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Moving Ahead in the Western Balkans

I realize that the Obama administration has more than enough on its plate to deal with at this point. While the Balkans have been quiet, however, the problems are not definitively solved. Devoting some high-level attention to the region--but more importantly, approaching some of the issues with fresh thinking (as opposed to reiterating unyielding stances)--is what needs to happen.

What strikes me about the present Kosovo impasse is that we have gotten nowhere by linking final status (independence) and final territorial delineations into one grand settlement. Wouldn't it be better to separate the two issues and create a two-track peace process-- separating the issue of whether there should be an independent Kosovo from what territories should be under its jurisdiction?

Europe cannot afford to indefinitely maintain the status quo in the Balkans. It's time to move from freezing conflict to reopening talks for finding a sustainable and durable settlement.

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