17 February, 2008

After Hubris, Nemesis

In politics, it is a good idea to know what capabilities you possess and to understand how powerful you are relative to those you interact with. A skilful player can extract far greater benefits than their initial hand promises. Generally speaking, though, it pays not to make threats to people who can brush you off.

Today, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Earlier, Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, declared that his country would "in advance cancel out the... creation of a fictitious state". Although military action and the cutting off of Kosovo's energy supplies have been ruled out, the Serbian state is reportedly threatening to break off diplomatic relations with countries that recognise Kosovan independence. There are also reports that Kostunica's government might show the West a thing or to by suspending Serbia's EU integration process.

No comments: