It was 10 years ago today (June 12, 1999) that NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the region under a United Nations mandate authorizing an international military presence. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has announced that the force will be somewhat reduced (from 14,000 to 10,000), but it doesn’t seem like the force will be withdrawn any time soon.
“KFOR will remain in Kosovo, it will remain responsible for a safe and secure environment … as long as necessary,” Scheffer insisted. Yet since it has been years since the region has seen serious violence, it remains unclear how long the force, composed principally of US and Western European powers, will see fit to declare its presence “necessary.”
The force’s initial mission was to place the region under the administration of the United Nations, but transferred most control over a provisional government years ago. In 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia, though Serbia is still seeking international court determinations on whether that secession is legal.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Trump Lays Out National Security Strategy - December 18th, 2017
- US to Cut Some Somali Military Aid Over Misuse, Corruption - December 17th, 2017
- Sistani: Shi'ite Militias Should Remain as Part of Iraq's Security Services - December 17th, 2017
- Mounting Tensions Drive Arms Sales to Multi-Decade High - December 17th, 2017
- US Commandos Participate in Thousands of Afghan Ground Operations - December 17th, 2017