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Addressing the military gap in the western Balkans and closing the gap through regional cooperation

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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After the conflicts ended in the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, the Western Balkan countries began working to fulfill their commitment to the Euro-Atlantic organizations. In 2003, the United States led Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia to establish the Adriatic Charter Partnership A-3. In 2008, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina joined to form Adriatic Charter Partnership A-5. Through the partnership, countries transformed their armed forces in line with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO standards. As the result of this partnership, Albania and Croatia became NATO members in 2009. Montenegro finalized the ratification process, and Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are working towards NATO membership. The security environment and budget constraints have delayed the Western Balkans strategic goal of integration and fulfilling the Euro-Atlantic requirement for collective defense. Sharing a common security environment, mutual interest in Euro-Atlantic institutions, and consequences of budget constraints has led to addressing the military gap and building an approach to close these gaps. The research endorses regional cooperation as a smart approach to develop joint enabling capabilities and mutual response for collective defense. Regional cooperation enhances peace, stability, and interoperability throughout the Western Balkans.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

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