Balkans: November 27, 2004


: Germany is investigating what it considers to be an intelligence failure in the Balkans. In late February or early March German intelligence agents wiretapped a Kosovar Albanian extremist. The wiretap may or may not have suggested ethnic Albanians were preparing to attack Kosovar Serbs. The phone conversation took place on March 2nd, and  the Albanian involved was a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander. At any rate, someone in the German government thinks the intelligence analysis was inadequate and "intelligence communication" to police and military forces way too slow. Attacks on Kosovar Serbs accelerated in mid-March and subsequent reports strongly indicate the anti-Serb riots were planned in advance. At the time Kosovar Serbs accused "KLA criminals" of being behind the violence. Here's how this intelligence inquiry fits into the bigger picture: within the next two or three years the UN will move to resolve Kosovo's final status. If Kosovo is given independence or "highly-elastic" autonomy, Kosovo's Serb minority will be guaranteed protection. That means the guarantors (Kosovo government, European Union and/or NATO) will have to have accurate and timely intelligence.




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