From the CIAO Atlas Map of Europe 

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Security Ranges Of Nato Intervention In Kosovo *

Miroslav Hadzic

September 1999

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute


Table of Contents

I. Preliminary balance of Kosovo actors

II. Two principles of American interventionism

III. Change of security parameters

IV. The first outcomes of NATO interventionism

V. Prospects for the security stabilisation of the region

VI. Bibliography



The armed conflict in Kosovo, crowned by the NATO bombing of the FR of Yugoslavia, perfectly fits the metaphor of the Balkans as the "powder keg". However, the frequent use of this metaphor has depleted it of its specific contents. By becoming a stereotype (Wheeler, 1996) it has, with its apparent self-evidence, relieved its political users of the obligation to learn about the actual causes of the Balkan "explosiveness", always available for analysis (Brown, 1992).

Another fact, which eludes this surrogate knowledge, is that the Balkans is, among other things, also a "bottomless pit" which has, on a number of occasions sucked in various states, armies and nations. Numerous international peace interventions into the (self)destructive reality of the Balkans had the same predicament. It is therefore small wonder that the local and the world powers-to-be found it so easy to reach for their arms and join forces to produce wars in the Balkans or for the Balkans. Whenever that happened, the economic, political and cultural achievements of the nations living there were destroyed. It has condemned them to perpetually deal with the same tasks, which boil down to the problem of individual, national and state survival.

Be it so, by an analogous powder-metaphor, the newly created situation in Kosovo and the FRY, thus in the Balkans too, could be named a "cluster-peace". Reacting only when the fuse on the Kosovo "bomb" had burnt off, so that its direct defusing became dangerous, the US and the EU ordered NATO to remove it all together by air-activation. The central "bomb", together with unprotected population, was blown up, but its numerous "bomblets" were scattered all around the area (the Balkans), which had been "mined" long ago. In order to prevent further "explosions", the Western Alliance sent in KFOR troops to occupy a central zone of its fragmentation. At the same time, with the Stability Pact, the Alliance announced financing of the socio-economic and political deactivation of both previously and newly scattered "bomblets" in the whole region.

The validity of this metaphor, leastwise because of itself, will be examined by the initial analysis of the security ranges of imposing the peace in Kosovo from outside. Its starting point, on the one hand, is the fact, verified by the UN resolution, that the Kosovo (pseudo)war 1 and the emerging peace, in terms of the already visible, but still more of the announced consequences, go far beyond the frameworks of an internal ethnic-civil conflict; 2 on the other hand, it is the formal position of the Stability Pact that the lasting security stabilisation in South Eastern Europe is a precondition for regional integration as well as for the integration of the region into the Euro- Atlantic community, 3 and that therefore the current and future security of South Eastern Europe crucially depend on the success of military and civilian representatives of the Alliance and the UN in the pacification and comprehensive reconstruction of Kosovo. 4

The wide scope of the intended examination is best revealed by the political renaming of the Balkans and the neighbouring countries into the region of South Eastern Europe. This new identification supports potential changes in the self-reflection of the Balkans, but in the attitudes of external factors towards it as well. A wide political framework so created has prevented the (self)exclusion from the region of the states claiming they already belong to (West)Europe, like Croatia which in terms of its essential economic and political characteristics still belongs to the Balkans (Prelec, 1997). Even if opposite was the case, it would not undermine the conclusion that no serious reconstruction of South Eastern Europe can commence without participation of all central states of the Yugoslav origin (FRY/Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

There is every reason to believe that the announced regional approach mirrors the finally formed consciousness of the Euro-Atlantic alliance that the Balkans, regardless of its marginal geographic position and fluctuating strategic significance, is a component part of Europe. In other words, the Alliance cannot properly pursue its strategic interests without reckoning with the Balkans or contrary to it.

The subject of the analysis obliges us to explain first what the Kosovo conflict and the NATO military intervention basically stand for. This is because we are convinced that the foundations of the Kosovo conflict and NATO interventionism (Copley, 1999) include a series of factors which will decisively influence the postwar processes in the region. The analysis will give us sufficient starting assumptions for an initial examination of the prospects for the security stabilisation of South Eastern Europe (alias the Balkans).

The validity of the analysis is from the very beginning made relative by numerous limitations which cannot be eliminated in view of the intention and scope of this paper. Since it deals with the ongoing processes and radical changes, their basic meanings are impossible to tell in advance just as their far-reaching implications are impossible to anticipate. Still more difficult will be to break through the veils of the (post)war propaganda in order to uncover the actual objectives and outcomes of the key actors. The best illustration to that is the fact that each of the participating armies — YA, KLA and NATO — proclaimed its victory in Kosovo.

Similarly, we are deprived of knowledge about the secret diplomacy courses — negotiating and political deals which took place behind the scene, and directly influenced actions of the Kosovo conflict actors.

A very special problem will be registering and taking into account of the multitude of mediating and interfering factors and actors, be they local, regional or Euro-Atlantic. Namely, no matter how the interventionist actions were suited to the local challenges, their effects were not limited by geography. In other words, every action designed to stop the Kosovo war has had indirect regional, Euro-Atlantic and global consequences. It also applies to the calculation of the time of their duration. For, the consequences of the single actions (calculatedly) last even after the completion of the purposely limited operation. A criss-cross of space and time dimension makes any examination even more complicated. With the inherent increase of the scope of intervention the predictability of its consequences decreases. Proportionally to that, the time necessary for all its consequences to become apparent prolongs. Therefore, this attempt of an, relatively isolated, exploration and ranking of the repercussions of the NATO intervention in Kosovo is primarily of a methodological character.

Regardless of the mentioned difficulties, the paper will try to define the security range of the measures undertaken in Kosovo. At least, it intends to identify the situational obstacles to making the states of the region comply with the Euro-Atlantic security model. 5 In other words, it will try, in general terms, to examine the validity of the Alliance-engineered security model for South Eastern Europe. 6 The regional context — a difficult enough spectre to define, characterised by considerable ethnic and state disproportions and conflicts with a war potential — will be implied. Reference to it will only be made to the extent required for the better understanding of the security shift in South Eastern Europe, announced by the international community (US and EU).


Preliminary balance of Kosovo actors

The armed ending of the Kosovo conflict clearly marked three groups of actors, of various political origin and status, unequal legality and variable legitimacy.

Within the Serbian-Albanian-American triangle, the spots of the Serbian-Albanian conflict were clearly drawn by their inverse objectives. The content of relations of each individual actor (conflict and/or co-operation) with the key (third) actor depended on the degree to which its objectives fitted into the objectives and interests of the US.

The two actors supported their antagonistic objectives by unequal forces and means, and employed them according to differing strategic and tactical concepts. Besides that, they in different ways measured and spent available — historic, astronomic, operational — time. Differences in input necessarily produced different results. Accordingly, the degree of their efficiency — the resulting product of concordance between chosen objectives and the means applied within a limited time frame — is also unequal.

Between February and October of 1998 the Serbian and Albanian actors verified by arms the validity of their strategic-tactical concepts. Each of them, of course, weighed his available assets. The testing started with the KLA winter offensive, continued with retaliation operations of the Serbian police and the army, to be terminated with the agreement between Milosevic and Holbrooke.

The Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement could be taken as a summary point of the last year's armed stage of the Serbian-Albanian conflict. A temporary end of the war gave domestic actors a chance to review their military-political scores. The foreign mediators claimed they would prevent every attempt from any side for changing the balance subsequently or for turning it over into its own favour. The US and NATO kept that right for themselves.


1. The Albanian road to independent Kosovo

The national movement of Kosovo Albanians was articulated again, in political and party terms, at the beginning of the eighties, becoming an additional factor of the collapse of the second Yugoslavia. The north-western focus of the Yugoslav war (Slovenia, Croatia, B&H) had temporarily pushed the Kosovo problem to the political margins.

After Milosevic had revoked the Kosovo autonomy by the new Serbian Constitution, he established a full police control over the province. There was no doubt that he was ready, due to the involvement of the YPA in the spilling wars, to employ all means available to prevent the opening of the southern front. 7 Though Rugova and his supporters had already held a referendum on independence, unrecognised by the Serb authorities, and formed their own institutions of power, they adopted the tactics of non-violent resistance. With good reason they reckoned that any attempt of armed resistance would trigger new reprisals by the Serbian regime (Danopoulos, Chopani, 1997: 176-177).

In spite of that, the separatist movement was gradually taking roots in the Albanian Kosovo population, moving it — intentionally, but also out of a necessity 8 — into the gray zone of the social survival. The new Albanian elite, residing in the parallel world of (para)institutions, grew politically within the repressive framework of the Serbian regime, and upon the ideas of a greater-state nationalism. Its force kept growing with the abundant inflow of new social resources, in numerous ways suitable for a radical shaping.

The generations of Albanians born in the sixties and seventies were ethnically and politically brought up under conditions of (self)isolation and (pre)war conflicts, characteristic for the end of the eighties and the nineties. Having no connections with the Serbian society and the state, following the logic of their youth age and general frustration, but also of their mass aggregation, they have made the radical combat core of the separatist movement.

The public return of the Albanian separatist movement to the Serbian political scene was facilitated from the outside by the Dayton Peace Accords and a systematic breakdown of their mother country - Albania. At the same time, after being expelled from Bosnia in Dayton, the Milosevic's regime finally returned to its mother society and state. There, among other problems, it had to encounter Kosovo. In line with its authoritarian nature, the regime transferred the Kosovo issue under the competence of the police and judiciary. In this way it directly helped the legitimization of the Albanian national movement and its leaders.

The structural collapse of Albania, as well as the growing claims of the fellow-countrymen in Macedonia, gave rise to the Piedmont and the grater-state ambitions in the Albanian elite in Kosovo. It resulted in establishing stronger — political, organisational, logistic — ties between Albanian communities across the borders, facilitating mutual transfer of people, finances and arms.

While, on the one hand, the Serbian regime was drawing electoral benefits 9 out of the repressive holding back of the Kosovo problem (apparently — solving it), the Albanian elite, on the other, was equally drawing multiple benefits being exposed to the repression. It used the repression for a political and media promotion of all its — minimal and maximal — goals. By organising itself in a military way, it acquired an additional instrument for provoking the regime's use of force. Giving rise to a spiral of mutual violence, the Kosovo Albanian leadership accelerated internationalisation of the emerging ethno-civil war for the state territory. The US engagement in the entangling disentanglement of the "Kosovo knot" has moved the Albanian masses and their leaders a step closer to the realisation of their dream of independent Kosovo.

The turning point in the Kosovo Albanians' political strategy was the emergence of an allegedly self-created and self-defensive (para) military formation, of a stimulative and promising name — "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA). 10 By creating a military (terrorist, guerrilla) wing, the Albanian movement completed the arsenal of the available means for bringing about its ultimate goal. 11

This transition into a new stage probably came out from the Albanian leadership's estimation that favourable, international and internal, conditions for an armed secession have been created. One could presume that they looked for a model in the "Slovenian-Croat" case of a speedy (war) acquirement of their own state. According to the same scheme, they could have expected the support from the West. They were only to deliver to the West a sufficient amount of, at least propaganda, rationale for gaining the status of an innocent victim. The major opponent — Milosevic — was the same, so they could rightfully reckon on his reiteration of tactical and strategic mistakes. Additionally, the Serbian regime had already then been considerably weakened by the war defeats and economic sanctions. On top of that, Milosevic and Serbia (Serbs) were internationally isolated and satanized in the world media as the only culprits for the bloody course of events in the former Yugoslavia.

The Albanian movement acquired a key strategic advantage by formulating a clear, uncontested and directly motivating ultimate goal for the majority of their compatriots. It was built up on a desire for an urgent leave from the authority of the Yugoslav-Serbian state, in order to establish an independent state of Kosovo Albanians, basing on the right to self-determination. At the same time, like its Yugoslav predecessor, the separatist movement has indefinitely postponed any formulation, not to mention implementation, of the principles and values of a modern democratic society, 12 on behalf of its ultimate goal.

The movement drew its additional advantage out of disposing by almost unlimited time. Its historic time over-lapped. The idea of a single-nation state perfectly fitted into a petrified social structure, of 19th century tribalism, of Kosovo Albanians. In comparison to its Serbian rival, the astronomic time favoured it as well, because years and decades are measured and lined up in a different way in the Albanian and the regime's calendar. While the Serbian regime was hastily spending the last stockpiles of the future time, the Albanian movement had it in abundance. If nothing else, it could count that in respect of the population size it would soon reach and overrun its adversary, and by that token acquire other arguments necessary for achieving its goal. At the tactical level, that gave it a freedom in calculation of time. A relatively unrestricted selection of objectives and the timetable for political and/or armed actions provided it with initiative and facilitated its military-political exploitation of surprise.

Having managed, by various methods, 13 to gradually reduce the number of Serbs in Kosovo to less than 10% of the entire population, the separatist movement secured another two essential prerequisites for a fruitful strategy. By a decades-long high birth rate the demographic picture of Kosovo has been changed, establishing a high percentage of the ethnic majority of the Albanian community. 14 On that basis the Albanians have acquired control over the Kosovo area. That later on facilitated them a fast development of a (para)military organisation and an unhampered maneuver of its armed groups. Above all, the separatist movement has made a maximum use out of the repressive situational framework for the production of an anti-Serb combat morale in the Albanian population and for raising fanaticism among the KLA assailants.

However, all these advantages have not been sufficient for achieving any of the separatist objectives in the period under question. In a collision with the Serbian/Yugoslav state force apparatus, the armed groups of the KLA were easily destroyed, and their sympathisers and supporting population forced to surrender or to flee. It was, after all, an expected outcome of the conflict of the regular army and police with an illegal, poorly armed, untrained, impatient and pretentious, emerging military organisation.

Potential advantages of the Albanian movement, however, started to materialise with the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement, on the one hand due to the wrong policy of the Serbian regime, and on the other, owing to the US ultimatum. The experiences of the previous Yugoslav wars were approved once again. They demonstrate that, with the lack of political knowledge, skills and will at the side of the Serbian regime, and with a surplus of will, might and impatience of the world super-power, an illegal status and counter-constitutional armed activities of a separatist movement could subsequently, even internationally, be legalised and legitimised.


2. The Kosovo defense of the Serbian regime

The Serbian oligarchic elite, under the control and leadership of Slobodan Milosevic, has already then closed its Kosovo circle. Unwilling to respond properly to the radical state and social crisis, like in 1991, it again reached for the use of force. It was convinced that it had a sovereign right to this in the name of myth, historical, national, territorial and constitutional reasons. By a combination of methods, the Serbian leadership involved the whole Serbian population in the conflict, regardless of its will, but the rest of Yugoslav citizens as well.

However, the Serbian regime entered a new "battle for Kosovo" being handicapped in a number of ways. It had to deal with a bill that has been delivered to it for a several-decade long neglecting of the Kosovo problem and permanent Serbian unsuccessfulness in its thorough resolving. The fact that the Serbian political elites during their Yugoslav history have not been any more successful in finding a positive solution to the Serbian national problem (Djilas, 1990) was of no comfort. In fact, by a late discovery and a violent removal of the alleged harmfulness of Yugoslavia for the Serbian national interests, 15 these elites wholeheartedly contributed to the violent destruction of the only state in which all Serbs were living together.

Officially — just to remind — they had started from the defense of socialism and modern federation, replaced it with the protection of the Serbian population from a repetition of a genocide in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, to come finally to the prevention of spreading the war in the third Yugoslavia. 16 It is worth noting that the central axis of Milosevic's official political strategy, regardless of the Serbian national (nationalistic) rhetoric, was a struggle for some (any form of) Yugoslavia. Beginning from socialist Yugoslavia, via the "second and half" (for those willing to join it), 17 he has come to the hardly remaining two-member state. Serbia came out from the Yugoslav war, in which officially it had not participated, under new Yugoslavia, but defeated. Not only that the regime has failed to achieve any of the proclaimed goals, but it has caused permanent harms for the Serbian society and the state.

The insight in the social and state capacities of Serbia/FRY, available during the conflict with the KLA during 1998, proved that these harms resulted in the lack of sound preconditions for an effective response to the challenges of Albanian separatism. A concise review of disadvantages in key points constructs the following picture:

Thus, the Serbian regime, but the whole population as well, were faced with the consequences of decades-long devastation of good starting positions for the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis. Due to its inability for formulating any meaningful political strategy, the regime was mercilessly wasting the inherited (economic, social, military, political and international) advantages and resources of the Serbian society and nation. The interest-oriented symbiosis with the top ranks of the YPA gave it an illusion of military and political omnipotence, leading it to choose force 21 instead of negotiations. Therefore, it entered each subsequent stage of entanglement of the Yugoslav crisis (Slovenia, Croatia, B&H) from ever worsening position, coming out with ever aggravating results.

The regime was hiding its strategic sterility by increasing the degree of violence inward (through the use of the YPA), on the one hand, and of arrogance toward foreign mediators, on the other. It used to accept compromises only under threats of (NATO) force and only after it had already achieved greatest losses. In these circumstances, Milosevic announced his winning combination: there is no such (national and state) loss which he and his regime will not bear, if it guarantees them to remain in power.

Starting from bad preconditions, the regime was not able, even if it was willing to, to generate a viable political strategy for Kosovo. It based the Kosovo-defense of its power on the following, allegedly self-understanding, postulates:

It is without doubt that the regime defense of Kosovo by all acceptable means had its foundation in the constitutions of Serbia and the FRY. 23 Keeping Kosovo in Serbia/FRY was also a legitimate state, political and national goal. As it was seen, all this did not suffice. In achieving these goals, the regime encountered two insurmountable obstacles:

The key internal obstacle to the protection of the Serbian national interests in Kosovo was, however, the regime itself. The elaboration of a viable program for the resolution of the Kosovo conflict required radical trans-socialistic, social reforms in Serbia/FRY. Reforms, in turn, were impossible without the electoral dismounting of the ruling regime. At this point, "the Kosovo quadrature of the Serbian circle" was almost unsolvable.

Namely, the regime was not willing to start reforms, but wanted to remain in power and still had enough might to achieve that. In fact, it did not dare to start reforms, as they would have necessarily deprived it from all sources of might. In addition, in Serbia there were no alternative political (social) forces, powerful enough to force Milosevic to undertake reforms and/or to step down from power.

