The ‘Independence’ of Kosovo, and Camp Bondsteel

Terry Boardman

February 2008

100 years ago in 1908, people were told that the new 20th century would be one of wonderful progress for humanity. Few people in Europe saw a World War just a few years off, but small cliques of people in several countries were preparing and planning for it. Because the majority were not awake to what that minority were doing (not least because of the distractions, lies and misinformation in the Press), the majority suffered horribly 1914-1919 and went on to suffer even worse just 20 years later (1939-45); then, as a result of the victory of Bolshevism in Russia in 1917, came the bipolar Cold War 1945-1991.

80 years ago Rudolf Steiner often pointed out the need for a symptomatological view of history that could look at events in history and current affairs and recognise the symptoms of deeper forces at work. The current effort by “the  West” (USA & EU) to separate Kosovo from Serbia and give it ‘independence’ is such a symptom. Steiner also said with regard to the First World War that although it looked on the surface like a war between the allies Britain, France and Russia against Germany and Austria-Hungary, in fact, as one of their main (unofficial) war aims, the British and French elites were seeking to destroy Russia and set up a massive ‘socialist experiment’ there and were using the war against the Central Powers in order to bring this about. In other words, the ‘alliance’ of France and Russia 1893-1917 and then of Britain, France and Russia (1907-1917) was only a hiccup in the real relationship between the western Powers and Russia, which was one of enmity since the time of Napoleon and the Victorian ‘Great Game’ between Britain and Russia for control and influence in Central Asia. The British imperialists, in particular, were determined a) to prevent the rising power of the Russians and the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe from fulfilling any influential role in the coming centuries and b) to ensure that it would be the English-speaking peoples that would, after the defeat of the French napoleonic challenge, continue to dominate the world. The substance of the philosophy that would underpin this Anglo-American hegemony would be an utterly materialistic capitalism.

What then is actually at stake in the symptom of the so-called “independence” of Kosovo? Why is the EU so keen to separate Kosovo from Serbia? First, let’s note that exactly 100 years ago in 1908 Europe came near to war over a major crisis in  the Balkans when Russia and Austria-Hungary faced off over Bosnia. This was the most serious crisis before the Balkan Wars began in 1912; they led on to Sarajevo in 1914 and the outbreak of the Great War.

In 1908 Russia, still weak after its defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 (a war the British had  – shall we say – not dissuaded their allies the Japanese from fighting), was forced to step back and lost considerable face. The Russian militarists and Pan-Slavists were determined that would not happen a second time, which is why the Sarajevo crisis in 1914 was not solved peaceably. The 1908 crisis happened when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia, which it felt entitled by the Congress of Berlin (1878) to do, but which it had not done for the intervening 30 years. Bosnia had been part of the Ottoman Empire but the Congress, which was called to settle the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, handed Bosnia to Austria-Hungary (a ***British***  suggestion, please note) to administer without formal annexation. The Russians, Franch and British protested that this meant an unwarranted disturbance in the balance of power in Europe, while the Germans supported their ally Austria. Now, in 2008 we have a similar case – again a declining state – Serbia, instead of Turkey, is forced to cede a portion of its territory, which hardly any longer belongs to it, in 1908 because Austria had been effectively governing the nominally Turkish province of Bosnia for 30 years, and in 2008 because the great majority of people in Kosovo are, because of immigration through the 20th century, now of Albanian rather than Serb origin.  In 1908 Serbia had wanted Bosnia for itself and fiercely opposed Austria’s action, but all the Powers, including her friend Russia, refused to accept Serbia’s arguments. It look like that might be the case again over

As usual, we hear a lot of pseudo-democratic masking waffle from the western media about “the wishes of the majority of the people of Kosovo”. We hear about the awful ‘genocidal’ crimes of the  Serbs in the 1990s, about the wicked Milosevic, who conveniently died while on trial in The Hague, his heart attack occurring under very suspicious conditions.

Please read the following  BBC article in which the BBC’s supposed “impartiality” and “objectivity” is clearly non-existent. For when it comes to significant foreign policy issues, the BBC invariably follows the line  – in favour of US-UK objectives – that the Foreign Office lays down for the BBC’s World Service, which has always been controlled and funded by the Foreign Office.

But there is an elephant in the room here, which the BBC and the western media avoid drawing attention to and that elephant is CAMP BONDSTEEL, the 360,000 sq. m.  US military base built in Kosovo since the end of the Kosovo War in 1999 and which is not about to disappear any time soon.


It was built by the Kellogg Brown and Root Corporation, with which the Bush family have had connections stretching back decades. Cheney was also connected to the firm in his Halliburton days.

 So why is this huge base sitting there in Kosovo, 9 years after the end of hostilities there? Its military commandant has been de facto the most important person in Kosovo since the US arrived in 1999. The independent Kosovo will in effect ensure the existence of an enormous US military presence in the Balkans for the foreseeable future. What is this about?

It concerns two things: 1) the need via military forces placed not far away to keep a wary eye on the 2 new pipeleines which will be soon coming on stream bringing oil & gas to the West through the Balkans from Central Asia – 2 very different pipelines, and 2) the broader geostrategic struggle between Oceania (USUK & allies – EU + Canada, Anzac, Japan, pliant Mid-east Muslim states) and Eurasia (Russia, China, Iran). Between these two, and inclining already towards the former group,, is India. A major battlefield for the two groups’ struggle for energy resources is going to be Africa. Needless to say, this is all insane, in terms of reality, but it is nevertheless happening, and untold mayhem, destruction and suffering will result from it – unless we wake up to it.

