A Geostrategic view of the
Kosovo Crisis

Grattan Healy BEMech, MBA

Part 1



The European Union sees itself as a counterbalance to the USA, especially with the advent of the ‘Euro’. The war in Kosovo makes it clear that it is nothing of the sort.

Furthermore, the EU wishes to have a military dimension, again allegedly to assure Europe’s interests, as against those of the USA. The fact that the EU has followed the USA and NATO blindly into a dangerous military escapade in Europe, risking a wider European war or even a world war, indicates that there is little difference in approach between the USA and the EU, meaning that such a military dimension would in fact make matters worse. A military EU would simply provide additional means for the imposition of Euro-American hegemony throughout the globe.

The EU has also been bleating humanitarianism, and in doing so it has probably raised concerns in the USA about its dominant position in the world, and that it might have to change its ways. There is a sense on the continent that the UK and USA have similarly reprehensible ways, and the role of the UK in the EU is generally resented as a result. This moral superiority has been shattered by the war in Kosovo.

Note that the USA over the years made it clear to the new generation of UK politicians, now in charge at Downing Street, many of whom have taken part in a US 'education' programme called the British American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP; sources ‘Lobster’ and Pilger, 'Hidden Agenda'), that it wished to have the EU as a partner, including the UK, rather than just the UK on its own. We now see some of the results of that policy, in the current war, and the change of heart by Blair in favour of an EU defence policy.

Whether intended or not, this war conveniently forced the EU to follow those it appears to dislike, and has therefore shown that continental Europe is no better in its attitudes than either the UK or USA. There are several reasons why this war in particular had this effect.

Firstly, based on the awful experience of Bosnia, this war has been cleverly portrayed as a humanitarian war, whatever that might be, since it could be seen as a contradiction in terms. The EU’s claims to humanitarian goals trapped it into reacting as it did.

Secondly, Yugoslavia as a potentially progressive multi-ethnic federation posed several threats to other European states, whether economic, social or political. Even what was left of Yugoslavia could have provided an example of an alternative to the sterile Western model, or even resistance to its imposition, and therefore the process of dismemberment along ethnic lines had to be continued. Germany in particular, by her unilateral recognition of her former ally Croatia in 1991, encouraged this process.

Thirdly, the opponents of the Yugoslav State, this time the Albanians, are once again muslim, as was partly the case in Bosnia. Despite the open and heavily criticized use of terror by the Albanians over decades, in the end the choice between the opponents was relatively easy. Supporting the Albanians meant pleasing Turkey and especially the muslim world, who after all control most of the worlds oil resources in the Gulf and the Caspian. Any hesitation by the EU could compromise its relations with that part of the world, and its ‘share’ of those resources.

Fourthly, Germany currently holds the EU Presidency, and the decision to fight was made under that Presidency (though of course the EU per se is not directly involved in the war, although NATO is due to implement its oil embargo). Germany has a long historical enmity towards the Serbs, now totally dominant in Yugoslavia, who blocked their Berlin-Baghdad railway project (for oil) before World War I and in effect held off the Nazis in World War II, while Germany has closer ties with Serbia’s enemy, Croatia.

Having now brought the EU into line, the USA can encourage the development of a military dimension to the EU, since it seems to be able to rely on it as an ally. Those who oppose militarism, as well as those who seek an alternative role for the EU in the world, must now try to work together to prevent this development.

From the U.S. point of view, this war has also helped to re-crystallize the geo-strategic division of the globe, in that, for now, the U.S. and the EU stand together against Russia, which now seeks to align itself with India and China. That also shows the true global division to be rich against poor, following the economic decline of Russia, and the fact that China and India are still relatively poor, though emerging. This is something we always knew, but it is becoming ever clearer.

What kind of ‘order’ are we in?

The USA is desperate to have a ‘New World Order’ which they completely control, and seems willing, even concerned to have the EU along, rather than just the UK. Once Canada, Australia and New Zealand cooperate, the only major economic power in the world not directly implicated is Japan. Simply put, this ‘alliance’ seeks to take more than its fair share of world resources, with impunity, and will use any or all means to achieve that position. This alliance is clearly led by the USA and UK, and we should take a look at some of their activities since the end of WWII to see what that tells us about our future.

