Canada and the Kosovo crisis: A "golden moment" in Canadian foreign policy? by ProQuest

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									C O M I N G AT T R A C T I O N S

Michael W. Manulak

Canada and the
Kosovo crisis
A “golden moment” in Canadian foreign policy?

Assessments of Canada’s involvement in the Kosovo War of 1998-99 have
generally depicted Canada’s role in the crisis within the period’s broader
discourse of diplomatic and military decline. Much of the Canadian academic
and media opinion at the time depicted the Department of Foreign Affairs
and International Trade under Lloyd Axworthy as overmatched players in the
major leagues of crisis diplomacy, as historian Michael Bliss epitomizes:
“Instead, as junior partners, we simply went along. Our politicians were,
publicly, ventriloquists’ dummies, and from the public record, it’s not at all
clear that Canada exercised anything like real independence.”1 However, this

Michael Manulak is finishing an MA at in the Norman Paterson School of International
Affairs, Carleton University and, as of October 2009, beginning a doctoral degree in
international politics at the University of Oxford. He is indebted to Norman Hillmer for his
supervision, editing, and support of this research. He would also like to extend particular
thanks to Kenneth Calder, Stephen Harris, and Valerie Percival for their extensive and
constructive commentary, as well as to numerous former officials who submitted to
interviews: clearly this study would not be possible without their enlightenment and gracious
1 Michael Bliss and Janice Stein, “The lessons of Kosovo: Interview with Michael Bliss
and Janice Stein,” Policy Options, October 1999, 7-17.

                                                | International Journal | Spring 09 | 565 |
| Michael W. Manulak |

article will demonstrate that Canada did not simply offer troops in a
fainthearted or half-hearted gesture to NATO, but effectively employed its
resources to play an important part in the diplomacy that led to United
Nations security council resolution 1244, in the maintenance of allied unity,
and in operation Allied Force. Using public source documents and extensive
interviews, it will concentrate on the intensification of diplomatic attention
to the Kosovo issue, Ottawa’s decision to intervene, the conduct of the
campaign, consideration of the “ground option,” and the diplomatic process
that brought the crisis to a resolution.

“No one should dare to beat you,” exclaimed Slobodan Milošević, chairman

of the central committee of the Serbian League of Communists, to a crowd
of Kosovar Serbs
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