By Ivan Simic in Belgrade, Serbia
On 17 February 2008 in South-eastern Europe, the Serbian Southern province of Kosovo declared independence from Republic of Serbia, and self proclaimed new Republic of Kosovo. New proclaimed Republic of Kosovo was later recognized by few sovereign states, but not by the UN. Involvement of the world’s two (the EU and the US) out of five superpowers in this event can be explained through experimental theory and as a secret plan of the European Union and the United States.
Things have changed in the international system, now we have new superpowers, superpowers that do not look like anything we saw before. Today, superpowers, states with leading positions in the international system and ability to influence events and project power on worldwide scales are: the European Union, the United States, Russia, China and India. These superpowers sometimes need a testing ground to show their superiority over others. These days that testing ground is Kosovo.
The European Union
Looking at the current situation in Europe, involvement of the EU can be described through political and economical perspectives. The European Union as the most intelligent and the best organized multiethnic Union ever seen in human history maybe wishes to become the world’s hegemon and independent military force, independent from the US.
There are a few interesting facts concerning the EU military. In relation to the EU decisions and plans regarding the military and military defence, it is possible that the EU members want out of NATO, and a new strong independent army. NATO was not the European plan, the Western European Union (WEU) was. The WEU was signed by the Treaty of Brussels in March 1949 between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, however, the US opposed the WEU and soon the North Atlantic Treaty in April 1949 NATO was established.
The WEU was aimed primarily at defending against possible German rearmament; NATO on the other hand was established mainly to defend against the Soviet Union and Eastern Block. Western Europe at that time needed US support, since it could not face Soviet Union alone. The true power of WEU was seen in 1954 when West Germany and Italy joined. Today, the Western European Union has 10 member countries (the UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal), 6 associate member countries, 5 observer countries and 7 associate partner countries.
There are a number of multi-national military and peacekeeping forces within the EU, which are ultimately under the command of the EU. This future EU army had few testing’s before its final completion, for example through NATO, EUFOR, EURFOR (SFOR, IFOR, and KFOR), Eurocorps, among others. According to The Helsinki Headline Goal by the year 2010, the EU will have full military capabilities in humanitarian and rescue tasks, disarmament operations, support to third countries in combating terrorism, peacekeeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, and peacemaking. With this new European army, the 21EU Member States will possibly suspend their membership in NATO.
In theory, there are two possible scenarios of the EU involvement in Kosovo independence: political and economic, any other theories of the EU honestly supporting separatism (secessionism) are out of place. Currently, 15 EU countries-members are confronted with secessionism, including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, and the UK, among others. Beside the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which dispute goes back to 1983, long before formation of the EU, Kosovo is the new challenge for the EU, especially because it is in Europe, and in controllable environment.
From the political side, the EU sees Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence as an experiment. This experiment will show to the EU where it stands, what other superpowers think, how strong they really are on the international scene, and how they will behave after Kosovo independence. The EU will learn a lot about independence and will prepare itself for any possible secessions of any region within the EU. Also this will be a great opportunity to get more experience for the future army through Eulex (The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo – the mission will include 2000 police and judicial personnel, with the cost of 165 million Euros in the first year)
From the economic side, Kosovo is very interesting to two great EU members; Germany and France. They are interested in exploitation of the Kosovo region, since Kosovo is geologically very rich.
The United States
Many believe the US was putting pressure on the EU to recognize independent Kosovo. That is not true, the US was not in the position, and she did not want to. The US, like the EU does not support secessionism. She and her neighbouring Canada are also confronted with the same problems among their own states, for example California and Texas have wanted to become independent states, and Quebec in Canada.
From the political side, the US did not get anything from Kosovo independence, only additional foreign political disputes. Kosovo was likely to show that the US is still influential in the world, and to test her power on the international stage and within the UN. Maybe after failure in Iraq, Kosovo was supposed to help the US to divert international political weight from Iraq. Furthermore, the US efforts in making Kosovo an independent state did not change the image which the Muslim and Arab world have over her.
From the strategic side, the US maybe wants to build a new military base in Kosovo. Today, she has a large military presence in Europe, including military bases in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the UK, the Nederland, among others, with around 100,000 military personnel. The EU, especially Germany, Italy (because of WWII and huge military presents for decades), and Russia will not allow the US to build additional military bases in the Euro region, and create quad points (the UK, Italy, Germany, and Kosovo). If European members of NATO suspend their membership and decide that the US should withdraw her military forces from Europe, the US will be very vulnerable. However, if the US in that moment looks for an ally in the UK, the UK as the US biggest ally will turn back on her and closely bond with the EU.
Looking from the economic side, the United States will only have additional expenses over Kosovo. Kosovo is for many years in deficit, and there is not much that the US can take from Kosovo which Europe does not want.
There are many speculations around the world and within EU members over the Kosovo issue. Questions have been asked: Why the EU members have different positions over this issue? Will Russia intervene and use military force? What will China do? What about India? Will this give grounds to other disputed areas to declare independence? These questions and many others provided reasonable grounds to look for the possible secret plan of the EU and the US.
The European Union on 18 February 2008 officially stated that it would ‘take note’ of Kosovo’s move, but leaves the question of recognition to its member states. It appears that the EU does not support Kosovo independence, and that some member states were lobbied by Albanians, and in addition they recognized independence (Germany, France, Italy, among others), however, some did not, nor will they recognize Kosovo. When the EU and EU Member States say that they are friends and wish to have good diplomatic relations with Serbia, they mean it, but that will be seen later. So, according to this, some Member States are in favour of supervised independence, but not for long.
It is a public secret that the Albanian lobby for years created enormous pressure on President Bush’s administration, through the US politicians and officials. As a result, they came to the only acceptable solution; to recognize supervised Kosovo independence in cooperation with the EU, and get the Albanian lobby off its back. The Republic of Serbia was an ally of Allies Forces in War World II, on the other side Albania was the puppet state of Fascist Italy, and Fascist Italy was the ally of Nazi Germany. The US, by all means, has no intention to spoil her relations with Serbia over some European province-new Republic which she need to support financially over the next 20-30 years, when she have solid relations and investments in Serbia.
Despite all facts, the European Union and the United States as influential players in this event know that independent Kosovo does not stand any chance of survival; it cannot be a member of the EU, the UN, OSCE, IOC, IMF, or any other vital human organization. The EU and the US Law enforcement institutions are also familiar with Kosovo-Albanian links with terrorist organizations (Al Qaeda), paramilitary formations and criminal organizations. The EU as a multi-ethnic Union recognizes the International Law and the UN; however, this lobby had to be satisfied.
In the next two years, Kosovo-Albanians will think that they have succeeded in their agenda, but they will realise they were wrong. By mid 2010, when the EU succeeds with The Helsinki Headline Goal, and when new US administration takes firm control over the United States, they will announce that various reports have shown that unilaterally declared Republic of Kosovo under international supervision is not capable of independence, and that they are recommending that Kosovo Albanians continue to negotiate their terms with the Republic of Serbia. Also, that Republic of Kosovo was a mistake, and that Kosovo needs to be a part of Serbia.
This should show to the world that secessionism is not easy as many think, and perhaps reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and International Law, as well as in the United Nations.
Both options are possible, and time will show if they are true or not, however, with the partial international recognition of Kosovo independence, for one more time, International Law and the Charter of the United Nations has been underrated.
– Ivan Simic, in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.