Peace in Kosovo

June 21, 1999

Now that peace looks like it may return to Kosovo, I wanted to dedicate at least one commentary to the peace plan accepted by Yugoslavian President Solbodan Milosevic. Although the plan has been heralded as a victory for NATO, it seems like Milosevic has nearly everything he wants. He remains in power; he has secured his grip on power inside Yugoslavia; and he has pushed large numbers of ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo.

One way to demonstrate how Milosevic has faired is to compare the two peace agreements put to him: the first one developed in France back in March and the current G-8 framework for peace he has now accepted.

The first agreement stipulated that NATO troops would not be limited to the province of Kosovo but could deploy anywhere in Yugoslavia. NATO would have "free and unrestricted access throughout [Yugoslavia's] air-space and territorial waters." The current G-8 agreement really only allows NATO to deploy troops in Kosovo.

Second, the original agreement would have guaranteed that Kosovo's population (which is overwhelmingly non-Serb) could vote to secede from Yugoslavia after three years of interim administration. The G-8 agreement, however, makes no mention of a referendum after three years and clearly states that the political administration of Kosovo must be consistent with "principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia. So don't look for an independent Kosovo three years from now.

Third, the original agreement would have mandated deployment of NATO troops on a NATO mission. The G-8 agreement, however, states that a security presence will operate under the United Nations (where Yugoslavia has two key allies in the Security Council: Russia and China).

So I think you can see the Milosevic got a better deal after the bombing than before. No wonder he was willing to accept the demands for peace.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.