UK's last 1,000 soldiers rushed out to Balkans

[quote] UK’s last 1,000 soldiers rushed out to Balkans
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:22pm GMT 16/02/2008

KFOR troops are being mobilised in anticipation of Kosovo’s declaration of independence

Britain’s overstretched Armed Forces are to send as many as 1,000 troops to the Balkans in a move that will see the military’s last remaining reserve unit deployed on operations.

Leader: Nato should not offer a free ride to parasites

The imminent departure of the 1st Bn Welsh Guards to Kosovo has been ordered in response to fears that the newly formed independent state could slide into “ethnic cleansing”. But last night MPs and former military chiefs described the move as “irresponsible” and “demented”, accusing the Ministry of Defence of being “bankrupt”.(excert - more at link)[/quote]

IMO, the Serbs will just wait until the lack of finances and interest forces the KFOR troops to withdraw. Then they will reclaim the area. This is not going to have a happy ending.

Good time for Scotland to declare their Independence!

Yep, especially if the Serbian-majority areas of Kosovo declare their separation from the rest.

Then an Albanian majority village separates from that. Then the two blocks on the north side full of Serbians declare their own independence, followed by the three Albanians houses at the end of the street proclaiming sovereignty, then the Serb renting the basement suite sets up his own Republic.

Paging Woodrow Wilson…

I wonder if Germany will be the first country to recognize it (as it did in '91 with Croatia and Slovenia, thus internationalizing the Balkan crisis).

You’re all invited over here to watch from the balcony seats.

I’ll get a pop-corn machine even.

Tash -
Glad to see your comments on this situation.
Stay safe!

Thanks, TC.
But there’s really no concern for us here in Croatia in that sense. Especially here in Zagreb.
We will suffer economically, though, due to lost holiday bookings.

I’m curious, what are Forumosan’s opinions with regards to this? Should Kosovo be independent? And should NATO have been involved militarily, now and in the first place?
(if you’ve already discussed it somewhere, sorry. Can I please have the link? :slight_smile: )

I support the partition of Kosovo (as well as Bosnia) along ethnic lines, with each piece being allowed to merge with whatever other country it wants. I also support independence for Serbia’s Hungarian minority.

It sounds simple and righteous on paper, but it’s not that clear cut in reality. Once you open that Pandora’s box where do you stop? What about all ethnic minorities all over the world?

Plus, Bosnia is a different case to Kosovo. Albanians are an ethnic minority. Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs are constituent nationalities, not minorities.

Another aspect of the Kosovo case is that the Albanian numbers in Kosovo grew, more likely exploded, partly due to illegal activity. Would you allow illegal Albanians in Italy the same rights? Would illegal Mexicans in California and NM be allowed to secede (sp?) if they grew enough in numbers?


I’m curious, what are Forumosan’s opinions with regards to this? Should Kosovo be independent? [/quote]

I’ll be blunt and honest,when i saw this on CNN i thought “who gives a shit??”

i may not be alone in thinking that way,

I’m not talking about atrocities, if there’s any mass killings or anything else serious then the international community should rightly step in,
but if it’s a peaceful independence then what will it change on the world stage exactly?

the only impact i foresee is that nations will have to nominate a new ambassador, if they deem it necessary

Your French pompousness aside, you do have a point there. Even I don’t care about it (I should though), let alone someone not in the Balkans.
But somebody did start this thread, so I expect at least two or three people have an opinion.

Oops! Forgot to put a wink up there. … wink, wink… diplomatic incident avoided phew!

A country splitting resulting in separate independent countries/states seems best suited in situations where there is a clear line between groups where the border can be drawn. But this clear line never happens, and you end up with minorities in each others countries. This is how the ethnic Albanians ended up as a minority in Serbia in the first place. Now these ethnic Albanians want not to be in a minority, so will become independent to become a majority. Kosovo becoming independence means you will have ethnic Serbians in a minority in an independent Kosovo. Maybe they can split and split further, until purity is achieved. In the meantime nothing will have been done to try and heal the division.

The economies of both Serbia and Kosovo are not too different, so its not like the north of Serbia is some economic powerhouse, and Kosovo is being kept in the stone age. Therefore no reason there to split

I do not know if a comparison with Ireland is applicable here. But it was a mistake to partition the island of Ireland. It made the different traditions and cultures turn on each other. The Ireland state did its best to undermine Northern Ireland. Minorities in both parts of Ireland were murdered, forcibly removed, or isolated from involvement in the affairs of both states. Both parts of Ireland believed that the future and survivability of them and their culture could only be assured through the destruction of the others’ culture
Nationalism and independence can be great things when celebrated the right way, but can be dangerous and terrible things when exercised in other ways. Better protection and representation of the minorities and more institutional or constitutional nationalism would have served the island of Ireland better. Perhaps the same is true for Serbia and Kosovo.

