The NATO and EU Missions in Kosovo*: Drawing Lessons From the Past to Face Current

In the aftermath of the war in Kosovo, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1244 (1999), whereby a NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) would be deployed to stabilise the region and prevent further violence. Though initially composed of around 50,000 personnel, NATO’s presence was progressively downsized as the security environment improved. The mission successfully prevented the resumption of hostilities in the Western Balkans and supported the transition towards peace and democracy in Kosovo. However, sporadic incidents of violence have often revived unresolved tensions in the country. The impossibility of reaching a consensus on Kosovo’s international status and its declaration of independence in 2008 led to an extension of KFOR’s presence in the region. As the declaration of independence threatened to trigger another wave of violence, the European Union also established the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which focused on supporting Kosovo’s authorities in upholding the rule of law and reforming Kosovo’s police, judiciary and customs.

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Montenegro and Serbia: A Clash Beyond Religion

The passive dispute between Serbia and Montenegro took shape on 5 September 2021 with a physical clash between protesters and riot police in Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro. The conflict was provoked by the inauguration of Bishop Joanikje II as the new Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro. Protesters put up barricades and were allegedly throwing rocks and fireworks at police officers in an attempt to prevent the inauguration, compelling riot police to respond with tear gas and to dismantle the barricades. The conflict resulted in many arrests and left at least 60 people injured (Deutsche Welle, 2021).

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Cybersecurity: Is NATO Doing Enough

Cyberspace has become the fifth battle space in an increasingly complex security landscape, and cyber threats have been part of the international security arena. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has tackled cyber threats for over a decade. NATO’s awareness towards cyber threats started rising in the late 1990s, following cyber-attacks by Serbian hackers against NATO Supreme Command’s (SHAPE) website during the bombing campaign on Serbian positions as part of the response to the violence in Kosovo* in 1999. The cyber-attacks against Estonia in 2007 and in the context of the conflict in Georgia in 2008 urged the Alliance to take these new threats seriously. NATO is today the most advanced international organisation regarding cyber defence.

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