Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Go Away for A Week... Part I (Kosovo)

...and global events stumble all over themselves in a rush to happen.

Kosovo: Independence is declared.
Proponents, led by the US, France, Germany and the UK.
Opponents, led by Russia, Spain and China and various states with seperatist movements (Turkey, to my surprise, turned out in support) such as Sri Lanka.

I'm not privy to the nit and grit of the situation beyond what I've occasionally gleaned from news reports. But I'm a bit uncertain about this whole deal. Kosovo will remain a UN protectorate until a transfer of the reins is conducted. What I'm curious about is what objectives or preconditions preclude this transition? Kosovo maintains an unemployment rate of 60%. Not exactly conducive to the genesis of a thriving, productive and independent state. Smells, in fact, like the harbinger of a failed state should the transition occur prematurely. More specifically, a failed state with a vast Islamic majority. Given the track record of largely Islamic failed states...

One could argue, of course, that forcing 2 million Albanians to live under Serb rule is an invitation for yet another insurgency. But I'd have approached this deal with a bit more caution were I the Almighty Hand that Prods and Nudges. I'd have eyeballed the demographics of Kosovo and written contingencies upon contingencies for the very likely event that the 10% Serb minority in Kosovo either coalesces into an insurgency and/or becomes a nationless mass of virtual refugees.
I'd have also prepared for the quid pro quo via Russia's giving the independence nod to both Ossetia and Abkhazia and the instability this bit will bring to Georgia. Maybe the Masters of the West have taken these precautionary steps. Time will tell.

(Map via