NATO’s Mission in Kosovo



In the course of the NATO mission and its ramifications to people all over the world, a number of literature depicting this issue and concerns in international laws and national security have been widespread. This seminar paper endeavors to explore the details surrounding the legitimacy of NATO in the war indicated as the NATO mission in Kosovo by providing an analysis with regard to the facts surrounding NATO intervention and deliberating on the future implications that this mission hold in respect to international law.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay on

“NATO’s Mission in Kosovo”

Get custom essay



When a terrorist captures people and turns them into hostages in their very homeland and the law enforcement or armed forces storm in violently causing havoc to the country, they will be placing the hostages more at risk. What is worse and more irresponsible would be to gain entry into another area of the vicinity since it is more secure and there is no terrorist present and begins to damage things valuable to the inhabitants. Such an approach would look as if preferably considered to position the hostages in the most likely risk. Nobody in his right mind concerned about the security of the hostages would conduct an operation this way, nevertheless it is precisely the approach followed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is also referred to as the North Atlantic Alliance. It is an international governmental organization military alliance founded on the North Atlantic Treat. The organization holds a system to maintain a collective security, of which affiliates had declared to be in agreement to mutual defense taking action against an attack from an outside force.

While NATO attempted to rapidly put in force peace efforts in Kosovo, the way that the organization performs its actions received unsympathetic criticisms. Merely for the reason that the administration by Milosevic was obviously in gross contravention of a number of international laws did not outright give good reason for any reaction devoid of rigorous examination and analysis.

This analysis endeavors to explore the details surrounding the legitimacy of NATO in the war indicated as the NATO mission in Kosovo by responding to the research question;
was NATO intervention in Kosovo just, and what are the future implications that this mission hold in respect to international law?

NATO Mission in Kosovo

The objectives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the subject of the tension in Kosovo were explained in the declaration delivered during the very particular conference by the North Atlantic Council conducted at NATO were confirmed by different Heads of State and the Government in Washington. Consequently, the objectives of NATO regarding the conflict in Kosovo were concretely outlined. (The NATO Press Release 1999, Sc. 1-3) These were indicated in the Statement of the Chairman, Resolution 1244 (1999) Annex 1.

A succinct overview of The Washington Declaration takes account of NATO objectives which in summary suggests a confirmable discontinue of all military engagement and the abrupt eradication of violent behavior and subjugation; the pulling out from Kosovo of the armed forces, law enforcement, and assisting official military forces; the posting of international military presence in Kosovo; the unrestricted and safety of all refugees and displaced persons coming back and unconstrained access of humanitarian aid organizations to those individuals; and the formation of a political agenda arrangement for Kosovo based on the Rambouillet Accords (Beckert 1999, p.16), to conform with the international law and the Charter of the United Nations. (The NATO Press Release, 1999)

Distinctions between alliances and coalitions

This analysis endeavors to explore the details surrounding the legitimacy of NATO in the war indicated as the NATO mission in Kosovo. The focus of this paper is on current events, but it also delves on thehistory oftherelationshipconsideringtheoreticalapproachesand concepts. Current affairs of the Atlantic Community are embeddedintheir historicalevolution. They cannot be comprehensively elucidated without theoreticalconstructs.Therefore, in an endeavor to encompass all essential elements and raise law-oriented and theoretical notions, it is imperative to tackle the distinctions between alliances and coalitions in consideration of the NATO organization.

The attacks in 2001 that shocked the whole world were construed in a variety of ways by different nations as well as local and international organizations. Numerous states in the country had initiated their readiness to be included in responding to measures opposed to terrorism. The finishing off of the Cold War and the departure of a fired up antagonism has altered the strategies to security cohesion on the part of allied states. Furthermore, the unmatched standing of the United States as an excessively active force in the most indistinct implication has dealt American strategists with a predicament since conventional alliances may present both advantages and disadvantages.

Progressively more, the disadvantages have succeeded. In political terms, the possibilities of accomplishing harmony among the twenty-six member states of NATO have diminished. Harmony, at one time the high point of Alliance cohesion, has become now impossible and unnecessary. (Yost, 1998) Coalitions of the disposed can be generated from within a much unrestricting miscellany of states, and the uncertainty occurs if the Alliance is now turning out to be an instrument for the conveyance of a discriminatory European allegiance to an American inclusive order of a global scale.

According to Steinberg (2003, p. 115), NATO had referred to Article V, a combined defense specification. Other international organizations conveyed their pronouncement to partake within the collective endeavor to buoy up the movement against terrorism. Beginning in the year 2002, the initial operations of Romanian groups, for instance, to unite with the Coalition Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, has embodied an ultimate pace in the Eastern European countries to become affiliates of NATO.

