The Kosovo war in perspective
In historical perspective, the Kosovo war stands as a significant turning point. Within the Balkan region, Operation Allied Force marked the end of the nationalist wars of the 1990s and the beginning of a new phase of partnership and integration with the EU and NATO. In terms of the wider European security order, its repercussions were contradictory. NATO reasserted its role as Europe's leading security institution, yet Operation Allied Force also gave significant momentum to the EU's development as a quasi military body. Further afield, an immediate crisis erupted in Russo-western relations followed by renewed cooperation on the ground; the longer-term impact, however, was a lingering resentment in Moscow at NATO action. At the global level, meanwhile, Operation Allied Force appeared to symbolize the primacy of both American-led western power and of the liberal norms and values that underpinned the intervention. But this was arguably a high point: future global security crises would be managed in the context of the rising power of the non-western world, a more fragmented West and greater contestation over the norms that should underpin international society.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Senior Lecturer and Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration in the Department of Government, University College Cork.
Publication date: May 1, 2009