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Quo Vadis - NATO and the Balkans? Is There a Chance for a Successful Exit Strategy?

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[Technical Report, Monograph]

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What started in 1995 as a one year commitment of NATO troops to implement the Dayton peace accord in Bosnia and Herzegovina has developed into a still ongoing mission there since 1996, an additional mission in Kosovo since 1999 and several minor missions in Macedonia since 2001. Still until today about 50,000 troops are stationed in the successor states of former Yugoslavia. To decide to withdraw militarily is a political decision, which will be based on the success achieved politically. To get a better understanding of this process it is necessary to understand the new security environment in the 1990s and its impact on how organizations, especially the United Nations and the Alliance, have had to change their understanding of each others roles and responsibilities and how the states involved in this process influenced it by translating domestic policies into foreign relationships and power projections. To understand why decisions have been made always requires viewing them in their historical context and taking into consideration the background of acting persons and institutions as well. To achieve a stable situation in post conflict situations as for example in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo Clausewitzs theory helps to develop a common understanding of what has to be achieved to establish a stable and well balanced end state. Clausewitzs term of center of gravity helps to focus all efforts to achieve ones own goals. For the Balkans the desired end state can be defined as a stable region aimed at economic integration and security cooperation with sovereign states who guarantee sovereign political decisions of democratically elected governments, based on respect of human rights, democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law, and which refrain from using force against other states and from using violence against their own people or ethnic minorities.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science

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[A, Approved For Public Release]