Instances of the U.S. dropping bombs since WWII -- By William Blum
(main source Znet):

China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73 (incl UK SAS)
Cambodia 1969-73 750,000 dead
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1984
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Panama 1989 (USA) 2000 dead to capture Noriega
Iraq 1991-99 (with UK, UN etc) 250,000 dead since 1,500,000 dead
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999 (with UK, NATO) 300-1000 dead so far

Additional actions, US and/or UK (main sources John Pilger, Noam Chomsky): - Direct:
Malaya 1948-60 (UK) concentration camps, chemical warfare, mass expulsions
Kenya 1953-65? (UK) Mau Mau, concentration camps, summary execution, 10,000 dead, torture, abuse of women and children,
Diego Garcia 1965-73 (UK) ‘ethnic cleansing’ of full population (2000 to 2500) to Mauritius, for benefit of US (air base)
Somalia 1992 (US, etc under UN) 7-10,000 dead
Bosnia 1995 (US, etc, under UN?)
Falklands 1982 (UK)
Egypt-Suez 1956 (UK, France)
Indian and Pakistani independence 1948, (UK) mass migration, conflict, formation of Bangladesh;
Northern Ireland 1971-? (UK; Shoot to kill etc)
Colombia (US attacks on ‘drug barons’)
Iran 1953, coup organized by UK-USA
Zimbabwe (attempted murder by UK of Mugabe in London)
British Guiana, 1953 coup (UK & US)

Excesses of regimes supported or armed by USA-UK:

Turkey (biggest US arms importer; genocide against Kurds)
Indonesia from 1960s (Suharto, 2nd biggest US arms importer, East Timor, forced mass migrations, etc)
Saudi Arabia (massive arms supply, torture)
Colombia (drugs; against FARC)
South Africa (Apartheid)
Iran (Shah, oil; led to Islamic revolution)
Cuba (US supported Batista, 50s, cause of Castro/Guevara revolution)
Cambodia 1975-78 (Pol Pot, ‘killing fields’), early 1980s training from CIA, SAS, 90s rehabilitation of Khmer Rouge members;
Afghanistan-Pakistan (Mujahedeen, Taleban, drugs)
Philippines (Marcos, etc)
Iraq (chemical attack against Kurds, and war with Iran, 1 million dead)
Israel (Palestinians, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, 1982, 20,000 dead)
Kuwait (against Iraq)
Kenya (UK; Kenyata, arap Moi)
Uganda (UK; Idi Amin)
Democratic Republic of Congo (Kabila)
Angola (Jonas Savimbi)
Nigeria (Biafra; Shell)
Australia (UK; nuclear testing, aborigines)
Yemen (UK; Aden)
Guatemala (US)
Honduras (US; 81-85 Contra, 20,000 killed in Nicaragua)
El Salvador (US; Walker ambassador; against FMLN?)
Panama (US, Noriega, drugs, control of canal)
Chile (US; Pinochet coup, thousands dead)
Mexico (US; against Zapatista in Chiapas?)
Haiti (Papa Doc etc)
Thailand (drugs, receiving Pol Pot in 1978)
Laos (drugs, General Vang Pao)
Bolivia, after 1980 military coup (drugs, assassination of Senator)
South Korea (US Army at NK cease-fire line)

US training of leaders (Georgia; School of Americas):
El Salvador (murderers of Jesuits; Roberto d’Aubuisson, death squads, murder of Bishop Romero 1980, 20,000 murdered)
Argentina (General Galtieri, 30,000 disappeared, invaded Falklands)
Bolivia (President Suarez, repression of tin miners)
Colombia (100 officers cited for war crimes by an international human rights tribunal)
Guatemala (Manuel Callejas, chief of intelligence, during oppression in 70/80s)
Panama (Noriega)

(to be completed and checked, gch)

Part 2



Geostrategy sounds very important, but it is in fact a very elitist way of looking at the world, treating it as some sort of living chessboard. However, if we examine some of the work of its practitioners, we can gain some insight into how the world functions, and how the powerful, whoever they might be, would like it to function. Like other 'quasi-sciences', it constrains itself with certain assumptions, and ignores certain potentially relevant details. The primary source used here views the world exclusively in terms of states, more or less ignoring multinational corporate power, and also global political/economic/elite interests (even though the author was US National Security Adviser, and is an instrumental member of the elite Trilateral Commission) (1). While still only one point of view, it is nevertheless one of the foremost in this field.

