Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kosovar Independence and the Russian Reaction

by George Friedman

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia last Sunday. The United States and many, but not all, European countries recognized it. The Serbian government did not impose an economic blockade on — or take any military action against — Kosovo, although it declared the Albanian leadership of Kosovo traitors to Serbia. The Russians vehemently repeated their objection to an independent Kosovo but did not take any overt action. An informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was announced last week; it will take place in Moscow on Feb. 21. With Kosovo’s declaration, a river was crossed. We will now see if that river was the Rubicon.

Kosovo’s independence declaration is an important event for two main reasons. First, it potentially creates a precedent that could lead to redrawn borders in Europe and around the world. Second, it puts the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany in the position of challenging what Russia has defined as a fundamental national interest — and this at a time when the Russians have been seeking to assert their power and authority. Taken together, each of these makes this a geopolitically significant event.

Read the rest of Friedman's insightful article.

Paleoconservative Taki Theodoracopulos has weighed in, arguing that the formation of a Kosovar state represents an over-reaching of American influence. He also thinks that Western support for such a state also just makes plain bad sense:

"How can the State Department be so idiotic? Doesn’t anyone in Heaven’s name realize that Kosovo and Albania are the equivalent danger to European peace that Afghanistan and Pakistan are in the Far East? In order to gain brownie points with the towelheads of Saudi Arabia, America is allowing a Muslim belt to be created in the heart of the Balkans and Christian Europe. Islamic radicals, including supporters of bin Laden, are crawling all over Albania and Kosovo, not to mention the terrorist drug dealers who are infesting European capitals raising money for Islamic causes. It is these same bin Laden KLA members who helped Kosovo fight for independence from Serbia and who will now turn their guns against Christian Serb enclaves."

Read the rest of Taki's provocative article.

1 comment:

Sophocles said...

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