Thursday, January 31, 2008

Conservative Dissent on Kosovo

I had promised at the end of last year that I had spoken my final words on the Kosovo question, but today's piece in the Washington Times deserves mention. Written by John Bolton, Lawrence Eagleburger and Peter Rodman--two of whom held senior positions in the current administration--and coming from three leading members of the Republican party's foreign policy establishment (and, it might be added, none of whom have ever been seen as being "soft" on the issues of the day)--it cannot be easily dismissed away as representing the views of people peripheral to the U.S. foreign policy process.

The trio, in essence, call upon the administration to not move forward on recognizing an independent Kosovo at this juncture. "A reassessment of America's Kosovo policy is long overdue. We hope a policy that would set a very dangerous international precedent can still be averted if that reassessment begins now. In the meantime, it is imperative that no unwarranted or hasty action be taken that would turn what is now a relatively small problem into a large one."

They do state clearly that they "do not underestimate the difficulty and complexity of the Kosovo question nor do we suggest the status quo can endure indefinitely" but do find fault with " a U.S. promise to the Kosovo Albanians that their demands will be satisfied if they remain adamant and no agreement is reached with Belgrade."

A follow-up question: will this piece resonate with any of the Republican candidates for president?

Nik, to answer your question: No, it won't.
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