Since that period, various countries of sorts have taken on a new structure of values in the course of their desire to form a junction with the association of democracy and freedom. The conflict’s feature has been changed fundamentally in recent years owing to the asymmetrical distinctiveness of defiance. In addition, from the standpoints of the new-fangled international challenges, the increasing emergent of international organizations and local measures, it is apparent that there is necessity of general principles, norm, and regulations for its class of organizations. (Steinberg 2003, p. 130)

NATO’s main role in nations it focuses on is to assist the existing government in putting into effect and broadening its influence and authority across the country, overlaying the means for renewal and operative governance. The organization accomplishes this predominately by way of its United Nations authorization for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). From the moment NATO had assumed command of ISAF in the year 2003, the Alliance has progressively stretched out the scope of its mission, formerly just limited to Kabul, to encompass Afghanistan’s entire territory. The number of ISAF groups has increased correspondingly from the preliminary five thousand to more or less eighty thousand troops which had come from forty-four nations that comprise all twenty-eight NATO members. (Hamilton, 2004)

The waning of NATO had been prognosticated a lot of times subsequent to the ending of the Cold War and with even more after the devastation aggravated by Iraq warfare seven years prior. The composers of NATO recordings are not in concurrence with regard to the causes of downfall which vary from unevenness of power to conflicting world views encompassing the Atlantic, but they have the same opinion with regard to NATO, at the same time still remains, is in effect demise. The decision makers of the Alliance had learned to distinguish and perform within the limits within which the Alliance is supposed to function if it is to carry on. This is noteworthy. During the latter part of the 1990s, political determination and reality had conflicted in Kosovo, bringing forth NATO’s most terrible post-Cold War catastrophe. Since the devastation, NATO had prepared for a Riga summit which continued with the investments completed since the Prague summit of Allied leaders concerning NATO’s conversion into a twenty-first century alliance. Indicated ambitions had aligned with reality and NATO had been supposed to be on the right track for revitalization. (Hursoy & Esrin, 2004)

In consideration of aligning aspiration with reality, the involvement in Kosovo in 1999 had demonstrated a number of symptoms of melancholy within the Alliance and it was in the response of the Allies to this move that it was found the reasons why NATO is directed for restitution. The involvement of NATO in Kosovo had progressed into an unpredictably long-drawn-out less significant air war, which caused the Allies to oppose NATO approach, the United States to assume that military operations had to be coursed beyond the cooperative entities of NATO, and European Allies to sustain the European Union’s new security and defense policy (ESDP). (Meyer 2004, pp. 90-91)

The intervention of NATO corresponded to the conclusion of nearly ten long years of political casual interest with the aspiration of unification in a range of pretexts that Europe has to be undivided and emancipated, the democratic community has to be broadened, NATO has to act as solitary, and NATO has to exemplify and through its actions characterize unanimous democratic and humanitarian principles. Furthermore, devoid of a tactical intimidation, these compulsions and objectives as expected led into the attempt to make NATO a united security organization for Europe. Kosovo was only this test occurrence of which NATO took action with no mandate from the United Nation and had laid assertion to legitimacy. (Mayer 2004, p. 93)

Subsequently, realities had then succeeded. The Allies had found not just that they were not prepared to actually wage war for these values, hence the nonexistence of a ground war, but also that principles are no replacement for politics and the welfare they engender; hence, the arguments within NATO. These occurrences had stimulated a transformation of movement in NATO. The arrangements for the 2002 Prague Summit and the renovation program that was reorganized in Riga correspond to an alliance of ambition with reality. (Croft 2002, p.98) The initial point is not the aspiration to take action united but the necessity to construct an Alliance that remains united but takes action flexibly in coalitions determined by interests and means.

There are by then positive signs of transformation. The NATO Response Force, reforming the new force structure concentrated on all set and organized forces; the sinewy of the command assembly and reserves prepared in itinerant headquarters below the rank of strategic authority; and the new political focal point on irregular intimidations that come from beyond the European constituency. They indicate that NATO imply seriousness of concern when it opts to make an matter its concern, and they guarantee that Allies who decide to lend a hand in certain missions will be able to accomplish it. NATO is a preferred alliance, which indicates that its renewal is bound to happen. It will come about when decision-makers make the appropriate choices as they have already done. (Jones, 2005, p. 15)

Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

This analysis with regard to the NATO mission in Kosovo related to transatlantic relations focuses on current events and references with history to the relationship, to theoretical approaches and concepts. This will commence examination of documentary resources such as literature reviews, articles, theses, research projects, among others. In addition, the study will examine the data through surveys, observations and core personality interviews from where originally obtained. Collection of pertinent data from the various sources of statistical data, the number of deaths caused by the conflict, and number of families removed from their homes, and so on is explored. Overall, this analysis looks on various classes of data that are gathered and studies conducted to distinguish patterns and put together assumptions that might guide future action.

