From the CIAO Atlas Map of Europe 

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CIAO DATE: 11/00

American Policy in the South East Europe

Radovan Vukadinovic

October 2000

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute

Table of Contents


American Policy and the Crises in the Territories of Former Yugoslavia

Clinton's Strategic Engagement

New Institutional Frameworks for Cooperation

American Interests in the South East Europe

Presidential Election in the South East Europe




The fall-apart of the socialist system in Europe has significantly changed the framework and the directions of American global strategy. Instead of confronting the great adversary — the Soviet Union,which resulted in strong ideological, political, economic and military components — American policy found itself in a new position, without the direct, global rival, but with new areas of conflict. This was especially strongly expressed in Europe. Instead of the confrontation in the centre of Europe, on the border lines of two German states, and instead of two military blocks facing each other, the new significant challenges to American policy have shifted to peripheral parts of Europe.

Within this constellation the Balkan area should be viewed, or as it is correctly referred to, the region of Southeast Europe 1 . Within the past relation of strategic competition between the two super-powers and their blocks, this area had significantly lower importance.Greece and Turkey were members of the NATO, and purely by that fact have the attention of part of Soviet forces to themselves. Beside, on the Turkish territory a possibility to use military bases in the vicinity of Soviet borders also existed. Yugoslavia was a non-aligned country, and thus created a sort of gray zone between the NATO and Warsaw Pact (Bulgaria, Romania) while Albania, when it left the Warsaw Pact in 1961., stretched this non-block teritory furder.

When the Cold War, and inter-block relations ended, the US became more and more involved in this area. New disagreements over Cyprus have increased the Greek — Turkish tension, change of regimes in Romania and Bulgaria called for American political directions as well, and the overthrowing of the regime in Albania were opening new perspectives to American policy in the entrance to Adriatic sea. But the most important factor that influenced stronger American engagement , even military involvement in the area of South East Europe, was connected with the crisis in the territories of former Yugoslavia.


American Policy and the Crisis in the Territories of Former Yugoslavia

By strengthening of the policy of détente, and by gradual opening of the East, Yugoslav position of a non-aligned country begun to significantly loose its importance. In this new circumstances, it became clear to Washington that the danger of eventual Soviet military intervention exists no more, and at the same time the failures of Yugoslav policy became openly analysed and criticised, especially in regards to human rights (Kosovo) 2 . But due to American concentration on significant international developments (The Gulf, desintegration of Soviet Union, unification of Germany ) the developments in Yugoslavia received secondary attension.

Differing from some other situations, when American policy was fed with misleading signals from the grounds, in this case the diplomatic reports from Belgrade, as well as the analysis prepared by the CIA, have clearly foreseen the desintegration of Yugoslavia and future conflicts. But, through the support of the federal govermment, led by Prime Minister Ante Markovic, in times when this govermment had almost no political authority left, the American policy was advocating for the unity of the state that did not practicaly exist any longer. 3

After the outburst of the armed conflict in Slovenia, (June 1991 ) in Washington it was still believed that this is a local conflict that the Europeans will be capable of solving by themselves. President Bush has clearly stated, in an interview, that Yugoslavia does not represent American strategic interest, 4 and only after the Intermediate Mission of the EU has failed the US diplomacy came into the light.

But, in the meantime, the conflict was already started and although the plans for the military intervention, within the frames of the US SACEUR, were in place, in the times of the Yugo Army attack Dubrovnik, the President did not approve this action. 5 His military advisors were strongly against American military involvement in the conflict. In this fraction, that was firmly against American military involvement in the conflict, important role was played by National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and the Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Scowcroft was serving as American military Attache in Belgrade, and Eagleburger was the US Ambassador, therefore their assessments have had a special weight in Washington. According to them, the conflict was about deep and complex ethnic problems that will take time to resolve, so the US should stay aside. Beside that, in an election year, Bush's administarion was convinced that American military engagement in former Yugoslavia would be extremely counter-productive and that it would turn the public optinion ageinst President Bush.

American military officials were also against military involvement. Failures in some previous military actions, as well as the unpopularity of the warfare at the ground, were used as the principal arguments against the intervention. What they were demanding from the President Bush was the need for clear definition of political and military goals, in order to achieve a decisive victory, with a possibility foor withdrawal strategy. According to some assessments, General Collin Powell was the main advocate for such an approach, and his authority was sufficient to block any those calling for decisive action and suppression of the Serb aggresion. 6

At the end of his term, President Bush did show the interest for the crisis, which blazed up by the time, after all. Probably fearing that it might spread to the neighbouring Kosovo, and by that include additional actors, Bush has sent a letter to President Milosevic, warning him that the US will not tolerate further violations of human rights of Albanians in Kosovo. By this, a possibility of American military action, in case of spreading of the conflict to Kosovo, was announced.

During the election campaign, President Clinton has strongly criticised Bush's inactivity, stating that it only contributed to the deepening of the crisis. 7 But, in spite of that, some time had to pass before the course was changed. The process of decision making and its defining — from the assessment that it is only a local conflict with humanitarian consequences — to the full acceptance of thesis that, after all, this is a serious conflict, in which certain American interests can be found, and several domestic and international factors affected it, was long one.

On the domestic American plan , Clinton made it clear that the issues connected with the development of the American society, such as the economy and health insurance system, will have the priority. The foreign policy was to be put in second plan as a whole,, and along with that the possibility for a direct involvement in the territories of former Yugoslavia. Only after the conflict has spread, after huge sufferings of civilian population, an of course, constant reporting from the ground, the Clinton's administration began contemplating the possibility of its engagement.

Retirement of the Joint Chief of Staff, General Powerll, has somewhat weakened the opposers to the idea of military interventin, although the fear of a lengthly engagement in the cirsis with no solutions visible, remained.

In the centre of political decision making the new administarion was also divided. The State Department, led by Warren Christopher, was for continuation of the policy of careful monitoring and analysis of the crisis and searching for eventual diplomatic solution. On the other hand, the new National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake, and the US Ambassador to the UN, Madelaine Albright, were advocating for radical policy, in which the American diplomatic action would be clearly backed by military support. 8

Viewing from the perspective of international actors, this crisis in the former Yugoslavia also in Clinton's time, was assuming some new features that were pointing to some new threats, and at the same time, the possibillities for American action were opening.

Viewing the developments in the former Yugoslavia as an European problem, Clinton's administartion has started from different evaluation of new relations within the Europe, and the position that the new, unified Europe has. All announcements of political and military connecting within the European Union have been received sceptically by the Bush's administartion, and in part event as an attempt of un-necessary competition that could endanger the existence of the NATO. On the other hand, Clinton, from the beginning of his term, has taken a different position, believing that a new identity of the members of the EU, as well as their capability for joint political and military action could help in solving of many post Cold War crisis. The intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an exellent opportunity to test this capability for joint action, and also to confirm American statesments that the US will not act on its own practice.

By tying the action with allies, Clinton managed to achive goals. First, he demonstrated that his administration will not act, nor bear the price of the operation unilateraly. Positioning the Bosnian intervention as a joint alone, which the US and its allies participate on equal basic, the possibilities for shaping a new NATO profile, as an allied executive instrument where the allies decide jointly with the US, were opened. At the same time, along with numerous discussions and preparations for the action, the time needed for preparing the public openion in favour of American activation in Balkans was gained. The whole process took place between statements that there are American interests in question, and on the other side, arguments that this is a log-lasting ethnic conflict that even America will not be able to solve.

The political officials at the White House have slowly become convinced that the whole structure of the new world order has been put in jeopardy by the in-activity of the main actors, and that such behaviour on one place could soon lead to dengerous repeating on another. Even the threat of the conflict spreading to wider area was not sufficient to speed up this decision and start the joint action.

Only after the Congres has announced that it will lift the arms embargo has moved the White House to start with more radical preparations for military action. Namely, it become apparent that such a decision would not be well accepted by American allies, who viewed the new armament as an opportunity for futher escalation of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This could have had a serious negative impact on announced new relations between US and European Union. Having in mind the future possible enlargement of the NATO and repeated general questioning of the value of the NATO as the organisation which is not able to act in an European conflict, Clinton's administartion has decided for action which led to Dayton and finally resulted in peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In summer 1995, when the path that lead in Dayton was opened, Clinton has undertaken action in order to:

By this itself the American leadership in NATO was demonstrated, which also resulted in a conclusion that there are no solutions in the new world order without American power. The European allies have all resumed their roles in the post-Dayton process, but America remained the leading power in the Balkans, which in Clinton's view should continue to command, while Europeans are expected to do more. 11

The American policy has been materialising this gradual pass into action in the teritories of former Yugoslavia through an array of diplomatic, political and military means. First, it was demonstrated through the mediation between the Croats and the Muslims, insisting on an alliance of these two nations against the Bosnian Serbs, in Washington Agreement from 1994. Jointly with other members of the Contact Group, the American policy was searching for the solution in Croatia as well, in the areas occupied by Croatian Serbs ( Krajina ) , but when the proposal of the Contact Group was rejected, the operation led by Croatian police and military forces has opened the way to Dayton and arrival of Americans in Bosnia. By the significant presence of its military personnel in UN forces in Macedonia, the American policy has clearly confirmed its readiness to prevent the conflict to spread and to preserve Macedonia. Folloving the development in the Kosovo and the intesity of the conflict between Serbs and Albanians American diplomacy was trying to impose a political solution ( Rambouilet ) and after the failure of the plan military action of NATO lead by US was started.

Being present at all levels of the conflict the Clinton's administartion has, from the beginning, demonstrated its intension to remain present in the South East Europe, which can, of course, open way to various observations. They relate to the role that the US has in the new world order, to the structure of relations that are being developed between the US and Europe, and to attempts aimed at finding the new leading role for the US. But, along with these, the development of new American strategic viewes that are casting a new light on the area of former Yugoslavia, must not be forgotten either.


Clinton's Strategic Engagement

Simultaneously with the engagement in the territories of former Yugoslavia, a strong American activity in other countries of this area was started. Assessing the geo-strategic position of Albania, its connection with Kosovo and Macedonia, as well as eventual dangers that might arise from the idea of creating a "great Albania", American policy has accepted Berisha's government, giving its full support to his authoritarian regime, until the moment when it became clear that Berisha is not the one who can move Albania towards a modern democracy development. Although reluctantly, the support was given to the new socialist government who was aware of the need of good relations with the US and of American presence. Such a situation enabled American policy to monitor the crisis in Kosovo from Albanian side, and to directly influence Albanian government.

During the first day after the fall of Causescu's regime in Romania the US have strengthen its presence in Romania. Primarily the US was interested for creation of new political relations in which the inheritance of the past could be quickly erased. Although not overly excited with the President Iliescu, he has been accepted in Washington as a leader with whom Romania could commence with the transition processes. But only after Constantinescu and the non-socialist forces, won the elections, the American engagement in Romania went on in a faster pace. American initiatives aimed at supporting the new government and strengthen the close relations range from economic cooperation, to announcements that Romania could be encompassed by the second phase of the NATO enlargement.

In Bulgaria, the rule of socialists, after the fall of Zhivkov's regime, has considerably slowed the development of a better cooperation with the US. Although the dichotomy of power between the pro-Western President Zelev and the ruling socialist was clearly felt, the closer relations with America had to wait until the BSP was defeated at elections by the non-socialist forces.

As all three ex-socialist countries in question have expressed their readiness to participate in the Partnership for Peace, this was one of the first opportunities for closer American engagement. By monitoring the situation within the armed forces and suggesting the creation of new civil-military relations a new model of military and political relations has been created. Although the situation in each of these countries differ, it is still apparent that the Partnership for Peace represented an efficient instrument for drawing these countries closer to the West, especially to the US. As these were military structures in question, which were in these countries relatively well organised parts of the state government, it was obvious that the American approach to them was of crucial importance. Viewing the military structures as representatives of national desires, it is through them that the influence on political transformations and speed of approach to the West is being attempted.

It is much easier to achieve these goals nowadays, when all three countries are publicly declaring their wish to join the NATO. They see in NATO a chance for easing down the tensions, for closer approach to other Western structures (the EU especially), and for promotion of relations in which the NATO membership would open possibilities for a better life.

American engagement in regards to its NATO allies: Turkey and Greece is, with post Cold War period facing some new circumstances. First, the significance of American allies in times when there is no Soviet, or Russian, threat any more has changed. The issue of human rights in Turkey, as well as the question of Kurds are being, to large extent, the central issues that American criticism is aimed at, and the strengthening of the Muslim oriented political forces is not accepted very keenly by Washington either. The situation is additionally burdened by Greek-Turkish relation, especially concerning Cyprus. All this has resulted in the situation in which, relatively, there is no much left from former American-Turkish strategic partnership. It also led to significant decrease in American military and economical support to Turkey, 12 while on the other hand, Turkey is announcing its reluctance regarding the use of American military bases on Turkish territory in case of crisis in the Middle East or the Gulf.

Since Turkey has an important geographical abridging the contents it is still impossible to imagine any dramatic interruption of American-Turkish relations. But the present problem do evidence the fact that the two countries have different views on the issue of security and that in these new circumstances identical positions on some problems are not automatically granted.

As the strongest Balkan country, at the same time the only EU member from this area, Greece would have all pre-conditions to become a centre for the Balkan stability. But its policy in regards to Macedonia has for some time exhausted Greek policy and created a number of unnecessary difficulties, not only in the Balkans, but on the European level as well. This led to the situation where the American policy had to become a mediator for Macedonia, and partly Albania. By the end of the Papandreu era, Greek policy had an opportunity for its stronger exposure in Balkans, both by taking European role in the area, and by promoting the Balkan interests in the EU. And although Greece has considerably improved its efforts in this direction, the traditional dispute with Turkey, 13 which came close to an outburst on several occasions remained, till the "earthquake diplomacy" did not improved relations between two countries. Along with the open dispute over the islets in the Aegean Sea and the Cyprus, there was also the danger of the spreading of the crisis in the South Balkan with the possibility of two NATO members being on different side. The American policy has exactly that in mind, and never missed the opportunity to warn both: Greece and Turkey that it is from them that the policy of calming down in Balkans is being expected. This should also made easier for the US activities in this area, where the only two NATO members from the Balkans should be the principal forces implementing the policy of the alliance.

By constant diplomatic initiatives, aimed at solving the issue of border in Aegean Sea, as well as Turkish acceptance of present border line, American diplomacy is also engaged in an attempt to solve the problem of Cyprus. As the Issues in question are a part of the complex Greek-Turkish relations, a success that could encourrage American policy has been not achieved yet. 14 It is higly possible that both of the countries in this new, post Cold War environment, when a high level of deconcentration of power is present, belive that even the positions of powerful leaders from Washington do not have binding character. Only in the moments of increased tensions between the two countries the US may be considered as an authority that can help calming down the situation. And for that reason both countries has started to look for better relations.


New Institutional Frameworks for Cooperation

Along with this bilateral contacts, aimed at demonstarting American interest for the area of South Easst Europe, the US policy has also expressed its interest for engagement that could support gathering together of these countires. Having in mind the critics that were directed at the EU concept of Regionaln Approach, American policy decided to wait until the critical evaluation of this European project be comleted, and than launched its South Europe Cooperation Initiative (SECI), abridging the weaker points of the European concept.

In a political sense, the SECI has pointed to some essentialy new elements of American policy:

With quite varying views on the SECI it was apparent from the beginning that the project will be received in very different ways and that there will be a number of countries that will not be satisfied with attempt of gathering together in South East Europe, instead of approaching to the West, namely the EU. 16 A huge area from Slovenia to Moldova in American opinion should been stabilised through stronger cooperation among these 12 countries. These conditions should finaly result in a possibility for increased participation of private sector investments in the area. After Dayton, and American entrance into Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with many initiatives aimed at solving of political and ethnic questions, the SECI was designed to become a pragmatic form of joint activity. As numerous economic and ecological problems are present in all countries of this region, it was proposed, by American side, to take a mutual approach to these problems, within the region of South East Europe.Of course, in wider sense, expectations that capability for solving mutual, regional economic and ecological problems would lead towards peace and stability.

And while the mechanism of SECI is slowly warming up, at the same time opinions on its value are being shaped. President Clinton has, in February 1998, announced his Action Plan for South East Europe. The Plan should increase the dynamic of American cooperation with those countries of South East Europe in which the democratisation process has considerably moved forward. The goals of this Plan, as presented by President Clinton, should be as follows:

In concretising the activities that will follow, President Clinton has announced that the intergovernmental work groups (which already exists in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovenia and Romania) will be developing specific programs of cooperation, which will be supported by various agencies from Washington. Counselling with American allies and partners will also be sought in order to widen the possibilities for cooperation.

Positively assessing the experience of Bilateral Work Group for Military issues, it was also announced that similar groups will be formed for analysing the possibilities for economic cooperation. Their purpose will be to constantly research conditions for developing of economic relations, business, investments and all other forms of cooperation.

By announcing the Action Plan, President Clinton has confirmed that his administration is determined to keep its presence in the South East Europe and that with political and military means other forms of activists that would on regional level open doors for tight connections with the US, are being sought after. At the same time, it is being expected that such regional cooperation, initiated by American policy, will be attractive enough for all the countries of the region, regardless of the tradition of their mutual relations, past or present disputes, or conflicts. By promising the integration with European and Transatlantic institutions a clear message is being sent to the countries of the region that the road towards Europe lies in development of regional cooperatin, and that the US and its allies will be supporting such tendencies and will be rewarding their actors.

In this light one could look in the creation of MPFS South Eastern Europe which his also a form of implementation of the NATO's CJTF concept. The content of the CJTF is represented by the folowing formulation:

What is new and specific for this Concept is that the specifically formed force is structured and trained to operate in a strictly defined conflict. In accordance wit the Concept of CJTF can be tasked with various missions, including humanitarian, peacekeeping and peace support operations, while not excluding the possibility to use forces in Article 5 missions for collective defence.

On September 26. 1998. during the Third South East Defence Ministerial in Skopje the Defence Ministers of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey signed the Agreement on the Multinational Peace Force South East Europe.

The establishment of this Multinational Brigade demonstrates the resolve of Participating Nations to develop good, neighborly relations and constructive coopeeration in defence and security, being also an important tool for closer integration in the Euro-Atlantic security structure including NATO. 18

After the Kosovo military action US primary policy initiative in the region is concentrated around Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. The Stability Pact was signed in Cologne in June lo 2ooo and then formally launched in Sarajevo in 30 July 2000. US policy which was drawing all important moves in the region—from Dayton to Kosovo—has got in the Stability Pact very important ally—Europen Union.Even the change of the formal title Southeastern Europe instead the Balkans—satisfies american policy makers. They have been launching the SECI and trying to broaden area of SEE from Slovenia to Moldova which was wider than a Regional approach of EU.

After the Kosovo intervention with Stability Pact there is a chance to demonstrate possibilities for concrete euro-american action in the areas of:

Some criticized the Stabiliy Pact saying that this is nothing more than a glorified photo opportunity and that a whole idea is a very far from a "New Marshall Plan" and that without a significant course correction the Stability Pact's vague goals, fuzzy timelines and unclear authority and funding, may prove the sceptics acurate in their scatching characterization. 19

But american side, even during the military operation against Yugoslavia, was stating that problems of reconstruction have to be taken by Europe. Accepting the idea of the Stability Pact Clinton's admninistration has envisaged the Pact as a common euro-american project and Clinton's trip to Sarajevo was demonstrating a high american interest.

Looking in the wider spectrum of domestic and international relations Clinton's administration was trying to remain engaged in the area but was defering to EU leadership in the policy implemntation. Such policy would have a positive effects:

  1. it would remove the US froim the forefront and place Europeans where they should be as the main organizers and leaders,
  2. this posture is much more acceptable with the US public and places US security policy for the region in less jeopardy in terms of domestic and Congressional support,
  3. all this is going to be particularly important in the moment when a country which was out from the Stability Pact /Yugoslavia/ will be parft of it.Dramatic help and assistance, which will be needed could be organized only along euro-american strict cooperation.

For that reasons it is clear that US policy makers have placed their great faith in the Stability Pact providing a stable framework for their further policy of the presence in the area of South Eastern Europe.


American Interests in the South East Europe

The enlargement of the NATO consideralby stabilised relations in the Central Europe, and that region will become a part of Western security community. Viewed in a wider,global spectre, it can be assessed that the zone of instability will be positioned in the direction of the South, namely the Balkans, Mediterranean and Caspian Sea. In these territories, there will be new challenges, conflicts and instabilities, which American policy, if it desires to be a leading force within the new world order, cannot oversee. 20 From the starting passive monitoring of the war in the territories of former Yugoslavia, to present direct military engagement in Balkans, and active search for the options for cooperation in South East Europe, Clinton's administration has a long way. In that time the administration realised the fact that the instabilities in this region may to large extent threaten the security of the Central Europe, or that the Greek-Turkish tensions may weaken the cohesion of the NATO, as leading European institution.

By this the question of American role in the new relations, where in spite of growing European cooperation, the South East Europe remains an area where American policy will, seemingly, move in faster and faster.

In a global strategic analysis of the area, there are several important elements that must be considered, each having influence on the new American engagement, which is being assessed by some Washington's analysts to be the most coherent part of President Clinton's foreign policy programme.

  1. The South East Europe is a strategic link to important Southern destinations that are of great importance (Caspian region) to potential points of crisis ( The Gulf) and to a complex and unstable areas of Mediterranean.
  2. The area of South East Europe contains present, as well as some potential, centres of conflict (Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia) which could have a considerable impact on a complete architecture of security that is being created on a European scale.
  3. In the South East Europe, although in minimal volume, the Russian strategic and political interests which are not always compatible to the American one, can be detected.
  4. For all of those who are thinking within the category of "Clash of Civilisations" this region represents an image of an area ideal for the expansion of Islam, or new religion-based tensions.

All this is calling for American presence, ranging from the military one, which has already been demonstrated, to attempts on development of strategies for economic connections, and activities that could result in higher engagement of American or European capital, thus drawing the South East Europe closer to the Europe. 21 If the stabilisation of situation is representing American interest, than Aamerican activity, especially in the field of economy, and in cooperation with EU, is essential in order to jointly determine the goals that are to be achieved in this region, as well as certain demands that the countries of the area should meet.

In spite of the differences that exist among the group of countries in this region, and in spite of their value for the American policy it is obvious that the principal goals of American foreign policy may be listed as following:

Within this focus the American policy may be viewed in its concrete action, leaving ample space for each particular country to be treated in comliance with the advancement achieved in the direction of implementation of these American priorities.

Although it is being stated that Slovenia is already on its way to Europe, there are some other American views as well, saying that in spite of such closeness Slovenia could play and important role in connecting and bringing closer these countries to Europe. 22 Therefore it is being considered that it is Slovenian development that might be used as an incentive to other countries in the South East Europe. Therefore, being convinced that it would be useful getting closer to European processes, the American policy wishes to see Slovenia in SECI.

Croatia that had a much more difficult road to take to achieve its independence, is along with American assistance and support. During Tudman's days, Croatia was often receiving criticism, mostly regarding the issues like the reconciliation , return of displaced person, implementation of Dayton and democratisation. 23 Having in mind the geo-strategic position of Croatia, and American desire to be active in the South East Europe, it is apparent that American policy needs new Croatia. With Croatian infrastructure and communications to Bosnia and Herzegovina, conditioned by fulfilment of American demands, Croatia may become an important pillar for supporting the stability in the area of former Yugoslavia as well. Unstable Yugoslavia, filled with crisis points, may have a counter-balance in stable Croatia, and American policy an important partner. In case that situation in Yugoslavia becomes stable , the American policy will insist on intensification of mutual cooperation between these two countries,, and through regional cooperation the regional security might be achieved. The clese ties to NATO could only help this process.

Clinton's administartion has positioned Bosnia and Herzegovina as an important goal of its foreign policy , and conditioned by survival of the Dayton Accord, the involvement of the American policy in the region would become even deeper. Dilemmas on: divided Bosnia and Herzegovina , or a united state, have apparently been overcome in Washington at this moment. Bosnia and Herzegovina should remain being an one state, composed of two enntities and three nations, even if it means even stronger, and more permanent American and international involvement. If the political preconditions for functioning of such a state were met, than the American policy, together with the EU, will have to connsiderably increase their activities in the economic field and help the overcoming of the war and its consequences. At the same time, along with the strict control of the behaviour of neighbouring states: Croatia and Yugoslavia - American policy will probably, and in the right moment, attempt to strengthen the presure aimed at establishment of a free-trade zone, 24 enabling thus easier economic connecting, which should lead to emerging of a new structure of security relations.

Only after finished pressuring Yugoslavia regarding the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the crisis on Kosovo was opening new possibility for American engagement in Yugoslavia. After the intervention n one side there is a desire of Albanian population to secede from Yugoslavia, and the dangers connected with possible forceful changes of borders, which would probably result in a chain reaction in whole of the Balkans. Milosevic's brutal use of force has lead Albanians to a situation where some forms of autonomy, or even a republic within the Yugoslavia could hardly be accepted. At the same time Albanian aspirations calling for unification of all Albanians living in Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, may be seen by the US and the Europeans as announcement of new instabilities in the area. Reflexes wold be immediately felt in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where neither Croatian nor Serbian people would want to live in a unique Bosnia and Herzegovina, and soon demands for secessions and new drawing of borders would rise. Combining sanctions with occasional announcement of a possibility to lift them, American policy was using stick and carrot tactics to make Milosevic cooperative, hoping that the currrent problems (Kosovo, Sandjak, Vojvodina and Montenegro) could weaken his regime and that in such circumstances some opposition may arise that could take over the leadership in future. The results of the elections from September 24th are opening way for a development of a democratic Yugoslavia which probably will be still a distant goal.

Macedonia was accepted by American policy almost from the very beginning of its creation. Due to American support and assistance, Macedonia has managed to resist some challenges in relations with its neighbours, and in most sensitive times the UN (with the leading American role) has created a sort of tampon zone, thus excluding Macedonia from critical develoments in Yugoslavia. Geo-strategic position of Macedonia, as well as still unsolved relations with its neighbours, even the issue of the official name of the state ) along with the danger of the Kosovo crisis spreading over to Macedonia, are sufficient reasons for increased caution, and constant American presence. 25 Also, in case of any changes in the status of Kosovo, it would be difficult to prevent the Albanians in Macedonia (22% or 35% of population) from connecting with the new, great Albania state, and of course, this could not be achieved in a peaceful manner. Therefore, by supporting the survival of Macedonia, American policy will be, at the same time, managing the maintenance of the peace and stability in a whole region.

In Albania American policy has taken a strong position, and close relations with Albanian army have been created through the Partnership for Peace. At the same time, American policy is carefuly monitoring Albanian activities in the Kosovo direction after the intervention, not supporting radical Albanians demands for changing of borders, or creation of "great Albania". Reducing its activities on humanitarian issues, and on constant calls for political solution of the crisis, American policy is trying to motivate Albanians to accept a form of wide autonomy , that would grant the self. governing to Albanians, but keep them within the present Yugoslav borders. It is apparent that the American policy,with its presence and its strength, will be able to control the Kosovo crisis, if it decides to. Therefore any solution that will be achieved will in lagre be influenced by the US: whether it will be a wide autonomy, or may be some new Dayton. In present situation, any sych solution will be supported by the official Albanian policy as well.

Bulgaria and Romania with their new, non-socialist governments, both have a strong interest for cooperation with America. They are intensively using the Partnership for Peace as a starting phase for their eventual fast joing of NATO, and accessing the EU gives them additional credibility in their steps towards Europe. Developing the cooperation with the US, both countries have accepted the American assesment of the events in the South East Europe, and are supporting all measures that could contribute to peaceful solution of disputes and stability of the region. Along with the active support to SECI and acceptance of Clinton's Plan for South East Europe, both countrie are advocating for the regional cooperation as well, assessing it as useful and needed, being aware that such position is at the same time the best reference for their accession to the EU. They are also very active in promoting MPFS for South Eastern Europe. Therefore, the American policy will have no problems with these two countries, and they will support any American goals in this area in future as well, knowing that American reward, in the form of accession to European and Transatlantic integration is waiting for them. And this is what both countries are interested for. It can, therefore, be expected that it will be through these two countries that the American policy will attempt to build the relations of regional, Balkan cooperation. This has a special significance considering the fact that there are no problems, nor tensions, existing between these two countries. A positive competing in speed in which the European integrations are being accessed may be used as a stimulating factor that Washington will most certainly appreciate.

Traditional American allies, and NATO members; Greece and Turkey will continue to be extremely important actors, but American policy will have to additional work with them. The Greek policy, at this moment,much more realistic of the two, is on the way of solving its relations with the neighbouring countires (Macedonia and Albania) and given its membership in the NATO, may be an important factor in the Balkans. Traditional Greek activities regarding the Balkan cooperation will not be abondoned in these new conditions. Although these activities in the times of open conflicts (Kosovo) do lack some importance, they are constantly promoting the idea of cooperation, which is not being far from American and European ideals on the need for cooperation in the South East Europe. American will therefore support such tendencies, convinced that no initiatives that woul be contary to American policy could arise from them, Problems in Greek relations with Turkey will continue to be an obstacle for positive development in bilateral relations among the two southern NATO members. But recent improvements in bilateral relations was able to move away Greeks attempt to block the Turkish approach to Europe, which was contrary to American interest. But, viewing it through the scope of general political and economic relations, as well as Greek membership in the EU, American policy will continue to be a very important factor that Greece will not be able to ignore.Although nowadays it does not have the power needed for solving the problems existing between Turkey and Greece, American leadership is still unquestionable, and many of the ties connecting the two countries are guaranteeing future cooperative activities. Additionaly, the similarity of their positions regarding the developments in the South East Europe may only strengthen these alliance relations, esablished long time ago.

Current American relations with Turkey, on the other hand, are significantly more complex. In the post Cold War relations, Turkish policy has more freedom for manoeuvring and influenced by domestic political forces it is not being turned only Westward, but is developing its options in the East and South as well. A country that in the days of Cold War used to tie up 24 Soviet divisions and that was offering its territory to American military bases, today is being viewed differently both by Europe and America. Threats of strengthening of Muslim forces, Kurd question and some human rights issues have all put some negative aspects up front. But in spite of these facts, Turkis strategic importance remains, even in the conditions of the new world order being created. This especially refers to American policy which is forced to connect almost all of its central political issues in Euro-Asian area with Turkish policy. The activities of the NATO, Balkans, Aegean Sea, Sanctions against Iraq, Russian relations with former Asian republics, Middle East peace and transit corridors for oil and gas from Central Asia 26 —all these issues are, in one way or another, connected with Turkey. Growing Turkish ambitions in the direction of Central Asia are challenging some interests of Russia and Iran, and sometimes America as well,are confirming even more the need for maintaining relations of alliance.

It is, therefore, being apparent that, in spite of complexity of these relations, and in spite of some oscillations in them, the American policy simply can not afford not to work on good relations with Turkey. American policy is for long time now suggesting to its allies to accept Turkey into the EU, 27 and is being aware that the SECI, MPFS and Stability Pact may be used as a ways to incorporate Turkey in regional cooperation in the South East Europe. Turkey is also being very important in calming down the situation in Balkans, where it can play a role of American ally in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Sandjak, and Macedonia, thus assisting the American plan for stabilisation and peace.

Having all that in mind, it is not difficult to conclude that American policy will continue with its efforts to maintain good relations with Turkey, to help improve and normalise its relations with Greece, and, at the same time, will continue with a careful monitoring of internal Turkish developments, to protect the fruits of their cooperation so far. A more free, and more extensive Turkish engagement, especially in Central Asia, will be coordinated with American interests, along with continuing effort to maintain the role of NATO as a principal link between the Turkey and the US and the West.


Presidential Election and South East Europe

If the view is accepted stating that US foreign policy will be not much changed after the presidential election, there is still a chance that some important changes in the area of South East Europe might occur.

Clinton's administration brought american policy in the Balkans. From the first diplomatic political steps, till direct imposing of political solutions with military power , the administration demonstrated its readiness to solve the problems of South East Europe in the wider frames of democracy and human rights.For achieving this aim all instruments of american foreign policy were used.

The first use of military power on the european soil and consequances which might come from this involvment had openned a wide debate in America.The question was how badly american intervention in Kosovo was needed and what it will mean fot the future.

The decision to intervene in Kosovo was supported by democrats and republicans and first critics on Clinton's policy from republicans were rather mild.They probably wanted to leave some room for the flexible response, later in the case that intervention could face the problem.

Clinton and his associates were strongly supporting the idea that Kosovo's intervention has opened a way to peace in the area. State secretary Albright was saying that it was the best thing administratiion did in the world..International contigent on the Kosovo has soldiers and there are 5.9oo american soldiers- The yearly cost is 3 bln dollars which represents an average for the similar operation after the war /Gulf/.

For critics of US policy in the Balkans things are not so simple.Some of them are stating that in every country were american military force was used /Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia/ the mess was created and Kosovo was tiny Ottoman posession with no strategic importance or economic value and no ties with US in the history,geography or sentiment. 28 The conclusion was very simple stating the failure of whole plan.

Other american analysts were seeing the military action in the wider european context pointing mostly an american european relations.They saw action in Kosovo as a big impact to Europeans and their efforts to build european security policy.Clinton's administration is supporting CFSP stating that cohesion and efficiency of NATO should be maintained.Thru european policy american allies have to go together but not duplicating the relations which already exists.There were also some critical point mentioned which were pointing the fact that european military budgets are permannetly shrinking now representing 2/3 of american military budget.On other side european military power is only l/4 of american power.Europen forces demonstrated in Kosovo that they are not modern and not ready for serious actions. 29

Admiral Lutwak, inspired by NATO action in Kosovo, has put a question of military intervention into political and moral frames.He says: "Policy elites should actively resist the emotional impulse to intervene in other people's wars—not because they are indifferent to human suffering but precisely because they care about it and want to faciliate the advent of peace.The US should dissuade multilateral interventions instead of leading them." 30

On other side, President Clinton stated that Kosovo is an american vital interest elaborating this with two elements:

At the end of the second Clinton's presidential terms american engagement in Kosovo is now getting some new evaluations. General Wesley Clark stated that Balkans area is not having any strategic importance for US and that the whole military mision was done for humanitarion reasons. With this, accent is put on humanitarion function of military force and , on other side, this explanation opens room for the new changes. This oppinion should help republican presidentional candidate in his annonciation of withdrawal of american military forces. It is not any secret that american military forces were not too happy with functions which they were doing from Somalia to the Kosovo and that peacemaking functions were not bringing very positive results. Finding support in this feelings presidential candidate Bush is trying to exploit it.

He is stating that from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo he will withdraw american forces . Bush is not making any differences between Bosnia and Kosovo, although american military are seeing big differences between two spots. Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina was run very peacefuly and probably it should go like this. In the efforts to integrated two entities in one state : Bosnia and Herzegovina , Clinton's administration is now looking for solution which could satisfy inhabitants of Bosnia and other international actors. If the model of united state would be created and if Federation and Republica Srpska will dissapear it will open the way for elimination of different armies , police, and other state and para-state services which could open way for gradual withdrawal of international forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kosovo represents much bigger problem. Not only that circumstances are more complex starting with composition of relations on the spot, double ethnical cleancing, different cultures, religions, and traditional relations, but in Kosovo there are two quite different options.

First is that independence of Kosovo could create in the future great Albania, which should not be well accepted among Albanian neighbours. NATO countries are also not ready to support such solution, which should be made by the leadership and with the protection of KFOR.

Second option, withdrawal of international forces from Kosovo and return of Serbian rule, is unaccetable to Albanians and to international community. It would be very hard, especialy for Clinton's Democrats who put so many efforts to come in Kosovo. For them now it would be impposible just to leave the area and with this to proclaime that action was useless and not needed.

Clinton's administration was aware of this dilemas and preparing elections in Kosovo and stating that forces will stay there for another five to ten years special expectations are put on the changes in Belgrade where democratic regime is looked upon.

Bush's proclamationes are now throwing new light on the question. If it is not political rhetoric withdrawal of Americans from the Balkans woul cause immidiate problems between European allies who would not like to stay alone. They could take bigger role and they could give a bigger financial support but without Americans whole action would be having different political meaning. Also, the question of American presence in Albania and Macedonia and eventual support for Montenegro would be put in different light.

Gore's victory would mean for South East Europe continuation of former american efforts and the whole area could be seen as vital for american interest. In this continuation of american engagement, along with other NATO countries, could be expected, which should lead to cooperative security and stability.

Bush junior would be more under the influance of some neoisolationist views and the theses which are stating that american strategic interests are not connected with the South East Europe. If Bush is going to be an american president he will strongly push the presure on american allies to send more people and finances to the area and he will try strongly to diminish american presence. But to think that even president Bush would withdraw imediately all american forces form Bosnia and Kosovo is not realistic. For wider political reasons even eventual republican presidant should pay attancion to this what Clinton's policy has achived in that area:

South East Europe is neither Europe's centre nor Europe's backyard. Clinton's administration took some time to understand that the area have a possibility to disrupt europen integration and also influence euro american relations.New administration coming to the White house has to remember this .

The countries in the South East Europe will further look at the US as an important actor whose activities are either seen in the forms of an open and direct american action or as a policy with lower profile but very strong and important working behind the scene.