The EU, the US etc support independence, but I do cannot see what the motivation for such support is except in getting one over on Russia. I mean how Kosovo independence benefit the EU or US, except in weakening Russia. I mean it was obvious in East Timor, that Australia was watching the natual resources and passage for these off the coast of East Timor

Will these said supporters provide military assistance if Serbia takes back Kosovo by force, on the grounds of “protecting the Serbian minority”. Yes they probably will, but then we are back at square one, with Kosovo again being administered/protected by NATO/UN.

According to the Kosovo in Figures 2005 Survey of the Statistical Office of Kosovo,[64][65][66] Kosovo’s total population is estimated between 1.9 and 2.2 million in the following ethnic proportions (but many pre-1999 Kosovar Serbs and individuals from other ethnic groups originally from Kosovo now live in Central Serbia, about 250.000-350.000). The estimate from 2000-2002-2003 goes (a 1,900,000 strong population):

* 92% Albanians
* 4% Serbs
* 2% Bosniaks and Gorans
* 1% Roma
* 1% Turks

Sunni Muslims account for more than 90% of the population in Kosovo.[67] Catholicism and Orthodoxy are also practiced by the people.

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have the largest population growth in Europe.

The 'new Kosovo is >90% Sunni Mohammedan according to the fudgeable facts on wikiwacki.

This should add some special spice to the mix.

Whenever I see this thread title I have this awful image of a bunch of elderly lads shuffling their duffel bags awaiting embarkation.


I’m somehow reminded of Monty Python…

[quote]Woman: Oh. How do you do?
King Arthur: How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Whose castle is that?
Woman: King of the who?
King Arthur: King of the Britons.
Woman: Who are the Britons?
King Arthur: Well, we all are. We are all Britons. And I am your king.
Woman: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
Dennis: You’rw foolin’ yourself! We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working class…
Woman: Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.
Dennis: Well, that’s what it’s all about! If only people would…
King Arthur: Please, please, good people, I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?
Woman: No one lives there.
King Arthur: Then who is your lord?
Woman: We don’t have a lord.
Dennis: I told you, we’re an anarco-sydicalist commune. We take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week…
King Arthur: Yes…
Dennis: …but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting…
King Arthur: Yes I see…
Dennis: …by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs…
King Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: …but by a two thirds majority in the case of…
King Arthur: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
Woman: Order, eh? Who does he think he is? [/quote][quote][/quote]

I’m curious, what are Forumosan’s opinions with regards to this?
Should Kosovo be independent?[/quote]
That’s a question to be decided in the regional great game. Plus ca change,… the Balkans are still the powder keg… payback is a mutha…

Air recon/surveillance, yes. Air strikes as an instrument of persuasion if things get shakey, by all means. Troops on the ground should be deployed only where absolutely necessary, for a definitive realistic time frame, and with more flexible rules of engagement. And, in the case of some of the lesser powers of NATO, such as Canada, better equipment for their forces on overseas deployment.

That would mean upgrading from WW2 or Vietnam-era equipment :laughing: Do our humvees have armour yet?

Sunni Muslims account for more than 90% of the population in Kosovo.[/quote]

Their new flag is the same flag that was worn by the fascist Albanian SS units during World War II.

Look familiar? I don’t think too much has changed in Kosovo (like in Croatia in Tujdman’s time in the early 90s when these sort of symbols were accepted). Kind of ironic that a lot of people think this is a victory for democracy :unamused:

Remember the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem?

I saw that flag being waved about in Pristina on the news yesterday, with not a few US flags flown upside down.
The heinous past of such imagery (thanks Chewy for the memory poke) notwithstanding, the first recognition for me lies with comic book imagery such as: … ceptre.jpg
This of course before I saw in person how Europeans are so easily swayed by potent nationalistic images, however odious & oppugnant.

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]You know, and I know, that you’re being a grubby troll. The obvious next question is; why?


Why is this troll like? And grubby? Hell no. :laughing: Personally, I don’t think that using flags and icons that could bring back painful memories for a lot of ethnic minorities (Serbs, Jews, Gypsies etc.) is the best thing for a new Muslim state to do, don’t you? :loco: