Advice on Kosovo
June 28 1999 / October 13 1999
This page was developed starting in the second week of the bombings
of Yugoslavia and Kosovo.
During the 70 days of bombing, this page got a prominent position on
my home page.
Now that the situation is returning to normal, the page can go to a
less prominent position,
and remain as a case study material for economics ethics.
Note that I originally classified the page as an 'opinion' page. I
don't have any professional
experience with Yugoslavia or Kosovo, and my position is that Europe's
Prime Ministers should step down,
which might seem more of an opinion and a preference (for decency)
rather than a hard result of economic science.
Clearly, I now have to explain why an opinion can suddenly become 'economics
Well, these texts are only 'data' or 'evidence' for an economics ethics
discussion. Data are not science itself.
So, while the texts here are not science, economists who study economics
may still use these texts to study how an economics background might
have affected the opinion.
The point is that an economist has some professional training on the
relation of means to ends.
Political Economy is the science of the management of the state, and,
as 'war is the
continuation of policy with different means', economics has something
to say on war.
This background may affect the formation of opinion differently than,
say, a background in biology.
We can rightly demand that the irresponsible NATO politicians step
It helps to clearly distinguish between (1) the period up to the unlegal
and stupid bombing of Yugoslavia,
(2) the period before the peace, with more than a million people on
the run, (3) the period with the peace settlement.
What is annoying is that this distinction between periods gets lost
in the public debate,
while it is crucial for clarity in allocating the responsibilities.
Currently the internet is a quagmire of raw data and opinions,
but hardly a decision making tool.
Many people are lost, while the net should help them to make the right
Others are misguided, while the net should trigger them to rethink.
This is not about changing preferences, but getting the logic right
and the information sound.
One wonders why governments have not yet created such facilities on
In the mean time, let's use the old fashioned method of reasoned statements
Russia to help itself, ewp-get/9604004
of the solution to unemployment, 1997
the West repeat Versailles ?, ewp-get/9808002
Europe's prime ministers should step down on Kosovo,
April 4 & 6 1999
They hold us for fools, April 17 &
Thoughts and suggestions for a Kosovo
peace settlement, April 18 & 19 1999
Getting it right (After the Kosovo
peace settlement), June 13 1999
Economists Allied For Arms Reduction (ECAAR)
Statement by ECAAR board
members on Kosovo May 7 1999 (see ECAAR for the PDF document, I have
taken the liberty to make this html copy here)
ECAAR's page (James Galbraith,
Selected links to other economists
Krugman's comments April 1 1999
Telegram of the Dutch association of Economists
for Peace to prime minister Wim Kok
(of UN Security Council member The Netherlands)
Selected texts from the media
Eyal and Sharp in the Los Angeles
Times March 25 1999
slope, George Kenney, InTheseTimes April 11 1999
Ten reasons to stop the war against Serbia,
by Thomas Mertens NRC April 16 1999
"A non-Western view gets you further",
interview Rob de Wijk by Toine Heijmans, De Volkskrant April 17 1999
Milosevic's hidden agenda in the Kosovo crisis,
Michael Salla, the Star Ledger April 1999
Not on the internet
Compliments to the BBC I for the documentary in the late evening
of April 19.
And to BBC for good reporting in general.
Relevant for the context
constitutional amendment for an Economic Supreme Court, ewp-get/9604003
Root of human suffering,
E. Wayne Nafziger, Financial Times January 21 1998
economic crisis was unnecessary, William Pfaff, IHT 990301
on human rights, Harold Hongju Koh 990226
Just to make sure
With Milosevic an obvious war criminal, we should not forget that
Kosovar politicians haven't been playing it straight either.
Other Kosovo watch pages
How not to go about it
An amazingly belligerent The
Economist April 17-23rd
Let us please remember the legacy of Jan Tinbergen