• Wed. Apr 10th, 2024

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How the US broke Kosovo and what which means for Ukraine – POLITICO

How the US broke Kosovo and what which means for Ukraine – POLITICO


Not that it actually mattered. Like a parade of different distinguished People who’ve blown by means of the nation over the previous quarter century, Bush wasn’t on the town to study Kosovo. He was right here to become profitable as a part of a gaggle led by retired United States Gen. Wesley Ok. Clark trying to spend money on the nation’s power sector.

Through the years, Kosovo — a postage stamp-sized Balkan nation that Washington and its NATO allies wrenched out of Serbia in 1999 to halt an unfolding genocide towards the ethnic-Albanian inhabitants — has seen its share of American fortune hunters. 

The freeway Bush’s entourage used en path to Pristina from North Macedonia that day, for instance, was constructed by a consortium led by U.S. building large Bechtel at a price of greater than €700 million. However like different massive, American-led infrastructure tasks in international locations the place Washington has gone in with weapons blazing, the 65-kilometer stretch of street was tormented by price overruns and corruption. Final month, the Kosovar minister who oversaw the deal was sentenced to 3 years in jail for paying greater than €50 million an excessive amount of for the street.

An enormous board in Pristina celebrates Kosovo’s independence in 2008 | Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP through Getty Pictures

Regardless of the whiff of scandal, there’s no query that Kosovo has been a superb wager for most of the American companies lively right here. Whether or not Kosovo itself has actually benefited is a extra difficult query, one which each Washington and Ukraine would do nicely to contemplate as Kyiv tries to persuade People to stay engaged within the nation, together with by serving to with the mammoth job of rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by Russia.

American assistance is seen as essential not simply whereas the preventing rages, but additionally in its aftermath — no matter form that takes. But Ukraine also needs to be clear in regards to the strings which are hooked up. In each battle the U.S. has engaged in in current a long time, from Iraq to Afghanistan, to little Kosovo, the clean-up crew has been led by America Inc. Over time, although, political will in Washington to stay engaged in overseas international locations sometimes fades as soon as massive enterprise has squeezed what it will probably out of America’s presence.

Because the second anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion approaches, American assist is hanging by a thread, with Congress divided over whether or not to ship extra navy support.

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