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The conflict in Kosovo represents a significant watershed in post-Cold War international security. Interpreting its political and operational significance should reveal important clues for understanding international security in the new millennium. This text analyses the international response to the crisis in Kosovo and its broader implications, by examining its diplomatic, military and humanitarian features. Despite the widely held perception that the conflict in Kosovo has implications for international security, unravelling them can be challenging, as it remains an event replete with paradoxes. There are many such paradoxes. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) entered into the conflict ostensibly to head off a humanitarian catastrophe, only to accelerate the catastrophe by engaging in a bombing campaign; the political aims of all the major players contradicted the military means chosen by them in the conflict. The Russian role in the diplomatic efforts demonstrated that NATO did not want Russia to be involved but in the end needed its involvement. Russia opposed the bombing campaign but ultimately did not have enough power or influence to rise above a role as NATO's messenger; the doctrinal hurdles to achieving ‘immaculate coercion’ by use of air power alone seemed to tumble in the face of apparent success; it is ultimately unclear how or why NATO succeeded.

A Military Tactic or Collateral Damage?
Abdulkarim Ekzayez and Ammar Sabouni

out of their homes, especially in densely built-up areas. This military strategy has been extremely effective in regaining most opposition strongholds at the expense of civilian suffering and humanitarian catastrophe. Moreover, this strategy, especially the forced displacement part, could have serious long-term consequences, such as forced displacement and demographic engineering, that could be almost impossible to reverse in post-conflict Syria. Declarations All data used in this paper are publicly accessible. The authors declare that they have no

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith

of ‘the serious political and human rights issues in Kosovo’. 8 In September, Resolution 1199 used stronger language. It spoke of the need to ‘avert the impending humanitarian catastrophe’ in the province. 9 In addition, as noted above, the UN Secretary-General had called upon member states to take action to prevent a ‘humanitarian disaster’ in Kosovo. Given the inclusion of such phrases, there is

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Maja Zehfuss

a humanitarian catastrophe there’. 44 NATO Secretary General Javier Solana and the German Army Inspector Helmut Willmann also used the description ‘humanitarian catastrophe’. 45 The German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping argued that no further time was to be lost in the face of the misery of the refugees. 46 For US President Bill Clinton it was a case of the civilised world fighting against ethnic violence and

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Open Access (free)
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith

warning about a looming ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ resulting from the fighting. 14 In an effort to increase pressure on the Milosevic government in Belgrade, NATO threatened airstrikes in order to induce his compliance with the terms of the UN Resolution. A combination of diplomacy and this military pressure persuaded the FRY President to agree to comply in October. An agreement with Milosevic was brokered by US Assistant

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
Eşref Aksu

encompass man-made humanitarian catastrophes) the international community has a wide spectrum of choices and methods at its disposal. Yet this does not change the fact that it is actually confronted with two major sensible options – especially with respect to intra-state conflicts: to intervene effectively or not to intervene at all. The latter option, though at times tempting, may itself prove rather

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Evolution of the normative basis
Eşref Aksu

monitored, supervised or controlled. Even in the cases of ‘humanitarian intervention’, where overwhelming normative emphasis was placed on the prevention of major humanitarian catastrophes, the wider ‘political’ aspects of a possible peace settlement were not neglected. In Somalia, for instance, one of the Secretary-General’s reports to the Security Council indicated the role played by UNOSOM in relation to

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change
Open Access (free)
Kosovo and the outlines of Europe’s new order
Sergei Medvedev and Peter van Ham

of real life’, and placing them at the heart of our normative discourses, are therefore political moves. Following this logic, Zehfuss shows how the ‘reality of Kosovo’ was constructed in the Western discourses. The ‘real facts’ like the ‘genocide’, the ‘ethnic cleansing’ and the ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ which served as a reason for Operation Allied Force, were supplemented by goals like upholding

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Open Access (free)
Virtuousness, virtuality and virtuosity in NATO’s representation of the Kosovo campaign
Andreas Behnke

larger numbers of people who have lost their livelihoods, their incomes, their work, their families, through the violence that has happened and it’s in order to prevent this overall situation of a humanitarian catastrophe within the borders, and outside the borders of Yugoslavia because of the refugee overspill, that we are acting, so yes of course and I again

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Pertti Joenniemi

: NATO is not waging war against Yugoslavia. We have no quarrel with the people of Yugoslavia who for too long have been isolated in Europe because of the politics of their government. Our action is directed against the repressive policy of the Yugoslav leadership. We must stop the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe taking place in

in Mapping European security after Kosovo