He takes a rather benevolent overall view of the USA, despite its record of atrocities, more than hinted at in Part 1. He tries to suggest that the USA ‘inherited’ its current global role somewhat by accident, when in fact the USA fought hard to get into World War I, by propagandizing its people, as described eloquently by Noam Chomsky, and apparently ignored warnings about Pearl Harbour in World War II, so as to be able to enter that war, which essentially served to put it where it is today. The issue of fossil fuels is central to his rather traditional view, and yet alternatives are never mentioned as a part of the future, and the very serious global environmental impact of all of this is barely considered at the end of the book. Quite significantly, the UN is considered much the way it is treated by the USA, as something of a nuisance and ‘bit-player’. Certain regional tensions are overlooked, probably because they only merit political lip-service, and are viewed as fait a compli; for example Tibet, which is curious, bearing in mind that China looms large in any geostrategic analysis.

The benevolent view of the USA is crucial, since the basic thesis is that 'Pax Americana' must continue, otherwise we will descend into global anarchy, which is not very complimentary to the rest of us, nor clear in terms of self-reflection. The underlying assumption is that the USA is, and is likely to remain, the global power for four key reasons, and yet there are serious holes in this analysis. As far as technological and military superiority are concerned, no one is likely to argue, least of all the Iraqis or Serbs. However, the assumption that its economic power will continue seems to overlook the serious indebtedness of the USA, partly due to the acquisition those superiorities, and the real extent to which the country is in the grip of its private financiers, partly via the Federal Reserve, who will no doubt wish to push it into more wars, to milk it even further. Having announced at the outset that US culture is the most appealing to the world's youth, he does admit towards the end that there is growing crime, drugs (no mention of rock and roll?), and the school shootings that have occured since publication have highlighted once again how alienated those young people actually are. He confuses a commercial culture having short term appeal, with something more profound and sustainable. If culture is really what sustains empires, as he claims, then we had better look out as far as the USA is concerned.

What has this to do with Kosovo?

The continent referred to as ‘Eurasia’ is seen as the chessboard on which global power has always been, and will always be decided. For the first time, the preeminent global power is not on Eurasia, and so must be particularly careful how it handles those that are, to maintain its current position. Kosovo is part of its game as between the various Eurasian players.

The key Eurasian players are the EU, China, Japan, Russia and India, more or less in that order, while other significant players are Iran, Turkey, Ukraine and Azerbaijan (oil!). The US aim is to keep the key players apart, nervous of each other, as certain combinations could pose a threat to US hegemony, and allegedly to world stability. For example: EU-Russia, Russia-China, China-Japan, India-Russia, China-India?, China-Russia-India? China-Russia-Iran? Instead, the idea is to establish a Trans-Eurasian Security System (TESS) to manage things as between those players, with US influence, so as to sideline the idea of formal alliances, while managing ‘peace’.

Taking each key player individually, the primary aim is to consolidate a ‘democratic’ EU, which is the US bridgehead in East Eurasia, and certainly to prevent a reversal of integration, equally encouraging France and Germany, while the UK curiously enough is seen as less significant, since it has played itself out of the game because it is eurosceptic (even if its current government is not). The enlargement of NATO and the EU by absorption of the CEECs is seen as crucial of course, to take them out of Russia’s sphere, so as to avoid reawakened imperialism, Ukraine being the key in that regard. Turkey is seen to be wavering, in light of the frosty reception from the EU, and may be inclined to drift back towards the East and its fellow Turkic speaking cousins, and this point is crucial to understanding the Yugoslavia crisis.

It is seen to be necessary to re-orientate Russia away from her former imperialism, towards, but not really into Europe (since she is also Asian, and it would anyway pose a threat), to ‘modernize’ (ie: Westernize) her, confederate her in three parts to help democratization (which, though unsaid, could also weaken her somewhat), reinforce the independence of Central Asian states, especially Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, to avoid Russian imperialism to the South, and to mollify China and Iran, as well as opening this potentially wealthy region to Western business interests, especially for oil, and encourage Turkey and Iran to balance Russia in the sensitive Caucuses area.

It will prove necessary to coopt China into the G7/8 nexus, and to steadily encourage greater democracy, to accept her as the regional hegemon, but not as a global player for some time to come, if ever. Asia is seen to be particularly delicate as between Japan and China, to avoid rivalries, the emergence of old animosity, and also to avoid an alliance (which seems unlikely anyway), while maintaining a US presence and role. This calls for a triangular US-China-Japan balance, and special care has to be taken on the question of Taiwan. Interestingly, contrary to common perceptions, it seems necessary for the USA to maintain two Koreas, to keep a reunited Korea out of China’s sphere and to justify a sizeable US presence there, complimentary to its role in Japan.

