The Kosovo army: a new obstacle to Balkans’ stabilization?

On 14 December 2018, the Parliament in Priština decided to transform the Kosovo Security Force, mainly dedicated to civil protection, into typical military forces. While Belgrade and the local Serb minority have strongly condemned this initiative that circumvents the Kosovo constitution, the UN and the NATO have been concerned about the consequences of this move, particularly for the relations between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians.

However, in the short term, this new army, even with the support of the great powers that sponsored the independence of Kosovo, does not seem to be able to threaten its neighbours, and Serbia in particular. In fact, the new government in the making, resulting of an unprecedented coalition, will struggle to find sufficient resources to build armed forces that meet the “highest NATO criteria” to which reference is constantly being made. The main objective of the creation of this army would then be to prove that, despite appearances, Kosovo is indeed a “state like the others”.

Photo credit: President Thaçi inspects KSF troops the day before the laws creating the Kosovo army were passed. (Stringer/EPA/EFE).