CRS Report for Congress
Kosovo: Review and Analysis of
Policy Objectives, 1998-June 1999
July 21, 1999
Julie Kim
Specialist in International Relations
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

This report provides an overview of U.S. and international policy objectives in Kosovo from
1998 to mid-1999, when NATO ended an 11-week air strike operation against Yugoslavia and
began to deploy a U.N.-authorized peacekeeping force in Kosovo. It reviews stated objectives
at various points during this period. It provides an analysis of how certain policy objectives
evolved and discusses the extent to which they were or were not achieved. This report will
not be updated. Related CRS products include: IB98041, Kosovo and U.S. Policy.

Kosovo: Review and Analysis of Policy Objectives,
1998-June 1999
Since the outbreak of violent conflict in the Serbian province of Kosovo in early
1998, the United States and European countries have been actively involved in
various initiatives to end the conflict and restore peace. At first, international
objectives, as expressed by the six-nation Contact Group and the U.N. Security
Council, were limited to seeking a cease-fire in the province, ending the repression of
the Kosovo civilian population by Serb forces and improving the humanitarian
situation, and facilitating a political dialogue between the parties. As fighting
continued, the United States pressed for NATO to threaten punitive air strikes in
order to achieve compliance with U.N. demands. The Contact Group became more
involved with the possible terms of a political settlement. In early 1999, the Contact
Group sought Serb and Kosovar Albanian acceptance of a detailed interim peace plan
that would restore substantial autonomy to the Kosovo population while upholding
Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity.
Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic’s rejection of the draft peace plan and his
escalating use of force in Kosovo prompted NATO to launch a sustained air
campaign, Operation Allied Force, against Serb targets throughout Yugoslavia
beginning in March 1999. NATO leaders sought to deter Belgrade from a bloodier
offensive in Kosovo and to damage Belgrade’s military capacity. In response,
however, Milosevic stepped up efforts to drive out the ethnic Albanian population
from Kosovo, forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians across borders. NATO
established five key conditions for Milosevic to meet before air strikes would end: an
end to all military action in Kosovo; the withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo;
agreement to the stationing of a NATO-led military presence in Kosovo; agreement
to the return of all refugees; and, willingness to negotiate a political framework
agreement for Kosovo. In June, Milosevic accepted a peace framework incorporating
these demands, eventually leading to an end to the bombing campaign. U.S. and allied
officials proclaimed victory for the operation and moved quickly toward a
peacekeeping and peace implementation phase in Kosovo.
U.S. and European objectives in Kosovo remained largely consistent, although
some evolved in response to changing circumstances and met with varying degrees
of success. In late 1998, the threat of air strikes achieved the objective of averting a
humanitarian disaster, at least for a while. In 1999, however, NATO did not succeed
in deterring the largest Serbian offensives to date during the course of the air
campaign. The humanitarian situation in Kosovo is likely to improve substantially in
the absence of violent conflict. The NATO operation achieved Belgrade’s agreement
to withdraw all of its forces from Kosovo, and the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army’s
commitment to de-militarize under NATO supervision. A NATO-led peacekeeping
force, KFOR, has been deployed to Kosovo under unified command and control
arrangements, with Russian participation. Contrary to some expectations, NATO
countries generally remained unified behind the air operation, though were divided on
other military options. The objective of attaining a durable political settlement in
Kosovo remains elusive, but has been superceded to some extent by the establishment
of a virtual U.N. protectorate for Kosovo.

Introduction ................................................... 1
Review of Stated Policy Objectives, 1998-1999.........................2
Contact Group and U.N. Resolutions, 1998........................2
October 1998 Agreements.....................................3
Rambouillet Draft Interim Agreement............................4
Operation Allied Force Objectives and Conditions...................5
U.N. Resolution 1244 and KFOR................................6
Evolution of Policy Objectives by Theme..............................7
1. Avert a humanitarian crisis..................................7
2. Produce a military situation in Kosovo conducive to peace..........8
3. Achieve a durable political settlement.........................10
4. Demonstrate NATO unity and resolve.........................12
Appendix: Documentation........................................14

Kosovo: Review and Analysis of
Policy Objectives, 1998-June 1999
After 78 days, NATO ended its military air campaign against the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on June 10, 1999, after Yugoslav leader Slobodan
Milosevic had accepted international principles for a peaceful resolution to the conflict
in Kosovo. Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia (which, together with the much
smaller Montenegro, forms the FRY) became engulfed in violent conflict in early 1998
as Serbian and Yugoslav forces sought to eliminate, through brutally repressive
means, the separatist threat presented by armed ethnic Albanian rebels, the Kosovo
Liberation Army (KLA). Denied their former autonomous rights since Milosevic’s
ascent to power in 1989 and 1990, the majority ethnic Albanian population has sought
full independence for Kosovo. The international community has supported greater
autonomy for the Kosovo population, but generally has not backed Kosovo’s claim
to independence. As the conflict wore on, the United States and European countries
became increasingly engaged in efforts to resolve the conflict. Belgrade’s rejection
of an internationally-sponsored peace plan and refusal to accept a series of
international demands led NATO to launch Operation Allied Force in late March

1999, striking Yugoslav military targets in Kosovo and throughout Yugoslavia.