Coalitions and alliances are fundamental attributes of international security. (Papp, 1984) This analysis examines these directly associated observable facts by means of an amalgamation of conceptual frameworks to explore them and empirical research studies to demonstrate them. The examination commences with an exploration of the problematic distinctive issues that envelop the distinctions between ‘alliance’ and ‘coalition’, then outlines the major conceptual theoretical works pertinent to examining these phenomena, such as balance of power, intra-alliance politics, and multinational processes. Outfitted with these investigative tools, these concepts may be applied to this study of details surrounding the legitimacy of NATO in the war and the future implications that this mission hold in respect to international law.

Through the process of investigating various literatures and peer-reviewed articles, as well as current events in recent years will gain both a conceptual and practicable understanding of supposed The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report of 1994 initially purported the conception of ‘human security’. This is commonly known as “people-centered security or security with a human face.” (Thomas 2000, p. 6) Human security situates people instead of the states at the center of security matters. (Howorth, 2005) This framework delves on the aspects of human security which include freedom from desire; freedom from terror; and the freedom to settle with dignity. It regards the challenging nature of the conception and evaluates its importance for being aware of the development of the security discipline. Some literatures and resources delves particularly on human security concerns associated with terrorism, subjugation, warfare, humanitarian intervention, and the responsibility to safeguard doctrine, as well as the framework of international governance for progressing human security in terms of international laws. (Hursoy & Esrin, 2004)

Peacetime alliance behaviors and the standards of carrying out military operations when necessary in conjunction with allies seem to be the existing principles within provisions of international laws. This seminar paper will include an emphasis on NATO and the role of various countries as well as international organizations as alliance or coalition collaborators in historical and contemporary conflicts.

In addition, this seminar paper also takes into account the developing nature of security in the perspective of international politics. It centers on peer-reviewed articles about non-military challenges to security at the same time recognizing the associations between these and conventional security matters. Among the subject matter being deliberated in various literatures include international law and security; the privatization and economics related to security; energy resources; environmental problems; population dynamics; gender and age standpoints on security; the predicaments of frail and weakening states; transnational organized crime; and new methods of warfare. The general purpose of the study is to take account of issues and points of view that confront the way security is conventionally identified with.

It is imperative to identify the different elements that comprise the concept of human security being tackled in this study as future actions in terms of international laws on warfare are considered. The primary essential element is the likelihood of the general public to settle in harmony and security within their individual boundaries. This involves the facility of states and the people to thwart and get to the bottom of conflicts by means of diplomatic and non-violent processes and, when the discord is terminated, the capability to successfully implement reconciliation activities. The next element is that people must benefit from non-discriminatory implementation of rights and obligations which include human, political, social, economic, as well as cultural rights that being a citizen of a state implies. Another element is social inclusion or the idea of obtaining equated access to the political, social, and economic law-making processes, and to gain the same benefits from them. The next element is that of the institution of the rule of law and the autonomy of the justice system. (Ogata, 1998) Every member of a society must have equal rights and obligations and be under similar set of guidelines.

According to a statement delivered by Ogata (1998), these fundamental elements which are derived from the conception of equality of all before the law, in effect get rid of any threat of uncertainty which so repeatedly makes itself apparent in discrimination, exploitation, or subjugation.

Following these conflicts, a new-fangled understanding of the conception of security is developing. Once upon a time tantamount to the protection of territory from external onslaught, the necessities of security in the present day have come to take on the security of communities and persons from internal aggression. The necessity for a more human-centered outlook to security is strengthened by the enduring threats that armaments of mass destruction, subjugation, hostility, among others pose to humanity of which their very label discloses their capacity and their anticipated purpose if they were ever utilized.

Society has to open up its prospect of what is peace and security. Peace suggests much more than the nonexistence of war. Human security cannot be comprehended in absolutely military means. Preferably, it must include economic progress, social justice, environmental security, autonomy, reduction in arms, and valuing of human rights and laws.

Narrative of the Political/Policy Theme

Yugoslavia was formed mainly for defense purposes; however, as MacMillan (2001, 111-3) asserts, the Serbs had wanted more than what they had. They desired for Serbia to become the principal and governing force in Yugoslavia. Macedonia and Slovenia had not continued to get involved in the federation for the reason that Milosevic yearned to converge all his influence where he would gain collaboration and significant cooperation. Any location where there was an amply hefty Serbian inhabitants, whom he could supply with weapons to construct a Greater Serbia, he favors that, and in mind for Milosevic as Head of State. (Ignatieff 2001, p. 48)

Following the mass execution at Sarajevo and Srebrenica, the Dayton Accords were approved. This event had directed NATO to pay a visit to Milosevic as a gentleman they could transact with, since at Dayton, he so amiably dealt Sarajevo for the Muslims, deceiving the Serbs at Bosnia. Nonetheless, Milosevic intentionally left Kosovo and was not part of the contract. The harsh negotiation given by NATO had not been successful in taking the Bosnian war offenders answerable to what happened to Sarajevo and Srebrenica into custody. Hence, Milosevic expected it would keep on making dialogues which concern human rights and do not a thing about it. (Ignatieff 2001, pp. 50-51)

Almost half a decade of redundant intimidations appeared to substantiate ideas in people’s minds. NATO had looked disinclined engage in warfare for its principles. But NATO did. There have been casualties even before the intervention, and as it progressed and criticized by many, fatalities seemed to add up until its termination some years ago.

