Date of publish: 2012
The Kosova Liberation Army (KLA) was the first successful insurgent movement in Europe since the Second World War. In the struggle against Milosevic's Serbia it developed from a tiny group of conspirators in the Swiss political underground in the 1980s to an 18,000 strong military force that was allied with NATO between 1997 and 1999. In this ground-breaking and innovative history, James Pettifer traces the development of the force using previously unknown documents from Russian, American, Serbian, Swiss archives, amongst others, numerous interviews with participants and observers and eye witness material. The KLA drew on deep historical traditions of resistance to Serbian rule in Kosova, but in other respects was highly innovative and was the first postmodern insurgency for which the image it carried in the media was almost as important as its achievements in the campaign. The book focuses in particular depth on the work of the KLA leaders in secret organisations prior to the war, and how Milosevic misunderstood the nature of the opponent he was facing. This also applied to many NATO nations, who often saw the unique Kosova struggle as an extension of the earlier Bosnian and Croatian conflicts. The author draws on years of study of the region and personal knowledge of many of the KLA and other leaders involved to write what should become the standard account of the origins of the conflict.