Japan is seen to have a key global non-military role alongside the US, as any attempt to make Japan the regional power would threaten China, and lead to conflict. And an accommodation between the old enemies, Japan and Korea would nicely offset China's Asian dominance.

As to India, while not a global or even serious regional power, despite having nuclear weapons, she is important for regional stability, to balance the China/Pakistan alliance, and to prove democracy in Asia.

How can we view the Kosovo crisis in this geostrategic context?

The projection of military power is a decisive geopolitical force, especially US power, with or without the UN, and so NATO is obviously the key vehicle for that power, to be exercised globally. Cynically therefore, NATO’s move, despite its defensice Treaty, to operate ‘out of area’ in Kosovo has set a useful precedent for the USA, and it has been accepted by most states around the globe, except Russia, China and India, who understand the geopolitical implications. It has been portrayed as a ‘humanitarian mission’, though it has largely caused a humanitarian disaster, and severely undermined its supposed moral intent. And this is now seen by many, since the propaganda has not worked so well this time, especially because of the internet which gets around the centralized media, so that thankfully, not everything goes according to plan.

Furthermore, it is essential to the USA that Europe follow, and also take more active care of its own area, and this operation has ensured both of these things very well, as already considered. Europe has proved to the USA that it can be relied on, and is right now seeking to integrate in the sensitive military field, based on the Western European Union, which is linked to the nuclear armed NATO.

Yugoslavia could be seen to obstruct the consolidation of Europe, and the key aim of ultimately incorporating the Ukraine, as Serbia in particular has a very different outlook, is not ‘democratic’ in a Western sense, has (or had) a very powerful military and is closely linked to Russia, so that it would obstruct NATO’s expansion in particular. Also the attack by NATO usefully divides Europe somewhat from Russia, for now anyway.

On the other hand, taking sides in this conflict with the Kosovars, and the KLA, and therefore Albania, pleases Turkey, Iran, the muslim world, and even gives Turkey a chance to fight alongside the Europeans, while side-lining Greece somewhat. That pulls Turkey into Europe, rather than leaving it drifting Eastward, which for example favours Western oil interests in the Caucuses and Central Asia, also by offsetting Russia. This seems to be the crucial point as far as Kosovo is concerned, as well as the longer term geostrategic intent.

Attacking the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, if not an actual accident (caused for example by bombs tracking a hidden radio station at the embassy), is a more complex issue, with very marginal benefit for the US. Keeping Europe and China apart cannot be a primary aim, though they are now the two most powerful Eurasian players, after the decline of Russia, and they could offset the USA, if for some reason they decided to cooperate. The attack has tended to reinforce Russia and China into the same position, also with India, and seems, for now, to be encouraging the emergence of an alliance of the poor and weak, as against the US and Europe, an alliance of the rich and powerful. This is a rather negative outcome from a US geostrategic standpoint, put is presumably seen as being short-lived, given the inherent tensions between Russia and China, and China and India in particular.

Despite everything, including alleged nuclear espionage, in the end the US feels the need to court and accommodate China, but also needs to be very firm about Taiwan in particular, and this particular dramatic act may have been a severe warning to China about the likely US reaction to an invasion of Taiwan. It may also have to do with Japan, who quietly supports her US ally in the war, and must be kept at arms length from China. And it shows China that she is a long way from being a real global power.

An important footnote is that one cannot view this only in terms of the USA, or even NATO, but one also has to consider the very powerful global elites, who have their own global agenda, outside the interests of any state. Their most visible manifestations are the Trilateral Commission, run by the Rockefellers, and the highly secretive Bilderberg Group (its annual meeting begins in Sintra, Portugal, tomorrow), which apparently expressed a desire for another Balkan war in 1996 and again in 1998, according to Bilderberg watchers such as John Whitley and James P. Tucker Jr. It has been fairly well documented that ‘they’ have historically stirred up, and financed, many wars (here think of the Rothschilds, who are still around, behind the scenes, making lots of money from war). ‘They’ seek to create a global government through a UN, even a US and NATO that they can control. While benevolent global governance might be a laudable aim, these people are out to make sure that naive world federalists help them to establish their own global system, so that they can continue their nefarious activities.

In the end, no one person, and no single organization drives US-NATO policy, and as usual the world evolves as the interaction of many conspiracies, with no one holding sway. That is why it can often seem so incoherent, but that also does not alter the fact that certain interests are at work, at our expense.

(1) Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Basic Books, ‘97

thanks for Hans K. for the tip.


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created May '98, last modified 2.6.99