Long before the outbreak of hostilities in the first week of March 1998 the Kosovo question had come up for discussion within NATO. At the end of January the sixteen NATO ambassadors devoted their weekly meeting to a deliberation of the situation in Kosovo. As expressed by a NATO official: ‘We are now giving as much attention to Kosovo and Montenegro as to Bosnia and Herzegovina’. NATO’s concern for the ‘potentially explosive’ situation, particularly in Kosovo, was related to fearing a possible spill-over to neighbouring countries, such as Albania and Macedonia, as well as with the potentially negative implications for the consolidation of the peace implementation process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This concern was also expressed in official statements. For instance, on 6 March 1998 the North Atlantic Council stated after a lengthy debate: ‘NATO and the international community have a legitimate interest in developments in Kosovo, inter alia because of their impact on the stability of the whole region which is of concern to the Alliance’. 1 The recognition that NATO ‘had a legitimate interest in developments in Kosovo’ became the starting-point of a discussion at NATO headquarters in Brussels on the conditions for a possible military intervention by NATO in its periphery. As early as April this option was publicly mentioned. 2