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Cherrypicking Serbia's Neighbors

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008

I'm not sure the day that Serb rioters storm the US embassy in Belgrade is the best time to announce that NATO might very well pocket three more of Serbia's neighbors:

The Pentagon believes that Macedonia, Albania and Croatia meet the criteria for NATO membership and will support their bids at the Alliance's summit in Bucharest, a senior US official said.

"As regards NATO enlargement, the Pentagon believes that military criteria are certainly met. Six weeks before the summit in Bucharest, we will . . . to ensure that these three countries become members of the Alliance," said Daniel Fata, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense at the press conference after the meeting with defense ministers of the Adriatic Group (A3).

Again, to say nothing about the merits of Kosovo's claim to independence, the handling of the announcement has been pretty amateurish. This sort of timing leaves the impression that the federal functions of the former Yugoslavia have ultimately been outsourced to NATO headquarters.