Reluctant Partners: Civil–Military Cooperation in Kosovo
Small Wars & Insurgencies
The NATO deployment in Kosovo provides a unique opportunity to study the effectiveness of civil–military cooperation in humanitarian interventions and other stability and support operations. Such a study can provide valuable insights into how better to conduct a wide range of future missions. The importance of this cooperation has already been demonstrated in Somalia, and Bosnia. The occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq suggests that it also has an important role to play in the war on terrorism. Winning hearts and minds through humanitarian assistance and development often produces the intelligence necessary to find terrorists.

Many characteristics of Kosovo and the international mission there commend it as a case study. To begin with the province is both small and compact with a manageable population. This compactness has meant that despite widespread destruction of infrastructure and homes, rebuilding has occurred rapidly. For its size, though, Kosovo has all the problems of humanitarian intervention writ large upon it. A multi-ethnic state fractured by apartheid and war it dominated the headlines for eight months. Consequently, over 500 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), International Organizations (IOs), and Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs) descended on the province in the wake of the multi-national Kosovo Force (KFOR). Coordinating activities of all the players has been a major challenge. Properly analyzed, the Kosovo mission may yield valuable lessons that will inform the conduct of future operations at the policy, strategic, operational, and tactical levels, all of which are more closely inter-related than they might be in conventional war.