TFF on CNN – 3rd time on Kosovo

By Jan Oberg

TFF PressInfo 84, 2000 – January 27, 2000

Originally published here.


[Unfortunately, 15 years on, the links can’t be found on CNN – Editor].

Yet another evidence of TFF’s rapidly increasing international prestige is its opinion piece on CNN’s new “In Depth Special on Kosovo” –


It’s the third time TFF’s expertise is called upon by CNN; first during NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia and then before New Year, a longer conversation about the international community’s peacebuilding failure in today’s Kosovo/a. And now with this website feature “Misguided motives led to the chaos in Kosovo” under CNN*s heading “Missed Opportunities.”

In the article TFF director Jan Oberg summarizes the Kosovo crisis through the 1990s and the foundation’s experience with conflict-mitigation there begnning 1991. In a few points, he outlines why NATO’s KFOR mission, the United Nations’ UNMIK mission and the OSCE are unlikely to succeed with building genuine peace in the Balkans.

Writes Oberg: “The international community — a euphemism for a handful of top leaders — has historically been an integral party to the conflicts, not an impartial mediator. A policy of disinterested conflict analysis, mediation and conflict resolution would require different analyses, means and institutions (with just a minimum of training).”

“It was a Western “civilizing” mission. Nations must accept free markets, NATO’s doctrine, EU militarization, selective human rights for the chosen people, and democracy in the form of “free” elections. We must accept NATO, not the U.N. or OSCE, as the only peacemaker under the only superpower.

We are supposed to believe there is no alternative to all this and to bombing. In the long run, this sort of intellectual poverty threatens to make us look like the “ugly West” in the eyes of all other cultures.”

Read this concise and critical piece to understand why “the absence of self-criticism in the West is ominous.”

CNN’s “Kosovo In-Depth Special. Prospects for Peace” which offers a wealth of interesting materials on the region, the past, the future, Balkan Notebook, chat, message board and links can be found on