In Accordance With NATO Standards

BERLIN/PRISTINA/BELGRADE | | jugoslawien

BERLIN/PRISTINA/BELGRADE (Own report) - According to the separatist "government" in Pristina, the German Government is paying millions in militarily equipment to transform the former UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army - KLA) terrorist group into a Kosovan army. German soldiers are providing "manned support" and the German Bundeswehr the military hardware. The new troops, operating under the name of the "Kosovo Security Force" (KSF), due to be operational by next June, are being recruited from the current "Kosovo Protection Corps" (KPC), the successor organization of the KLA. In the future, they can be deployed around the world within the framework of NATO interventions. Not only the future army of Kosovo, but even the secessionist government's new "minister of defense" Fehmi Mujota have their roots in KLA tradition. The current "prime minister" was once the militia's political leader and other current top politicians in Pristina had also been active in the KLA. Charges of serious war and postwar crimes raised against them have remain unsettled. Berlin is broadening its cooperation with these former militiamen and beginning to arm them - in strict accordance with NATO standards.

Voluminous

As a first step, the German government has earmarked seven million Euros for the creation of the "Kosovo Security Force" (KSF). This was reported by the Kosovan "government" following negotiations in Pristina with the German Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung. Jung had visited the Bundeswehr troops stationed in Kosovo at the beginning of the week and also held talks with the "Prime Minister" and the "Minister of Defense". As announced by the German Defense Ministry, the Bundeswehr is also providing "manned support" - with 15 soldiers, for the time being. Ultimately Berlin will also be participating in equipping the KSF with military hardware. The planned delivery is rated as voluminous by the Defense Ministry.[1]

Abroad

Officially the KSF is at first supposed to be only engaged in "crisis management," "civil defense" and disposal of ordinance. Later it is supposed to take on more extensive tasks, that generally fall within the realm of army duties.[2] This is also written into the "constitution" of the Kosovan secessionist regime, which states in Article 126 that the KSF "shall protect the people and Communities of the Republic of Kosovo."[3] It further states that the KSF "may send its members abroad" - an indication of future foreign interventions of the Kosovan army. Against this background, it is significant that it is under the auspices of the NATO that the KSF is being built up, trained and armed - with light weapons, for the time being - but in accordance with NATO standards.[4] Other NATO states, participating with Germany in these measures include the United States, France and Great Britain. Countries not taking part are Slovakia, Rumania and Spain, who have refused to recognize Kosovo's secession. The KSF is supposed to be operational by June 2009.

Nucleus

The KSF will initially be a force of over 2,500 with 800 reservists. The personnel is mainly taken from the 5,000 man strong "Kosovo Protection Corps" (KPC), which is to be officially disbanded by December 10. It is a direct successor of the former KLA terror troops. Having served NATO as terrain cognizant ground forces during its aggression against Yugoslavia, the KLA, was only formally disbanded after the war, but transformed in fact into the KPC militia. Though officially classified as a "civilian emergency management organization," it perceives itself to be the nucleus of a Kosovan army in the making. Accordingly KFOR soldiers complained that the members of the KPC, in violation of their official assignment, were going around heavily armed in public. One was not supposed to interfere, it was said; the NATO lets them do it. In fact KPC members and KFOR troops - including Germans - were carrying out common training maneuvers. The Bundeswehr was equipping the KPC, for example with German military ambulances. Already in the spring of 2007, while officially, the status of Kosovo was still being "negotiated", the KPC spokesman announced that the transformation of his forces into a regular army had already begun.

Warrant

The types of personnel that went from the KLA to the KPC, with some now being taken on as members of the KSF, can be judged from examples of some prominent individual militiamen. Agim Çeku was very significant for the KPC. He had fought against Belgrade already in the first half of the 1990s - in the newly created Croatian army - to then join the KLA at the beginning of 1999. During the war, he rose to the rank of the highest military commander. The war crimes charges leading to an arrest warrant against him in Serbia date from this period. Through several direct interventions, the West has thwarted court proceedings against him. Instead, already in 1999, Çeku became the first leader of the KPC, and always maintained close cooperation with KFOR. In March 2006, he rose to the office of "Prime Minister" in Pristina.

Hit Man

In the mid 90s, Çeku's successor Hashim Thaçi was one of the KLA's main organizers and was considered its political leader. First sentenced to several years of imprisonment in 1997 for various acts of terrorism, he was again placed on the wanted list in 1999 because of several other terrorist attacks. "After one year of KLA-leadership, Thaçi was in control of an extensive network of gunrunners, trained hit men, soldiers and former criminals," wrote a prominent expert on Yugoslavia at the time.[5] Unlike other KLA members, Thaçi did not join the KPC, but launched a political carrier - in spite of the fact that the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) suspected him of close ties to organized crime.[6] But most likely his name will not be mentioned in the next edition of the European Commission's annual Kosovo Report, due in November. It will be focused on organized crime in Kosovo.[7]

High Positions

The Pristina secessionist regime's new „Defense Minister", charged with the transformation of the KPC into the KSF, came not only from the same party as the "Prime Minster", but also like Thaçi from the KLA. He is also had charges raised against him. The same goes for Thaçi's "right hand" man, Fatmir Limaj, former KLA commander and current "Transportation Minister", who was miraculously acquitted in The Hague. Jakup Krasniqi also fought on the side of the KLA during the war - as its spokesman. Today he serves as Pristina's "Parliamentary President", while his former comrades make up the hard core of the new Kosovan army.

Noble

Quite noble terms are being applied to describe the legal status of Germany's support for the KSF. KFOR is assuming the "responsibility" for "the establishment and the training of the future 'Kosovo Security Forces' (KSF)," announced Defense Minister Jung at the Central Conference of the German Military Attachés last Mai.[8] This is more than merely another violation of international law. After all, the KSF will be an illegal military arm of the illegal secessionist regime in Pristina. That this is being organized through the KFOR is also an affront, because even though the UN Security Council legitimized KFOR's presence in Kosovo, it explicitly did not recognize its secession. The aid furnished by KFOR personnel to train and arm the KFS is one of the West's innumerable violations of international law in Kosovo - and it will surely not be the last.[9]

Further information on German Kosovo policy can be found here: Imperial Consummation, A Sort of Resurrection for Yugoslavia, Self Determination, Out of Control, Political Friendships, "Thank you Germany!", Pure Chaos and Arbitrariness in Power.

[1] Jung zu politischen Gesprächen auf dem Balkan; www.bmvg.de 29.10.2008
[2] Jung: Deutsche Hilfe für Aufbau einer kosovarischen Armee; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 21.02.2008
[3] Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo
[4] UN übertragen Kompetenzen an EU-Mission im Kosovo; Deutsche Welle Fokus Ost-Südost 21.08.2008
[5] Chris Hedges: Die Häutung der "Schlange"; Die Woche 16.07.1999
[6] see also Aufs engste verflochten, Doppelrezension: Mafia und Staat, Heldenfigur and "Thank you Germany!"
[7] EC: Kosovo failing to tackle organized crime; B92 30.10.2008
[8] Rede des Bundesministers der Verteidigung, Dr. Franz Josef Jung, bei der 47. Zentralkonferenz der deutschen Militärattachés am 20. Mai 2008 in Berlin zum Thema "Aktuelle Fragen der deutschen Sicherheits-, Verteidigungs- und Militärpolitik"
[9] see also Die Herren des Rechts, Mit kreativen Tricks, Wankendes Gefüge and Pure Chaos