Nicholas Sarkozy stated last weekend that the issue of Kosovo's independence, "is not an affair of Mr. Bush or Mr. Putin, but one of Europe." (Le Figaro, in French). Another article by John Ward Anderson in the Washington Post reports:
"Kosovo's independence is inevitable," French President Nicolas Sarkozy told reporters after the summit. "It's an issue for Europe to sort out."
Does Sarkozy mean to say that despite a recent history thick with US political and military engagement in the Balkans, Kosovo is now strictly a European issue? Has Sarkozy forgotten so quickly that the United States bailed out Europe in the Balkans even after the 1991 declaration by Luxembourg's foreign minister Jacques Poos that "This is the hour of Europe?"
Joerg recently cited the Jacques Poos quote in an Atlantic Review post he titled "Kosovo: Is the EU Home Alone in the Balkans?" Perhaps another question is, "Kosovo: Whose House is it?"
What is the benefit for Sarkozy or the EU of preemptively decrying American support, especially when the US and EU strategy for Kosovo seem to be in sync? Why not declare this the "hour of the allies" or the "the hour of cooperation", or perhaps be more candid: "this is the hour we will hopefully not f*** up again in the Balkans, but if we do we are glad to have our American friends to back us up?"
Sarkozy's statement is particularly frustrating to America's proponents of transatlantic cooperation, because it is exactly the type of churlish bombast that leads American Europhobes to argue that the pubescent EU Common Foreign and Security Policy aims to build the EU as a counterweight to the United States, rather than as a stronger ally.