At the same time as the nuclear upsurge had been stalled during the 1970s and 1980s, and industrialized nations recognized that they required traditional weaponry, not strong ones which are useless, they had pursued a new kind of equipment. The ascent of moral as well as human rights discourse in terms of security had elevated the standards of artillery to reduce collateral damage and diminish or get rid of the risks to individuals and entities using them. These transformations had resulted to arsenal that would strike the targets with great precision, and cause not that much devastation within the sphere of the target’s surroundings. (Ignatieff 2001, p. 163)

Interested parties had continued this endeavor by creating a number of technological innovations. Lasers had enhanced precision targeting; computer gadgets had started to make use of satellites to hit targets with accuracy; propulsion systems had improved the reach of missiles and bombs were prepared to be less harmful to people. This indicated that both the person making the target as well as the onlookers who are often civilians were more secured; and automated drones to make close watch activities safe for those who flew the planes. (Ignatieff 2001, p. 166)

Precision weaponry comprised only eight percent of the explosives that were used in Iraq; and so far, some new missile types could do greater feats far from what were previously created. The regulated threatening features, the dangers it got rid of in support of the major players and the crucial repercussions for the adversaries have improved weaponry. (Ignatieff 2001, p. 167) The opponents had a good idea that if the Americans utilized such equipment and expertise, which was far more advanced than majority of the other weaponry in the world, it would need the same technology, which most nations do not have the capacity to obtain, to thrash them out during battle.

Responsibility to Protect refers to a manuscript issued by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. (Commission, 2001) This specifies the rights as well as responsibilities of states in terms of interventions to stop huge numbers of fatalities. (Commission 2001, XII) It specifies four protective doctrines that intervening authorities have to wear out prior to procuring military combat.

On the basis of the Responsibility to Protect, any relevant personality should have arbitrated to halt the combating. They had used up tactful means like peace talk actions, trade prohibitions, premeditated separation of Serbs and Albanians (Ignatieff 2001, pp. 25, 32-4), but all these to no purpose. Evidently, Milosevic was not settling. He was anticipating that, either of two things. That NATO would not continue on its intimidations or that, if the organization did, he may breach the Alliance and the support of the Western public for the involvement before it attained its objectives. (Ignatieff 2001, pp. 48, 59-66)

Kosovo is situated in southern Serbia comprised mostly of ethnic Albanians. It was an autonomous state within the former Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic, the head of Serbia had changed its status in 1989 by eradicating autonomy and had since then been under the control of the Serbian capital, Belgrade. There was a strong opposition expressed by the Kosovar Albanians. Almost ten years after, there have been deaths for around one thousand five hundred Kosovar Albanians and four hundred thousand people forced out of their own residences. (Walker, 2000) The world became grimly concerned regarding the rising conflict, the turnout of deaths, and the danger of it opening out to other nations. Apparently, President Milosevic’s discount for political interventions intended to peacefully put an end to the problem and the threatening role of the radical Kosovar Albanian forces was also problematical.

This resulted to an excessive use of force brought by the Serbian security forces as well as the Yugoslav defending forces. The United Nations Security Council Resolution had turned out to be majorly instrumental but grave situations soon escalated which necessitated renewed international interventions. NATO, as reported had endeavored to make a possible transport of than 4666 tons of food and water supplies, 4325 tons of other provisions, 2624 tons of tents and almost 1600 tons of medical supplies had been brought to the region. It is approximated that 1.5 million citizens or ninety percent of Kosovo population, had been removed from their homes. Some 225,000 Kosovar individuals were reported missing. And there were at the least some five thousand Kosovars who had been executed all through these events. (Walker, 2000)


In the area under discussion with regard to alliances and coalitions that may have influenced NATO’s action towards the case of Kosovo, as a critic, may point out coalitions may undercut the Alliance for the reason that in the lack of common or collective risks, alliances appear spaced out. This is purportedly what had occurred in the Iraq War seven years prior. The United States had taken up its contentious course of action in the mission have got to establish the coalition to the situation where NATO virtually relinquished on its treaty obligation. (Jones, 2005)

In particular, at the time Turkey in the early part of 2003 had asked for security conferences, which by the way is a natural right by law as stipulated in Article 4. It was these nations, particularly France, Belgium, and Germany which felt a forthcoming American undertaking that followed this appeal to unfasten deadlocked international relations and acquire international reinforcement using NATO’s treaty obligations. These allies as a result had opposed NATO discussions in order not to influence UN Security Council negotiations. It had taken discreet resourcefulness to arrive at a concession in those impassioned days. (Jones 2005, p. 17)

