US Foreign Policy Interests on the Crisis and the Kosovo War
Keywords: American foreign policy, Kosovo, Rambouillet, agreement, NATO.
The American foreign policy engagement on the Kosovo issue begins with the American Congressman Joseph DioGuardi since 1985, who succeeds in convincing congressional colleagues that the regime of Slobodan Milosevic exercises violence against the Albanian population in Kosovo. From the congressmen initially, the issue was dealt with as a violation of human rights and democratic negotiation. President Bush warns Slobodan Milosevic of using force in the event of a Kosovo conflict. The Dayton Accords set aside the Kosovo issue. This agreement obliges Kosovo Albanians to form the KLA as the only factor to protect from Serbian military, paramilitary and police violence that exert continuous violence and genocide against the Kosovo Albanian population. American foreign policy in co-ordination with the European community urgently seeks a peaceful conference between the parties to the conflict. Despite the organized peace conference, opposing sides do not reach agreement between themselves and the international community convinces the Kosovar side to sign the deal and take military action against the Serbian army. The Rambouillet conference in France was organized by US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. This attitude of American politics is proved by the agreement reached with the Albanian side and the NATO intervention in Kosovo. The failure of the US missionary Richard Holbrooke to convince Slobodan Milosevic forced the international community to intervene militarily against the Serbian army. On 24 March 1999, US President Bill Clinton ordered NATO Secretary General Javier Solana to commence air strikes against Serbian military targets in the former Yugoslavia. After 78 days of air strikes, Serbia finally accepts the agreement and signed it. On June 10, 1999, NATO was deployed in Kosovo and assumed the security of the country.
Keywords: American foreign policy, Kosovo, Rambouillet, agreement, NATO.
Warning to Serbia ’’red line’’ by President George W. Bush about Kosovo
The renowned American Congressman Joseph DioGuardi was committed to the Kosovo Albanians issue within Yugoslavia since 1985 and, pardoning his political engagement in the US Congress, he managed to develop a dedicated focus on the awareness of his congressional colleagues by presenting reflections on the suffering of Kosovo Albanians. With his constant focus, DioGuardi managed to become the main figure for the Kosovo Albanians issue in the American Congress. After the beginning of Yugoslavia's destruction, the situation in Kosovo became much worse. The Yugoslav Army established the presence of Serbian forces in Kosovo. With the arrival of Serbian forces in Kosovo and the beginning of great pressure on the Albanian population by the Serbian regime of Milosevic, the situation became even more difficult. In view of this serious situation, American foreign policy began to be aggravated over Yugoslavia's crisis over the Kosovo issue. At this time the intersection of American politics towards Kosovo began to be discussed and dealt more in the area of human rights violations, placing the issue more in democracy and negotiating internal unity. Taking into account Milosevic's verdicts, President Bush made clear the US engagement with his message known as the ’’Christmas Warning’’ on 24 December 1992, warning the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that "in the event of a Kosovo conflict, caused by Serbian action, the US will be willing to use military force against Serbs in Kosovo and Serbia itself." This announcement, which came from the US President showed that the US foreign policy has a clear focus on protecting Kosovo Albanians within Yugoslavia and that it will be ready for intervention at any time if there is pressure on Kosovo Albanians inside of Yugoslavia.
