The American Interest

An Undesirable Independence

Given the wars and rumors of war from North Korea to the Middle East, the last thing America needs is to reignite the proverbial powder keg in the Balkans, a region that has been fairly stable for the better part of this decade, especially when compared to the bloody 1990’s.  That precarious stability could be undermined by the stated intention of some U.S. officials to support the independence of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo.

Occupied by NATO and administered by the United Nations since June 1999, Kosovo is by far the worst-governed part of Europe (Albania and Bosnia included).  Christians are routinely terrorized by the Albanian Muslim majority in the province.  Nearly 90 percent of non-Albanians have been ethnically cleansed, and some 150 churches destroyed, over the past seven years.  Much of the nominal and most of the real power is in the grasp of Hashim Thaci, Agim Ceku, and Ramush Haradinaj, a scandalous troika of war criminals, drug traffickers, and jihadists who run Kosovo as a criminal fiefdom.  And yet the proponents of Kosovo’s independent statehood continue pretending that the province is as ready for independence as Slovakia or Estonia were 15 years ago.  They insist that the “international community” merely needs to settle on the exact formula for independence, after which Serbia must sign on the dotted line.  During a visit to Belgrade in the last...

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