Spaces of unintended consequences: The Ground Safety Zone in Kosovo
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 57, Number 4, 2002 , pp. 273-282(10)
Abstract:In the spring of 1999 NATO conducted a 79-day air campaign against Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to force that country to cease the ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians and to force the withdrawal of Yugoslavian forces from the province. In June of 1999 a NATO led military force (KFOR or Kosovo Force) entered Kosovo to reestablish a safe and secure environment. Shortly thereafter ethnic Albanian armed extremists groups launched an insurgency in the neighboring Presevo Valley of Southern Serbia in a bid to join the predominantly ethnic Albanian population of that area with Kosovo. The rebels used the five-kilometer wide Ground Safety Zone, established by NATO, as a sanctuary from which to attack Serb police and military units. NATO and KFOR found themselves in the predicament of having to halt this insurgency while maintaining the peace in Kosovo. This paper provides a case study in applied political geography that examines the unintended consequences of creating an uncontrolled political and security space in the midst of a zone of conflict. Additionally, this paper will present a revised application of the concept of Peace Geography for the Post Cold War Era. Peace Geography involves the elements of association, disassociation, and isolation. These elements proved to be critical in bringing the Presevo Valley Insurrection to a peaceful conclusion, and this revised and updated peace geography shows great promise for future peacekeeping operations.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Geology/Geography, Northwest Missouri State University, 800 University Drive Maryville, MO 64468, U.S.A. 2: US Naval War College, Tel: 660-562-1672, Fax: 660-562-1055, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2002-01-01