Kosovo issue at Deyton Conference on the former Yugoslavia
Deyton's agreement in November 1995 ended the war in Yugoslavia by giving a lesson to Kosovo Albanians that their demands for freedom would hardly be realized without a war. There were different opinions, mostly supportive, that the non-inclusion of Kosovo issue in Deyton was a major strategic mistake, because neglecting the Kosovo issue only paved the way for a future war in Kosovo. (Fisher, 2008, 99). Although Deyton’s Agreement brought peace, there was an issue that was not completed in Kosovo with the majority Albanian population seeking independence. This issue was left behind during international efforts to end hostilities. (Zela, 2012, 113). Despite the fact that Kosovo remained undisputable in Deyton, the hopes of the Albanians to fulfill their demands would rely on American politics and the international community. The Albanian side sought a deeper approach from the US. It seemed that Kosovo Albanians got angered by the ignorance at Deyton Conference, thus deciding to arm themselves to counter Serbian systematic repression. The formation of the Kosovo Liberation Army and starting the war were two necessity things of that time. Allegations and doubts about the KLA eventually disappeared after the massacre of Prekaz on March 5 and 6, 1998 against the Jashari family. In that massacre, 64 people died. Among the killed were 28 KLA fighters, including Shaban Jashari and his sons Adem and Hamza and at least 24 women and children. The attack on Prekaz and the size of the fire used by the Serb side was aimed at the disappearance of the founders of the KLA and the resistance of the people of Kosovo. But the Liberation Army was the core of the people of Kosovo, it was the people of Kosovo itself. (Krasniqi, 2006, 79). With the increase of the incidents, tensions and attacks by Serbian police, and the increase of the Serbian terror against the Albanians, the USA attitudde changed about Kosovo issue as a future hot-spot of huge blood shed. This new political course developed with a high political and diplomatical intensity, resulting towards an international conference, which determined the future of Kosovo, and the beginning of its freedom from the Serbian century occupation.
The Role of the US Diplomacy at Rambouillet Conference
The yaer 1999 began with a very dramatic situation for Kosovo. Serbian violence and terror had extended. On January 15 1999, the Serbian police and military forces had commited a ghoulish massacre in Reçak, municipality of Shtime, where 45 people were massacred, including children, women and old people. The US President Bill Clinton had condemned the massacre of Reçak with the most powerful words saying: “This is an intentional act and there is no justification about this” (Koha Ditore, 17.01.1999 ). Determination of the Contact Group, USA and EU agreed upon an international Conference on Kosovo conflict, and finally they achieved to get together the delegations of the two parties involved in conflict to start talks to reach an accepted agreement. Both parties agreed that the international conference on Kosovo issue takes place on February 6, 1999. In the beginning, both delegations had almost opposite stands, where the talks developed in the political plan to continue than with the security one. It was very hard to achieve a draft agreement. Taking into account the delegations aggravation against their stands to reach an agreement from these talks, with the determination of the American Diplomacy, Contact Group and the negotiation representative at Conference, they had taken the most appropriate decision that the talks be postpone until the 23rd of February 1999. (Pepshi, 1999, 108) Blerim Shala, a Kosovo delegation member values the role of the US policy, who expresses that in this situation the Kosovar Albanians were saved because they achieved to prevent the end of the conference, stressing that “It was Mrs. Albright that saved us and the Rambouillet Conference”, who did not want to face with the failure of an international conference. (Shala, 2012, 95). The USA took over the role of prevalent with the main purpose to convince the Albanian delegation to accept the agreement. “The USA wanted to ommit the situation in which the Albanians explicitly would object the agreement”. (Malnar, 2013, 209). The US engagement was too essential in this aspect. In other words, the US involvement was crucial because Madeleine Albright’s presence gave confidence to Albanian delegation. She was impendent to convince the Albanian party to reach the agreement. She developed separate talks with Mr. Hashim Thaçi and Mr. Milutinovic at Rambouillet to find a solution. Pressure was exercised to the Albanian party to accept an agreement somehow, intimating that if Milosevic defers, then the responsible burdon falls on the other party. (Petritsch, dhe Robert Pichler, 2002, 203). A real achievement of a clearer international formulation about Kosovo, somehow forced Kosovo delegation to change the attitude in silence for a political transitional agreement, by which the intermediators and the international community used all the pressure means that the agreement be accepted as a whole. In the statement of the Kosovo Delegation on February 23 1999, by the end of the Rambouillet Conference, finally Kosovo party gave the consent that it expressed itself pro this transitional agreement, which would end the war in Kosovo and would place Kosovo under international protection (Ukshini, 2008, 204). At the end of the conference, as soon as the agreement was reached, the State Secretary Madeleine Albright, who was the determinant of the agreement, expressed herself for the press that: “Kosovo will gain the constitution, NATO will be invited to enter into Kosovo to apply the agreement, Serbain military and police forces will rapidly leave Kosovo, UCK will be disarmed, whereas international community will start to train people who will enter into new Kosovo police.” (Albright, 2003, 472: Koha Ditore, 24.02.1999, 2).
Rambouillet Agreement and NATO Intervention
The US foreign policy in cooperation with other international mechanism on Kosovo issue at this time seemed very mature and decisive, and it would guarantee a long-term peace and stability in the region in the last decade of the 20th century. (Milo, 2009, 113). The role of the American factor, called as a third party has been very influenced and crucial in achieving the agreement with the Kosovo Delegation. Serbia disregarded the US and EU requirements to sign the document which intended to bring to its end the war in Kosovo and withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo. The international community assessed the Serbian stand as unilateral under the leadership by Slobodan Milosevic as permanent danger of peace and stability in the region of Western Balkans. The Albanian Delegation was able to convince the international community for a more serious access regarding Kosovo issue, which was subjected to a systematic violence by the military, paramilitary and police forces for ten years, which constituted the objectives and goals that had to reach at this conference such as: ending the Serbian genocide and war against the Albanians, establishing NATO protection in Kosovo and formulating a transition status for Kosovo. (Tahiri, 2001, 9). Western Diplomats had already understood that, in case Serbian party fails to sign the agreement, the only way to end the war in Kosovo was military intervention. American and European Community diplomatic efforts never stopped to convince Milosevich to end the war in Kosovo. They even sent the special envoy Mr. Richard Holbrooke to convince Milosevich to stop the violence in Kosovo and sign the agreement. Mr. Holbrooke visited Slobodan Milosevich for the last time on March 24 to convince him to sign the agreement, and withdraw all the forces from Kosovo, but without any results. Even high NATO officials had called Belgrade to sign the agreement, had warned Milosevich with NATO air strikes, stating that Milosevich continuous to be obstacle regarding the way toward the peace. NATO General Secretary Javier Solana had stated that Mr. Holbrooke’s visit in Belgrade was the last chance to bring peace in Kosovo without using force. This was the agreement and the last chance by the USA role to give to Serbia a chance to accept the political agreement, which would bring Kosovo war to its end, and to ommit NATO military intervention. After Holbrook’s return from Belgrade, whom the President Bill Clinton had sent him in his last mission, but without any results, the President Bill Clinton authorised NATO General Secretary Javier Solana to commence strikes in Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999. After the authorisation, NATO General Secretary Javier Solana ordered General Wesley Clark to commence air strikes against Serbian targets in the former Yougoslavia. (Clinton, 2004, 714). Regarding NATO air strikes against Serbian military, paramilitary and police forces targets, the USA President Bill Clinton addressed American people from the White House on March 24, 1999. He gave a real and detailed description of the situation in Kosovo, announcing the American citizens that Serbian military, paramilitary and police forces are bombing civilian residences, burning down houses and are massacring innocent people . “We can see innocent people expelled from the houses by force, people who are put in front of heaps of shooting by force and are hit by bullits. What is happening in kosovo has nothing in common with the war and traditional laws of war; this is an unfair war done with all military ordnance against innocent people. So, my country-fellows, let us close this tragedy, which is a moral request for us!”. (President’s Clinton speech addressed American people on March 24, 1999). NATO force strikes continued until Milosevich surrended on June 9, 1999. The same date was signed the technical-military agreement at Kumanovo airport, in Macedonia controlled by NATO forces. The agreement was signed by NATO General Mike Jackson and Serbian General Marjanovich. The American policy and determination was very essential because the only option Milosevich understood was military intervention. “The American role was dominant in the military operation plan” (Clark, 2003, 473). The American determination came into expression very powerful taking into account Kosovo issue, when Albanian people were subjected to Milosevichian forces of violence and terror.
After 78 days of NATO air strikes on Serbian targets, on June 21, 1999, Serbian Military and police machinery, includin violent administration leaves Kosovo. At this time, 56 thousand NATO allied troops settle in Kosovo. KFOR came in Kosovo on June 12, 1999, two days after the UN Security Council approved the 1244 Resolution. Resolution 1244 authorised the settlement of civil international representatives and security in Kosovo under UN mandate.