During the course of the air campaign, numerous commentators expressed doubt
about the objectives, strategy, and conduct of the NATO operation. Some doubted
that Milosevic would yield to western demands or ever cede control of Kosovo.
Others urged NATO to prepare for a ground invasion of Yugoslavia in order to
ensure victory. After its conclusion, President Clinton and other leaders of NATO
countries proclaimed victory for Operation Allied Force, vindication of NATO’s
strategy, and a turning point for the civilian population of Kosovo. They claimed that
all of NATO’s objectives for the bombing campaign had been achieved. NATO
shortly thereafter launched a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo, including forces from
Russia and other non-NATO countries, in support of an emerging U.N. protectorate
for the province. Some observers have questioned the claim of victory and the results
of the NATO operation, in view of original objectives and continued uncertainties in
Kosovo and Serbia.
This report provides an overview of stated U.S. and international policy
objectives in Kosovo from 1998 through the end of the NATO air operation against
Yugoslavia and passage of a Kosovo peace resolution by the U.N. Security Council
in June 1999. It then analyzes the evolution of certain policy objectives according to

theme. An appendix provides a list of relevant documents and speeches referred to
throughout this report. 1
Review of Stated Policy Objectives, 1998-1999
Contact Group and U.N. Resolutions, 1998
Sustained violent conflict between Kosovar Albanian guerrillas and Serbian
security forces began in late February 1998. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
attacked Serbian police and Yugoslav Army units that, for their part, targeted and
brutally attacked known KLA strongholds and other villages throughout the province.
During this time, Belgrade mobilized and reinforced army and police forces in the
province, while hundreds of thousands of Kosovar civilians became displaced. In the
spring and summer of 1998, the international Contact Group comprised of the United
States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, convened frequently to address
the Kosovo conflict. Citing their interests in restoring peace and security to the
region, Contact Group countries agreed to support some incentives as well as limited
sanctions intended to help resolve the conflict. Statements by the Contact Group
criticized Belgrade’s indiscriminate use of force and repressive actions, but did not
challenge the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty over Kosovo.
International objectives were to end the violence and to facilitate a political dialogue
between the parties.
On March 31, 1998, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1160, which
imposed an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), including
Kosovo. It called on Belgrade to engage in negotiations on the political status of
Kosovo with ethnic Albanian representatives. It called on the Kosovar Albanian
leadership to condemn all terrorist activities. It said the restrictions could be lifted
once Belgrade began a political dialogue with the Kosovar Albanian leadership,
withdrew special police units from Kosovo, allowed access to Kosovo by
humanitarian groups, and accepted a mission in Kosovo of the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Later in the year as fighting intensified, concerns grew about a looming
humanitarian disaster. Fearing for the fate of hundreds of thousands of displaced
Kosovar civilians as winter approached, the Contact Group countries pressed for
further action. U.N. Resolution 1199, passed by the Security Council on September
23, 1998, demanded that the Yugoslav and Kosovar Albanian parties institute an
immediate cease-fire, take steps to improve the humanitarian situation, and enter into
a dialogue on a negotiated political solution. It made the following additional
demands on Belgrade:

For a discussion of current U.S. objectives in Kosovo, see CRS Report RS20125, Kosovo:1
Issues and Options for U.S. Policy, by Steven Woehrel. For information on current
developments in Kosovo, see CRS Issue Brief 98041, Kosovo and U.S. Policy, by Steven
Woehrel and Julie Kim, updated regularly.

