Kosova as a Chessboard: The Centrality of the Balance of Power
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In this chapter I show how the balance of power was essential to the fateful decisions taken at key moments during this period filled with feverish diplomatic, military, and political activity on the side of great powers. The balance of power, through the balancing acts of the competitor state, forced NATO and the United States to go to a bombing campaign instead of going to the UN and through the UN, which was much more preferable. The balance of power limited and distorted the political objectives that were to be achieved. The balance of power made possible the ending of the bombing campaign. The balance of power determined, to a large extent, the essential political choices that were made and that were fateful to the future of ethnic conflict in Kosova. Ultimately, what started as a NATO bombing campaign, in complete disregard for the UN and other great powers, ended up as a negotiated solution between the United States and Russia, with Serbia protecting its sovereignty over Serbia proper, maintaining formal control over Kosova, and with Kosova itself transformed into a UN Mandate. A game that started without much regard for the traditional diplomacy ended up being played and concluded by the traditional rules of the balance of power.
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