By Hans Kundnani, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), September 19, 2012
At the end of last week I attended the Riga Conference, an annual Transatlantic foreign-policy conference that goes back to the 2006 NATO summit. For me one of the most extraordinary moments of the conference came during a panel discussion on the diminishing importance of Europe and the future of the West. The panelists included Julianne Smith, deputy national security adviser to US Vice President Joe Biden, and Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, a former German ambassador to Russia and the UK. During the discussion, a member of the audience asked whether Europe might be becoming a greater Switzerland – rich but neutral and strategically irrelevant. Von Ploetz’s simple response was: “Switzerland is not such a bad country!”… (more) http://ow.ly/1mwQeD
Location of Kosovo in Europe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
International Crisis Group: Setting Kosovo Free – Oped by Sabine Freizer, Europe Program Director for the International Crisis Group. http://ow.ly/1moL01
(Green) Serbia. (Grey) Europe. (Light-grey) The surrounding region. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WPI: Serbia evolves by ambiguity. Former President Boris Tadic proved this with his mantra of “both Europe and Kosovo” in the dark years after the 2003 murder of Serbia’s reformist Premier Zoran Djindjic. http://ow.ly/1lGmwh
English: Location of Bosnia and Herzegovina marked green, Serbia marked orange and Kosovo the same grey as the rest of Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By David B. Kanin, TransConflict, July 19, 2012
The chance of a meaningful outcome to the next round of political negotiations depends on Serbian and Kosovar protagonists taking responsibility for negotiations away from US, EU and Russian overseers.
So far, Serbian president Nikolic’s comments about the Lost Province are somewhat different than those regarding old wounds in Bosnia and Croatia. He had made inaccurate and unfortunate denials that the mass murder at Srebrenica amounted to genocide, and offered the view that Vukovar somehow remained a Serbian city. He came away from this unscathed – the international reaction was predictably muted – but his salt-rubbing exercises have laid the groundwork for future problems… (more) http://ow.ly/cqrpW
By Dan Nexon, Duck of Minerva
Syria (Photo credit: ewixx)
, July 17, 2012
That’s the takeaway from a new working paperby Brian Haggerty, a doctoral student at MIT. His conclusion:
The United States and its NATO allies no doubt possess the capabilities required to achieve some measure of air superiority over northwest Syria and to maintain patrols over population centers to defend them from some incursions by Syrian forces equipped with heavy weapons. But as this analysis shows, an intervention to establish only three safe havens, in Homs, Hama, and Idlib, linked to each other and to the Turkish border via a humanitarian corridor, would be a substantial military undertaking. Given Syria’s air defense capabilities, the ubiquity of its tanks, artillery, rockets, and mortars, and tens of thousands of al-Assad-regime allies willing to carry out acts of repression, it does not require any heroic assumptions to suggest that such an intervention would require greater resources, face greater risks, and have a lower probability of success, than any of NATO’s previous air campaigns in response to humanitarian crises in Bosnia, Kosovo, or Libya.
DuckofMinerva: NATO intervention in Syria Wouldn’t be Easy http://ow.ly/1lqRKF