Accession Number:



Balkan Security After the Cold War: New Dimensions, New Challenges.

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The Balkans have traditionally been a source of instability and political turmoil. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the breakup of the Ottoman Empire prompted a proliferation of ethnic conflicts. The growth of virulent nationalism, and great power intrigue earned the region the reputation as the powder keg of Europe. This combustible combination led to two Balkan wars and ignited World War 1. During the Cold War, the superpower rivalry kept most of these conflicts in check. With the end of the Cold War, however, the Balkans have reemerged as a major source of international concern. Attendant to these local conflicts was the danger of the precipitation of an international crisis and a threat to European stability and security. The Yugoslav crisis highlights the weaknesses of current security institutions to deal with these threats. These weaknesses must be addressed if the European Union is to play a more effective diplomatic role in future dispute resolutions.It will also need to acquire the capacity to mount collective military action. NATO too needs to be restructured. NATO must transform itself from an alliance devoted to collective defense in the event of armed attack to one concerned with enhancing security in the broadest sense. Finally, the Balkan crisis underscores the need to rethink the role of the UN in managing regional crises. It would be better if regional organizations shouldered the main burden for crisis prevention or management in Europe, with the UN providing the legitimizing authority for the actions taken. RWJ

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Defense Systems
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Geography

Distribution Statement: