Monday, March 22, 2004

Nikolas Gvosdev on Kosovo

Here's a good piece about Kosovo in National Review Online

Nikolaus Gvosdev makes a couple of significant observations:
Two sad lessons have been communicated. The first is that NATO countries have placed such a high value on "no-casualty" missions that aggressive and effective peacekeeping — including disarming militias, hunting down war criminals and combating organized crime and terrorist groups — takes a back seat to "not stirring things up." Even if the deployment of additional U.S. and British forces this week to Kosovo calms things down, we simply return to the pre-March 2004 status quo.

The second is that ethnic cleansing still works as a strategy, despite all the West's moralizing. Throughout the region, there has been a clear logic at work: When an ethnic community that forms an overall minority in a country wants to purse self-determination, it finds it useful to establish itself as the absolute majority in the territory in question. The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Abkhaz, and the Turkish Cypriots all found it politically expedient to push out residents of the titular majority (Azeris, Georgians, Greek Cypriots, respectively) to bolster their case for separation.

He also points out what's at stake--and it's not just a little province in a corner of the world where nobody can pronounce the names of the countries:
In Iraq and in Kosovo and elsewhere, the United States has made promises about providing peace and security. Extremists and terrorists everywhere are challenging America's commitment to seeing its promises through. And others are watching to see how our resolve holds up.

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