The Conflict in the Balkans Essay

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The Conflict in the Balkans

The conflict in the Balkans is interesting because for years, reporters and politicians have touted it as being the result of ancient ethnic hatred. The first phase of Yugoslavian disintegration can be attributed to the conditions of the people living in Kosovo, an autonomous province of Yugoslavia. In 1981, the socioeconomic conditions in Kosovo were far worse than those in the other republics of Yugoslavia. Poverty was rampant and unemployment was around twenty percent as compared to about two percent in Slovenia that same year. The standard of living in Kosovo was deplorable and whatever aid was given to the province by the federal government was mismanaged. Another significant problem with this
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Milosevic took away their right to govern themselves and as a result, he gained the attention of the United States Congress. Annual human rights reports submitted to the White House by the Department of State read like a prison record when it came to Serbian abuses of the people of Kosovo. Unfortunately, Congress was not in agreement with how to treat the reports of the abuses in Kosovo. The Bush Sr. administration was more interested in keeping Yugoslavia together and concerned more about the breakup of the Soviet Union and the potential tragedy that such a thing might cause. The problems of Kosovo were not viewed as important or of any interest to the national security or economic prosperity of the United States therefore no action was needed. The State Department catalogued massive human rights violations by the Serbian leadership in Kosovo yet the Bush Sr. Administration did nothing. Little was said about what was going on in the region and the American press because of the instability in the former Soviet Union said even less. The Central Intelligence Agency was the first to predict the breakup of Yugoslavia in September of 1990. This breakup, as examined by experts in the embassy in Belgrade and in Washington, was certainly seen as potentially violent and leading to war.
Milosevic attempted to cripple the economy of Slovenia by boycotting Slovenian goods and services in Serbia, Vojvodina, and Kosovo. What Milosevic managed to do was
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