The Problem With Kosovo’s Independence

by John Hawkins | February 25, 2008 5:33 am

Because of the widespread hatred between Kosovo and the Serbs, a lot of people have been supportive of Kosovo declaring independence. I am not one of them. This story [1] helps explain why,

“Hopes for a peaceful conclusion to the declaration of Kosovo’s independence were fading as the European Union announced it had withdrawn its staff from the north of the fledgling country in the face of increasingly angry Serb protests.”

So begins the utterly predictable reaction of the EU to Serb anger as their “army in suits” pre-emptively withdraws.

At the same time, KFOR, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, sealed the border to Serbia, after angry mobs torched border crossings. …

Yesterday Peter Feith, the EU’s Kosovo envoy, said security concerns were behind the withdrawal of his staff from northern Kosovo. They had been preparing the ground for a 2,000-strong EU rule of law mission. “I would like to appeal to the Serb community to be generous and to turn the page and look forward to working together with us,” he said. “We hope that conditions will soon allow us to resume our activities.”

Translation. We’ll return when NATO makes it safe enough for us to return.

First of all, the only reason Kosovo wasn’t being overrun by Serbians before they declared independence was because a NATO led force was there. Now, the only thing keeping Serbia from thwarting what they consider to be an illegitimate independence is those same foreign troops. Moreover, we could be in exactly the same situation a decade or two from now. So, by declaring independence, all Kosovo is really doing is making themselves a permanent protectorate of NATO and we all know, the US provides most of the muscle for NATO.

So what’s in Kosovo that’s worth the life of a single American soldier? Why shouldn’t we step aside and let Western Europe and Kosovo work the whole thing out with Serbia, Russia, and the many other nations that are opposed to independence? It’s not our fight and it shouldn’t be our problem.

Moreover, there are hundreds of regions across the world that could make just as good a case for independence as Kosovo. Should we be encouraging them to do just that? If even a third of them went through with it, how many wars would it cause?

Long story short, Kosovo’s independence is a can of worms that would be better left closed and failing that, our nation should disentangle itself from the whole mess at the first opportunity.

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