!cease all action by the security forces affecting the civilian population and
order the withdrawal of security units used for civilian repression;
!allow access to Kosovo by international monitoring and diplomatic missions;
!facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced persons and allow access for
humanitarian aid organizations;
!make progress to a clear timetable toward achieving a political dialogue with
the Kosovar Albanian community.
The resolution also called on Yugoslavia and the Kosovar Albanian community to
cooperate fully with investigations into war crimes in Kosovo by the International
Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The resolution cited
international concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation
in Kosovo, and the flow of refugees to neighboring states. Citing Resolution 1199,
NATO moved toward approving air strikes against the FRY unless it complied with
the U.N. demands, although the resolution did not explicitly authorize the use of force
to achieve compliance. The United States asserted that the resolution and the U.N.
charter provided a sufficient legal basis for NATO air strikes, and NATO issued an
“activation order” to authorize air strikes in October. President Clinton and other
Administration officials said that the objective was to compel Milosevic’s compliance
with U.N. demands, by force if necessary.
October 1998 Agreements
At the last minute, NATO air strikes were averted by Milosevic’s agreement to
terms worked out after many sessions with U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke. Milosevic
agreed to comply with all provisions of U.N. Resolutions 1160 and 1199. He signed
two subsequent agreements with NATO and the OSCE establishing unarmed air and
ground verification missions, known as the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM). In
addition, the Serbian government issued a unilateral statement that offered new
elections in Kosovo within nine months, to be supervised by the OSCE. NATO
commanders concluded a deal with Milosevic that reportedly required him to
withdraw 4,000-5,000 Yugoslav army and 4,000 Serbian special police units from
Kosovo (out of a combined total of about 30,000). After verifying initial compliance
with these terms, NATO suspended the activation order for air strikes but stood ready
to reinstate it. In announcing news of the Holbrooke agreement on October 12, 1998,
President Clinton stated that his objective was “to end the violence in Kosovo which
threatens to spill over into neighboring countries, and to spark instability in the heart
of Europe,...to reverse a humanitarian catastrophe in the making,...and to seek a
negotiated peace.”
With the agreement, Holbrooke obtained Milosevic’s commitment to adhere to
U.N. demands for the first time. The presence in Kosovo of over 1,000 international
verifiers of the Holbrooke agreements and many humanitarian organizations facilitated
the delivery of aid to the province, preventing widespread starvation of displaced
persons. However, compliance broke down almost immediately with numerous
violations of the cease-fire by both the Serb and Kosovar sides, according to reports
by the OSCE verification mission. After initially withdrawing some forces in

accordance with NATO demands, Belgrade sent additional army and police units to
Kosovo in apparent preparation for a major offensive, without NATO retaliation.
Moreover, little progress was made toward achieving a political settlement through
the shuttle diplomacy efforts of U.S. envoy Chris Hill. By January 1999, compliance
with the cease-fire was practically non-existent. The January 15 massacre of 45
Kosovar Albanian civilians in Racak elicited widespread international outrage and2
sparked renewed diplomatic efforts to try to resolve the conflict. At a January 29
meeting, the Contact Group summoned Yugoslav and Kosovar parties to negotiations
on a political settlement in Rambouillet, France. The goal was to achieve agreement,
within a short deadline, on an internationally-sponsored settlement providing
“substantial autonomy” for Kosovo, to be secured with the deployment in Kosovo of
an international security force.
Rambouillet Draft Interim Agreement
On February 6, peace talks opened at Rambouillet, sponsored by France and
Britain and led by U.S., EU, and Russian negotiators. In a speech prior to the
opening of the talks, Secretary of State Albright stated that the aim was to establish
a “durable and fair interim agreement that will create a peaceful political framework
for Kosovo while deferring the question of Kosovo’s status for several years.”
Albright warned both parties that this diplomatic effort was backed by the threat of
military action by NATO. NATO also prepared to embark on a peacekeeping mission
if a political framework agreement were reached.
Negotiators circulated a draft Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government
in Kosovo. The lengthy document proposed establishing a system of democratic self-
government for Kosovo while upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
the FRY. Elections would be held in Kosovo within nine months. Human rights of
all citizens in Kosovo would be guaranteed. The agreement called for outside
involvement with the presence of international civil and military missions. It invited
NATO to deploy a military force to ensure compliance and provide a secure
environment, allowing NATO full and unimpeded access to all FRY territory. Most,
but not all, Yugoslav forces would have to leave Kosovo in phases, although the
presence of a limited border force would be allowed. A local, multi-ethnic police
force would be created. All other forces, including the KLA, would be demilitarized.
The agreement would be valid for a period of three years, after which an international
conference would be held to establish a mechanism, understood to include a
referendum, for determining Kosovo’s final status.
Talks were extended an extra week, and then suspended after achieving
preliminary approval by the Kosovar Albanian delegation but no acceptance by
Belgrade. Conference sponsors said they had reached consensus on many aspects of
the autonomous arrangements for Kosovo, but not on the so-called implementation
chapters, including the international presence in Kosovo. After further delay, the
Kosovar delegation finally signed the Rambouillet accords on March 18. As Belgrade
continued to refuse to accept the terms of Rambouillet, especially with regard to an
international security presence, the Kosovo talks in France were adjourned, having

