September 13, 2018

REDEFINING SOVEREIGNTY:

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind (Charles A. Kupchan, Sept. 13, 2018, NY Times)

The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss -- refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country's ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the NATO bombing campaign to drive Yugoslav forces from Kosovo, some 4,000 NATO troops remain there to keep the peace.

A breakthrough may now be in the making. It is a morally offensive one, but nonetheless the United States and the European Union should get behind it.

President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and President Hashim Thaci of Kosovo are apparently working on a proposal to engage in a land swap that could bring the simmering conflict to an end. Northern Kosovo, which is populated mainly by ethnic Serbs and borders Serbia, would be transferred to Serbia. In return, a to-be-determined chunk of Serbia's Presevo Valley, which is heavily populated by ethnic Albanians and borders Kosovo, would become part of Kosovo.

Borders are useful fictions.
Posted by at September 13, 2018 5:39 PM

  

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