From the various writings of different personalities with regard to the issue, it is apparent that the means to integrating the Alliance with coalition formation dwells in a continuous strategic discourse delving on all germane issues, in the nonexistence of any simulated constraint. Such a discussion will function to shed light on premeditated matters of interest and put decision-making in order. It will conspicuously rally round the Allies to negotiate among themselves where the Allies may stand prepared to arise a coalition that fulfills their supposed interests will contract to acquire the reinforcement of NATO entirely. This is because they know that eventually they will have need for it. The other Allies will have to negotiate for the reason that it will present them with a chance to structure the coalition without having to take part in it. To cut a long story short, NATO as an alliance can make it possible for coalitions by expounding tactical interests and by presenting a venue for negotiations.

NATO’s so-called “peace talk’ actions commenced in Raombouillet, France. In Western media, the Rambouillet Agreement was posted and reported as it was written and no further explanation, probably due to limited investigation. However, Drozdiak (1999) reports the following: “The principal stumbling block to achieving an agreement at the 12-day-old Kosovo peace talks outside Paris remains the opposition of the Serb-led Belgrade government to accepting a NATO-led force…. senior Western officials said…. that if Belgrade’s intransigence thwarts an agreement, it is almost a certainty that NATO airstrikes would begin by early next.” (Drozdiak 1999, p. A01)

In this report, the usage of the words “peacekeeping force” (Drozdiak 1999, p. A01) presents the Belgrade administration as unreasonably stubborn and intractable. Definitely, no personality would want to engage in fighting. Peace is always upheld to maintain harmonization and continuity of daily acts of living. In this line of thought, if NATO had the opinion that it had no other alternative but to pronounce a war, the unyieldingness of Belgrade would be held accountable.

There have been assumptions that the Racac supposed massacre accusations were actually clandestinely planned by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and had pointed finger towards the Serbs which was held accountable. The supposed people behind this were those same individuals who demanded the Milosevic affix his signature to the agreement. Apparently, the information indicated in the Rambouillet Agreement, which Milosevic was being directed to put his signature on at gun point, were not once mentioned in the Western media. Actually, the details of the agreement were not even interpreted, just posted. (Drozdiak 1999, p. A01) This is not acceptable in terms of unbiased reporting and transparency. In order to understand the actions performed and decisions made by the Yugoslavs, it must be informed in detail, especially if it is an international crisis that may impact other nations in the future in terms of conflicts and repression.

The stipulations of the Rambouillet Agreement successfully segregated the region of Kosovo from the Republic of Serbia. This had left the radical members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and had become the regional power. This occurrence was enough reason by itself for any nation not to authorize. No country would care for to sign, under coercion or threat a document arranged by an external authority or foreign power, much less terrorists and intended to take away a portion of the country and particularly the very region considered the structure of the people’s culture.

This was not the only evident situation that hinders the authorization many years ago. Some excerpts of the NATO “peacekeeping force” from the Rambouillet Agreement appear to indicate making NATO as the position of most eminent authority in Yugoslavia. They were insisting to authorize stipulations resembling the terms required by the assaulting Nazis during the Second World War.

Sign or we will bomb you,” (Boustany 1999, p. A18) were the supposed words that came from NATO directed to Milosevic. For the reason that the document was aimed like so that it was out of the question to sign, NATO was evidently pronouncing war. In addition, Foreign Minister Vollebaek, Chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has thorough knowledge and good understanding of the agreement. “The pressure is mounting…’ Knut Vollebaek …said yesterday about concerted efforts to subdue Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic into accepting a peace process for Kosovo under threat of a NATO military strike.” (Boustany 1999, p. A18) From this article, it would appear that things were being embellished with a bit of truthfulness. However, this does not make things better. The Rambouillet Agreement was conjured up to be a pronouncement of imminent war, but the mainstream media presented it as a peace talk process.

The core personalities behind this comprise Vollebaek as the principal figure in the effort to overcome Milosevic to authorize the supposed “peace process” being initiated by NATO. Vollebaek and his cohorts asserted that Albanian factions or secessionists including the national groups within Kosovo are nearing to sign the agreement. That is far from the truth. Although some people does not share this sentiment, this had been pervading the thoughts of a lot of people, particularly at the time the situation had been known overseas and had become a major concern of international organizations.

From these reports that came from the Washington Post and other media sources, it had appeared as though the media reportage of the nation’s discord was undeserved and overlooked or to some extent had obscured a lot of significant portions that had taken place during the crisis. The propaganda and blatant abuse of basic rights by the Milosevic administration is well-known and in the main acquiesced. Nonetheless, the majority of the media reports were not very impartial concerning the concrete way in which NATO had carried out their activities in Kosovo.