OSCE Permanent Council statement, January 18, 1999.2

failed to achieve the goal of a political settlement. Meanwhile, as the Rambouillet
talks proceeded to their unsuccessful conclusion, violence continued to escalate in
Operation Allied Force Objectives and Conditions
In response to Belgrade’s attacks in Kosovo and intransigence at the peace talks,
NATO revived its threat of air strikes. On March 22, 1999, President Clinton said
NATO’s objectives in Kosovo were to stop the killing and achieve a durable peace
that restored self-government to the Kosovars. On March 23, NATO Secretary-
General Javier Solana said the air campaign was the international community’s
response to Milosevic’s failure to meet three core demands:
!acceptance of the interim political settlement negotiated at Rambouillet;
!observance of limits on the FRY army and police forces agreed in October;
!ending the excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.
On the first day of NATO’s air operation (March 24), President Clinton gave an
address to the nation in which he outlined three objectives of the mission:
!to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO’s purpose;
!to deter an even bloodier offensive by Yugoslavia against innocent civilians in
!if necessary, to seriously damage the Serbian military’s capacity to harm the
people of Kosovo; to limit Milosevic’s ability to make war in Kosovo.
As NATO began Operation Allied Force on March 24, Milosevic accelerated his
massive ethnic cleansing campaign to drive out most of the ethnic Albanian population
from Kosovo. The United States and other countries stepped up efforts to aid states
neighboring Kosovo as they received hundreds of thousands of Kosovar refugees. In
spite of the increased violence in Kosovo, NATO periodically expressed resolve to
continue the air campaign until its objectives were met. As conditions for the bombing
to cease, NATO established five core demands on Belgrade. NATO’s objectives were
for Milosevic to:
!stop all military action, violence and repression in Kosovo;
!withdraw from Kosovo his military, police, and paramilitary forces;
!agree to the stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence;
!agree to the return of all refugees and access to them by humanitarian aid
!provide assurance of his willingness to work on the basis of the Rambouillet
Accords to establish a political framework agreement for Kosovo.

NATO said it should provide the “core” of the international military presence, under
unified command and control. It subsequently specified that all Serbian and FRY
forces had to withdraw from Kosovo.
On the diplomatic side, NATO countries worked with Russia in the context of
the Group of 8 in an effort to reach Milosevic. On May 6, the G8 adopted general
principles for a Kosovo political solution. The G8 statement called for the
deployment of “effective international civil and security presences, endorsed and
adopted by the United Nations,” making no mention of NATO. It also called for the
establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo to be decided by the U.N.
Security Council, signaling a shift away from a negotiated settlement between the
parties and toward an international protectorate. G8 countries continued to work on
these principles and on a draft U.N. resolution that would embrace the G8 principles.
On June 3, FRY President Milosevic accepted a peace framework presented to him
by Russian and EU envoys Viktor Chernomyrdin and Martii Ahtisaari. This text,
negotiated beforehand between U.S., Russian, and European officials, restored
NATO’s “substantial participation” and united command in the international security
presence. It also called for the withdrawal of all FRY military, Serbian police, and
paramilitary forces from Kosovo. (Texts of the G8 statement and peace framework
are included as appendices to U.N. resolution 1244.) The NATO air campaign was
suspended on June 10, after Belgrade began to comply with the terms of the Military
Technical Agreement (MTA) worked out the previous day between NATO and the
Yugoslav Army. The MTA detailed terms of a cessation of hostilities and the phased
full withdrawal of all army and police units from Kosovo. The Military Technical
Agreement also addressed terms of the deployment of a NATO-led Kosovo Force
(KFOR) in Kosovo. On June 10, President Clinton claimed that Milosevic’s
acceptance of the peace framework met NATO’s three core objectives: the
withdrawal of Serb forces, the deployment of an international security force with
NATO at the core, and the return of Kosovo civilians to their homes, to live in
security and self-government.
U.N. Resolution 1244 and KFOR
On June 10, the U.N. Security Council passed, 14 to 0, with China abstaining,
Resolution 1244. A goal of the resolution was stated to be resolving the grave
humanitarian situation in Kosovo and ensuring the safe return of all refugees and
displaced persons. The resolution reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the FRY; it did not describe the status of Kosovo. It stated that a political solution
would be based on the general principles made in the May and June G8 statements.
It outlined the preliminary structure and missions of the international civil and security
presences in Kosovo. The U.N. Secretary-General subsequently issued reports
outlining the concept and structure of the international civil presence in Kosovo
(S/1999/672 and S/1999/779).

