Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Talking Point: Debates: European
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
Forum 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Europewide debate
with Jamie Shea and Misha Glenny
 real 28k

Monday, 19 June, 2000, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Has Nato's Kosovo campaign been a success?
Jamie Shea and Misha Glenny join the Europewide debate
One year ago, an international peacekeeping force marched into the Kosovo capital Pristina to cheers from ethnic Albanians after the end of Nato's 78-day air war against Belgrade.

Did the Nato intervention stop a much wider conflict - or did the bombing campaign leave crucial political issues unresolved? Are the citizens of Kosovo - Serb and ethnic Albanian - better or worse off now as a result?

For this week's Europewide Debate, Europe Today's Janet Barrie brought together - from Brussels - the Nato spokesman Jamie Shea and the writer on Balkan affairs, Misha Glenny.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction



A friend of mine recently returned from "Peace Keeping" duty in Kosovo and he told me that what we hear and read are not even half of what is going on there

Peter, USA
A friend of mine recently returned from "Peace Keeping" duty in Kosovo and he told me that what we hear and read are not even half of what is going on there. Every week 5 Serbs are killed in Kosovo by Albanians and Kofor says this shows that we have peace.
Peter, USA

Many have called Kosovo "Madeline's War". But I don't believe that Nato or the US could simply stand by and do nothing while Serbia oppressed and quite literally drove out the Albanian Kosovars.
Nell, USA

Nato's campaign in Kosovo was a failure. It was a disaster for US foreign policy. It inspired Russian nationalism and led to their conquest of Chechnya and the rise of Putin. It led to close relations between China and Russia. Another of Allbright's disasters.
Paul Lawson, USA

The Nato mission was a success for globalisation, but not for either the Serbs or the Albanians. The global police are there, and that was the objective to begin with. The destruction of Serbia and Kosovo was a by-product of that objective. I wonder which small country is next?
Richard, USA



The Kosovo campaign was initiated by people who did not have an understanding of the problem

Enrene van Tonder, South Africa/ USA
The Kosovo campaign was initiated by people who did not have an understanding of the problem. Both parties in Kosovo have blood on their hands and other countries cannot just decide to take one side. The effort was a great failure and the only people who suffered were innocent civilians.
Enrene van Tonder, South Africa/ USA

It was obvious that something should have been done in Kosovo. It should have been handled by the EU, which proved to be spineless. Instead we had the US, under the cover of Nato, cynically lying and bombing their way to a "settlement". The Kosovo problem has only started. It will need years of patient work and investment, not only in capital, but in goodwill and realism.
Kostas Laskaris, Switzerland



This is a war which cannot be won or lost by both sides. It is indefinite

Anton Milov, Russia
This war for Kosovo in the Balkans has gone on for hundreds of years. Neither Nato nor anyone else can stop both Albanians and Serbs from constantly fighting and killing each other. After a number of years, all of this will be forgotten and Serbia again will try to regain the land. This is a war which cannot be won or lost by both sides. It is indefinite.
Anton Milov, Russia

That war was just for the US. Nobody in Europe wanted it.
Sergii Kozlov, Ukraine

Success for Imperialism, and the propaganda of the ''independent'' Western mass media, but defeat for the UN, human rights, truth and finally of the human intelligence that so senselessly accepted the purposes proclaimed. It seems that history taught nothing to humanity
Defkalion Tsagarakis, Greece

I think that Nato's Kosovo campaign was a severe violation of sovereignty and a complete failure. It has greatly destabilised the region and has created great ethnic tensions. Since the Nato peacekeeping force moved in, the non-Albanian population has been submitted to violence and terror and as a result, many have fled. The USA is abusing its super-power status and is attacking any country that will not submit to its expansion across Europe either economically, or in Yugoslavia's case, militarily. If the USA does not change its current course of action then we will surely witness a huge arms race which will no doubt have dire consequences.
Branko Tanaskovic, Australia



