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Security Dilemmas and Defense Challenges in Kosovo and Western Balkans

Journal: Journal of Innovations and Sustainability (Vol.4, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 75-84

Keywords : security; defense; the Western Balkans; NATO; security policies; and military capabilities;

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Western Balkan countries have made great progress in reforming their security and defense policies in accordance with NATO membership requirements and the Partnership for Peace Program. However, based on the security and national security documents of these countries, there are some key risks that could destabilize the region and cause re-emergence of armed conflicts, including conventional reactions. Among them most important are the threats of political - nationalistic / ethnic and religious nature, those of statehood, as well as of the controversial / indefinite borders. In essence, in spite of the formal commitment of all Western Balkan countries to good neighbourly relations and to make a contribution to regional stability and security, within them still predominates a certain visible level of anxiety due to a lack of clarity of confidence in the future behaviour of some of the other states in the region. Also, the creation of the Kosovo Army will have a significant impact on changing the regional balance of power. NATO's involvement in the Balkans has had four main results. First, its military involvement as a repressive and stabilizing force has discouraged armed conflicts and has transformed the Western Balkans from a region of war-torn societies and hostile neighbourly relations to a relatively stable one. Second, NATO exerted a decisive influence on changing solid balance structures and doctrines of mass armies based on territorial defense and rejection; this, the national armed forces became a professional army, and their offensive capabilities against their neighbours diminished in a meaningful way. Third, NATO's enlargement to the Western Balkans played an essential role in the final conclusion of the country's individual borders in the region. Fourthly, the Partnership for Peace put all hope for any bilateral or regional countervailing cooperation in the field of defense, transforming cooperation exclusively through Brussels at a price to be paid for membership.

Last modified: 2018-11-03 17:04:59