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.
events gave rise to some strong criticisms of
NATO’s apparent lack of collective interest; with arguments being made
that this demonstrated the institution’s unsuitability for dealing
with post-ColdWar security crises in the wider Europe. More specifically,
the limitations of PfP as a promoter of stability amongst the partner states
were criticised. 49
Although by no means all observers took this view, 50 NATO members
, rather, is to examine and assess the impact of the Kosovo
crisis on the continuing evolution and development of key issues relating to
post-ColdWar European security overall.
In measuring this impact the discussions begin, logically, with
the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). This was the chosen
instrument through which its member states sought to achieve their objective
of compelling the government of President
the post-ColdWar European security landscape.
precedent’: new wars, new interventions?
When NATO undertook armed action
without an explicit mandate from the UNSC, it entered a kind of
international no-man’s land between upholding the sanctity of state
sovereignty and that of human life. While NATO members asserted that the
humanitarian and strategic imperatives of saving Kosovar Albanian lives
’s response, represents one of the key watersheds in
the post-ColdWar debates on the question of intervention.
The doctrine of non-intervention
The doctrine of non-intervention in the
affairs of sovereign states is a well-understood facet of the international
system. It is grounded in the principle of sovereignty – what many
consider to be the grundnorm of the state-centred international order.
Democratisation, nationalism and security in former Yugoslavia
Paul Latawski and Martin A. Smith
international settlement of post-ColdWar conflicts that made
democratisation and enhancement of human rights important elements of the
post-conflict peace-building process. Given the Bosnian conflict’s
large-scale ethnic cleansing, another key normative feature embedded in the
Dayton agreement was the re-building of a multicultural society. To this
end, Annex 4 made constitutional provision that ‘all refugees and
the views and agendas of other
members of the community to influence their own national policy-making
processes before final decisions are reached.
South East Europe:
challenges to the Atlantic Community
The successive crises in Bosnia and
Kosovo have, arguably, made the most significant impact on the post-ColdWar
Atlantic Community as a whole. In this section, their impact, and the ways
maintaining the substance of its military co-operation with NATO forces on
the ground in Bosnia. On the wider diplomatic front, the Russian government
maintained normal diplomatic relations with all NATO governments, including
the United States.
Although its immediate rhetorical response was
subsequently described as being ‘of a pitch unheard in the entire
post-ColdWar period’, 23 the Yeltsin government was clear from the start
One of the most frequently cited ‘lessons’ of the Kosovo crisis has been the alleged extent to which it spurred West European leaders to address a perceived need for Europe to carry out more for its own military security. Member states of the European Union (EU) decided to establish a ‘European Security and Defence Policy’ (ESDP) in the months following Operation Allied Force. This chapter considers the long- and short-term origins of the ESDP and assesses the extent to which the Kosovo crisis was the key driver leading to the decisions by EU members formally to create it in 1999. The most basic of what may be called the ‘permissive facilitators’ for the development of the ESDP can be found in the nature of the EU itself. The idea encapsulated in the concept of ‘functional integration’ exercised significant influence on political leaders in continental EU countries. This chapter also focuses on the ESDP during and after the Cold War, the Western European Union, and the role of the UK and France in the adoption of the ESDP.
In the story of post-Cold War conceptual confusion, the war in and over Kosovo stands out as a particularly interesting episode. This book provides new and stimulating perspectives on how Kosovo has shaped the new Europe. It breaks down traditional assumptions in the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on recent events in Kosovo. The book offers a conceptual overview of the Kosovo debate, placing these events in the context of globalisation, European integration and the discourse of modernity and its aftermath. It then examines Kosovo's impact on the idea of war. One of the great paradoxes of the war in Kosovo was that it was not just one campaign but two: there was the ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo and the allied bombing campaign against targets in Kosovo and all over Serbia. Serbia's killing of Kosovo has set the parameters of the Balkanisation-integration nexus, offering 'Europe' (and the West in general) a unique opportunity to suggest itself as the strong centre that keeps the margins from running away. Next, it investigates 'Kosovo' as a product of the decay of modern institutions and discourses like sovereignty, statehood, the warring state or the United Nations system. 'Kosovo' has introduced new overtones into the European Weltanschauung and the ways in which 'Europe' asserts itself as an independent power discourse in a globalising world: increasingly diffident, looking for firm foundations in the conceptual void of the turn of the century.