If, however, a miracle had happened, i.e. the rise of poverty had caused the rise of (Serbian) civilian resistance and an electoral change of the current regime, new problems would have come about. Carrying out of reforms, besides costs, requires time and social (consensual) patience, as first results do not come immediately. This, in particular, applied to Kosovo. In this version of events, the Albanian movement as well, willingly or under (external) pressure, would have had to join the reforms in order to produce valid solutions for itself. Before this, it would have had to abandon the idea of independent Kosovo and the dream about the all-Albanian unification, i.e. to return to Serbia/FRY economically and politically. This was hardly to be expected from it, especially after the "war gaming".

Manifold limitations made visible regime's unreadiness to face the new Kosovo reality. They also uncovered its fear of accepting the ultimate consequences of the governmental use of force. The regime's inconsistency was directly exposed in the official treatment of the armed conflict. Defining the KLA a terrorist organization, the regime at the beginning justified the systematic use of the police force. However, as the conflict was growing, the official disqualification of the enemy as terrorists started being contested by territorial spreading and mass growing of the KLA. When the YA was introduced in the conflict, the official reason being the widening of the border belt and a need for protection of military units/objects, 25 the definition of the nature of Albanian use of arms remained unchanged.

The regime thus found itself in an unsolvable contradiction. The allegedly minor terrorist KLA had to be confronted with ever growing military-police forces. The official anti-terrorist successfulness of the state was denied in Kosovo every day. Despite military actions, ethnic bastions and political positions of the separatist movement were not significantly weakened. Parallel with growing of the number of killed terrorists and destroyed KLA bases there were growing human and material losses in the army and the police. The joint attacks of the army and the police did prevent the mass armed uprising of Albanians and growing of the KLA into an insurrection army, but they only forced it to a temporary retreat and to reorganization.

It is relatively easy to grasp the motivation of the regime at the time for a single-meaning reduction of the Kosovo conflict to Albanian terrorism. Placing the Albanian movement out of law, it wanted to secure itself the right to, and to extort internal/external support for, the undisturbed use of force. Putting the consequence at the place of the cause, the regime aimed at a political disqualification of the Albanian movement and annullation of its final goal. Above all, by that it was hiding from itself and from the public the real reasons and scope of the already orchestrated dissatisfaction of Kosovo Albanians.

It seems that the Serbian government did not want or did not dare to abandon publicly its perspective of the Albanian terrorism. It remains unclear was it because it feared negative internal and external reactions or because it was unable to foresee all consequences of change in attitude. This necessarily brings to mind analogies with its similar (non)acting during the war destruction of the second Yugoslavia. The rump SFRY Presidency 26 declared the immediate war danger only on the 4th of October 1991, although Slovenia had been out of Yugoslavia for quite some time and the war in Croatia had already culminated. 27

Another governmental act — the decree by the Serbian government about "measures for preventing the immediate war danger" from October 1998, on the eve of the NATO bombing, also belongs to the same type of reactions. It was another proof of a discrepancy between the media-created and real readiness of the regime to defend Kosovo resolutely. Avoiding to declare the state of war and general mobilization, which were required by the situation, Milosevic in the first moment suppressed public reactions of citizens and opponent political parties. At the same time, he prevented any debate about his Kosovo policy. However, it is more important that he did not wish to further provoke the US and NATO. His aim, obviously, was to leave room both for himself and the US for further negotiations.

It seems that the crucial unknown parameter for the regime was the reaction of the Serbian/Yugoslav citizens to a potential declaring of the state of emergency or the state of immediate war danger. The impression was that the regime was not afraid of the anti-war civilian resistance, which could have probably removed it from power, but was afraid of entropic passive resistance and mass abandoning of the (war) obligations, which would have essentially made it powerless and left alone at the Kosovo wasteland. 28

The following set of hypothesis may contribute to better understanding of the regime's choice of the policy on Kosovo. There is no doubt that Milosevic and his regime were well aware of the real nature and goals of the Albanian movement. It was also clear to them that the U.S.A would by themselves choose the timing and a form of intervention. In choosing the strategy for Kosovo they were left only with the opportunity to figure out potential advantages and disadvantages for their power. As they were not competent for that, or did not dare to do it, they reached for the already tested methods of pretended acting, 29 waiting, launching delayed and "post-festum" actions. They must have hoped that the US, when it delivers (forces upon) the solution, would again give them the role of the main agent.

Feeling that the time period for testing the American patience was limited, as well as that separatism could not be eradicated under present conditions, the regime first exerted its strength in order to neutralize potential internal harms for its power. At the end of 1988 thus it applied a set of repressive decrees and laws. 30 The regime intended to prevent any rise of awareness among citizens (their self-enlightenment about the nature of the regime and its contribution to the conflict) and public questioning of its responsibility (unsuccessfulness). By the way it introduced new fiscal taxes for refilling of the emptied state budget. 31 Unsatisfied with the degree of fighting patriotism, the regime got down to a mass production of "imposed" patriotism and combat morale. Following the already successfully applied methods, conspiracy "theories" again have flooded over the Serbian public scene. A new circle of finding and prosecuting "internal enemies", "foreign mercenaries", etc. was launched.

Above all, the regime started intensive preparations for war or, to put it better, for the defense from the expected bombing. These preparations were done out of the public sight. They mainly involved securing material and personnel augmentation, dislocation, fortification, dispersion and camouflage of the army and police units.

Under these preconditions, prepared by the regime, Milosevic succeeded in ensuring the survival of his regime. In this sense, his gain from the agreement with Holbrooke was many-sided. He in fact transferred the Kosovo problem to the American competence and at the same time avoided the NATO bombing. On this basis, he ascribed himself again the role of the national and state savior.

The short-term advantage for the regime, as fresh experiences from the Yugoslav wars were warning, has announced permanent losses for Serbia and its citizens. Although the final consequences were yet unforeseen, there was every foundation for the fear regarding the future of the Serbian nation and state. Focusing them on a delayed and violent resolution of the problems of the 19. Century, for the sake of building the (single)nation-state (Pesic, 1997), Milosevic and his regime already at the beginning of the nineties started — a hidden and hard to stop — process of the Serbian national regression.


3. American mediation of the Kosovo conflict

The U.S. has had the most favourable position in the Kosovo triangle. In contrast to domestic actors, it hasn't had any serious limitations in formulating the strategy and tactics for Kosovo. It has on its own chosen and combined the objectives, instruments, timing and the forms of its (non)acting. At the same time, the US was aware of its power to impose by ultimatum any solution for Kosovo. For that purpose it had already announced the use of NATO even without the UN Security Council approval. Furthermore, no matter how it acted in Kosovo, the US exposed itself to small risks. It was protected from any kind of loss by the force it possessed and the geographical distance.

To all appearances, the US and NATO put an end to the shooting 32 in Kosovo in 1998 only when they estimated that both sides had reached enough gains and bearable losses. In other words, they reacted when they calculated that further fighting, due to a great misbalance in armed forces, would enormously increase civil casualties, particularly among the Albanians; and just then when they were sure that the limited sum of available gains/losses — political and territorial — could encourage the conflicting sides to draw in the neighbouring countries in their armed conflict.

The KLA "war-gaming" and its mass growing in spring in 1998, verified by its control of a larger part of the Kosovo territory, had encouraged the Albanian side and increased its pretensions. The KLA leaders announced a long war until the final all-Albanian victory. As a response, Serbia undertook a military-police offensive and regained the control over the border with Albania, main communications and greater part of Kosovo. 33 Defeating the armed groups, it at the same time prevented the KLA from growing into a regular army.

At the moment, the US set in motion the UN and NATO mechanisms in order to stop the conflict. It is possible that the internal calculations were warning it of dangerous consequences that might have been caused by the full victory or defeat of one of the conflicting sides:

In both cases, simplified here for analytical purposes, the conflict's intensification or anyone's victory would have directly endangered the regional and Euro-Atlantic security. That was, probably, one of the key reasons of the US strategic-security interest for a direct control of the Kosovo conflict.

It seems, therefore, that the initial American intervention 34 aimed first to prevent a full victory of the Serbian side, i.e. the full defeat of the Albanian side. By the opening of a prospect for greater losses (bombing for Milosevic, and returning under the Serbian jurisdiction for Rugova) and for some gains (retaining the power for Milosevic, and a wider autonomy with a prospect for independence for Rugova) both sides were forced to the political solution of the conflict.

A discrepancy between the American public concern about the Kosovo conflict and its hesitation in acting can be explained by numerous reasons. The following are but a few key ones. Over the last years, the US, on various bases, apparently, managed to gain full political control over the main actors in the Kosovo conflict. The leading and commanding role in NATO enabled the US, in the case of need, to use force quickly. Its actual domination in the UN Security Council kept it convinced that, when necessary, it would get international mandate broad enough to mediate in the conflict in Kosovo, or in the last instance, that its announced action without this mandate would be legalised subsequently.

The evident omnipotence of the US didn't, as it could have been expected, result in its sensible, efficient and timely reaction. Moreover, it was difficult not to notice slowness, ambiguity and inconsistency in its eminently pragmatic approach. It must have originated from the fact that Kosovo and the FRY/Serbia haven't yet been in the main zone of their strategic interests. 35 This may be one of the key reasons why the US, during its successive intervention in the Yugoslav crisis (wars), has never succeeded in formulating a consistent and viable strategy. Regardless of its humanitarian and democratic rhetoric, the US graded the conflict in Kosovo primarily by its own strategic criteria. At the same time, as much as it could, it used this conflict for other (more important) purposes.