Evolution of Policy Objectives by Theme
The overriding U.S. and international objective to achieve peace and stability in
Kosovo and the rest of southeastern Europe remained consistent during this period
and will likely continue to guide international policy. The interest of the United States
and other countries in achieving this broad objective was fueled by the perceived
threat of the conflict expanding to other countries, including members of NATO, and
the prospect of prolonged and massive human suffering in the Balkans. It was
tempered, in the eyes of some observers, by questions about the U.S. stake in
Kosovo, uncertainties regarding the use of military force to achieve political
objectives in Kosovo, and concerns about the strategy of NATO’s air campaign. It
was also complicated by the actions of Slobodan Milosevic. As a result, many
underlying objectives evolved to varying degrees as the situation on the ground
changed over time and as the United States and other countries reacted to these
Four components of the goal to restore peace and stability included the
objectives of averting a humanitarian crisis in Kosovo and the region, securing a stable
military situation on the ground conducive to a peace settlement, achieving a durable
political settlement for Kosovo, and maintaining consensus within NATO. The
evolution of each component is reviewed below.
1. Avert a humanitarian crisis
The escalation of violent conflict between the Serb forces and Kosovar rebels
since early 1998 produced a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in
Kosovo. This phenomenon, and the prospect of a greater humanitarian catastrophe,
increased the incentive of the international community, for the first time, to engage3
in efforts to reach a political settlement for Kosovo. During 1998, the international
community made frequent demands on Belgrade to cease offensive operations and
dispatched diplomatic missions to promote a negotiated peace process. As the
humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate with growing numbers of civilian
casualties, refugees and displaced persons, and reports of atrocities, NATO countries
agreed to back up diplomatic demands with the threat of air strikes. Under this threat,
Milosevic agreed to international demands in October 1998. The agreements
achieved a pause in the conflict, which was intended to bolster diplomatic efforts for
a political resolution. Thus, a worst-case humanitarian predicament was temporarily
averted, as humanitarian aid agencies gained access to the Kosovo population in need.
However, by early 1999, violence had resumed and escalated.
One objective of NATO’s Operation Allied Force was to deter Milosevic from
further aggression against civilians in Kosovo, according to statements made by the
President and other Administration and NATO officials. The allied military campaign
failed to achieve this objective. Unlike in October when he withdrew some of his
forces before a NATO military threat, this time Milosevic unleashed his largest ethnic
cleansing campaign to date, driving over 800,000 Kosovars across the border within

Kosovo was not addressed, for example, at the 1995 Dayton negotiations on Bosnia-3

a few weeks. The massive influx of refugees to the poor and fragile neighboring
countries of Albania and Macedonia threatened to spread instability rather than
contain it. The Serb campaign also displaced hundreds of thousands more inside the
province. Refugee accounts told of numerous massacres and other war crimes
committed by Serbian forces during this time. International observer and aid missions
withdrew from Kosovo prior to the bombing campaign. International aid agencies
were therefore unable to provide humanitarian relief to the displaced population inside
Kosovo, though they assisted refugees in neighboring countries (with the assistance
of NATO forces stationed in these countries). In response to these events, western
leaders pledged to ensure the return of all refugees and displaced persons to their
homes. In an op-ed article, President Clinton wrote that “the question now is not
whether (Milosevic’s) ethnic cleansing will be reversed, but when.”4
With the subsequent agreement to deploy a NATO-led force in Kosovo and the
remarkably swift return of most of the refugees, the humanitarian situation in Kosovo
has improved and is likely to show further improvement. Meeting this objective will
depend on how the peace process progresses, what conditions returning Kosovar
refugees find in their home towns, and how effectively humanitarian and
reconstruction efforts proceed. Meanwhile, the mass exodus of ethnic Serbs from
Kosovo since the start of KFOR’s deployment in Kosovo has created new
humanitarian challenges in Serbia.
2. Produce a military situation in Kosovo conducive to peace
Through 1998, an objective of the international community was to induce
Yugoslav Army (VJ) forces stationed in Kosovo to return to their garrisons and
demand that extra Serbian special police (MUP) units, the ones most responsible for
the repression of Kosovar civilians, withdraw from the province. At the same time,
the United States and its allies demanded that the KLA refrain from terrorist attacks
on Serb police and the Yugoslav army. This limited objective reflected an
acknowledgment of Belgrade’s sovereignty over Kosovo and little support by western
countries for the tactics or independence goals of the KLA. Under the October 1998
accords, Milosevic was to have reduced the number of Yugoslav army and Serbian
police units in Kosovo to roughly the levels they were before the conflict erupted at
the start of the year. According to the Defense Department, Milosevic would have
been considered to be in compliance if 11,000 VJ troops and 10,000 MUP police
remained in Kosovo.5
The worsening of the fighting by the end of 1998 and into 1999 caused a re-
evaluation of the desired levels of Serbian forces in Kosovo. The Rambouillet
agreement called for the phased withdrawal of most Yugoslav army and Serbian
special police (MUP) forces over a period of months. It allowed 1,500 Yugoslav
Army personnel to serve in border guard battalions, and up to an additional 1,000
troops to serve in border security functions. It also allowed 2,500 MUP police to
remain in Kosovo for up to two years. These allowed presences granted Belgrade

The New York Times, May 23, 1999.4
Department of Defense background briefing, October 27, 1998.5

some physical vestiges of sovereign control over its borders. As for the KLA, the
Rambouillet agreement called for the demilitarization of all other forces under terms
worked out by KFOR, and restrictions on where they could carry arms.
After Rambouillet failed, and especially after Milosevic significantly escalated the
ethnic cleansing of Kosovo, the United States and NATO seized upon a new objective
of getting all Yugoslav and Serbian forces out of Kosovo. It was thought that only
a total Serbian withdrawal, with the introduction of an international security presence,
would provide for enough security for the Kosovar refugees to return home. On June

9, Yugoslav and Serbian military officials and NATO KFOR commander Gen.

