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Kosovo Peacekeeping Crisis: improved information points to a solution.

Kosovo The Serbian army occupation of Kosovo officially ended on June 10, 1999 as the result of NATO military action. Immediately thereafter, the country was divided into five sectors for the purpose of keeping the peace between returning ethnic Albanians (and their KLA - Kosovo Liberation Army) and the resident minority Serbian population. Retribution was being exacted by the KLA upon some resident Serbs, causing the latter to themselves become refugees as they moved to areas of greater internal Serb control.

A complication to the peacekeeping plan arose when the Russians, a traditional Serbian ally, demanded a sector. To bolster their chances the Russian military occupied part of airport in Pristina, the Kosovo capital, on June 12, and threatened to fly in thousands of troops. However, NATO was not willing to cede to Russian demands, fearing that a Russian sector would effectively become a province of Serbia.

A diplomatic solution to this standoff was developed from a refined view of the problem. The fusion that produced this information can be represented as follows:

Fact Building Questions

WHO:  are traditional Serbian allies?
           are the Serbs fleeing?

WHAT:  are the Russian interests?
             kind of protection do the Serbs want?

WHERE:  can Russian forces go if the Allies don't want to give them a sector?
              are there pockets of Serbs?

WHEN:  should this be resolved?
            will the Serbs move again?


           Serbs are temporarily located in pockets within the country.
           Serbs are without protection.
           Russian forces are temporarily displaced.
           Russian forces can protect allies.


1. Number of Serb refugees in each Serb-dominated pocket
2. Location of pockets
3. Incidence of Serb minority - KLA conflict
4. Command and control capability of Russian military units


Russia was not allowed a sector. Instead, Russian troops were directed to Serbian areas within each sector, reducing the incidence of KLA violence and slowing the movement of resident Serbian refugees. The Russian military retained its own command structure although it operated alongside the sector's NATO ally force.

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