The war disintegration of the former Yugoslavia can not be properly understood without the analysis of Milosevic's (mis)use of the YPA (Hadzic, 1995) and manipulations with the Serbian national interests, which has to be placed in the context of the role of other national war leaders, nowadays the heads of the newly created states.

In the similar vain, the gradual ending of the war in the former Yugoslavia cannot be understood without the analysis of the way the Americans, personalised in Richard Holbrooke, imposed the control over Milosevic's politics. A similar procedure, if it is for a comfort, was used for imposing the control over other Yugoslav war-oriented peacemakers.

If we eliminate "special war" speculations about the character of this linkage, 36 the flow of the American intervention in the Yugoslav crisis clearly demonstrated the means applied and results obtained. The US had started the military-political fettering of Milosevic during the war in Croatia to finalise it by the Dayton Peace Accords. Therefore the October agreement on Kosovo could be understood as an additional check-point concerning the creator of the current Serbian regime.

The scheme for putting Milosevic under the control clearly mirrors the Euro-American approach to the Yugoslav war. Accepting the ethno-republic principle of the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia, instead of preventing and forbidding the war, the EU and US in fact supported it. They kept for themselves the right to define the war results subsequently, according to their own criteria and needs (Håkan, 1996). For that purpose they needed a local partner, stuck enough in the mud but still enough powerful. They have easily found him in self-exposed Milosevic (Serbs). After that, they had only to include him in their management of the Yugoslav crisis, regardless of his public resistance.

Accordingly, they immediately and fully supported each of his war rivals and brought each of them to a new, independent state. Cutting off a republic by republic, they have made absurd and illegitimate his (and YPA's) alleged battle for the socialist and federative Yugoslavia. In this way, they forced him to an irrevocable retreat. They took over and strengthened the Slovenian and Croatian propaganda clichés which were presenting the conflict as a fight between (their) democracy and Milosevic (Serbian) Bolshevism. By open and secret deliveries of weapons, equipment and information and by the military training of new armies they were hastily reducing Milosevic's military supremacy. They soon arranged for him (planned) military defeats, performed by the Croats and the Muslims). 37 By the repeated sanctions they isolated and additionally exhausted him economically. At the same time, without much hesitation the US has taken from Milosevic and his partners — Kucan, Tudjman, Izetbegovic — the irresponsible attitude to logic, facts, truth, democratic principles, justice and international law.

Up to the time of bombing, the FRY the score had been paradoxical. In contrast to Milosevic, the US and EU always stopped at the point of not endangering his power. The strategic relay of the West upon Milosevic, as well as on the other Yugoslav war leaders, can be understood only from a daily-political and pragmatic prospective. It could also be justified by its first aim: a final ending of the Yugoslav war. The war makers, in fact, were the only ones with enough power to provide the Alliance with desired results immediately. The real effects of transforming the war leaders into the peacemakers became visible very soon. After stabilising their power by the help of the West, they later tried with all their strength to obstruct the peace plans and avoid the fulfilment of taken obligations.

The American success can be partly explained by a long lasting "stick and carrot" treatment of Milosevic (and other rulers in ex-Yugoslavia). Although they have proclaimed "punishment and award" as their top operative principle, intended for the Yugoslav citizens too, the US used it consistently and fully only in regard to individuals. Concerning the citizens, for example in the case of Serbia/FRY, it has always and only used the "stick" (sanctions). On the other hand, after threatening Milosevic by the "NATO stick", he was always granted the "carrot" which pleased him the most — remaining in power. In return, he had dutifully to fulfil the required tasks — to co-sign every peace document offered, to stop war actions, and to surrender part of the occupied/liberated territory. Irrevocable losses were his guarantee for a free rule over Serbia and the FR Yugoslavia. For that reason, whenever he had to make another concession, the US used to threaten first his survival in power. After convincing him in the serious nature of that treat, during dinner and drinking a new turn of trade-offs would start again. It was only unclear what would happen when Milosevic (like now is the case, after the bombing) had no enough profitable goods for further trading.

The Kosovo-Albanian movement and its leaders collaborated with the US because of their own interests and needs. Fully understandable, because none of the proclaimed objectives - today a wide autonomy, tomorrow perhaps an independent state - could be reached without the approval and support of the US.


Two principles of American interventionism

The American engagement in Kosovo before the bombing has illuminated some of the auxiliary ways for getting global power. It has also cast a right measure to the ideological part of the American story about the US incentives for sacrificing itself for the well-being and freedom of the people in the world community. Additionally, it has stimulated doubts in the "Pax Americana", founded upon the arbitrary use of NATO. This is clearly proved by the two interventionism principles of the U.S. (NATO), crystallised in the case of former Yugoslavia. Elements for their reconstruction are drafted below.

First principle: the objectives which are significant in terms of security and unquestionable in terms of value — peace, human rights, democracy — may be accomplished (protected) even by inappropriate means.

The interventionist, therefore, has (usurps) complete freedom in the choice of acts aimed at the protections of those aims. Due to the lack of (superior) controlling bodies, he is exempted from the obligation to act timely, adequately, purposefully, justly and consistently. Thus, the interventionist himself, in an arbitrary way, decides where and to what degree universal civilization values are violated, i.e. whether its protection deserves the use of arms, political and economic sanctions or delivering of an abundant assistance.

By all appearances, the rule is being established that, the further one goes from the West there is a growing tendency of a decline of the real value and an increase of the instrumental significance of human rights and democracy. This means that (Euro-Atlantic) interventionists may avoid, postpone, apply selectively or even abuse their international protection, according to their own needs.

There is no doubt that the war (wars) in former Yugoslavia violated universal human rights, and deprived the population, found and caught up in the area, of some elementary rights. Despite the international legal ban on the war, one country was destroyed, and several new ones created, by the war. Borders were changed. War crimes were committed. Population was thinned and its structure altered by ethnic cleansing, etc. It is as well certain that without the outside intervention, the Yugoslav war would have lasted virtually until mutual extermination of the conflicting parties. The intervention, therefore, was directly caused by the lack of will among domestic war leaders to reach a compromise solution for any problem. In this sense, it would be difficult to deny justification of the external (political) intervention.

Bearing all this in mind, however, it is not easy to explain numerous controversies on the West part concerning its interventionism in the Yugoslav crisis:

Most definitely, both the US and the EU were led by their own interests in the Yugoslav crisis. Strategic efficiency compelled them to achieve security goals as quickly and with as little risk and own losses as possible. It also asked for the respect of the rule that war harms should be paid by the ones who made them. Since the majority of Yugoslav population supported the war and the ruling regimes, it is logical that they had to bear the implications of their choice. There is also justification in the general principle of the West that local population should be assigned the responsibility for democratic reconstruction of their societies and change of the ruling regimes by elections.

A controversial point here is keeping the citizens — by a collective punishment — from making out the reform intention, as it were the case in Serbia. This applies to the degree this intention actually existed. It was cynical from the Alliance to expect that merely the subsequent ban on the war, without any radical changes in Yugoslav societies, could nullify its deeply rooted causes. 40 The same is valid for the intent of the West to achieve regional security without its support to the stripping of power of the key Yugoslav actors endangering the region's security.

The current effort of foreign interveners to preserve multiethnic, multicultural and multiconfessional composition, first of Bosnia and Herzegovina and now of Kosovo, is particularly touching. This even more if one bears in mind their direct and indirect support to the war destruction of the SFRY, which, at least nominally, used to be a multicultural society — or, after democratic reforms, could have actually been. Of a similar character is also their strong, but mainly resolution-based, support to the return of all refugees. They had previously been ethnically cleansed from their local environments, while the outside interventionists did nothing to prevent or stop this on time.

Obviously, in ex-Yugoslavia, the foreign mediators have so far applied only a "firefighting arsenal". It seems that their imposing of peace by arms, despite its high costs, was more profitable than offering a long-term "Marshallian" assistance to Yugoslav states and nations for coming out of war.

The root causes of this can be found, beside other things, in a strategic delay and/or unreadiness of the U.S. to respond properly to the challenges produced by the breakdown of the so called world socialist system and dissolution of the Soviet Union. The influence of triumphalistic and retaliation sentiments in the American military-political establishment should not be excluded neither. It was hardly expected that the great and final (Western block's) victory would be followed by a planned assistance to the loser — the more so as it could have become a major rival once again.

Apparently, the West has not been ready (or willing) to act efficiently, particularly in the economic area, and to absorb all the consequences of its long-lasting strategic goal — elimination of socialism. Such attitude has placed it in a reactive position, which, by its global nature and inherent inertia, merely encouraged the use of repressive economic, political and military methods. That is probably the reason why the admission of newly emerged democracies under NATO umbrella, i.e. in the Partnership for Peace project, on pretext of spurring the reform processes, tops the United States agenda in the process of European integration. 41

While the intentions to strategically marginalise Russia are not to be entirely ruled out, the doubts about the true effects of such one-dimensional Euro-Atlantic military integration are well founded. Primarily, because a higher degree of a military, and thus a potentially repressive, relationship among most European states is not a sufficient guarantee of their comprehensive integration. In other words, such relationship does not necessarily encourage the reform process in the formerly closed societies, especially where all the generators of autocratic power have not been dismounted yet. 42 On the contrary, placing a too strong emphasis on military integration prevents both new and old autocratic elites to take intended democratic reforms. The concept of European (Euro-Atlantic) security — pressing Russia, on the one hand, no matter how "alluringly", and, on the other, "starting to build a house upside down", since the candidates are first offered military and then (if ever) social and economic integration — is still not to be treated as fully shaped or long-lasting.

