Chuck Hagel Warned Rice on Kosovo in February

Steve Clemons at Washington Note unearths a previously unknown letter from last February written from Sen. Chuck Hagel to Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates warning that recognition of Kosovar independence would make for big trouble with Russia. He writes: “Across the board, officials are clearly concerned about the consequences — including unintended and uncontrollable consequences — of a Kosovar declaration of independence. This includes a former senior Russian official known for his pro-Western views, who told me that, “there is no way that one cannot view a Kosovar declaration of independence as anything but a precedent” for other similar conflicts.” Nikolas Gvosdev was the first to leave a comment on the blog, remarking that DC was myopic in thinking that if Russia didn’t apply the precedent to Georgia within the first 24-48 hours, that it had acquiesced.