The horrendous price of G8 peace !

By Jan Oberg

TFF PressInfo 69 – June 9, 1999

Originally published here.

Serbo-Croatian version here.


“Here we go again: Media around the world tell us that there is a ‘peace’ process, ‘peace’ negotiations and a ‘peace’ agreement soon to be concluded. There will be NATO ‘peace-keepers’ in Kosovo. They tell that Yugoslavia and the Balkans are taking the first steps to long-term ‘peace’ and stability.

To a peace professional it’s all Orwellian Newspeak. This authoritarian NATO operation bodes ill for the future, for world order, normativity, lawful governance, democracy, moral politics and indeed peace,” says TFF director Jan Oberg. “The present and future costs of this type of peace policy are unacceptable and out of proportion with the Albanian-Serb problem it purported to solve in the first place. Today Serbs and Albanians are more polarised and hateful than ever. The very least would be to stop using the word ‘peace’ under circumstances like this.

There are those who say that there were no alternatives – but they suffer from either a) lack of knowledge about conflict-resolution, b) lack of political imagination, c) self-censorship or d) authoritarian NATO-fundamentalist attitudes – or perhaps all of it in some proportion. Here follow some facts:”


Human costs and war crimes
Since NATO started bombing on March 24, the number of refugees and displaced have increased from around 50.000 to 800.000; the number of dead and wounded increased from around 2.000 to an estimated 15.000. Atrocities have been committed by the Yugoslav/Serb side, by KLA and by NATO; the latter has used depleted uranium bombs and cluster bombs and otherwise violated internal law by deliberately destroying predominantly civilian objects and terrorising millions of civilians.

Cost of destruction, bombing and re-construction
The Kosovo – or independent republic of Kosova – we wanted to preserve is demolished; the rest of Yugoslavia partly in ruins. The immediate direct material costs range between US $ 50 and 150 bn, the indirect and long-term costs may be several times bigger. No one knows the costs of the bombing – 33.000 sorties by 1100 planes, aircraft carriers, bombs, missiles, ammunition, surveillance, international coordination, fuel, supplies, wages, insurance, social benefits, transport, etc – but if we estimate it at US $ 500 million per day, we come close to US $ 40 bn. The region now faces a huge environmental destruction, the Danube in particularly affected. The US has carried out most of the destruction, the EU will be footing the bill for reconstruction – a tremendous burden on the EU. [Read more…]