flags of Kosovo and Serbia painted on a cracked wall.

Despite successes, progress seems to be eroding.

A Balanced View of the Balkans

April 2010, Number 01.02

“Throughout the 1990s, interethnic violence placed Southeast Europe at the center of the Euro-Atlantic security agenda. Today, perceptions of the region gravitate toward one of two extremes. Many current policymakers, pressed with greater immediate challenges elsewhere, dismiss the Balkan conflict as a problem resolved. Meanwhile, prominent former officials and area specialists warn that the region once again stands on the brink of explosion.

More balanced assessments seem lost in between. Despite the end of armed conflict, and steps toward recovery and transformation, remaining problems should not be underestimated. Still, “crying wolf” alarmism risks reinforcing the very complacence it seeks to overcome. What is required is more sober examination of the factors producing qualified success as well as those blocking further advancement. Progressively addressing the Balkans’ unfinished business is vital in the first place for the people of the region themselves. It would also offer hope and lessons for resolving conflicts elsewhere...”

Excerpt from Matthew Rhodes and Dragan Lozancic, “A Balanced View of the Balkans,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 2, 2010: 26-31.

Dr. Dragan Lozancic is a Marshall Center professor of security studies. He is on leave from the Croatian Ministry of Defense, where he has held several senior civil service posts in international cooperation and defense policy and planning. He has extensive interagency experience in Croatia’s EU accession process, relations with NATO and development of key national security strategy and policy documents. He was a defense diplomacy scholar at Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and earned a master’s degree in global security studies. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Columbia University in New York City.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.