Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Everyone, even Wesley Clark, acknowledges that bombing was not the best solution. Current thinking on  R2P enforcement is that no good military solution exists.

Then the constraints placed on the intervention weren't placed there by the military, but by their respective home governments. The biggest one being that nobody wanted to put troops on the ground in there. A lot was said during the campaign...how there weren't enough casualties to make it a genocide. That there was no proof that the 11,000 NATO estimated killed by the Serbs actually were (eventually this number was later shown to be pretty much spot on). Many feel that the military option makes matters worse. Starting April 6, I'm planning a diary (or a series) about the Responsibility to Protect, probably in way too much detail, but suffice it to say that the current sub rosa debate going on in the foreign policy community is very mindful of this.

But this is getting away from the issue of NATO. As for the bombing campaign in Kosovo, targetting a regime which had already committed one genocide and gotten away with it, NATO was awfully handy. I won't say European governments dragged the US in. It wasn't that, it was ultimately the very public outcry in the press that dragged everybody in. Kosovo was CNN's genocide moment in a way that Rwanda never managed to become.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 06:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
targetting a regime which had already committed one genocide and gotten away with it, NATO was awfully handy

Here we go again :(

Can you please substantiate your allegation that there was genocide committed by the elected government of rump Yugoslavia against Muslim Bosnians?

That's the official line pushed by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Wessley Clark, Madeleine Albright and all the other Western heroes that most on ET would like to send to the Hague.

It's the official line pushed by CNN, the NYT the BBC, ...  the very same MSM that ET-ers love to hate.

Besides, from a factual perspective may I remind you that on 26 February 2007 the ICJ ruled that THERE WAS NO GENOCIDE in Bosnia. It was a civil war in which all ethnic sides suffered casualties.

by vladimir on Fri Feb 27th, 2009 at 08:52:24 AM EST
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Surely, however, you're not arguing that you start a war with another country to punish them for soemthing they did 4 years earlier.

Kosovo as a low-level counter-insurgency prior to NATO getting involved. Not an ethnic cleansing or genocide at all. In fact, one of the worst massacres (at Racak) was recently uncovered as a fraud when the head of the UN Forensics Team, Helen Ranta, came clean.

You can't start a war with someone for something they did five years prior.

The Serbs were involved in a crackdown on the KLA. In this fighting, the KLA had killed Serb civilians and the Serbs had killed Kosovo Albanians. About 1,000-1,500 had been killed in equal numbers in the years leading up to the first dropping of NATO bombs.

The American team negotiating the terms of peace was horrid. Jamie Rubin, Wesley Clark, Madeliene Albright, all had a peace agreement at Rambouillet. The Serbs agreed to total withdrawal. The KLA, Hasim Thaci, did not go along, and the Americans were forced to create a sham of an agreement (Appendix B) which everyone knew was a no-go for the Serbs. They had peace at Rambouillet, and the Americans chose war instead. It was a cowardly choice which mimicked what had been done in Bosnia in 1991-1992 when Cyrus Vance and David Owen had the three leaders agree to a plan that, in the end, looked very much like Dayton. This was BEFORE 100,000 had died in Bosnia.

The ethnic cleansing campaign by the Serbs post-bombing became a matter of controversy when it was revealed that the publicized campaign, Operation Horseshoe, was concocted by German intelligence as propaganda.

The whole war was a farce from start to finish, playing games with people's lives, and in the end accomplishing absolutely nothing.

When the true history of 1990s ex-Yugo is written, it will only be seen as a colossal debacle of diplomacy, and a cowardly war conducted by ALL sides against innocent civilians.

by Upstate NY on Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 09:44:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Upstate NY! I missed you :)

In fact, when the true history of 1990s ex-Yugo is written, it will show the beginning of a new German Euro-imperial revival...

Interesting to note that the the map of the Balkans is looking strikingly similar to what is was during the 3rd Reich.

I see the Germans working on two further objectives in the region:
> destroying Republika Srpska - and giving full political power to their WWII allies - the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims
> detaching Vojvodina from Serbia (Habsburg wet dream) and in the process spoiling Russia's South Stream projects in the Balkans.

by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 07:17:28 AM EST
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Why would Germany want to destroy the south stream project?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:01:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First: because the more export routes Russia has... and the more direct access it has to client states, the less leverage Europe has when it negotiates with Russia. Imagine the EU's (or Ukraine's) bargaining position if the Russians had gas export pipelines to China.

Second: Because South Stream is a direct competitor to Nabucco, where German interests are greater.

Third: Russian infrastructure on Serb territory will increase Serbia's political power. It's not as easy bombing Russian gas storage facilities as it is bombing Serbia's (which, by the way was the case in Novi Sad during NATO's 78 day bombing campaign of civilian infrastructure)

I'm sure Jerome (who certainly has more knowledge of the energy & infrastructure situation than I do) could add a couple of remarks on this one.

by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:19:56 AM EST
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Yea - Jerome is certainly the expert on that here.  I had understood that his view was that Nabucco would not happen, and that anything which reduces Europe's dependency on one pipeline route (to Europe) is to be welcomed by Europe as it reduces the leverage of transit states to block imports.

Obviously pipelines to China are a different matter - they improve Russia's leverage vis a vis Europe - although I don't think that China is regarded as a serious price competitor to Europe.

Finally I don't understand why, ultimately, the EU should be any more favourably disposed to Croatia or Bosnia than it is to Serbia - but then I don't understand the geo-politics of the region.  

Any armed conflict is anathema to the EU, but if a peaceful modus vivendi can be found, I would have thought that the EU strategy would be all about creating greater economic, political, social and structural interdependencies in the region.

If that is not the strategy, then the EU has some questions to answer in the forthcoming EP elections...

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:45:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If South Stream falls through, Nabucco's business case will be considerably strengthened. Nabucco shareholders: RWE (Germany), OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Transgaz (Romania), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), BOTAS (Turkey).
by vladimir on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 08:56:42 AM EST
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Not if there is no gas to put in Nabucco, which I gather is Jerome's contention.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 at 05:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read here all the time, my teaching/writing is on overload right now, so I have difficulty posting. But I couldn't let this one go.

I am interested in the South Stream and North Stream discussion, and do see them as competing with Nabucco. But one thing to note about South Stream: the size of the pipes is very very small.

At capacity, it can't do what either North Stream or Nabucco can do. It's good maybe for some East and Central Euro countries, and Greece and Italy. But not much gas, relatively, will be moving through those pipes to make enough of a difference. Small potatoes. At least, this is what I've read. And if this is true, then Nabucco is even deader than we thought since it too is vying for a similar route where gas is not all that plentiful.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 2nd, 2009 at 11:13:41 AM EST
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