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.
This book examines the impact of the Kosovo crisis, which reached its peak of intensity in 1998–1999, on the continuing evolution and development of key issues relating to post-Cold War European security overall. In measuring this impact, the discussions begin with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The book considers structural issues as well as the impact of the conduct of Operation Allied Force—the NATO bombing campaign of March–June 1999—on both the internal workings of NATO and the expansion of its geographical areas of interest and remit within Europe. It also offers a detailed account of the difficult, occasionally tortuous, but ultimately essential diplomatic co-operation between Russia and NATO members which accompanied the ongoing air campaign in the spring and early summer of 1999. One of the favourite ‘lessons of Kosovo’ drawn by commentators and observers since 1999 has been to do with the extent to which Operation Allied Force painted up a military ‘capabilities cap’ between the European members of NATO and the United States.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) use of military power against the government of Slobodan Milosevic of the former Yugoslavia over Kosovo has been among the most controversial aspects of the Alliance's involvement in South East Europe since the end of the Cold War. The air operations between March and June 1999 have been variously described as war, ‘humanitarian war’, ‘virtual war’, intervention and ‘humanitarian intervention’. Key features of the debates over NATO's employment of military power have been concerned with its legality and legitimacy (that is, the role of the United Nations and international law), its ethical basis, and its impact on the doctrine of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states. The conceptual debates that have raged over these issues are important not only within the context of European security but more generally for their impact on the international system as a whole. This chapter examines these issues by exploring why NATO undertook military action over Kosovo, the kind of armed conflict that it engaged in, and whether such a resort to force can be justified.
Since the end of the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has been significantly reoriented and retooled across the board. This process of change has been captured under two main labels. Internal adaptation is NATO-speak for looking at how the institution works, and whether it can be made to work better and more effectively. The process has embraced the possibility of creating procedures and structures whereby European member states might undertake military operations without the frontline participation of United States forces. This chapter considers the effectiveness of NATO's integrated military command and planning structures. It examines their performance during Operation Allied Force. The external adaptation of NATO is a term that refers, fairly obviously, to the evolution of relations between NATO and its members, and non-member states in Europe. The most important and controversial element of the external adaptation has been the NATO enlargement process. Other elements include ‘outreach’ programmes such as Partnership for Peace. This chapter looks at the impact of the Kosovo crisis on NATO's external adaptation, with particular reference to its implications for enlargement.
Democratisation, nationalism and security in former Yugoslavia
Martin A. Smith
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has taken a prominent security role in international attempts to make work the political settlements in Bosnia, Kosovo and, to a lesser extent, Macedonia. Just as NATO's ‘humanitarian intervention’ over Kosovo highlighted the normative tension between the doctrine of non-intervention in sovereign states versus efforts to promote respect for human rights that transcend state boundaries, the subsequent efforts at peace-building have revealed other normative conundrums. For NATO and other international institutions, this has made South East Europe a normative labyrinth where democracy, ‘stateness’, identity and security are difficult to bring together. This chapter examines the international attempts at peace-building in the former Yugoslavia by focusing on the challenges to efforts to bring lasting stability posed by democratisation, ethnic nationalism and the promotion of security. It also discusses the Dayton agreement and its impact on human rights and multiculturalism in Bosnia, the Stability Pact, and nationalism's relationship to democratic norms.
In the eyes of some observers, the Kosovo crisis posed the greatest threat to relations between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) since the end of the Cold War. This chapter first charts the course of Russian policy towards, and involvement in dealing with, the Kosovo crisis. It then examines the longer term impact of the crisis on relations between Russia and NATO. Russia and the leading NATO members were extensively engaged in discussing what to do about the developing crisis in Kosovo in 1997 and 1998. Two main forums were utilised for the conduct of these conversations, which produced a greater degree of agreement than is sometimes supposed. They were the Contact Group and the United Nations Security Council. When Russia and the NATO members began to disagree, it was over the possible use of coercion in order to impose a settlement on President Slobodan Milosevic of the former Yugoslavia. The launch of Operation Allied Force on March 24, 1999 followed the final breakdown of negotiations.
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.
Transatlantic relations have been a core issue in security in Europe—especially West Europe—since the end of World War II. This chapter examines the nature of the transatlantic relationship and its Cold War evolution. It then considers its development during the years since 1989. It argues that the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo have played a key role in helping to refine and reshape the nature and basis of the relationship during the period since the Cold War ended. The ‘transatlantic relationship’ was essentially a product of World War II. Prior to American involvement in that conflict—informally from 1940 and officially from December 1941—the United States had, with one exception, chosen to remain aloof from European security affairs. The onset of the Cold War had the effect of both extending and institutionalising the military-ideological relationship that had developed between the United States and the UK since 1941. This chapter also looks at the ‘Atlantic Community’, the Atlantic civic community, South East Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and challenges to the Atlantic Community.
When the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) undertook military action without an explicit mandate from the United Nations Security Council, 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 and preventing destabilisation in South East Europe drove the action, states such as Russia and China saw the Kosovo conflict as an unacceptable violation of the former Yugoslavia's state sovereignty. NATO's military action best met the description of being an intervention, but this descriptor itself was full of variations, including the one that has been subject to the widest debate: humanitarian intervention. This book has argued that the Kosovo crisis played a smaller and more indirect role in helping initiate the development of the European Union's European Security and Defence Policy than many have assumed. It has also discussed the Atlantic Community, the Euro-Atlantic Area, and Russia's role and place in European security affairs.