Second principle: putting an end to local and regional wars, particularly to internal (civil) ones, is by itself a valuable goal. External military (NATO) intervention, however, is justified only if it simultaneously achieves strategically more important and longer-lasting gains.

Strategically-modeled intervention should enable the interventionist always to extract enough military-political concessions for himself from any crisis (war), without much risk.

Although in the new world context the strategic importance of the territory of the former Yugoslavia had temporarily declined, by its successive interference in the Yugoslav war, the Euro-Atlantic Alliance secured itself numerous and permanent gains, long before the bombing of the FRY.

In the Yugoslav battlefields, the US and the EU, for example, have found and created viable reasons not only for the survival but also for the growth of NATO global power. Taking over the competence on the Yugoslav crisis, they have immobilized the UN and blocked its mechanisms of collective security. It is true that the US continues to drop in the Security Council, but mainly when it lacks a legalising resolution. Kosovo has offered the US a new chance to test the tolerance towards the potential use of NATO without the approval of the UN Security Council, both within the Alliance and among their strategic partners and rivals. 43

In ex-Yugoslavia, the US has also found new ways for strengthening its military-political influence in the South Eastern Europe. Before that, it had promoted NATO, through the Security Council, in the UN interventionist-peacekeeping force. Keeping the command and running of the peace corps (NATO units) under its own competence, 44 it managed to preserve its full autonomy in the military-political extricating and keeping of peace.

Major states of the Yugoslav origin (Croatia, B&H, FRY) so far have not been encompassed by the Partnership for Peace, nor are they involved in the programs of NATO expanding. The US, however, has managed to draw them in their sphere of influence by the help of peacekeeping operations. This has made possible the American unimpeded and long-term deployment of NATO forces in the burning focus of ex-Yugoslav areas.

By this, the US and NATO at one stroke have acquired new advantages. By a direct military-political control of the whole territory, they have strengthened its protectorate in Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the Dayton Peace Accords they have subjugated all military and police forces in both entities. The Accords also introduced the Yugoslav Army and Croatian Army to their area of control (Phelan, 1996). In addition, they have obtained the opportunity to test and practice procedures for the control and management of potential armed conflicts under real conditions. To all appearances, this has again distanced them from the establishment of the potential strategy for preventing or early ending of local and regional war conflicts (Gow, 1997). American achievements in disciplining its (NATO) allies still evade serious analysis. Their current score in the rival contest with Russia and China is also unknown. There is every reason to believe that a global supremacy of the US and NATO cannot permanently survive on the obedient subordination of the EU, 45 and on marginalisation of Russia and China. As the time goes by and conflicts of interests became more severe, a stronger resistance to a mono-centralist management of the current world community could be expected from both directions.


Change of security parameters

The Serbian-Albanian armed conflict in Kosovo, terminated by the NATO air strikes, conveys a multitude of diverse meanings. It may be understood and explained in a variety of ways. For example, in terms of the ethnic origin of the adversaries it merely accounts for an atypical — non-Slavic ending of the Yugoslav war. In all other respects it is a repetition of a déjà vu and has thus consigned the Yugoslav war and its domestic actors to the antechamber of premodernity. Its post-modern obol was provided by the American conduct of war which to them "did not happen" (Baudrillard, 1995).

It should be said that the Serbian-Albanian conflict, in contrast to other South-Slavic conflicts, was the only one with authentic ethnic, religious, historical and territorial reasons in its foundation. Thus it became inevitable at the moment of a joint escape of the Yugoslav nations and their leaders from the challenges and social-political costs of post-socialist transformation.

Namely, the Yugoslav war(s) can be explained as an outcome of the republic (anti)communist and nationalistic elites' 46 fierce response to the break-up of the centralised authoritarian system. The resulting war, notwithstanding its appearance of an ethnic and religious conflict, was actually waged for power (territory and resources) redistribution, and ended up in cloned patterns of ethnically cleansed states. None of the historical, territorial, ethnic, economic or religious problems — accentuated by chauvinistic ideologies — has been solved. In fact, the Yugoslav war ended up in a bloodstained inventory of the key contradictions underlying the former Yugoslav states. Those contradictions, authorised by gun fire, still await to be resolved.

In all truth, the scale of destruction which took the local war chiefs in Bosnia and Herzegovina about three years to accomplish, was exceeded in Kosovo in less than three months under the wing of the NATO bombers 47 . At the same time, NATO outdid itself. For the first time in its history, it mounted an armed intervention on the European soil, and the one unapproved by the UN Security Council. It violated its own Treaty, 48 as well. Additionally, it wholeheartedly used this self-provided opportunity to test its crews, arms and weapons en masse and from safe altitude. (Radic, Micevski, 1999).

The NATO action was preceded by a months-long diplomatic pause, filled in with negotiations in Belgrade, 49 Rambouillet and Paris (Weller, 1999). It appears that the American decision to use NATO in the name of humanitarian reasons was gradually ripening in this period. It was probably crucial that in this interval the US decided not to rely on Milosevic any more but to take the KLA as its main partner (Gutman, 1999).

The NATO-epilogue has, above all, radically changed the military-political situation in Kosovo and the FRY. It has, at the same time, summarised and brought to ultimate consequences the ten-year long violent disintegration of the second Yugoslavia.

Whether directly or indirectly, all countries of the region found themselves within the range of the intervention. It resulted in the change of the key regional parameters of security. The NATO-finalisation of the Kosovo conflict is therefore from now on an indispensable reference point for the understanding of current developments in the region, but in the Euro-Atlantic community as well.

The first round of clearly visible changes, imposed by the NATO intervention, took place in Kosovo and the FRY. This means that we are talking about the situational changes with potentially far-reaching, but uncertain effects. The following are but a few key ones:

When traced back, the created changes provide sufficient grounds for the claim that the ethnic-territorial decomposition of the former Yugoslavia is reaching its end. The penultimate point of disintegration marks the splitting of Serbia and Montenegro. There are no guarantees that this can be done in line with the constitutional procedure and without internal use of force. The possibility of further crumbling of Serbia should also be taken into account. Public requests for restoring the political and economic autonomy of Vojvodina, and Sandzak, are getting stronger. Vojvodina Hungarians' parties so far have opted for personal autonomy. The problem of decentralisation of Serbia and/or regionalisation of the FRY therefore has been placed on the political agenda. Since democratic recomposition of Serbia and the FRY cannot be expected from the current regime, there are growing prospects that tendencies toward autonomy can bear new separatisms.

The Kosovo epilogue, however, warns that, following the lines of the Albanian unifying aspirations, the possibility of the whole region's recomposition in a more distant future should not be excluded.

NATO air intervention may, among other things, be interpreted as a new method of the organisation's branching out and the increase of its influence in the region. The dilemmas as to which events preceded others, and what they sought to achieve remain outstanding: was NATO installed (merely) for the purpose of ending and isolating the Kosovo conflict or the conflict was used as a pretext for its lasting deployment in the central cockpit of crises in the region? 55

However, there is no dilemma that changes have taken place in NATO's relations with certain countries of the region. This is illustrated by the following summary observations:

Judging by the initial results, the NATO intervention continued the redistribution of power and influence in the region, started already during the Yugoslav war. The reshaping and different bundling of the already existing security risks is under way. This, naturally, gives rise to the new security threats for certain countries as well as the region as a whole.

Therefore, the intervention has failed to solve a single security problem or eliminate at least one of the fundamental (socio-economic and political) threats to the stability of South Eastern Europe. Quite the contrary, the trends created by the interaction of the Yugoslav war and an ever delayed and inadequate Euro-Atlantic interventionism have only be confirmed (Hadzic, 1997).


The first outcomes of NATO interventionism

0It is highly unlikely that the political and theoretical debate concerning the legal basis and moral and political justification for the NATO intervention in Kosovo and the aggression on the FRY will end soon (Woodward, 1999). A new school of though is rising which tries to base theoretically and justify politically the use of armed force for humanitarian purposes.

In a similar way, it is impossible to establish the generally acceptable criteria to qualify the results of the intervention. The only certainty is that it created a new situation in the field. It represents an imposed framework for action for all — local as well as international actors, regardless of their approval or disapproval of the intervention.

At NATO point, the strategies and primary objectives of the three main Kosovo actors — Serbia/FRY, the KLA and the US, became more or less clear (Hadzic, 1999). As all of them followed the principle that "no price is too high to pay to reach the ultimate objective", their mutual extermination could not be avoided. It, on its part, inevitably spread to the civilian population in the area. The size of the gains or losses was determined by what a particular actor had on stake and the quantity of military and political power he wielded. Each of the actors received a proportionate share of results of the previous actions as well. At the same time, new security propositions, supported by a wide arsenal of punishments and awards, were established.

The NATO intervention therefore is the ultimate, crystallising and (potentially) turning point in the Euro-Atlantic arrangement of its strategic environment. But, it is also the reason to make the first inventory of the accomplishments of the Alliance's interventionist step outside its bailiwick.

However paradoxically this may sound, the intervention brought temporary or lasting gains and losses to each of the Kosovo actors.

In contrast to former wanderings across battlefields, for the first time the Yugoslav-Serbian army had a clear and a valid state and national goal — defence from the NATO aggression. It also had enough time to prepare well for this. It could also rightly count on the agreeable support by a large majority of the population. Although the YA and its generals in Kosovo defended only themselves, media glorification of their role afforded them a public enjoyment in the "great victory". The victory was generously awarded by medals and promotions to higher ranks. Naturally, the police was not forgotten.

