Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Washington Times: "Kosovo's Grim Future"


By David Binder
August 29, 2007

Forget about status negotiations for a moment. The near-term outlook for Kosovo is unalterably grim: An economy stuck in misery; a bursting population of young people with "criminality as the sole career choice;" an insupportably high birthrate; a society imbued with corruption and a state dominated by organized crime figures.

These are the conclusions of "Operationalizing of the Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans," a 124-page investigation by the Institute for European Policy commissioned by the German Bundeswehr and issued in January. This month the text turned up on a Web log. It is labeled "solely for internal use." Provided one can plow through the appallingly dense Amtsdeutsch — "German officialese" — that is already evident in the ponderous title, a reader is rewarded with sharp insights about Kosovo.

The authors point out a "grotesque denial of reality by the international community" about Kosovo, coupling that with the warning of "a new wave of unrest that could greatly exceed the level of escalation seen up to now," The institute authors, Mathias Jopp and Sammi Sandawi, spent six months interviewing 70 experts and mining current literature on Kosovo in preparing the study.

In their analysis, political unrest and guerrilla fighting in the 1990s led to basic changes which they call a "turnabout in Kosovo-Albanian social structures." The result is a "civil war society in which those inclined to violence, ill-educated and easily influenced people could make huge social leaps in a rapidly constructed soldateska."

They continued: "It is a Mafia society" based on "capture of the state" by criminal elements. ("State capture" is a term coined in 2000 by a group of World Bank analysts to describe countries where government structures have been seized by corrupt financial oligarchies......... Washington Times

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