What has to be the most pro-American country on the globe outside of North America celebrated its first birthday on February 17.
If George W. Bush ever needs a near fully-friendly venue, he can travel to Kosovo.
As can Bill Clinton, whose giant visage beams down on Bill Clinton Boulevard in the capitol city of Pristina.
Kosovars love America and Americans, or at least the vast, vast majority of them do. I spent three days with the men and women of the 40th Infantry Division at its base at Camp Bondsteel this past week, and in long travels with various elements of the National Guard units doing the work of peacekeeping in their sector, came in contact with Serbs, Albanians, and Roma; with Muslims, Orthodox and Serbs, with the secular and the sectarian. Not a negative word was heard, but many Kosovars were eager to tell me of their love for America.
It is a bipartisan love --they love President Obama as well as Presidents Bush and Clinton-- and it frames a country that is increasingly stable and maturing, thanks in large part to the professionalism and dedication of America’s citizen-soldiers who have been shouldering much of the U.S.’s share of the burden in Kosovo for the past many years. The 40th I.D. is on its second year-long deployment in the country in four years, both of which have occurred since the most recent round of ethnic violence in 2004. Veterans of both deployments admire the amazing progress on the ground throughout the region that occurred in the years they were home in the U.S. American forces have the lead only in the eastern region of the country, while large contingents of French, Irish, and Greeks patrol other regions, and units from Poland, Ukraine, and Slovenia are assisting the American troops in their duties in Multi-National Task Force-East.