Kosovo, after its incorporation into the Serbian Republic of Yugoslavia, became increasingly restive during the 1990s as Yugoslavia plunged into internal war and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian residents (Kosovars) sought autonomy. In March 1999, NATO forces began airstrikes against targets in Kosovo and Serbia in an effort to protect Kosovars against persecution. The bombing campaign ended in June 1999, and Kosovo was placed under transitional UN administration while negotiations on its status ensued. Kosovo eventually declared independence in 2008. Despite internal political tension and economic problems, the new nation has been recognized by many other countries and most of its inhabitants welcome its separation from Serbia.
In Liberating Kosovo, David Phillips offers a compelling account of the negotiations and military actions that culminated in Kosovo's independence. Drawing on his own participation in the diplomatic process and interviews with leading participants, Phillips chronicles Slobodan Milosevic's rise to power, the sufferings of the Kosovars, and the events that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia. He analyzes how NATO, the United Nations, and the United States employed diplomacy, aerial bombing, and peacekeeping forces to set in motion the process that led to independence for Kosovo. He also offers important insights into a critical issue in contemporary international politics: how and when the United States, other nations, and NGOs should act to prevent ethnic cleansing and severe human-rights abuses.
His lively account of the difficult negotiations makes fascinating reading; it shows that the newly developed “track-two diplomacy” is an effective tool for reconciling even intractable foes through fostering dialog, contact and cooperation.
Most Americans know orderly governmental systems are required to maintain a civilized culture, but in many societies one often wonders what type is most appropriate. While the western democracy structure has had significant success to date, it is far from perfect even within the United States.
The author has spent the past forty years working within national and international governmental systems from the grass roots local level to regional, state, and federal jurisdictions. In this book, he notes the timeless lessons learned from experience and history as well as new and innovative ways to utilize the modern age of information technology. The net result is an effort to create new public excellence from tired work cultures.
In the future, it is clear that economic globalization with its associated social and cultural impacts will bring about a new competition between many societies and their related governmental structures. This simple reality means that less efficient future governments will jeopardize the very viability of their own cultures.
Therefore, if Americans wish to effectively compete on the coming international level of tomorrow, they must get their collective governmental house in order today. Enlightenment illustrates how a healthy competitive environment can be developed and sustained without jeopardizing any of the freedoms and opportunities we have come to expect.