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NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 1

4-07-2014, 12:33

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

NATO entered Kosovo 15 years ago, on June 12, 1999. At the time, the international contingent of the alliance numbering around 50,000 servicemen became known as KFOR (Kosovo Force). As of today, close to 5,000 NATO troops remain in Kosovo and Metohija. The Independent International Commission on Kosovo established on the initiative of Swedish premier Hans Göran Persson on August 6, 1999 concluded that, absent UN Security Council authorization, the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia had been illegal, but the verdict prompted no visible reaction in Brussels and Washington. Ignoring the UN Security Council and other international organizations is the hallmark of the policies pursued by the US and its partners whose thinly veiled permanent objective is to simply gain footholds in the right places at the right time. A circumstance that is largely overlooked in comments on Balkan affairs is that Kosovo is a region with considerable natural resources such as deposits of coal, copper, gold, silver, lead, and zinc. It should be taken into account as well that the assets sited in Kosovo include the TREPCA mining industrial complex and the Obilic power stations. Washington's usual approach is to find, with an eye to the future, those who are eager to promote US interests in resource-rich areas across the world.  The US advent to Kosovo was arranged  with the help of exactly this tactic.

The Old Guards

The key role in the implementation of the Trojan-style US plan for Kosovo was given to Ibrahim Rugova, a literature scholar, poet, and dissenter born in Istok on December, 1944.  Rugova graduated from the Department of Albanian Studies of the University of Pristina and taught Albanian at school. As a young man, he took a deep interest in philosophy and French literature. Rugova worked in the Institute for Albanian Studies in Pristina after being discharged from the army, and spent 1976-1977 at the École pratique des hautes études of the University of Paris. In 1984, Rugova earned a PhD degree with a thesis on the history of Albanian literary criticism. In the 1980ies,  Rugova made a name for himself as a writer and critic, presided over the editorial boards of the student newspaper Bota e Re ("New World") and the magazine Dituria ("Knowledge"), and, till 1989 chaired the Kosovo Writers' Union.

Ultimately, Rugova was charged with the mission of leading the movement for the independence of Kosovo from Belgrade. Lauded as "Gandhi of the Balkans", he was elected president of Kosovo in 2002. Rugova died of lung cancer on January 21, 2006.

Besides, in the late 1980ies -  early 1990ies, the top-influential opponents of Belgrade in Kosovo were Adem Demaci who had spent 17 years in jail on charges of spying for Germany, former head of the Kosovo communist youth organization Azem Vlasi, and Kosovo parliament speaker in the epoch of Yugoslavia Iljaz Kurtes. Importantly, Kosovo is a region de facto run by family clans, with several clan leaders maintaining an iron grip on virtually all local affairs. The top-influential and richest clans in Kosovo are Krasnici, Demaci, Kelmendi. Involved in a network of business interactions with partners in Albania as well as in Europe, they  were able to provide generous funding to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The Krasnici and Demaci clans were responsible for the related illegal businesses, arms trade, the guerrilla organization, and ties with various criminal groups based in Albania and Europe. These “old guards”, backed by the CIA and Germany's BND, did whatever it took to whip up resistance to the Belgrade administration across Kosovo. Most of the “old guards” went out of the game as Kosovo fell under the NATO protectorate in June 1999, but even these days they retain a great deal of control over the situation in the province and over it authorities.

To be continued

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  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 4
  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 3
  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 2
  • No More International Law, the US Has Its Way
  • Kosovo’s masters of puppets