EU withdraws from Northern Kosovo
"Hopes for a peaceful conclusion to the declaration of Kosovo's independence were fading as the European Union announced it had withdrawn its staff from the north of the fledgling country in the face of increasingly angry Serb protests."
So begins the utterly predictable reaction of the EU to Serb anger as their "army in suits" pre-emptively withdraws.
At the same time, KFOR, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, sealed the border to Serbia, after angry mobs torched border crossings. ...
Yesterday Peter Feith, the EU's Kosovo envoy, said security concerns were behind the withdrawal of his staff from northern Kosovo. They had been preparing the ground for a 2,000-strong EU rule of law mission. "I would like to appeal to the Serb community to be generous and to turn the page and look forward to working together with us," he said. "We hope that conditions will soon allow us to resume our activities."
Translation. We'll return when NATO makes it safe enough for us to return.
The wider impact of the Kosovo crisis is the precedent that it sets for many of the "frozen conflicts" of the world, ranging from Azerbaijan to the Basque region. Remarkably, many Muslim countries have refused to recognize Kosovo. And their reluctance is fueled in part by the desire to avoid stirring up separatism. Therefore Kosovo has been sold by the EU and the US as an "exception" to the general rule.
The problem is that the Serbs are taking the cue from the Kosovars. If Kosovo can split from Serbia why can't Serbian regions split from Kosovo? The EU believed that by throwing a protective blanket of "suits" around the Serbs in the north that Kosovo might be held together. But as the experience of Iraq shows, stabilization can only occur where security is guaranteed. The crisis that will face Western policy in Kosovo is whether they are up to providing "security" which is another word for military force, to back up their "army of suits". The suits can't deploy without the uniforms.