David Young writes in the Christian Science Monitor that Washington support for Kosovar independence because of its ‘unique’ situation is a slippery slope rather than a bulwark against future separatism.
If you give separatists an inch: Separatist regions like the Basque Country or Abkhazia might not resemble Kosovo right now – as Washington is quick to note – but by so explicitly stating the merits of Kosovar self-determination and independence, Washington is essentially creating an innovative code, only to make the cipher publicly available. Current and future separatists merely have to manufacture the same conditions and sequencing that have compelled the West to embrace an independent Kosovo: terrorize locals, invite government crackdowns, incite a rebellion, and lure in foreign intervention and commitment to rebuild.
Is that all? Simply maintain a delicate balance between insurgency and ethnic cleansing, incite a sub-national uprising in popular support of you, and rely on the international community to ride in to save the day?
Sounds complex, challenging, painful, and highly risky. Do we really have to worry that Washington is offering separatist groups an incentive?