- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
The real war we never should have been party to. A primo example of the uselessness of the UN and EU. It's lasted longer than WWII, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. What was Clinton thinking?
No quick exit for peacekeepers in Kosovo
By Douglas HamiltonThu Mar 8, 12:41 PM ET
"We've got to get you out of here," President George W. Bush told the U.S. Army commander in Kosovo in 2001.
Six years on, U.S. peacekeepers are still in place, as part of 'nation-building', a role the West had not planned.
Kosovo's future will be disputed at a summit of Serb and Kosovo Albanian leaders in Vienna on Saturday, billed as a last chance for compromise between them.
But Kosovo is not about to be given back to Serbia or entrusted wholly to its Albanian majority. The most the West can expect is that its nation-building task can be passed on from the United Nations and NATO to the European Union.
U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari mediated fruitless talks in 2006 and 2007, and expects no last-minute shift from Serb insistence on sovereignty or Albanian insistence on independence for Kosovo's 2 million people.
But deadlock at the highest level will clear the way for him to present his own plan for Kosovo to the United Nations later this month.
His plan gives neither side all it wants. It would, however, set Kosovo on course for independence under EU tutelage.
NATO could be moving out six months after it is signed.
In Belgrade on Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer urged Serb leaders to cooperate in the final talks.
"NATO soldiers ... will for the foreseeable future stay in Kosovo to ... protect any and every citizen. NATO will not forsake its responsibility," he said.
But for Serbia, it was "of utmost importance to show real political leadership," he said after talks with President Boris Tadic, who will represent Serbia in Vienna.
Most analysts have already written off Vienna.