The only lasting losers — with the exception of the killed on all sides — are the inhabitants of the Kosovoless Serbia. In the Kosovo epilogue they had to face the consequences of their former wrong political choice and of a surplus of will for a Leader. The same package contained the summary results of the bicentennial failure of the Serbian leading elite's to create a modern state and finally step out of authoritarianism. To add to their misfortune, the bombs also delivered them the consequences of the Alliance leader's (US) incompetence, after ten-year meddling, to finally resolve the Yugoslav crisis — or rather the consequences of their resoluteness 60 to drastically punish the chosen (collective) culprit.

Regardless of the huge human and material losses, the intervention resulted in measurable gains only for the Kosovo Albanians and/or the KLA. With the American assistance, they got closer to the introduction to an independent state. The KLA and its new military-political leadership will be the first, and for a long time the only ones, to feel the direct benefits of the intervention. Under the NATO auspices, they crowned themselves with the aura of national liberators. On this basis, long before the elections, they started taking over the main levers of rule and power in Kosovo. The KLA's command control over the new Protection Corps and the transformation of the part of combatants into local police will enable it to preserve its military core. All this provides it with initial and unreachable advantages over other contestants in the future elections.

The American intervention by the way brought a temporary relaxation for the state of Albania. Its government will probably use it in order to transpose the internal tensions in the political engagement for independent Kosovo and/or a desired all-Albanian unification. The state consolidation of Albania could be expected to slow down. In a long term, this will sharpen its fundamental social and political (tribal) contradictions. However, the state of the prolonged chaos could be kept on purpose. It will favour a longer stay of NATO in Kosovo. However, such like situation could be, by the logic of a "fait complet", a background for "spontaneous" unification of Kosovo and Albania.

It is no surprise that the US and NATO have also had certain gains from the intervention. That is, presumably, what they reckoned with in advance, their declared altruism 61 notwithstanding. In their case, the size and durability of the gain are much more difficult to calculate. The most important advantage could be found in the fact that the US has demonstrated, primarily to its European allies, its readiness and power to impose its political will. The obtained military advantages should not be disregarded either. In addition to the already mentioned expanded zone of deployment and influence, they have provided their airforce with a test range in Serbia/FRY for training and the use of live ammunition from a long (safe) distance. 62

However, the Alliance is not protected from, mainly potential, losses. 63 The initial losses may be forthcoming from its carefree attitude in undertaking to deal with the difficult tasks in Kosovo. Obstacles in the relations with strategic partners (rivals) have already been noted. The Kosovo episode may, especially during the attainment of self-defined tasks, sharpen the conflict of interests between the allies. The US reconsideration and revision, if only of the euphoria of victors, should not be ruled out in the case of a possible electoral defeat of a Clinton's successor from the Democratic Party.

The far-reaching consequences of NATO interventionism may only be imagined. At the moment, the following appear to be the most important:


Prospects for the security stabilisation of the region

The initial security stabilisation of South Eastern Europe will, no doubt, develop according to plans, under control and the decisive influence of the US and NATO. The European Union will be in charge of elaboration and financing the Stability Pact. Their common aim is to, willy-nilly, make the domicile states comply with the standards of the Euro-Atlantic system of common security.

The "Marshallian" approach of the Stability Pact is the first attempt in creating the valid assumptions for the implementation of an integral concept (Blunden, 1996) of the social and state security in the South Eastern Europe. The Alliance claims that it will accelerate the comprehensive stabilisation of the region by economic, political and military measures. There is no doubt that it will be laid by the need to adjust the process to its strategic interests. The problem of financing the whole undertaking must be solved first. Following Ostap Bender's model, the US has already spared itself and sent the bill to the EU.

The US leadership claims that by reinforcing its military presence in the region it will prevent any possibility of armed conflicts, especially on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. It holds that this will create viable prerequisites for the implementation of the Stability Pact.

A part of the military tasks have already been taken care of. The real problems, however, are yet to come. Namely, as indicated by the experience of the post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina, it will be rather difficult for the Alliance to confidently establish the peacemaking effects of its military presence in Kosovo/FRY. No easier task will be to establish the right moment for withdrawal and the transfer of its competencies to local bodies. The possibility of a permanent deployment of NATO (US) in the region (B&H and Kosovo), although in some new arrangement, is not to be excluded.

A very special challenge will be the rational use of available time, i.e. its adjustment with the ambitiously set objectives. It is not inconceivable that the project leaders might demonstrate some "revolutionary" (im)patience due to the lack of time or finances. This may result in the hasty or fictitious resolution of centuries long, civilisation-related problems and leave just a step before the imposition (by the "stick") of model solutions which insufficiently correspond to individual and regional specifics. Additional difficulties may also be created by a highly prospective creation of international and local, government and non-government parasite structures. They could considerably slow down, modify and increase the cost of the entire undertaking.

Above all, we must bear in mind that the undertaking anticipated by the Pact is a job for a few generations. On the one hand, it deals with the European region with the huge (socio-economic, political and civilisation-related) differences with the largest number of potential factors of war. On the other hand, it has to start with notorious things, as most of the societies lack democratic institutions and habits. A new regionalisation (Hettne, 1997) requires first that member states establish standard diplomatic relations. If to this we add the difficulties revealed by the toilsome transition, it is quite clear that the desired results of the Pact will not be forthcoming easily and in a short time. This applies even more if taking into account that the Stability Pact is still merely a list of general principles and generous aims, still to be elaborated and practically verified.

The application of initial measures from the NATO interventionist package requires special caution, all the more because the manifested deficiencies will be difficult to explain as omissions or erroneous forecasting of the Alliance. The doubts, in mildest terms, are caused by the following:

On the basis of all the above-mentioned we may confirm the starting thesis that the critical points for the initial security stabilisation of the region are located on the Serbian-Albanian junction.

The slowness of KFOR and the UN in taking the control of Kosovo directly prolongs the social and political turmoil in Kosovo, within the Albanian body, as well as in the Albanian communities across the border. Likewise, it stimulates Albanian revanchism and the exodus of Serbs. 73 It thus additionally burdens the Serbian political scene. Milosevic was supplied with new arguments for further political manipulations with the situation in Kosovo.

Although the US have assigned the KLA the role of the central holder of military and political power, the latter may easily transform from the main partner into a KFOR/Alliance adversary. The decisive moment will be defining the state status of Kosovo. If this arrangement does not meet expectations of the KLA and Kosovo Albanians, the US and NATO will face serious challenges. They can be then confronted with the results of the fake demilitarisation of the KLA and delayed pacification of Kosovo. In the close future, it is reasonable to expect some political and party regrouping among the Albanians in the Kosovo political scene, accompanied by conflicts between parties. The core around H. Tachi, basing on the KLA victory, will try to keep its monopoly at any cost. It will also try to discredit its major rivals, Rugova above all. Political conflicts among Albanian communities across borders are also likely, as they could be motivated by the struggle for the primacy in the future (current) process of unification. As a result, political instability in Albania and Macedonia would continue.

Arranging the future political and state status of Kosovo in no way will be an easy task for external actors. Substantial reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia, even under assumption that Serbia is transformed, is highly unlikely. The solution may be put off for a long time by a KFOR protectorate, or else a way out may be seen in the intended regional integration, which should relativise the importance of states and borders. An insurmountable obstacle to all this will be the aspiration of Kosovo Albanians (supported and legitimised by the NATO intervention) for an independent state. This aspiration does not have to and probably will not stop at the borders of Kosovo. In consequence, the military-political interdependence of the three Albanian communities will increase. This may soon surface their demand for the state unification.

It is quite likely that the US will opt for creating the independent state of Kosovo. 74 This option is favoured not only by the aspirations of local Albanians, but also by the already demonstrated inclination of the US to bring the Serbian-related conflicts to the ultimate points of separation. The US may be lead be two groups of reasons. Firstly, in this way, it would exclude the possibility of a conflict with the KLA and make Kosovo its puppet state. This would make the management of the crisis by the US easier, allegedly aimed at installing democracy. Secondary, this would be an additional punishment for Milosevic and Serbia. If (requested) radical reforms in the Serbian society were not initiated, the US would have a pretext for its complete isolation. 75 Moreover, the current revitalisation of the Serbian regime will give the US a viable rationale for the independence of Kosovo.

If Kosovo becomes an independent state and endangers Milosevic's stay in power, he could, invoking the UN Resolution, decide for the risky move. It is not impossible that he would try to (forcefully) re-establish his rule in Kosovo. However insane this may sound, he would have a public support for this undertaking by the top ranking generals of the YA and radical political groups. This option at the moment, however, should be taken rather as a new propaganda detail in the regime-created public debate on the Kosovo issue. The variant of the military-guerrilla (self)organisation of the local Serbs, which would start a new round of Serbian-Albanian mutual extermination, seems more probable. 76

A greatly unknown factor and generator of security risks is the fundamental crisis of the Yugoslav-Serbian society and its curtailed state. The regime, although shaken by the loss of Kosovo, has made it quite clear that it does not intend to step down of its own will. Control of all central levers of power will, when the right moment comes, enable it to stage itself a new (self)legitimacy at the elections. By then, it will focus on repression against political opponents and (incipient) civil disobedience. Its primal aim right now is to prevent any mass growing of the movement for overthrowing Milosevic. The regime is ready for this purpose, without any hesitation, to use the police and the military. Under these circumstances, a civil war could turn from a possibility into reality. Although a rapid impoverishment of the Serbian population, stimulated by external sanctions, weakens their political will, the possibility of a mass revolt is not to be disregarded. The fundamental inability of the opposition parties to unite and formulate tactics for achieving the primal goal — replacement of Milosevic — strengthens the regime at the account of citizens.

