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Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency Hardcover – July 18, 2008
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The military intervention by NATO in Kosovo was portrayed in American media as a necessary step to prevent the Serbian armed forces from repeating the ethnic cleansing that had so deeply damaged the former Yugoslavia. Serbia trained its military on Kosovo because of an ongoing armed struggle by ethnic Albanians to wrest independence from Serbia. Warfare in the Balkans seemed to threaten the stability of Europe, as well as the peace and security of Kosovars, and yet armed resistance seemed to offer the only possibility of future stability. Leading the struggle against Serbia was the Kosovo Liberation Army, also known as the KLA.
Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of an Insurgency provides a historical background for the KLA and describes its activities up to and including the NATO intervention. Henry H. Perritt Jr. offers firsthand insight into the motives and organization of a popular insurgency, detailing the strategies of recruitment, training, and financing that made the KLA one of the most successful insurgencies of the post-cold war era. This volume also tells the personal stories of young people who took up guns in response to repeated humiliation by "foreign occupiers," as they perceived the Serb police and intelligence personnel. Perritt illuminates the factors that led to the KLA's success, including its convergence with political developments in eastern Europe, its campaign for popular support both at home and abroad, and its participation in international negotiations and a peace settlement that helped pave the long road from war to peace.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book has some excellent background material not available from open sources elsewhere. The author grasped the theoretical principles of asymmetric warfare quite well. However the discussion of tactics (including some factual errors) shows a very limited understanding of practical military affairs.
The author totally ignores subsequent Serbian claims that the KLA committed some serious atrocities against the local population, and played a role in the expulsion of the Albanians - the claims may be spurious, but they should have been addressed. Since there is a fairly long section on post-war events, the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs and other non-Albanians (and this is NOT spurious) should have also been addressed.