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The Fischer Plan

Joschka Fischer and then NATO General Secretary Javier Solana
Joschka Fischer and then NATO General Secretary Javier Solana.
Photo: Bundesbildstelle

Paul Hockenos describes what happened next:

The day of reckoning was set for mid-May, when the Greens as a party would vote on the war. The clock was ticking and Fischer knew it. Two-thirds of Germans now felt that air strikes should be halted, negotiations restarted. Washington appeared hamstrung, refusing to bend on its original demand that Milosevic accept the Rambouillet agreement or suffer the consequences. There was no Plan B should the Serbian leader not capitulate. The only alternative to more and yet more bombing was a ground invasion. The deployment of German did not have a wisp of support in Germany. Fischer and Schröder unequivocally ruled it out.

This was the context in which the Fischer plan surfaced in mid-April. All was not as static inside the walls of the German Foreign Ministry as might have appeared from beyond them. The Fischer Plan set the divisive Rambouillet document to one side [and] pulled the sidelined United Nations, and with it Russia, back on board by proposing that a U.N.-led peacekeeping mission administrate the postwar province, sanctioned by the Security Council and supported by U.N. blue helmet troops. The United Nations would run the interim protectorate until a long-term political solution could be found. This was something more palatable to Milosevic than the Rambouillet stipulations. Critically, having Russia with the West rather than against it would deprive Milosevic of his ostensibly staunchest ally and lend the alliance significantly more leverage to deal with Serbia.

[p. 270]

Joschka Fischer and the Making of the Berlin Republic. 2007. [Oxford University Press]

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