NATO in the Western Balkans
“Since 1995, NATO, the European Union and other international partners have been engaged in the Balkans — politically, diplomatically, economically and militarily — in varying degrees of intensity. The international community initiated its intervention to end a devastating conflict that accelerated the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. That conflict, lasting from mid-1992 through the end of 1995, was merely the most recent chapter in a long history of conflict that has plagued the Balkan region, a product of its enduring position as an economic, religious and cultural crossroads.
By the end of the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks had gained control of a significant portion of the Balkans. From that point forward, the Balkan map was sporadically redrawn as one rising power after another seized control of territory and resources. Major powers such as the Ottoman, Habsburg and Austro-Hungarian empires, as well as regional forces, continually redefined Balkan borders for the next 500 years. In the wake of World War II, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the son of a Croatian father and Slovenian mother, held together much of the Western Balkans in the form of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...”
Excerpt from Walter T. Lord, “NATO in the Western Balkans,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 8, No. 1, 2017: 40-45 .
Maj. Gen. Walter T. Lord, U.S. Army National Guard, is military executive to the secretary of defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board. His experience includes assignments as plans, policy and training officer at U.S. European Command’s Joint Contact Team Program; deputy U.S. national military representative and U.S. representative to the Partnership Coordination Cell at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; and European branch chief in the International Affairs Division, National Guard Bureau. He deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as deputy chief for civil-military operations with the Stabilization Force’s Multinational Division-North, 2002-2003, and as commander of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, 2012-2013.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.