To all appearances, the regime is ready to respond to the challenges of further dissolution of the (rearranged) Serbia and the FRY by force, acting in the name of the constitutional order. This course if favoured by the US and NATO closing of the cordon sanitaire around Serbia.

The US and the Alliance disregard the fact that, with their strategic reliance on Milosevic in the Yugoslav crisis, they have made a special contribution enabling him to retain power. Their current reservations concerning interference into the internal affairs of Serbia/FRY seem cynical, as if the bombing of the FRY and continuous parlour trading with Milosevic were no more than a part of the usual diplomatic arsenal.

Milosevic could respond to a potential serious pressure by the US/NATO with a synchronous military-political acting in three directions: towards Montenegro, towards Kosovo and towards Republic of Srpska. 77 By stirring internal conflicts and destabilisation of these regions, he could achieve several results:

The long lasting failure of the Alliance to establish a (stable) state of Albania is another contribution to the multiplication of security risks in the region. Certainly, this is also the proof of inability and impotence of Albanian citizens to finally reach out of their tribal-authoritarian backdrop, enriched in the meantime by the Mafia branch offices. Therefore, the sobering of the state of Albania is an urgent task of the Alliance, failing which it will not be able to successfully respond to the challenges arriving from Kosovo.

Similarly, the absence of urgent and abundant assistance to Macedonia will make it impossible to prevent or cushion the separatist aspirations of the Macedonian Albanians.

In terms of the order of importance and the degree of risk, the measures for the neutralisation of reverse adverse affects of Kosovo for the fragile stability of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina come second. This inevitably brings back on the agenda the urgency of finding a complete and consistent solution to the problem of refugees on the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia.

The situation in the region will be substantially influenced by the readiness of the US political elite to conquer (impose and preserve) the position of the world leader at all costs, in particular in the name of the global protection of peace, democracy and human rights. This also includes its proneness to directly instrumentalise its allies, strategic partners and clientelistic accomplices (local power holders) to this end. In other words, the US policy to systematically transfer the costs of all kinds to others, including also the consequences of its erroneous approach to specific security challenges.

Recommendations to the Pact Working Table on Security Issues:

Successful implementation of the Plan on security measures requires starting of the process of a thorough democratic reconstitution of the countries in the region, in particular of the central state of the Yugoslav origin - the FR Yugoslavia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.



a. Books and Articles:

Blunden, M (1996) "Post-Cold War Security", Foreign Relations, No. 1042, Belgrade, pp. 21-25.

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* :This paper is a result of the research work that was completed at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, whose quest I had the honour and pleasure to be from October 4 to November 12, 1999. The friendly environment provided by the colleagues and the staff of the Institute made the completion of the work easier. Most of all, I wish to thank Dr. Håkan Wiberg for his valuable suggestions and comments on the paper draft. Back

Note 1. As the military powerlessness of the KLA toward the Army of Yugoslavia was equal to the powerlessness of the Army of Yugoslavia toward NATO, this three-sided conflict could be rather characterised as a "bully chain" of beating weaker, than as a war. Back

Note 2. The UN Security Council's Resolution, No.1244; section K. Back

Note 3. Stability Pact, 1999: section 3. Back

Note 4. Ibid., section 4. Back

Note 5. This model, for the time being, exists only in contours, but certainly includes: political leadership of the US, military exclusiveness of NATO and its subsidiaries, as well as, at least verbal, acceptance of Western social values. Back

Note 6. It should, relying on the Stability Pact, be worked out within the frame of the Working Table, and for the time being its pillar consists of an open-ended stay of the NATO troops in the region, especially in B&H and in Kosovo. Back

Note 7. This probably contributed to Macedonia getting its independence without war. Milosevic calculated that, relying on the Greek pressure and the fear of Macedonian public from other neighbours, he could make Macedonia accept at least a confederation with Serbia. Back

Note 8. After the strike of Albanian miners in the Stari Trg pit, the regime sacked many employed Albanians. The exception was the so called honest Albanians. The Albanian leadership soon ordered their supporters to leave the jobs, in order to exert pressure on the regime, but also to tie the Albanians to themselves existentially and politically. A creation of a parallel sub-systems encompassed, for example, the education system, medical care, communal self-government, etc. Back

Note 9. In the 1997 elections, three constituencies in Kosovo and Metohia (out of the total 250 in the FRY) gave 32 members to the Serbian Parliament. The ruling coalition (SPS-YUL-ND) won 24 seats, the Serbian Radical Party 6 and the Serb Renewal Movement 2. Due to the general Albanian boycott of the elections, only 4,893 votes in Kosovo and Metohia were necessary to elect a MP, in contrast to 17.394 votes necessary in other constituencies. See: Oko izbora, Izvestaj Centra za slobodne izbore i demokratiju [About elections: The Report of the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy], Cesid, Belgrade, 1997, p. 6. Back

Note 10. The first actions of the KLA were registered in April 1996, while its public promotion took place at the burial of a dead Albanian on November 26, 1997; See: The situation in Kosovo, Report, Document 1651, Assembly of Western European Union, June 10, 1999, p.10. Back

Note 11. At the same time, there existed The Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo, under the control of I. Rugova and B. Bukoshi, the Prime Minister in exile, but it was gradually marginalised; Ibid, p.11. Back

Note 12. The majority of leaders of the Yugoslav states used to excuse delayed democratisation by reference to pre-war, war or post-war state, promising that democratic reforms and modernisation would take place immediately after the crisis situation was resolved. Back

Note 13. The Albanian pressure on the Kosovo Serbs had various forms, ranging from, for example, economically unrealistic high offers for purchase of their farms and houses, to provocations and physical assaults. Back

Note 14. In the period 1948-1881 about 250,000 Serbs moved out of Kosovo. At the same time, the annual rate of the population growth was 4%; See: Sekelj, Laslo: Yugoslavia: The Process of Disintegration, Boulder, Colorado and Highlands Lakes, New Jersey, Atlantic Research and Publications, 1993, p.190; via: Danopoulos, Chopani, op.cit. p.174. Back

Note 15. This idea was succinctly expressed in the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Science; See: Nase teme, Zagreb, No 1-2; 1986. Back

Note 16. This is documented in cynical, alibi-books by Borisav Jovic (Poslednji dani SFRJ - Last Days of the SFRY, Politika, Belgrade, 1995) and Veljko Kadijevic (Moje vidjenje raspada - My View of Disintegration, Politika, Belgrade, 1993). Back

Note 17. At the end of 1991. this offer was intended for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. According to the Belgrade's plan, it should have enabled joining of the Republic of Serbian Krajina as well, securing the continuity with the second Yugoslavia and proving separatism of Slovenia and Croatia. Back

Note 18. For this purpose, the regime developed numerous mechanisms for internal plundering of the population: from pyramidal-saving, via black currency market, up to non-payment of salaries, pensions and social benefits. More in: M. Dinkic, Ekonomija destrukcije (Economy of Destruction), Stubovi kulture, Belgrade, 1997. Back

Note 19. From the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, the Serbian regime encountered difficulties in drafting the army and police reservists from Serbia. A similar problems appeared during 1998, when there were revived movements of mothers requiring return of their sons from war areas. Back

Note 20. Etatization of economy, fictional privatisation, illusory parliamentarism, permanent election manipulations and, above all, Milosevic's monopoly over the central media, contributed to the state of affairs. Back

Note 21. Thus Milosevic ignored Slovenian-Croatian proposal about confederation (October 6, 1990), instead to use it as an opportunity for a peaceful reconstruction of Yugoslavia and gaining international support for the regulation of the position of Serbian citizens in other Yugoslav states. Back

Note 22. The referendum on April 23, 1998, rejected any form of foreign interference in resolving the Kosovo conflict (Thomas, 1998: XIV). Back

Note 23. The article 133 of the FRY Constitution stipulates the obligation of the YA to, among other things, protect the territorial integrity of the country. Back

Note 24. Compare: UN Security Council Resolution No. 1203. Back

Note 25. This was a favourite regime's excuse for the use of the army, systematically used also in the wars in Slovenia and Croatia. Back

Note 26. The Presidency without representatives of Slovenia, Croatia, B&H and Macedonia. Back

Note 27. The Decree was, first, to provide a legal ground for mobilisation and criminal charges against those who evaded the participation in the war, and second, to offer a pretext for the war use of the YPA. Back

Note 28. This, in fact, happened during the NATO aggression: according to evaluations by the independent media and some NGO's, criminal charges have been brought against around 25.000 military conscripts in Serbia and 12.000 in Montenegro due to their evading the call for mobilisation. Back

Note 29. A good example of this is the agreement between Milosevic and Rugova on education and returning of Albanian professors and students to the University, which was agreed upon in 1996 and signed only in 1998. Back

Note 30. The Law on University abolished the last remaining of its autonomy, while professors were obliged to express their loyalty to the regime by signing a job contract; the Law on Public Information introduced unconstitutional and very severe financial penalties for undesirable coverage. Back

