In a period when Western military engagement has unleashed violent sectarianism global terrorism, and become a catalyst for the biggest exodus of migrants since the Second World War, the 1999 Nato intervention in Kosovo remains a unique and shining example of a process that led to a peaceful transition from vicious ethnic war to modern democracy.
Less than twenty years ago, a young ethnic Albanian student leader called Hashim Thaci, led a revolution against Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian tyrant with the biggest military force in Europe, and convinced the West to bomb Belgrade out of Kosovo. The aerial bombardment beckoned a period of unrivalled peace in the Balkans which Western leaders who sought to subsequently overturn other tyrannies in foreign lands would view with envy as a rare successful model. Nato intervention in Kosovo, led by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, resulted in democracy and the rule of law. By contrast, however, attempts by George W.Bush to effect regime change in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by America, Britain and France to do the same in Libya, have left lethal power vacuums filled by Islamist insurgents, and brought about the downfall of Western leaders themselves.This book is the story of the rare success of Western military intervention and the first biography of the new President of Kosovo, the youngest country in Europe.
Roger Boyes is the author of eleven books including a biography of Lech Walesa. A former correspondent for the Financial Times and, for the last thirty years, The Times of London, Roger has written extensively about Eastern Europe from Berlin and Poland. He is now the Diplomatic Editor of The Times.; Suzy Jagger has been a journalist at The Times for twelve years. She has travelled extensively in the Middle East, covered the 2008 financial crisis as Wall Street correspondent for the paper and is now the Deputy Foreign Editor.