Jackson signed a Military Technical Agreement on the phased withdrawal of all
Yugoslav and Serbian forces and on KFOR. On June 21, the KLA concluded an
accord with NATO on its demilitarization and the cantonment of most of its weapons.
Under the accord, the international community would give consideration to allowing
KLA members to join a new Kosovo police force or form a force similar to a national
The other dimension to providing a secure environment in Kosovo has been the
deployment of an international security presence in the province. Planning and ideas
for this mission have evolved with fluctuations in the peace process. The October
1998 agreements allowed only civilian ground and unarmed aerial monitoring missions
to verify compliance with peace terms. The Rambouillet agreement specifically
invited NATO to deploy an international force (KFOR) to Kosovo and the rest of the
FRY. NATO’s initial planning for KFOR envisaged a force of about 28,000 troops.
At Rambouillet and afterward, Yugoslavia rejected the presence of any foreign
military force on its territory. During the course of the NATO air campaign, NATO
upheld its condition that Belgrade accept an international security force in Kosovo
with NATO “at its core.” U.S. officials continued to insist that this meant that the
force must have NATO command and control and rules of engagement. They
expressed willingness to arrange for the participation of non-NATO members, such
as Russia, along the lines of the command arrangements of the NATO force in Bosnia.
Only such a force, they argued, could provide the security to allow refugees to return6
home and the KLA to disarm.
Russian negotiators, the West’s primary link to Milosevic, sought,
unsuccessfully, to downplay the NATO role in the future security presence.
Moreover, the May G8 statement referred only to “effective international civil and
security presences,” an apparent compromise on terminology. Finally in June,
Milosevic accepted the principle of an “international security presence with substantial
NATO participation...under unified command and control,” clearing the way for U.S.
and NATO agreement on deploying the force in Kosovo. NATO’s plans, meanwhile,
had evolved to a peace force in Kosovo of about 50,000. The increase in size from
earlier plans reflected the more challenging conditions on the ground, with much
larger numbers of refugees to be returned to Kosovo and with greater infrastructure

For example, see Op-Ed: “A Just and Necessary War,” by President Clinton, The New York6
Times, May 23, 1999.

damage resulting from the air strikes and from the actions of Serbian forces. 7
KFOR’s deployment, according to the terms of the MTA, is limited to Kosovo.
Russia’s possible participation in KFOR provided another element of uncertainty
after some 200 Russian troops entered Kosovo from Bosnia and unexpectedly
assumed control of Pristina airport on June 12. Russia reportedly sought control of
its own sector in Kosovo, while western governments feared that that development
would lead to Kosovo’s partition. On June 18, U.S. and Russian officials concluded
an accord on Russia’s participation in KFOR. It provides for 3,600 Russian troops
to serve in KFOR in the U.S., German, and French sectors of KFOR, and does not
give Russia its own sector.
In summary, meeting the objective of achieving a favorable security situation on
the ground appears more promising after the NATO bombing than before. The terms
governing both the presence of the local forces and the international security force are
stronger now than the terms outlined in either the October agreements or the
Rambouillet accords. All Yugoslav army and police forces have formally completed
withdrawal from the province, the Yugoslav military remains damaged by the NATO
air campaign, and deployment of a larger international force under unified NATO8
command and control has commenced.
On the other hand, the continuation of the conflict and the increased level of
brutalities through half of 1999 may have exacerbated the security situation in pockets
of Kosovo where returning Albanian refugees seek retribution against local Serbs, or
where there is any remaining Serbian resistence to the Albanians’ return. The
continued presence of ethnic Albanian and/or Serbian paramilitaries, with possibly
hidden caches of armaments, may present future challenges to KFOR. The prolonged
fighting in Kosovo may have allowed the Serbian military to lay additional mines
throughout the province. In addition, U.N. resolution 1244 calls for “an agreed
number,” as yet unspecified, of Yugoslav military and Serb police personnel to be
permitted to return to Kosovo to liaise with the international civil and security
presence, mark and clear minefields, maintain a “presence” at Serb patrimonial sites
in Kosovo, and maintain a “presence” at key border crossings. The actions and
performance of the Russian troops in KFOR will also likely affect the security
situation on the ground.
3. Achieve a durable political settlement
Following months of shuttle diplomacy led by the U.S. envoys, Rambouillet was
the first attempt by the international community, in particular the Europeans, to bring
the Serb and Kosovar Albanian parties together under international auspices to agree
on an interim peace arrangement for Kosovo. As reviewed earlier, Rambouillet

KFOR’s ultimate size is likely to be even larger. NATO and non-NATO countries have7
volunteered to contribute a total of over 55,000 troops to KFOR. Department of Defense
press briefing, June 24, 1999.
The extent of the actual damage incurred by the Yugoslav Army during Operation Allied8
Force has been the subject of recent speculation in the press. For example, see “Damage to
Serb Military Less than Expected,” The New York Times, June 28, 1999.