The above map shows that both the EU (Nabucco) and Russian (South Stream)-backed pipelines will pass close to Kosovo, a region that therefore assumes vital geostrategic and military significance. The map projects that South stream may actually pass through Kosovo, but the map below shows a far more likely prospect that the two Russian pipelines, the North Stream and South Stream, will avoid Kosovo completely.

The South Stream route (the deal was signed in Rome on 23 June 2007 between Italy, Russia and Kazakhstan; deliveries are supposed to start by 2013) will also draw Greece closer to fellow Orthodox Russia because Greece & Macedonia will become  major transit hubs for South Stream. Turkey, by contrast, will be drawn closer to the West because the western-backed Nabucco pipeline will pass through its territory, avoidung Greece completely; this doesn’t bode well for Greco-Turkish relations, which were always difficult but have been getting better since the twin earthquakes of the late 1990s. Meanwhile, Bulgaria will both boom and become a major site of East-West rivalry, because both pipleines are due to pass through it.
Getting direct access to Central Asian and Caspian gas is vital to European energy security. The  Russians are well aware of this, as are the Americans, who have been active in the region and  brokered the deal to build the twin oil and gas pipelines that now run from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia. The Americans would like this gas to be carried on from Turkey to central Europe via the Nabucco pipeline, rather than the extension of [the Russian] Blue Stream.

Last June the Nabucco project (supposedly due for completion in 2012) seemed to be stalling in face of powerful competition from Russia but the EU has now persuaded German and French energy companies RWE and Gaz de France to get behind the project.

A recent  report for the Swedish Foreign Ministry reflects the concerns of the transatlantic elites:
In view of the fact that Nabucco has been primarily driven at the European level, it would also fill the missing link between the hitherto disparate energy policies of the European member states. As such, Nabucco is “much more than just about gas”; it could potentially be the glue that keeps both Europe’s common energy policy and Europe’s engagement with the states around the Caspian Sea together….

To maintain the necessary momentum, the US and Europe need to form a joint strategy…..The US has demonstrated its commitment in supporting the trans-Caspian pipeline financially and politically. Since this, like Nabucco, is an essential link in the East-West corridor Europe can scarcely afford to align its strategy differently. Absent a link to Turkmen (and also Kazakh) supplies, these countries may in the future be lost to Russia and China…..The successful construction of Nabucco would also signal to Moscow that it will face a harder time in its “divide and conquer” strategy that serves to undermine the forging of a unified European energy policy.”

The strategically confrontational attitude of the western elites is mirrored in this report.

The report notes that the tricky financing problem for Nabucco can be got round by using the same solution as for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which was financed by

$500 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the IFC while export credit agencies provided a total sum of $1.36 billion of which $580 million came from the Japanese bank for International Cooperation, $160 million from the US Export-Import Bank, and $100 million from the UK’s Export Credit Guarantees Department.

It goes on suggest the same for Nabucco: Nothing precludes the Nabucco pipeline from a similar financing structure and implementation.   Note that for this European project, the USUK elites have added only $260 million of their own financing but have leaned on the Japanese to come up with $560 million. As with the Gulf War in 1990, when they need money, the  US knows it can always pressure its Japanese puppet elite to provide some.

***In the middle of all this, Camp Bondsteel sits in a crucial location with easy access to both pipelines. This is the real reason why the US and EU are pushing so hard for Kosovo’s independence. It is part of the ongoing struggle between the transatlantic elite – which effectively controls the EU and NATO – and Russia.***

The solution to this absurd potential mega-conflict is obvious: the development of alternative energy supplies that can dispense with the need for oil and gas and for alternative bases for such things as plastics and the numerous other products that currently result from oil-based chemicals. Few if any of the western elites, however, seem to wish to go down this route, preferring to cling to oil and nuclear power, both of which are inherently dangerous in the extreme, for either geopolitical or ecological reasons.

If we fail to develop these alternatives, and failing any new moral impulses in the near future that transform the nature of capitalism itself, then we shall be looking at an impending horrendous conflict later in the 21st century between East and West – first posited by geopolitician Halford Mackinder over a 100 years ago between the maritime Sea Powers of the West (USUK) and the continental Land Powers of Russia, China and Iran. Just as 100 years ago, as Mackinder advocated, the West is seeking to push its way into the East in order to control the heartland of the ‘World Island’ (Central Asia). Eastern Europe is the bridgehead for this push. Recall the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book “The Grand Chessboard” (1997):

 ”…with Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia… the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and historical legacy.” For Brzezinski, Europe is “America’s essential geopolitical bridgehead in Eurasia”.

“NATO entrenches American political influence and military power on the Eurasian mainland.”
“A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence without simultaneously creating a Europe so politically integrated that it could challenge the United States on matters of geopolitical importance, particularly in the Middle East.”

‘A Geostrategy for Eurasia’, in Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997.
See also:

The Kosovo War and its Relation to the New World Order (this website)

 Terry Boardman

This page was created 10.2.2009

 Last updated 8.5.2012