Kosovo Army: a good, but an early ideaFor several days, Kosovo has been involved in the debate originated by initiative of President Hashim Thaçi on transforming the Kosovo Security Forces in the military. This initiative is justified by Mr. Thaçi as a necessary step for two purposes: completion of the independent state institutions of Kosovo as well as Kosovo`s integration into NATO.

However, President`s initiative has bypassed the necessary constitutional procedure, which requires a double vote, first in committee and then in the parliamentary session.

In fact, the constitutional proceeding constitutes a closed trap for Thaçi`s initiative on the creation of Kosovo army. And that is because the military establishment should be done through a constitutional change; constitutional amendment requires the preliminary vote of Serb minority in Parliament; Serbian minority commission is blocked by Belgrade; for consistency, the creation of Kosovo army is not realized by the constitution. Eventually leading to a dead-end. Until when? It depends on the attitude of Belgrade.

U.S. diplomats and NATO are also involved in the debate. In a direct way the diplomacy of United States and NATO have unequivocally rejected the initiative of Mr. Thaçi, as a circumvention of the Constitution of Kosovo and as an uncoordinated step with its main partner; the United States and NATO.

Even the main partners of Kosovo, the U.S. and NATO, seeing the insistence of Mr. Thaçi to proceed in creating the army through a law last days, have severed their diplomatic language. They require immediate suspension of the initiative and warned otherwise to revise their cooperation with Kosovo.

In itself the idea for the creation of Kosovo army is good. The security system that the state of Kosovo has is incomplete without an army. Currently, KFOR plays the role of the army for Kosovo. While Kosovo Security Forces is a structure with civil functions with limited number and light weapons, it has neither constitutional authority nor the capacity to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo.

However, the creation of Kosovo army requires a procedure that can not be overlooked. This procedure lacks the following two tracks: first, the track of political dialogue with the Serbian minority in Kosovo as well as directly with Belgrade; secondly, airfield collaboration and coordination with the strategic partners of Kosovo, the U.S. and NATO. Any attempt to create the army of Kosovo outside these two tracks can be considered a premature consistency.

Also initiatives to create army of Kosovo need to be taken at a more appropriate moment for Kosovo, the Balkans and in a stable international environment.

In the current volatile political situation and inter-ethnic Kosovo, the tense environment in the Balkans and geopolitical confrontation between the West and Russia, Mr. Thaçi’s  initiatives for the creation of Kosovo army outside the constitutional framework and without coordination with the US and NATO constitutes a source of misinterpretation.

Meanwhile Kosovo has still much to do regarding the KSF. This force, without coming out of the constitutional and legal framework, still has some space and needs for completion with human capacities, for medium level armaments, equipment and mechanization as well as better financial treatment. Even for the strengthening and modernization of KSF, the authorities of Kosovo lack in cooperating and coordination with its strategic partners, the U.S. and NATO.

Kosovo has entered the tenth year of independence. As a whole, the security system and institutions need its own army. However, the establishment of army is trying to be done through constitutional changes, in cooperation with the U.S. and NATO as well as in an appropriate way with domestic, regional and international organizations.

 

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