Pre-War American Analysis of Kosovo Politics

For a long time, Western governments were fully aware of all the weaknesses of the Yugoslav Federation. They carefully studied those cleavages. Now it is clear why. They are also fully aware of the Kosovo problem.  Here is a clear explanation of the problem from an important American reference book.

Area Handbook Series: Yugoslavia, a Country of Study.

The book was published by Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA Pam 550-99), Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. {The 1990 version can be viewed here, or here.  It is recommended to download this pdf and view with Acrobat.}  It is well done. Each study in the series (as said in Foreword) is done by a multidisciplinary team of social scientists. The bibliography list is 31 (thirty-one) pages long! As said in the Foreword (written by Dr. William Evans-Smith, Director, Foreign Area Studies, The American University, Washington, DC):

“The study focuses on historical antecedents and on the cultural, political and socioeconomic characteristics that contribute to cohesion and cleavage within the society.” [emphasis added]

One would expect that from a study that is to serve Department of the Army. Cleavage — in particular — is of immense importance. The Army has to study it thoroughly in order to have a bit easier task when the time is ripe to dismantle a country. We will see here what they found.

But, back to the subject: The best thing about the book is the fact that the edition that we are presenting here was published in 1982 (i.e., nine years before American officials, with help of “spin doctors,” started working on expanding the cleavage).

Here is one quote about Kosovo Albanians (pages 75-76):

Yugoslavia’s largest national minority was its Albanian community, in 1981 numbering some 1.6 million, nearly 7 percent of the population. Most Albanians were concentrated in Kosovo where they constituted roughly 80 (eighty) percent of the population; another quarter million resided in neighboring Macedonia and Montenegro. All told, an estimated one-third to one-half of all Albanians lived in Yugoslavia – making them one of the largest potentially irredentist communities in the world . .

Albanians were, in addition, Yugoslavia’s largest non-Slavic ethnic group… Ethnic distinctiveness added to astronomical population growth . . .

Wow, what a cleavage!

The same book pages 76 – 77:

Kosovo became an autonomous province [of Serbia] in 1968; Albanians had extensive control of the local political administration and cultural and educational organizations. Pristina University, founded in 1970, was Yugoslavia’s third largest university by 1980. Its enrollment expanded nearly seven times in the decade and was transformed from being a disproportionately Serb student body to one predominantly Albanian.

Nonetheless (despite total Albanian control of the province) Kosovo’s per capita economic growth dropped further behind even the less developed regions… Urban growth far outstripped housing and services. The population explosion fed into rising under- and un-employment and rural overpopulation . . . More than half the population was under nineteen years of age . . . Employment opportunities for Albanian speakers were limited in Serbo-Croatian regions. [All their schools and universities were exclusively in Albanian – the language that no one but Albanians can understand. That way Kosovo Albanians made themselves foreigners in their own country of birth.]. . .

Kosovo itself was significant in the historical and cultural heritage of both Serbs and Albanians. For Serbs the region was core of their medieval kingdom, the scene of their final defeat at the hands of the invading Turks in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, and the location (at Pec) of the Serbian partriarchate’s seat…

Nationalistic fervor along with the conflicting loyalties of Serbs, Montenegrins, and Albanians gave the regime considerable cause for disquiet. There was unrest among Albanians in 1968 and 1980 . . .  Albanians wanted full status as a republic – a demand that would be difficult to negotiate with Serbs.  [And we see that the Serbs sensed, well in advance, where the events may lead]. Moreover some demonstrators suggested that the proposed Kosovo republic ought to include Albanians in Macedonia and Montenegro too. Some extremists even voiced secessionist sentiment calling for a “Greater Albania.”

Rioters included not only students, but workers, peasants, and even Communist Party members . . . Authorities also feared ethnic backlash and rising violence as Serb and Montenegrin farmers fearful for their safety barricaded their villages against possible Albanian incursions.

{Again, the full text of the 1990 version can be viewed at:

Area Handbook Series: Yugoslavia, a Country of Study.  It may be more readable to download and read in Adobe Acrobat.}

Original URL: http://www.srpska-mreza.com:80/library/facts/astronomical-natality.html