Ethnic Conflict in FYR Macedonia and the Balkans
Chapter 5Management of the Albanian Insurgency 157
Chapter 5 Management of the Albanian Insurgency This chapter explores the evolution and management of the 2001 armed conf lict in the FYR Macedonia, in order to analyse the transformation of unresolved ethno-political disputes into violent confrontations. It also examines the important strategic parameters inf luencing the decision to use violence, and the ef fectiveness of coercion in the containment of regional conf licts (George, 1991, 1994). The prominent military and diplomatic analyst, Alexander George, claims that coercion is ef fective only if one matches threats and pressures with rewards and f lexibility. The real aim of coercion, according to George, is to help avoid escalation and persuade the opponent to reassess the costs and risks of an action, rather than compel- ling them by force. This chapter distinguishes three phases in the evolution of armed conf lict: emergence, escalation and settlement. In each section, we review and assess the ways in which international and local policymak- ers exchanged threats and provided incentives as part of a f lexible policy intended to terminate hostilities. In this way, we are able to examine the motivations, opportunities and reactions of the conf lict participants, under- stand the exchange between pressure and f lexibility, and draw a number of conclusions concerning the ef fectiveness of strategic coercion in the containment of violent inter-ethnic conf lict. Conf lict Emergence In the first phase, we seek to understand how the opposing sides view the outbreak of hostilities, and examine the government’s military and political failure...
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