Note 31. Among others, a special sales tax for defence budget was introduced. It was to be terminated by December 31, 1998, but was reactivated after the NATO intervention. Back

Note 32. See: The Security Council Resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998) and 1203 (1998) and Statement on Kosovo, December 8, 1998. Back

Note 33. There are indications that the Serbian government in this has had a tacit support of the Western officials. Back

Note 34. This implies a threat of bombing and coming of Holbrooke. Back

Note 35. The ways of classifying Kosovo as the strategic interest of the US/NATO can be traced back by relying on the model used in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Four groups of factors were crucial: (1) limitations of the so-called new world order exposed in Bosnia; (2) diplomatic mistakes by the EU and US; (3) erosion of the NATO credibility; (4) resoluteness of the US to confirm its global leading position in Bosnia. Back

Note 36. Together with the increase of the Serbian citizens' disappointment at the results of Milosevic's war policy, there was a growing number of rumours about his connections with the CIA, allegedly lasting since his stay in the US as a managing director of the Belgrade Bank. Back

Note 37. This implies Croatian army offensives "Lightening" ("Bljesak") and "Storm" ("Oluja") and the arrival of the B&H army units close to Banjaluka in 1995. Back

Note 38. For example: the operation "Lightening" by the Croat Army which has abolished the Republic of Serbian Krajina and expelled about 200.000 of Serbs from Croatia. In this way, F. Tudjman finally resolved the "Serbian issue" in Croatia, reducing the number of Serbs to less than 4% of the total population. Back

Note 39. Hadzic,1999. Back

Note 40. This is eclatantly proved by the Dayton Peace Accords and the problems in its implementation. Back

Note 41. A dominance of this approach has been confirmed in the attitudes of the US Minister of Defence at the time: "To open this door (to prosperity and freedom - M-H) we do need a second Marshall Plan, but we do need to draw on Marshall's vision" (p. 6);, "Just as the Marshall Plan used economic revival as the catalyst for political stabilisation - and ultimately the development of the modern Europe - The Partnership for Peace uses security co-operation as a catalyst for political and economic reform." (p. 7); Perry, William, Partnership for Peace Transforming Central, Eastern Europe, Balkan Forum No. 4/1996, Skopje, pp. 5-15. Back

Note 42. This is best proved by a long-lasting conflict between Greece and Turkey, both being NATO members, although today they would have difficulties to meet all official criteria for joining NATO (Brzezinski, 1995). Back

Note 43. It would be interesting to measure the influence of the EU decision to build its own security mechanisms (forces) on the US decision to start the bombing without the UN approval.Back

Note 44. Bad experiences with UNPROFOR lead the US to avoid a "double key" in the commanding the NATO peace forces in the Dayton Peace Accords. Back

Note 45. The European announcement of the establishment of its own intervention forces and joint army, has caused severe objections by the US officials. See: Richard Norton-Taylor, US Say its NATO Load is Too Heavy, Guardian, October 8, 1999, TFF Features,

Note 46. Since the communists have been the nationalists at the same. See: Christopher Cviic, Remaking the Balkans, Pinter Publishers Limited, London, 1991, pp. 4-29.Back

Note 47. More on this: John Galtung, NATO war, Ethnic Cleansing - Is There a Way Out? TV/Radio Interviews, Stockholm, May 24, 1999, TFF Press Info # 70. Back

Note 48. See: the articles V and VII, The North Atlantic Treaty, NATO Basic Documents. Back

Note 49. The initial stage of the Agreement implementation had four groups of far reaching security consequences, negative for the Serbian interests and the regime: (1) all results of the Serbian military-police counteroffensive were annulled, and the Serbian regime has again lost the control over a greater part of the Kosovo territory; (2) a security-vacuum has been created; favorable for the Albanian side, in particular for the KLA revitalisation and reorganization; (3) the asymmetric model of controlling the conflict actors threatened the Serbian side with a continued possibility of bombing, while Rugova and the KLA were left out of the range of the US and NATO; (4) by installing the security "seesaw", which made Serbia and FRY responsible for the security of verificators, although their army and the police were blocked, the US provided a space for internal and external manipulation with the OSCE Mission and creation of arbitrary reasons for the NATO protection of verificators. Back

Note 50. Military-Technical Agreement, Blic, Belgrade, June 11, 1999. Back

Note 51. "However one regards the consequences of NATO intervention in Kosovo, it is clear that once the air campaign started, it was entirely logical for Milosevic to drive ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo at the greatest possible speed and the greatest possible numbers, in the expectation that he could then negotiate from a position of strength before the bombing did too much damage. Bombing would, after all, create some political cover for his behaviour, allowing him to suppress internal opposition and win support for the government from among the Serbs population.", The situation in Kosovo, Ibidem, p.7. Back

Note 52. See: Jan Oberg, Misleading UN Report on Kosovo (A), TFF PressInfo 77, October 3, 1999, Back

Note 53. UN Security Council Resolution, No. 1244, Article 1. Back

Note 54. See more: Laura Rozen, KLA Demilitarisation Deal Despite Last Minute Wrangles, September 21, 1999, TFF Features, Back

Note 55. "It is the gateway to areas of intense Western concern — the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq and Iran, Afghanistan, the Caspian Sea, and the Transcaucasus. Stability in Southeast Europe must be a precursor to protecting Western interests and reducing threats from farther east.", Robert Hunter, The Washington Post, April 20, 1999, Back

Note 56.. This is confirmed by the conducted from outside non-permitting and permitting of trespassing of the Russian KFOR units. Back

Note 57. This has provoked triumphalistic sentiments in the Turkish public. See: Danas, Belgrade, July 6, 1999. Back

Note 58. More about reasons for Milosevic's capitulation, in an analytical prospective in: Brzezinski, Zbigniew, Why Milosevic Capitulated in Kosovo, The New Leader, October 7, 1999, Back

Note 59. See the speech of Dragoljub Ojdanic, the Head of the Military Headquarters of the YA, Vojska, War edition, No. br.37-38, Belgrade, 1999. Back

Note 60. Individual and group frustrations of the supreme decision-makers in the US and NATO should, probably, also be taken into account, although they are difficult to prove and weight. The public would probably learn about them from some future memoirs, which are not to be waited too long, as it used to be in the past. Back

Note 61. It was declared by President Clinton's address to American citizens: "We Did the Right Thing", Federal Document Clearing House, Friday, June 11, 1999, Page A31, The Washington Post Company. Back

Note 62. The commander of the American air-force, general M. Short, has expressed great dissatisfaction because of political limitations imposed by France to his plans of the mass bombardment of Belgrade at the very beginning of the intervention Danas, Belgrade, October 23-24, 1999. Back

Note 63. For a detailed analysis see: NATO's Victory, 0430 GMT, 990621, Back

Note 64. Compare with: Barbara Crossette, UN Chief Wants Faster Action to Halt Civil Wars and Killings, New York Times, September 21, 1999, TFF Features, Back

Note 65. Compare with: The Alliance's Strategic Concept, 1999. Back

Note 66. The crucial role of the Chinese Communist Party was confirmed at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the PR of China by the Chinese leadership. Some analysts see in this the major obstacle to further social reforms, holding that economic progress will soon require a political reform of the Chinese society and introduction of political pluralism. See: The Economist, October 2-8 1999, pp. 23-27. Back

Note 67. In this interpretation NATO can be seen as a medium transplanting the corporate interests of the US military establishment and the military-industrial complex into the Euro-Atlantic area and its surrounding. Back

Note 68. The justification of the intervention on the ground that the FRY has no sovereignty, as it was not internationally recognised, was offered by Paul R. Williams, Assistant Professor of International Law, American University, and Legal Adviser to the Government of Kosovo in his article: Legal Basis for NATO Military Action Taken Against Serbia/Montenegro, The Balkan Action Council, April 1, 1999, Back

Note 69. See: Undertaking of Demilitarization, 1999. Back

Note 70. Compare with: Jan Oberg, Read the UN Resolution 1244 and Watch What NATO Is Doing in Kosovo; TFF PressInfo # 71. Back

Note 71. The crucial reason was the intention of the US to secure unlimited movement for NATO on the FRY territory (Appendix B, Articles 8, 10 and 11), which would amount to a tacit occupation. See: Rambouillet Accords, UN, Security Council, S/1999/648, June 7, 1999, pp.81-82. Back

Note 72. This has also been a central defect of Milosevic's policy in the Yugoslav wars. He thought he could create Western Serbian states by force and at the same time that the same intention of the Kosovo Albanians should be prevented by force. Back

Note 73. This is confirmed by the independent Albanian intellectual Skeljzen Malici, See: Feral Tribun, No. 735, October 18, 1999. Back

Note 74. See more: "Time for a New Balkan Policy — Forget about Serbia, Help Kosovo, by William H. Taft, The Washington Times, September 14, 1999, The Balkan Action Council, Back

Note 75. Compare with: U.S Officials Expect Kosovo Independence, by R. Jefrey Smith, Washington Post Foreign Sevise, TFF Features — Articles, September 24, 1999 Back

Note 76. See: 2140 GMT, 990914 — Where Serbs Forces are Forbidden, Serb Paramilitary Grows, Back

Note 77. Signs of this may be seen in often official encounters between Milosevic and the discharged President of Republika Srpska Nikola Poplasen. Back