Strategic Planning in the Albanian Armed Forces (CSL Issue Paper, Volume 1-09, January 2009)
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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On July 9 2008 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO allies signed Accession Protocols with Albania and Croatia. This action opened the way for the full NATO membership of these two countries, and marked a major milestone in the continuing post-Cold War realignment of Europe. The event was especially significant for Albania, a country essentially isolated from its neighbors and the rest of Europe from 1948 to 1991. While there is still work to be done, most indications are that Albania will formally join the 26-nation pact in April 2009, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the founding of NATO. In 1993 the Albanian Army consisted of approximately 40,000 poorly trained personnel operating obsolete World War II and Korean War vintage equipment. The first step towards modernization was the establishment of a defense agreement with the United States. This agreement opened the American armed forces professional military education and training systems to Albanian students, and laid the groundwork for United States European Command USEUCOM supervised military to military exchanges.1 These U.S. programs combined with similar efforts by other NATO members support the Albanian Armed Forces AAF ongoing transformation to a smaller, more effective, well-trained, joint force capable of contributing to NATO operations. A major step in the AAFs transformation was the publication of The Military Strategy of the Republic of Albania in 2008. In his introduction to this national military strategy, Lieutenant General Luan Hoxha, Chief of the General Staff of the AAF, stated that The main goal of this Strategy is the fulfillment of the standards and requirements, as well as the related responsibilities for integration in the Euro Atlantic structures. This document represents a necessary first step in achieving the AAFs transformation goals by 2010.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics