Balkans: Peacekeeping Without End


November 21, 2005: Ten years after peacekeepers rolled into Bosnia, there is still no final peace deal. While there has been some coming together of the Croats and Moslems, the Serbs are still holding back from fully integrating themselves into a unified Bosnian state. Kosovo, which got the peacekeeper treatment six years ago, is also still in disarray. The peacekeeping nations are finding that stopping a war is not the same as finishing a war. The ethnic hatreds in the region still exist, and people in Bosnia and Kosovo are still willing to fight. No one has a foolproof solution to these problems. One likely solution is economic progress, to reduce unemployment and raise living standards. But the ethnic hostilities, and endemic corruption, make this solution difficult. So no one is making plans to pull all their peacekeepers out. With the possible exception of the United States, which would like to concentrate its forces in Iraq.

November 17, 2005: Kosovo's assembly approved what it described as a "political platform" for determining the province's final status. Kosovo will have a delegation at the UN-sponsored talks. The assembly's resolution basically said that Kosovo's independence from Serbia is the only acceptable outcome and is "non-negotiable." After the Kosovo resolution, Serbia said Kosovar independence is "unacceptable." The key to a political resolution will be the economic and political rewards Serbia receives from Western Europe and the UN for allowing Kosovar independence.


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