Skip to comments.THE KOSOVO QUANDARY
Posted on 04/23/2008 9:19:14 AM PDT by Doctor13
(Political Animal) THE KOSOVO QUANDARY....Liberal internationalist types tend to believe that non-defensive military action shouldn't be undertaken unless it's authorized by the UN. But Kosovo wasn't authorized by the UN, and most liberal internationalists seem to think it was a worthy effort anyway. Matt Yglesias, blogging about his new book over at TPMCafe, ponders this:
It's a tough question for the liberal internationalist because generally speaking I would like to have my cake and eat it too here. Kosovo mostly accomplished good things, but the process moving in without Security Council authorization isn't something I can strictly speaking approve of. And yet, I think some important things were accomplished there. How can the contradiction be resolved?
[A bit of hemming and hawing....]
But at long last if the Gods of logic say to me that I can't both defend Kosovo in retrospect and attack adventurism in the future, I say to heck with it. I think one major problem with the Democratic side during the pre-war debate over Iraq is that so many leading politicians, practitioners, and pundits coming out of the 1990s were personally invested in Kosovo in a way that made it difficult for them to concede that, yes, there was something a bit dodgy about what went down there.
I think Matt concedes too much here. The primary criticism of the Kosovo operation is that, having failed to get UN approval, we went "forum shopping" and ended up getting NATO approval instead. But if we can do that for Kosovo, what's to stop any future invasion that we feel like undertaking? Like, say, Iraq.
But there's an important distinction here and an important question: just how much constraint on our freedom of action do you support? Requiring UN approval obviously places a considerable constraint on our ability to take offensive action. Requiring the approval of an existing security organization maybe the UN, maybe not is a little more relaxed, but still constrains our actions considerably since there are only a limited number of such organizations around. Requiring nothing but a "coalition of the willing" doesn't constrain us at all.
So how much constraint do you think we should place on ourselves? If your answer is "a lot," you'll opt for UN approval or nothing. If your answer is "none," you'll opt for ad hoc coalitions.
But if you're somewhere in between neither a believer in sanctifying the UN as the sole arbiter of international action nor a believer that unfettered unilateralism is good for America then you'll look for some middle course. And relying on the unanimous consent of an existing, internationally recognized security body might be that middle course. It's still a pretty fair constraint on unilateralism, but it doesn't go to the opposite extreme of allowing, say, China or Russia to unilaterally obstruct military action even if 90% of the world (or the relevant region) thinks it's a good idea.
Taken on those terms, Kosovo was an acceptable offensive action but Iraq wasn't. And those aren't bad terms. I'd like to see the United States take a far more proactive role in building up the authority and effectiveness of the UN, but for a lot of obvious reasons I've never been comfortable outsourcing our military policy entirely to the Security Council. Kosovo is a pretty good example of why. So sign me up for a version of liberal internationalism that's a smidge more relaxed than that.
I can’t make sense of this article.
I thought the Germans were begging Clinton to get involved in Kosovo. We weren’t shopping around for a country to attack where we had no national interest.
Kosovo belongs to the EU. Let them deal with it, it’s in their back yard, not ours.
So, not only did we intervene where we should not have, subsequent events may well prove that we intervened on the wrong side.
In the event of conflict in Kosovo caused by Serbian action, the U.S. will be prepared to employ military force against Serbians in Kosovo and in Serbia proper.
Dec 24, 1992. "Christmas Warning" from GHW Bush to Slobodan Milosevic.
The facts speak for themselves, regardless of how folks like you try to misrepresent them. The exhumations at Batajnica, where the Serbs attempted to hide hundreds of their victims from Kosovo in a clandestine mass graves, made nonsense of your argument about 6 years ago - Kosovo was simply a repeat of the same Serbian actions in the RSK and RS which we had let the Serbs know were completely unacceptable, in no uncertain terms.
Requiring nothing but a "coalition of the willing" doesn't constrain us at all.
We have never needed "UN approval." Only leftists traitors and foreign enemies want the USA to be constrained.
If there has been a big new mass grave found then post a link because I haven’t heard about anything of the sort. As to the Christmas warning, we placed Serbia in a position where the KLA could attack their civilians but they weren’t allowed to retaliate. Then at the final meeting we asked them to sign an accord that they couldn’t sign without giving up the sovereignty of all of Serbia.
Just realize that when we act unilateraly we set the precedent for other countries acting unilaterally. This precedent may come back to bite us when the day comes that we are no longer the strongest nation in the world. Which since history tends to repeat itself will likely come to pass in the next 2 to 3 hundred years if not sooner.
There have been no big new mass graves found.
The mass graves at Batajnica, Petrovo Selo, and Perucac, however, have been known about since 2001. The victims were subsequently exhumed, identified, and returned to Kosovo.
Then at the final meeting we asked them to sign an accord that they couldnt sign without giving up the sovereignty of all of Serbia.
Um, yeah - the Status of Forces Agreement portions of Rambouillet were such a causus belli weren't they? We could hardly scrape together sufficient force for the eventual KFOR missions, and we were supposed to want to occupy Serbia?
Ah well. We signed a SOFA with Serbia in 2006. I guess the occupation was merely delayed.
Other countries will do whatever they want regardless of what we do. Do you think the Russians and Chinese are constrained by the UN? They want us to be constrained while they flout “international law” with impunity. The UN cannot constrain them in any way. Only US supremacy can constrain them. When the US is no longer the most powerful country in the world, no other country will listen to us anymore regardless of how we behaved when we were the most powerful. It is naive to think otherwise. Therefore we should use our supremacy to our advantage while we have it.
Facts are your enemy, Hoppy!
How many times must you embarrass yourself via your posts before even you realize that fact?
Well, of course not - the US wasn't just simply "shopping around."
Look, and as I have said before, the primary reason NATO found itself sucked into Kosovo was because there was a prevailing belief - at that time - that if the Kosovo conflict was not stopped it would soon spill over into Macedonia. If that happened then that republic's neighbors would be pulled in. Albania would invoke its defense treaties with Turkey, Greece would then become involved and there might even be subsequent repercussions in Cyprus.
Further, and perhaps more importantly, is that the 1999 NATO bombings were a knee-jerk reaction to Serbian actions from Dubrovnik to Vukovar, to Sarajevo, to Srebenica.
Well, the Kosovo conflict was "stopped", but the Albanian then took the show to Macedonia via the ALA.
What he fails to do, is point out the mass graves the Albanian terrorist dug for their slaughtered victims and their wonderful trade in body parts.
Since Hoplite is a shill for Soros' ilk we have come to expect that.
I misread your original post. I thought you were saying that more bodies had been found so I wanted to know about if there was a new mass grave. So, we are still looking at know more than a few thousand casualties in all of Kosovo many of whom were KLA fighters and some of whom were Serbs. I really don’t see a cause for intervention due to this. Especially since I would imagine that many of those who died were killed in the excellerated fighting that broke out after we started bombing.