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Trouble in Kosovo

In support of yesterday’s Commentary column by Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican (“Negotiating for peace in Kosovo”) Kosovo today is no more ready to assume the mantle of statehood than it was when the international community assumed control of it through NATO and the United Nations. It is a disaster that predictably will lead to further conflict and will enflame separatist aspirations globally. Why the United States does not see a “Greater Albania” project in this entire process is puzzling to many.

If Kosovo achieves independence which would ignore U.N. Resolution 1244, the basis upon which the Kosovo insurgency was ended no international agreement will be immune from being “relativized” or ignored. This is a dangerous precedent. The establishment of a so-called “Kosova” will lead ultimately to unrest in the Presevo and Bujanovac regions of Serbia, significant portions of Macedonia and even Montenegro and quite possibly Greece.

The United States should abandon the position of Kosovo’s inevitable independence, as it simply contradicts a position it supported in U.N. Res. 1244 and will lead to further crises.

A train wreck is foreseeably on the horizon unless policy-makers boldy embrace the approach advocated by Mr. Burton.


Assistant professor

U.S. Military Academy

West Point, NY