granted autonomous self-government in Kosovo while maintaining Yugoslav
sovereignty over the province. The peace agreement was to remain in force for three
years. At the end of this period, the international community would convene a special
conference “to determine a mechanism for a final settlement for Kosovo, on the basis
of the will of the people, opinions of relevant authorities, each Party's efforts
regarding the implementation of this Agreement, and the Helsinki Final Act.”
Eventually signing the Rambouillet agreement, the Kosovar Albanian delegation made
clear that it understood this provision to mean that a popular referendum would
determine the final status of the province. The Rambouillet process was suspended
after the Yugoslav delegation refused to accept the interim accord.
In contrast, U.N. resolution 1244 outlines the general principles of a political
solution to Kosovo without the signatures or overt consent of the Yugoslav or
Kosovar parties. It assigns all civil and security responsibilities and functions to an9
international administration, effectively establishing a U.N. protectorate. It says that
the international civil presence will promote the establishment of substantial autonomy
and self-government in Kosovo, “taking full account of annex 2 (the Ahtisaari-
Chernomyrdin principles) and of the Rambouillet accords.” It does not specify either
a final status or a mechanism for a final status for Kosovo, although it refers to
application of the resolution “pending a final settlement.” It remains thus unclear as
to what entity the transitional U.N. arrangement will eventually transfer authority.
The resolution authorizes the establishment of the civil and security presences
for an initial period of one year, implying a soft deadline, although it also says they are
to continue thereafter unless decided otherwise by the Security Council. As it
eschews a clear outline of a final political settlement for Kosovo, the U.N. resolution
provides no “exit strategy” for the international civil and security administration of
Kosovo. In a June report to the Security Council, the Secretary-General stated that
his Special Representative will be responsible for facilitating a political process
“designed to determine the future political status of Kosovo, taking into account the
Rambouillet accords.”10
With regard to the structure of the international civil presence, the U.N.
resolution differs from Rambouillet in that it increases the role and authority of the
United Nations. Many other regional organizations, such as the European Union and
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, are to become involved
with peace implementation. However, all civil functions are to fall under the authority
of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (named to be Bernard
Kouchner of France). Rambouillet, in contrast, assigned a larger and more
autonomous role to the OSCE. Similar to Rambouillet is the separation of military
and civilian commands and structures, with KFOR remaining separate and distinct
from the civil mission, though with “close coordination” between the two.

Milosevic did accept the general principles worked out by the G8 and endorsed by the U.N.9
Security Council, and has thus far complied with the provisions regarding the withdrawal of
his forces and acceptance of the NATO-led force in Kosovo. The KLA, likewise, committed
to demilitarize.
For a discussion of potential future models for Kosovo, see CRS Report RL30187,10
Kosovo’s Future Status: Alternative Models, by Francis T. Miko.

With peace implementation efforts having just begun, it is premature to assess
whether the objective of reaching a durable political settlement is likely to be
achieved. Much will depend on the leadership exercised by the international civil
administration and how it interprets what “substantial autonomy” means in practice.
Other important factors will be the level of engagement and resources provided by the
international community, and the extent to which KFOR is able to provide a secure
environment for, or directly assist, civilian peace implementation and reconstruction
A growing concern is that delays in getting a U.N. administrative infrastructure
in place could delay progress across the board, especially the establishment of
effective civil police administration. Delays have already prompted KLA members to
seize control of administrative functions in numerous Kosovar towns. For the time
being, KFOR will remain responsible for maintaining law and order in the absence of
an effective civilian police force, although KFOR commanders are eager to turn that
task over to the U.N. Another concern is whether the U.N. Security Council,
especially permanent members Russia and China, can maintain a unified position in its
oversight function. A third concern is that peace efforts in Kosovo cannot be
insulated from potentially severe political instability in Serbia. Yugoslav leader
Slobodan Milosevic remains in power, though for how long remains uncertain. U.S.
officials have stated that Milosevic must step down from power and the United States
has even offered a reward for information leading to his arrest and transfer to the
Hague war crimes tribunal. The outcome of Serbia’s crisis of political leadership will
likely have enormous consequences for the shape of peace developments in Kosovo.
4. Demonstrate NATO unity and resolve
Observers have speculated that Milosevic’s strategy was to ride out the NATO
air campaign and wait for differences among the NATO allies to cause a rift within
the alliance and an end to the air strikes. Many observers believed that Milosevic had
good reason to question unity among NATO’s 19 members on a lengthy air strike
campaign against Yugoslavia. Before October, when NATO first threatened air
strikes, some NATO members questioned the international legal basis for NATO’s
threat, as it came without specific U.N. Security Council authorization. In March
1999, some NATO member governments, such as Greece and Italy, continued to
convey serious misgivings about engaging in air strikes. Popular support for the
NATO action in member countries also varied greatly. In the end, however, all 19
NATO countries remained unified behind the air strikes for the duration of the
As the campaign wore on, some NATO governments came to favor the idea of
instituting a “pause” in the air strikes to allow time for Milosevic to comply with
NATO demands. The NATO summit in Washington on April 23-24, viewed as a
critical juncture for maintaining allied unity on Kosovo, considered this proposal. The
summit’s statement on Kosovo for the first time specified that NATO would consider
suspending the air strikes once Belgrade “began” to withdraw forces from Kosovo
and accepted NATO’s five conditions. Elsewhere in the statement, however, it was
said that there would be “no compromise” and that the operation would continue.
U.S. officials concluded then and afterward that NATO countries became more, not
less, unified as the campaign wore on. Other observers questioned the durability of

