Three books about Kosovo

I am working on a small project about Kosovo at the moment, and improving my reading around the subject. No detailed write-ups as those are for my project notes.

Kosovo: A Short History, by Noel Malcolm. Second paragraph of third chapter:

Unfortunately there is very little direct evidence about conditions in Kosovo during those earlier centuries of Bulgarian and Byzantine rule. We can assume that the Slav population that had settled in Kosovo was brought within the cultural realm of the Bulgarian empire, which means that it would have been included in the Bulgarian dioceses of the Orthodox church. Thanks to the work of Saints Cyril and Methodius (and their followers) in the ninth century, the Slavs had a liturgy and other texts in their own language, written in either of two newly invented alphabets: Cyrillic and Glagolitic. The western macedonian town of Ohrid developed strongly as a cultural and religious centre in the ninth and tenth centuries, and by the end of Tsar Samuel’s reign the archbishopric of Ohrid included bishoprics in Skopje, Lipljan (Alb.: Lipjan; a town just south of Pristina) and Prizren.1 Although the formal division of the Christian Church into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox did not occur until 1054, it would not be anachronistic to describe this Bulgarian Christianity as Eastern in the ninth and tenth centuries; the roots of the conflict between East and West went back a long way. (The Slav liturgy was at first violently rejected by the Roman Church, on the grounds that God spoke only three languages: Hebrew, Greek and Latin).
1 Gelzer, Patriarchat, p. 4; Gjini, Ipeshkivia, pp. 79-80.

Magisterial stuff, which unfortunately takes us only to 1997 and the emergence of the KLA. Unlikely to be bettered as a summary of historical knowledge, especially in the medieval period. You can get it here.

Stability Operations in Kosovo 1999-2000: A Case Study, by Jason Fritz. Second paragraph of third chapter:

The President and NATO members supported an air campaign because it excluded the obligation of ground forces, pressured Milosevic toward compliance, and limited allied exposure to losses. The rejection of a ground option satisfied domestic political interests across the Alliance, but limited the seriousness of the threat posed to Milosevic. NATO publicly ruled out ground forces to assuage citizens concerned about starting a new war, but the announcement also signaled to Serbia the limits of U.S. and NATO commitment.94 The guidance from the NCA, discussed in the following section as the plan developed, provided a limited set of strikes to draw Serbia back to negotiations, going so far as to give a break in hostilities to signal NATO’s preference for a bargain, while allowing for an accelerated series of strikes if that failed. Theoretically it was an ideal strategic approach: a limited use of force to compel the adversary to a negotiated settlement. It limited friendly, enemy, and civilian casualties, did not tie down U.S. forces into an occupation, and while Serbian allies such as Russia would disapprove, it was limited enough to keep Russia on the sidelines. Of importance after the operation began, not only did NATO reject a ground component, it refused to plan for any contingency that included ground forces in Kosovo.
94 Nardulli et al., Disjointed War: Military Operations in Kosovo, 1999, 22–23.

Looks at the NATO intervention, especially the air campaign in 1999, from the perspective of lessons to be learned by the US military, of which the most general conclusion is that it is sensible to think ahead of what the political leaders say they want this week, and plan for what they might want next week. You can get it here.

The Smell of War, by Roland Bartetzko. Second paragraph of third chapter:

Be a little coward! Take it easy in the beginning and don’t volunteer for any dangerous assignments. Wear your body protection, even when the whole squad is laughing at you.

Personal account of a German who fought for the Croats in Bosnia and for the KLA in Kosovo. Author subsequently convicted of murder, attempted murder and terrorism for a post-war bomb attack on a Serbian government office. You can get it here, but I think you can give it a miss.