Op-Ed: The U.S. Kosovo Policy Needs Change
Washington, DC—The following Op-Ed appeared in the National Herald, 2-9-08 page 11.
U.S. Kosovo Policy Needs Change
By Gene Rossides
February 5, 2008
The U.S. policy towards Kosovo is in urgent need of reassessment in the interests of the U.S. In November 2007 Doug Bandow, the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance and former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Senior Fellow at the CATO Institute, at an AHI noon forum called for a change in U.S. policy towards Kosovo.
Now we have three leading U.S. international affairs experts and members of the foreign policy establishment, John Bolton, Lawrence Eagleburger and Peter Rodman, state in a recent Op-Ed article in the Washington Times, (1-31-08; page A 14; col.1)
that “A reassessment of America’s Kosovo policy is long overdue.”
John Bolton is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Lawrence Eagleburger is a former U.S. Secretary of State; and Peter Rodman is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. All three are currently active in foreign policy matters. Bolton and Rodman are conservatives; Eagleburger was a career diplomat. They state:
Further, they state: “Even if Kosovo declared itself an independent state it would be a dysfunctional one and a ward of the international community for the indefinite future. Corruption and organized crime are rampant. The economy, aside from international largesse and criminal activities, is nonviable. Law enforcement, integrity of the courts, protection of persons and property, and other prerequisites for statehood are proactively nonexistent.”
The authors point out that viable and lasting settlements of difficult issues “should result from negotiation and compromise. Such an outcome has been undermined by a U.S. promise to the Kosovo Albanians that their demands will be satisfied if they remain adamant and no agreement is reached with Belgrade. Such a promise cannot be justified by the claim, often heard from proponents of independence, that the Albanians’ ‘patience’ is running out, so independence must be granted without delay. This is nothing less than appeasing a threat of violence.”
U.S. and Russia
Of special interest are the authors’ comments on U.S. actions and Russia:
I concur with these comments about Russia and go further. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. should have done much more to develop its relationships with Russia. We should have recognized during the Clinton administration and the current Bush administration that Russia is central to the United States’ international interests. We should be seeking a “special relationship” with Russia and eliminate the special relationship with Britain, a second level nation, who has undermined U.S. efforts to develop a strong, mutually beneficial U.S.- Russia relationship. Russia and China are the most important countries in the world for U.S. interests, and Britain is down the ladder.
Under Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Greece has dramatically increased its relations with Russia, economically and culturally. The Russia—Greece agreement regarding the Burgas—Alexandroupolis oil and gas pipeline and Russia’s plan for pipelines under the Black Sea to carry oil and gas to Bulgaria and then through Greece to Italy, represent a major increase in Greece-Russia relations.
Greece—the key for U.S.
Greece is the strategic, economic and political key for the U.S. in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean, not Turkey. And Greece’s role as a bridge to Russia can be important to U.S. interests, particularly when the U.S. stops taking Greece for granted and recognizes Greece’s importance to the U.S. and its reliability as an ally.
Doug Bandow made another key point in his remarks, namely, that our friends should speak up when they believe American policies are wrong. He was specifically referring to Greece, among other nations, and urged Greece to strongly voice its views regarding Kosovo and other issues.
Call and write to President Bush and Secretary of State Rice and urge them in the interests of the U.S. to reassess U.S.—Kosovo policy and oppose independence for Kosovo and support U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244.
For additional information, please contact Nick Larigakis at (202) 785-8430 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.
Op-Ed: The U.S. Kosovo Policy Needs Change