Wednesday, October 26, 2011

KFOR: drowning in own waste

Kurir (The Courier), a government-suborned Serbian daily, published a story this morning claiming that KFOR troops at Jarinje are facing serious problems due to the Serb barricades.

Citing a reportedly well-informed anonymous source, Kurir claims that NATO troops are facing a shortage of firewood, as none of the locals want to sell it to them, and their generators lack power to heat all the tents. Another problem is the accumulation of garbage and human waste, neither of which has been removed for over a month.

People manning the barricades have also noted a reduction in flights of big KFOR supply helicopters to Jarinje and Brnjak, suggesting that the birds are down for maintenance.

The story doesn't say anything about the troops' food supply, but one has to assume it is pretty dire, consisting mostly of field rations (MRE). All these problems combined add up to a growing morale problem, and suggest that KFOR troops can't maintain this state of affairs much longer. On the other hand, the Serbs don't seem to have nearly as much trouble with their logistics. So, trying to wait them out isn't going to work.

That leaves General Drews with two unpalatable options: back off, withdraw from the checkpoints and abort the attempt to install "Kosovian" authorities in the north - or escalate and use force against peaceful, unarmed civilians. KFOR stands to lose face either way, but at least backing off can be explained as abandonment of a policy that was beyond KFOR's mandate anyway. Bonus points if the blame can be shifted to General Buehler - who did, after all, have a personal interest in supporting Thaci's "government".

The question now is whether those in charge of KFOR have enough horse sense to realize they can't win this one. Though the fact that they got themselves involved in this mess in the first place strongly suggests otherwise.


David of Rascia said...

I have read many times, Nebojsa, that our people never gained the West's attention, because the Serbs deemed it too dishonourable to play the "victim" card and complain. Now we are doing that and it is to the detriment of KFOR. I must say that this made me laugh! "Hoisted by their own petard," as the saying goes.

Gray Falcon said...

But this is neither playing the victim card or complaining; these people are standing up for their rights in the best way possible: by saying "No". That's the sort of power that rarely gets mentioned, because governments are scared to death of it.

robert49rml said...

Are you saying that KFOR and EU are full of .... Well you know..

Djordje said...

Common sense, horse sense, stable thinking (intended considering KFOR'S lack of proper sanitation) and basic decency. All are lacking at KFOR. They will continue to act the bully because they must.