I think that the Kosovo bombings were a low point in American foreign policy

Asher Steinberg, USA
I think that the Kosovo bombings were a low point in American foreign policy. We were there to prevent government-sponsored ethnic violence against ethnic Albanians. But today, ethnic Albanians kill Serbs. Furthermore, the collateral damage was great - approximately 1,000 Serbs were killed, largely because the wrong targets were hit. The operation had no clear purpose, and was bungled.
Asher Steinberg, USA

The Nato aggression on Yugoslavia was prepared many years ago, same as the destruction of the former Yugoslavia. Every effort has been made in the creation of false reports and excuses for this evil plan.
John, Canada

In March 1999, near the town where I was born, a 3 year old girl was killed by shrapnel from a Nato bomb thrown at one of the Yugoslav military airports. Well, it was not really an airport; it was just a plastic pretend-airport positioned there by an underestimated army. Nato's intervention did succeed in terrorising Yugoslav civilians. Whether that helped Kosovars (technically also Yugoslav civilians) is best judged by the current situation in Kosovo, which is by all accounts characterised by ethnic tension worse than before Nato's intervention.
Dan Tesh, Australia

Let's see, what did Nato succeed in doing? They managed to expel from Kosovo brutal gangs of murdering thugs bent on eradicating an ethnic group. These have now been replaced with brutal gangs of murdering thugs bent on eradicating an ethnic group. Congratulations Nato, what a glorious achievement.
JS, Scotland

The objective of Nato intervention had only one true objective. To restore stability. Judging by the fact that every side is criticising Nato, and not each other, satisfies me that the mission was successfully accomplished.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

I do not think that Nato's Kosovo campaign has brought peace for all the people who live there. Now Albanians try to expel the Serbians from their homes just like the Serbians expelled them before. There is no indication that the two nations will reach an agreement about the future of this province.
The Albanians want an independent country although the European politicians have always said that Kosovo is a part of Yugoslavia. Both of them do not want to live together any more. It is most likely this province will be divided into two parts and Bosnia or Nato's peacekeepers will stay there for at least 20 years. Any self-rule would be not good enough for all the citizens of this country because both these nations are not tolerant and seek for revenge.
Roumiana Dirimanova, Bulgaria, currently living in Ireland

It depends on the definition of success. If success means the pacification of Kosovo then Nato failed. If it means demilitarisation of a terrorist organisation the KLA then it failed. If it means making Kosovo safe for all then they failed. If it meant destruction of the Yugoslav army then it failed. If it means the overthrowing of Milosevic then it failed. No one has benefited from Nato's intervention - except terrorists, criminals and arms manufacturers. Natos' blind intervention in Kosovo has further destabilised the whole region for many years to come.
NM, UK



Serbia's infrastructure has been destroyed and along with it any alternative to Milosevic's rule.

Themos Tsikas, UK
Wrong question - how about "what course of action could have produced a better outcome?" The Albanians mourn thousands of dead and find themselves at the mercy of criminal gangs who sell them nationalism like Milosevic. The Serbs have all but been ethnically cleansed after being subjected to as murderous a campaign as the Albanians before them. Plus, Serbia's infrastructure has been destroyed and along with it any alternative to Milosevic's rule.
Themos Tsikas, UK

The objective of this invasion was to destroy the only country in Europe with dignity, the only country that refuses to be a US colony. That's why every effort was made to undermine any peaceful solution, which's why the free part of Yugoslavia is still under US sanctions. And the list can go for long... Judging from this objective, the invasion was partly successful, though they failed to harm the Yugoslavian army and dignity they did destroy the country's infrastructure.
Nicholas, US colony of Britain

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

Kosovo: One year on
Click here for in-depth coverage and latest news
Key stories:
Nato's incomplete victory
The view from Kosovo
Serbs fear new war
Nato strikes: The untold story
An Uneasy Peace
Talking Point
Is the West losing the peace?
Is Nato guilty of war crimes?


Links to other European stories