Vital Signs

Our Little War in Kosovo

After ethnic Albanian guerrillas initially rejected the peace settlement fashioned by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a friend of hers told Newsweek that "She's angry at everyone—the Serbs, the Albanians and NATO." Another Clinton administration official raged: "Here is the greatest nation on earth pleading with some nothing-balls to do something entirely in their own interest—which is to say yes to an interim agreement—and they defy us."

With such hubris infecting the Clinton administration, it should come as no surprise that it has so badly bungled policy concerning the Serbian province of Kosovo. The administration set its sights on going to war with Yugoslavia and occupying the province. This is misguided in the extreme.

The administration is attempting to impose an artificial settlement with little chance of genuine acceptance by either side. It is micromanaging a guerrilla conflict, likely spreading nationalistic violence throughout the region. It is involving America in an undeclared war against a nation which has not threatened the United States or any American ally. It is encouraging permanent European dependence on America to defend European interests with little relevance to America. Most importantly, it puts American troops at risk without any serious, let alone vital, American interest at stake.

The situation in Kosovo is tragic, but...

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