The administration under the ruling of Milosevic unjustifiably concentrated effort towards the Muslim Kosovars and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The condemnations for war transgressions and law-breaking in opposition to Milosevic and the affiliates of his government were correct as they meted out horrifying carnage on the Kosovar people. Yet again, the conventional media had overlooked some of NATO’s own infringements of the international humanitarian law. What’s more, the double standards of the humanitarian contention were not looked into appropriately.

In the face of all these occurrences, it was clear that the law was deliberately defiled as NATO commenced with the bombing operation at the same time as the majority of the media who made reports did not present much independent coverage as expected. NATO’s individual authorization indicated that it is under the command of the United Nations, but actually it was absolutely circumvented. Even the United States House of representatives had not approved its war activities.

All through the conflict, the accomplishment of the NATO objectives, along with measures to guarantee their thorough implementation, has been considered by the Alliance as the precondition for terminating the aggression and human torment within Kosovo.

Literature Review

In the course of the NATO mission and its ramifications to people all over the world, a number of literature depicting this issue and concerns in international laws and national security have been widespread. Ignatieff (2001), a journalist in London had been preoccupied for the past decade at the same period this event was taking place investigating pertinent resources and events that concern ethnic nationalism as well as ethnic war. His book entitled “Virtual war: Kosovo and beyond,” of which some significant parts had been featured in the New Yorker and other publications. It finalizes an unexpected set of related works that had developed by way of mostly current events.

The literature had turned out along with the first observance of the war in Kosovo after a year. It characterized a commendable initial summary historical report. It depicts the situation that NATO had gone to war because of the mistaken principle that a momentary air operation would constrain Milosevic to give in. The outbreak of war is essentially attributed to a human miscalculation on both Serbs and Kosovos. The Serbian headships had did not want to acknowledge that their place in Kosovo was unsound, at the same time the West had given up its trustworthiness by continually dealing out pointless pressures of cogency and hugely had taken too lightly the settle of Belgrade to bear up a few days’ of assault.

Ignatieff (2001) assesses critically the discriminatory utilization of the military force of the West to defend human rights and the letdown of the Western administrations to uphold principle with the use of resolute military power. The writing is significant in today’s global society for the author attempts to push his assessment forward, in the attempt to put in plain words the absurdity of the moral vigorous action of the West in consideration of human rights and its disinclination to make use of force or having placed its very own armed forces at risk. Part of his criticism that leaves a mark to the readers is the idea that warfare has become unnatural to individuals with technological outstanding ability.

In the case of NATO’s mission in Kosovo, Ignatieff (2001) had looked at it and depicted the phenomenon to sound like the way it actually is, a war to the people on the ground. The Kosovo had appeared to be a virtual experience for the inhabitants of nations affiliated with NATO. According to Ignatieff (2001), it was a manifestation that had stimulated sentiments in the powerful but superficial way that sport events do. In other words, the fundamental impartiality of moral risk of murder or be murdered in conventional war was substituted by something similar to a prospect to take advantage of.

In an array of synopses about the most important players in the Kosovo crisis such as Richard Holbrook, the American mediator and Louise Arbour, war crimes initiator of legal action and, a Yugoslav who stood in opposition to the terror campaign behind the name Aleksa Djilas, as well as in other literatures, Ignatieff (2001) relays a powerful line of reasoning by way of the fact that there is a genuine need to steer clear of wars or the kind of warfare with zero fatality or a low-cost war at the least. This had allowed the West not to take responsibility. In addition, they were able to accomplish this without problems and that warfare does not encompass definite outcomes.

The authority of NATO was challenged to ascertain assumptions concerning what or who the major targets of the assault should be. Some leaders have assumed that authority and control ought to be the aim; while others felt that the Serbian forces who did the carnage are the ones to be targeted. (Ignatieff 2001, p.169) Given that the coalition has the very valuable precision weaponry, they have the facility to select carefully their targets making sure that this action accomplishes the utmost purposes of NATO’s interference or involvement.

The warfare was terminated as soon as NATO had bombarded a power network that provided majority of the electrical energy used in Belgrade. In this way, NATO had weakened considerably the forces in Belgrade. (Ignatieff 2001, pp. 108-109) The success on the part of NATO had construed that the Belgrade administration has no means to control its war contrivance. As anticipated, Milosevic had been indicted for war crimes of sorts. A asserted by Ignatieff (20o1, p. 110) coalition forces had sustained no fatalities and caused just small number of deaths while accomplishing to make Milosevic admit defeat helps to make the intervention compliant to existing law. The author furthers that NATO was not attempting to do carnage just to capture Milosevic and obliterate the command’s ability to annihilate the citizenry. Actually, NATO could have accomplished more than what took place in its quest for non deadly fighting by way of communications systems.


Two decades ago, the pursuit for a more self-governing state by Kosovo was refused by Serbia. This had retracted further the independent state of Kosovo. Consequently, Albanians were subdued and resettlement of the Serbs into the locality was supported. Given the progression of this situation, Albanians had pushed for absolute independence. Severe Serbian repression and a failure in terms of negotiations to resolve the issue provoked NATO into attacking Serbia by air.