allied consensus behind an even longer air campaign, especially if the ground invasion
option were to come under active consideration.
The need for building and maintaining consensus within the 19-member alliance
constrained to some extent decision-making on the conduct of the operation. Alliance
cohesion may have necessitated a more incremental approach to the campaign than
originally foreseen. NATO officials have conceded that the alliance’s "command by
committee" hampered the military leaders’ ability to carry out an effective and flexible11
campaign, or to escalate the bombing. On other military options, NATO members
remained divided. For example, NATO member governments objected to the NATO
commander’s plans to enforce an oil and fuel embargo against Yugoslavia with deadly
force. On the potential for NATO launching a ground offensive operation against
Yugoslavia, Defense Secretary Cohen said repeatedly that there was no consensus
among NATO countries on this prospect. Many observers have contended that the
removal of this option from consideration severely limited the effectiveness of the air
campaign. British Prime Minister Blair was both lauded and criticized for pressing
NATO consideration of a ground offensive as the air campaign wore on.
With the official termination of the air campaign in mid-June, NATO countries
are now engaged in deploying forces to Operation Joint Guardian, the peacekeeping
mission undertaken by KFOR. Within NATO, the peacekeeping mission is much less
divisive than were the air strikes. However, the KFOR mission is not without risks.
Moreover, the current perceived need for KFOR to remain deployed in Kosovo for
many years may pose challenges to alliance unity over time.

See “War Effort Restrained by Politics, Clark Says,” The Washington Post, July 20, 1999,11
and “NATO general sees strategy shortcomings,” The Financial Times, May 5, 1999.

Appendix: Documentation
(reverse chronological order)
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration
Mission in Kosovo, S/1999/779. July 12, 1999. (Available at the U.N. website,
“Undertaking of Demilitarization and Transformation by the UCK.” June 20, 1999.
(Available at the U.S. Information Agency website,
“Agreement on Russian Participation in KFOR,” U.S. Department of Defense news
release. June 18, 1999. (See USIA website.)
Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 10 of Security Council
Resolution 1244, S/1999/672. June 12, 1999. (See U.N. website.)
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244. June 10, 1999. [Includes Group of 8
principles adopted on May 6 and agreement on principles accepted by Milosevic
on June 3.] (See U.N. website.)
Statement by the President. June 10, 1999. (Available at the White House website,
Text of the Military Technical Agreement. June 9, 1999. (See USIA website.)
“A Just and Necessary War,” by William Jefferson Clinton, Op-Ed, The New York
Times. May 23, 1999.
“Statement on Kosovo,” NATO Washington summit. April 23-24, 1999. (Available
at the NATO website, http://www.nato.int)
“The Situation in and around Kosovo,” North Atlantic Council statement. April 12,

1999. (See NATO website.)

“U.S. and NATO Objectives and Interests in Kosovo,” Fact Sheet by the Department
of State. March 26, 1999. (Available at the State Department website,
Statement by the President to the Nation. The White House. March 24, 1999. (See
White House website.)
Press Statement by Javier Solana, Secretary-General of NATO. March 23, 1999.
(See NATO website.)
Remarks by the President on the Situation in Kosovo. The White House. March 22,

1999. (See White House website.)

“Clinton on Kosovo: We Can Make a Difference,” The New York Times, February 14,


Rambouillet Agreement, Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in
Kosovo. Department of State. February 23, 1999. (See USIA website.)
Albright Policy Address on Kosovo, U.S. Institute of Peace. February 4, 1999. (See
State Department website.)
Statement to the Press, NATO Secretary-General Solana. January 30, 1999. (See
NATO website.)
Conclusions of the Contact Group, London, January 29, 1999. (See USIA website.)
Joint Statement on Kosovo, Secretary of State Albright and Russian Foreign Minister
Ivanov. January 26, 1999. (See State Department website.)
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1203. October 24, 1998. (See U.N. website.)
“The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission,” updated November 26, 1998. (Available
at the OSCE website, http://www.osceprag.cz)
“Agreement of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission.” October 16, 1998. (See
OSCE website.)
“Kosovo Verification Mission Agreement between NATO and the FRY,” October 15,

1998. (See NATO website.)

Clinton Remarks on Kosovo. October 8, 1998. (See White House website.)
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1199. September 23, 1998. (See U.N. website.)
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1160. March 31, 1998. (See U.N. website.)