising living standards could foster sustainable economic growth and reduce political tensions.
Two weeks ago, UN special envoy Martii Ahtisaari met with the Security Council to discuss his proposal for Kosovar independence. Ahtisaari’s plan is the basis for a resolution considered last week in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Undersecretary R. Nicholas Burns discusses the prospects for a sovereign Kosovo with Charles A. Kupchan, Senior Fellow and Director of Europe Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.