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The Kosovo Liberation Army Inside Story of an Insurgency Henry H. Perritt, Jr. Chicago-Kent College of Law (book to be published by University of Illinois.

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Presentation on theme: "The Kosovo Liberation Army Inside Story of an Insurgency Henry H. Perritt, Jr. Chicago-Kent College of Law (book to be published by University of Illinois."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Kosovo Liberation Army Inside Story of an Insurgency Henry H. Perritt, Jr. Chicago-Kent College of Law (book to be published by University of Illinois Press, 2007)

2 Introduction Where is Kosovo? History of oppression Three Kosovar Albanian factions Military doctrine Phases of war, military and political Battle of the bridge Targetting and ICL Lessons learned

3 Where is Kosovo?

4 History of oppression Ilyrians populated western Balkans before Romans Ottomans conquered after Skenderbeg died in 1468 Albania became a state in 1913, Kosovo forced into Serbia Greater Albania during World War II, under Axis Tito promised referendum then renegged

5 Rise of Milosevic 1987, 1989 speeches on the Field of Blackbirds demonized Albanians Political autonomy revoked in 1989 Albanians expelled from jobs Referendum on, declaration of, independence in 1991 Parallel society and government in exile created 1991

6 Kosovar culture Never had a state they could rely on So depended on family/clan Strong cultural norms: Hospitality Revenge Loyalty Corruption under the formal legal system necessary to survive

7 Three factions Peaceful Path Institutionalists Planners in Exile Defenders at Home

8 Peaceful Path Institutionalists President Ibrihim RugovaPrime Minister Bujar Bukoshi

9 Planners in Exile Xhavit HalitiHashim Thaci, KLA Political Director

10 Defenders at Home Ramush HaradinajCommander Remi

11 Military doctrine Clausewitz Superiority of numbers Concentration of forces Surprise Defense has an advantage Mao/Che Guevarra People must support Hit and run attacks Provoking reprisals against civilians builds popular support Wear down will of regime

12 Fourth Generation War Goal is political, not military Organize conflict so as to: Peel elites away from regime Build international support for insurgency “Battles” are P.R.

13 Battle of the Bridge Police convoy Obstruction AK-47s Machine guns & sniper

14 Goals of the KLA’s war Defend our families Build popular support through resistance-- “Slap them in the face” in Drenica Avoid annihilation Import arms from Albania through Dukagjini Interfere with Serbian lines of supply in Llapi Discredit Peaceful Path Institutionalists Attract international intervention

15 Phases of the KLA’s war Preparations for resistance 1981-1995: build core supporters, infrastructure 1991-1996: the “Intelligence War” 1996-1998: spread violent resistance, “consciousness of potentiality” Enablers 1996: Dayton leaves out Kosovo, discredits PPI 1997: Albania collapses, opens arms supply route 1998 (March): Jashari Massacre Results 1998 (Summer): 40% KLA controlled; Serb counteroffensive 1998 (October): Holbrooke/Milosevic ceasefire, KLA regroups, reorganizes 1999 (February/March): Rambouillet 1999 (April/June): NATO bombing campaign; 850,000 civilians driven from their homes by Serbs 1999 (June): Serbs expelled, KLA disbands, UNMIK established

16 KLA strategy and tactics Humiliation, rage  will to resist Gradually morphs into 4GL Classic guerrilla tactics 1993-1998 Premature resort to positional warfare 1998 Defensive Naiveté and overconfidence Need to be visible for P.R. reasons Retreat into guerrilla warfare during NATO bombing campaign

17 Targets Special oppressors: secret police, police (assassination) Albanian collaborators (intimidation, detention, occasional executions) Police stations, convoys (hit-and-run attacks) Serb military units and supply lines (sniping from the hills) Defend villages against organized military attacks (trenches and sniping)

18 KLA order of battle No more than 200-300 active fighters before Jashari Massacre Balooned to 15,000, but poorly organized and led Weapons shortages “We’ll carry these guns on our backs forever” Mostly AK-47s, sniper rifles, a few machine guns and, rarely, anti-tank weapons

19 Political order of battle Diaspora raised $60-100 million Followed CIA advice Limited targets No violence outside borders of Kosovo No Mujahadeen Limited dirty money Publicized humanitarian violations “My weapon was English and my cellphone” “Once the TV crews could go to refugee camps, they didn’t need to come to Kosovo”

20 The Stars Aligned Collapse of the Warsaw Pact  ”consciousness of potentiality Active Diaspora in U.S., Germany Popular, press outrage at Milosevic Dayton/Albania collapse Clinton/Blair guilt over Bosnia “How I miss the war”  sympathetic press Good KLA P.R. Websites Video and cellphone interviews for U.S.

21 Lessons learned Hearts and minds Insurgency difficult to extinguish once it gets a foothold: annihilation becomes rampage against civilians Outside support essential Money Arms Refuge

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