NATO putting up over the Atlantic community will have to continue its determination to uphold its objectives and accordingly secure coalitions in an unfeigned Alliance. Amplification must then not go further than the situation where the previous Atlantic community may possibly take over NATO. In view of the existing situations, NATO would also do favorably to consider the function of its tactical dialogue. This dialogue is supposed to not involve the so-called mechanical discussion of national points of view and set of guidelines in the anticipation that all these can be synchronized. The dialogue should characterize an Atlantic visualization of a global society that is founded on alliances between NATO and not only other democratic states and organizations but also the most important powers of the international network of systems. The suitable selections are therefore not unproblematic since they require money, the Alliance’s geographic boundaries, and tactical foresight; however, they would be able to guarantee NATO’s continuous renewal.

Ignatieff (2001), a BBC network correspondent and observer of the war, looks at the disconcerting features of what he refers to as “virtual war.” Progressive technology has made it possible for the West to become virtually invincible on the combat zone, while surfacing ideas concerning human rights have legitimized actions in the dealings of autonomous nations. However, the lack of involvement of the Western general public from contemporary wars, made worse by the pervasive aversion for fatalities, commanded a vain military approach in Kosovo. Aligned aircraft had carried their armaments from fifteen thousand feet with the purpose of preventing the thrashing of aircraft and squads. Therefore, NATO military procedures had by no means dealt with the political intentions explaining the war and conspicuously, defending the Kosovar Albanians from Serb forces in the region. Ignatieff’s (2001) introspective analysis facilitates to put in plain words the reasons the West has hardly ever been able to support its haughty principles with determined force.

Undoubtedly, so-called precision operations, a new technology in warfare, have unbolted new-fangled potentials for averting the destruction done to inhabitants and their personal properties and possessions. Unfortunately, that is the unavoidable consequence of armed dispute. In this line of thought, progressions in the technological innovation, precision, correspond to a constructive trend. Moreover, as artillery turns out to become progressively more clear-cut and precise, understanding of international humanitarian law is growing to be all the time more challenging for an aggressor. On condition that such understanding does not become off from the law or take no notice of the realities of military requirement, this also is to be accepted.

On the other hand, as the fascination of precision engenders overstated expectations of its potentials in a way that individuals who are not exactly engaged within the combat zone oblige demands which are difficult to deal with on the military or postulate standards that go over treaty or tradition, international humanitarian law is undermined. There should be clear distinctions from one or the other. In addition, to be esteemed, international humanitarian law has to carry on to reasonably even out humanitarian issues with the need for military services. The harmonizing may change along with advancements in the setting of warfare, but has to keep on at the core of international humanitarian law.

Finally, the international humanitarian law society has to be perceptive to the actuality that when precision qualifications, for instance, are overcome disproportionately on the combat zone the consequential unevenness may result for the underprivileged position to have recourse to devices and strategies that infringe the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law. This is not to recommend that technologically advanced forces must discard their precision knowledge and machinery to make warfare more humanitarian. Perceptibly, any such proposition is illogical. Instead, it is an appeal for society to intensify its hard work to preserve the doctrines of the international humanitarian law in the countenance of the possibility that others will seek out to give good reason for their leaving behind.

The future of warfare in accordance to prospective international laws may take account of communications systems technology using the right equipment and expertise. Making the opponent sightless and giddy and then taking away the data required to organize the mechanisms of war. As opposed to assaulting people fighting for their principles in the battle zone, NATO may have opted to allow to run riot computer viruses towards the computer systems and databases of its enemies to immobilize them, or possibly provided the enemy in command the wrong information in the computer they depend on, or perhaps circulated propaganda which as some would assert as a device of war virtually ever since the beginning of warfare to alter the views of the Serbs, and concentrate mainly on obliterating their communication systems including computer devices, satellites, radars, other communication gadgets, and power supplies. (Ignatieff 2001, pp. 169-70)

Targeting the primary objectives without causing wounded or dead persons, any necessity for retribution are viewed as less critical or reasonable. The NATO mission did not utilize hundred percent of its capacity, so it did not lay down an example to have need of their utility in humanitarian intervention; however, as circumstances were reported, do underscore a significant move from contemporary war in two ways which include the amalgamation of official and political evaluation into the progression of engaging in warfare and, most notably, the intense decline in fatalities and affliction in war.

Post modern war for humanitarian reasons could turn out to be the acceptable means eventually, but to be expecting it to turn into the norm merely because of its accomplishment in Kosovo is to close the eyes to the restoration of traditional military undertaking, typical nationalism, traditional soldiers and traditional artillery used by the United States and forming global awareness at the turn of the twenty-first century.