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Note 1: The latest political events in the area of South East Europe are increasingly accenting the question of belonging to this region. It is significant that Croatia, Slovenia, Romania and even Albania are trying to distance themselves from the Balkan syntagm. Therefore, instead of the Balkans, the softer term South East Europe is lately used, which also calls for its political determination. According to traditional political division, the South East Europe consists of: Greece, Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as the five states that have emerged in the territory of former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Yugoslavia and Macedonia).
Ecobescu, N.,"Avoiding Marginalization of the Balkans", Romanian Journal of International Affairs, No.1-2, 1996. pages 50-52.
The other division of the countries of this area has been deducted from the security arrangement, and the researchers from the European Strategic Group of the WEU include in the area following countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and the four states of the former Yugoslavia: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and Serbia with Montenegro.
Lenzi, G.,Martin,L, eds the European Security Space, Paris, 1996, pages 23-24. Back

Note 2: Schifter, R:"Human Rights in Yugoslavia: Statement before the Foreign Relations Committee", 21 Feb.1991. U.S. Department of State Dispatch, 4 May 1991. pages 152-153. Back

Note 3: See: R. Lukich and A. Lynch, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals: The Desintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, Oxford, 1996, pages 307-320. Back

Note 4: "Bush sieht in der Bewaltung der Krise in Jugoslawien zunachts eine Aufgabe der Europaer" Frankfurter Algemaine Zeitung, July 10,1991. Back

Note 5: Quote: F.S.Larrabee, US Policy in the Balkans: From Containment to Strategic Reengagement"in Crises in the Balkans:Views from the Participants, C.Danopoulus and K.Messas , eds. New York 1997, page 281. Back

Note 6: Ibid., page 282. Back

Note 7: Quote: R.Lukich and A. Lynch, Europe from the Balkans to the Urals..., page 320-321 Back

Note 8: Quote: F.S.Larrabee; U.S. Policy in the Balkans....,page 283. Back

Note 9: R. Vukadinovic, In Search of Security for the New Balkans, Vienna 1994, page 11. Back

Note 10: S. Woodward in: M.J.Calic,N.Gnessotto,J.Sharp and S.Woodward, The Issues Raised by Bosnia and the Transatlantic Debate, Paris, 1998, pages 44. Back

Note 11: Ibid, page 45. Back

Note 12: On problems existing in bilateral relations see: I,O.Lesser, Bridge or Barrier:Turkey and the West After the Cold War, RAND 1992, pages 34. Back

Note 13: The new security situation, according to one opinion in Greece, is being especially burdened by constant antagonism with Turky. "Military and demographically strong neighbour, which is neither democratic, nor connected with European institutions, is being experienced with some distrust in Greece". The same opinion sees Turkey as the greatest beneficiary of the fall-apart of communist system in the Balkans, since it has the opportunity for creating new alliances.
Y.Valinakis, Greece's Security in the Post Cold War Era, Ebenhausen 1994. page 53. Back

Note 14: Possible instalment of Russian missiles in Greek part of Cyprus has opened a new crisis in Turkish-Greek relations and enabled a whole new set of scenarios on possible conflict between the two countries. Back

Note 15: R. Vukadinovic, "South East Europe: Instabilities and Connecting Strategies", Politicka Misao, Vol.34, No.3, 1997, pages 18-20. Back

Note 16: See for example: J.Vranytzany-Dobrinovic, "The EU, the SECI and Croatia", Croatian International Relations Review, Vol. III, No. 6/1997.
V. Mileta, "Miti balkanskega trga" Teorija i praksa, Vol.35, No.3.1998 Back

Note 17: Daily Washington File, February 10, 1998. Back

Note 18: The MPFSEE was activated on 31 August 1999 and the headquarter is located not far from the central part of the city of Plovdiv. Back

Note 19: See: Lt.Col.ST.Collins, Building Stability in Southeastern Europe: Symbolism or Substance?, Strategic Rewiev, Summer 2000, USSI, Boston, page 42. Back

Note 20: On assesments of value of this area and new instabilities, see: Z.Brzezinsky, The Grand Chessboard, New York 1997,pages 123-150. Back

Note 21: One of the leading American analysts of the Balkans is constantly arguing for development of closer economic and regional cooperation among Balkans states. He is correctly pointing out that absent of steady economic growth and development, many of the democratization-type reforms started will not succeed, which could lead these countries towards new instabilities and new ethnic conflicts.
S.Larrabee;"The Balkans", Strategic Appraisal 1996, ed. Z.Khalilzad, Santa Monica, RAND 1996, pages 115 Back

Note 22: By accenting the fact that Slovenia is situated in the crossroads between the Central and South East Europe Slovenian interest for peace and stability in Balkans is being illustrated. This could have significant security and economic effect for Slovenia.
A.Grizold, "Varnost i sodelovanje v Jugovzhodni Europi", Teorija in praksa, Vol.35.No3,1998,pages 483-484. Back

Note 23: W.T.Montgomery,"Croatia's Roadmap to Partnership for Peace", Croatian International Relations Review, Vol. IV, No 11, 1998, pages 88-90. Back

Note 24: F.S.Larrabee,"US Policy in the Balkans: From Containment to Strategic Reengagement", in the "Crises in the Balkans.." quote from page 292. Back

Note 25: See: S.Clement,Conflict Prevention in the Balkans: Case Studies of Kosovo and FYR Macedonia, Paris 1997. Back

Note 26: See: Cehulic, L: Euroazijski Balkan i novi geostrategijski izazovi, Gaudeamus, Mostar 1999. No. 1. Back

Note 27: F.S.Larrabee, "U.S. and European policy toward Turkey and the Caspian Basin, Allies Divided: Transatlantic Policies for the Greater Middle East", R.D. Blackwell and M.Sturner, The MIT press 1997, pages 166-169. Back

Note 28: Mandelbaum, M, A Perfect Failure, Foreign Affairs, Vol.78. No. 5 Sept/Oct 1999, pp. 7-8. Back

Note 29: P.N.Rodman, The Fallout from Kosovo, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 78, No. 4, July/August 1999, pp. 49-52. Back

Note 30: E.N.Lutwak, Give War a Chance, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 78, No. 4 July/August 1999. pp. 44. Back