In effect, post modern war is still not the standard, and majority of wars in the future may be expected to be lethal ones. Nevertheless, at some point, the perception of war is at the beginning of transformation. In consideration of all the specifics that were purported from various sources, in the face of controversies and varying points of view considering the mission of NATO in Kosovo, it may be asserted that NATO intervention in Kosovo had lain down two major patterns.

First is that the war that happens to the exterior of the state of exemption can and must be carried out for purposes of ethics and principles and not purely strategic concerns. The other suggests that such wars will make both leading players, owing to legal assessment, and adversaries, due to the risk of intervention, more lawfully answerable for their actions. This type of intervention is provided a new set of guidelines stipulated in the “Responsibility to Protect.” More intervention to stop the progress of more abuse to human rights may be imperative and Kosovo presented the world new doctrines by which to accomplish it.

To wrap it up, the NATO intervention had laid the standards that human rights violence has to be stopped and disallowed punishable by law with intense penalties. Those nations with capacity to put off terrorizations causing peril to the rights of people have got to do so. Contemporary warfare should be far more permissible, if executed compliant with deliberated and improved international laws. Intervention is probably not the most acceptable mode but NATO’s measures and outcomes of this decision show that, as military intervention progresses to become essential to stop the progress of massive killing and brutality, there is a much preferred means to do it.

As a final word, through the work of Ignatieff (2001), a unique analysis of the disposition and ramifications of NATO’s Kosovo mission was elucidated. It is purported and given as a warning that only when people or society has acknowledged the fascinating attributes and disappointments of virtual war, can be truthfully assessed the risks and advantages of strong-minded action. The author provides a well-timed and stimulating insights for not only the politically astute members of society but for all concerned in the interest and wellbeing of future generations who yearn to live in a peaceful and progressive society.


Resolution 1244. Adopted by the Security Council at its 4011th meeting. Organization NATO. 1999. Accessed March 3, 2010<>

Becker, Richard. The Rambouillet Accord: A declaration of war disguised as a peace agreement. Agenda. 1999. Page 16.

Boustany, Nora. Diplomatic dispatches: Ready for trouble in Yugoslavia. The Washington Post. 1999. Pg. A18.

Commission: International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The Responsibility to Protect. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. 2001.

Croft, Stuart. Guaranteeing Europe’s security? Enlarging NATO again. International Affairs. 2002. Vol. 78, No. 1, pp. 97-114.

Drozdiak, William. Allies reiterate threats to Serbs; Albright to join Kosovo peace talks. Washington Post. 1999. Pg. A01.

Hamilton, Daniel. Transatlantic transformations: Equipping NATO for the 21st century. Washington: Center for Transatlantic Relations. 2004.

Howorth, Jolyon. From Alliances to Coalitions of the Willing: The new Regional Dynamics of Transatlantic Relations. Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association. 2005.

Hursoy, Siret & Esrin, Ada. Nato’s transformation and the position of turkey. Bornoza-Izmir. Ege University Press. 2004.

Ignatieff, Michael. Virtual war: Kosovo and beyond. Picador. 2001. 256 pages.

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919: Six months that changed the world. New York: Random House. 2001.

Meyer, Steven. Carcass of Dead Policies: The Irrelevance of NATO. Parameters. 2004. 83-97.

Ogata, Sadako. Inclusion or exclusion: Social development challenges for Asia and Europe. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at the Asian Development Bank Seminar. 1998. Accessed March 4, 2010 <>

Papp, Daniel S. Contemporary International Relations: Frameworks for Understanding. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 1984.

Rambouillet Agreement. Interim agreement for peace and self-government in Kosovo. U.S. Department of State. Accessed March 3, 2010 <>

Schmitt, Michael. Precision attack and humanitarian law. International Review of the Red Cross. 2005. Vol. 87, No. 859, pp. 445-467.

Steinberg, James. An Elective Partnership: Salvaging Transatlantic Relations. Survival. 2003. 45, No. 2, 113-46.

The NATO Press Release. The Washington Declaration. Signed and issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on 23rd and 24th April 1999. NATO Summit. 1999. Accessed March 3, 2010 <

Thomas, Caroline. Global governance, development and Human security. London: Pluto Press. 2000. pp. 6-7.

Walker, Tom. KLA faces trials for war crimes on Serbs. The Sunday Times. 2000.

Yost, David. NATO Transformed: The Alliance’s New Roles in International Security.

Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. 1998.

Did you like this example?

Cite this page

NATO's mission in Kosovo. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

Save time with Studydriver!

Get in touch with our top writers for a non-plagiarized essays written to satisfy your needs

Get custom essay

Stuck on ideas? Struggling with a concept?

A professional writer will make a clear, mistake-free paper for you!

Get help with your assigment
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Stop wasting your time searching for samples!
You can find a skilled professional who can write any paper for you.
Get unique paper

I'm Chatbot Amy :)

I can help you save hours on your homework. Let's start by finding a writer.

Find Writer