Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Kostas G. Messas; Constantine P. Danopoulos | Go to book overview

According to recent reports, ( November 1996), European intelligence agencies have uncovered evidence that Turkey and Malaysia assisted Bosnia's government to smuggle heavier weapons, including forty 155mm howitzers. 47

The Islamic world appears to have achieved its objective of arming Bosnia's Muslims. There is very little doubt that the arms trafficking has given the Croat-Muslim federation large stockpiles of weapons -- perhaps larger than what is allowed under the Dayton peace agreement. Many Europeans are growing increasingly convinced that "the ability to take on the Serbs" may encourage the Bosnian Muslims to try to unify Bosnia by force, in the event the Dayton peace accord fails to do so. 48 Such a development would reignite the conflict in the area and threaten a wider war which could engulf the entire Balkan peninsula.

In general, Turkish support for Bosnia's Muslim led government raises fears among Europeans of 'Islamization' of the Balkans backed by Turkey's Islamist groups, led by the Welfare Party, and facilitated by 'American duplicity'. 49 The secularist forces and the country's military are concerned with the rise of Islamic fundamentalist influence in Bosnia. The Europeans fear that the Muslim world has a long term strategy: to create an Islamic state in Europe. As a consequence, they view ongoing practices as well as new developments with suspicion. These concerns include Turkey's role in arming and training the Bosnian army, reports of weapons smuggling into Bosnia with the help of Turkey, reports of an increase in Turkish and Iranian instructors in the Bosnian army, the presence of "foreign warriors" in Bosnia, and the advent to power in Ankara of Necmettin Erbakan and his Refah ( Welfare Party) in July 1996.


A new strategic balance is in the making in the Balkans. Turkey and Greece, both major Balkan states, will be in large part responsible for the shape and the nature of the emerging balance and regional security framework. How well the two states cooperate and solve their outstanding differences will be crucial for a lasting regional peace.

With the Cold War over, the Balkan states are no longer the beneficiaries of the strategic balance which was achieved between much larger rival camps, NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Regional peace per se, although never really in place, can no longer be assumed. The Balkan states will have to work directly with each other toward maintaining the kind of stability that prevailed for more than seventy years. Stability requires that the different actors insist on preserving a strategic balance among themselves, even when regional events, such as the disintegration of former Yugoslavia, present them with opportunities


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Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Ethnonationalism, Security, and Conflict in the Balkans 1
  • Notes 17
  • 2: Of Shatter Belts and Powder Kegs: A Brief Survey of Yugoslav History 19
  • Notes 41
  • 3: Defeating "Greater Serbia," Building Greater Milosevic 47
  • Notes 70
  • 4: Franjo Tudjman's Croatia and the Balkans 75
  • Notes 89
  • 5: Bosnian Muslim Views of National Security 93
  • Notes 110
  • 6: Montenegro: Beyond the Myth 113
  • Notes 131
  • 7: The Balkan Crisis and the Republic of Macedonia 135
  • Notes 150
  • 8: Greece's Policies in the Post-Cold War Balkans 153
  • Conclusions 165
  • 9: Albanian Nationalism and Prospects for Greater Albania 169
  • Notes 190
  • 10: Bulgaria and the Balkans 195
  • Notes 208
  • 11: Turkey and the Balkans: Searching for Stability1 211
  • Conclusion 220
  • Notes 221
  • 12: Romania and the Balkan Imbroglio 225
  • Notes 237
  • 13: Troubles in the Balkans: The View from Hungary 241
  • Notes 255
  • 14: Moscow and the Yugoslav Secession Crisis 257
  • Notes 271
  • 15: US Policy in the Balkans: From Containment to Strategic Reengagement 275
  • Notes 292
  • 16: France, Germany, and the Yugoslavian Wars 297
  • Notes 309
  • 17: Failure in Former Yugoslavia: Hard Lessons for the European Union 311
  • Notes 324
  • 18: NATO and the Bosnian Quagmire: Reluctant Peacemaker 331
  • Notes 347
  • 19: The United Nations and the Conflict in Former Yugoslavia 351
  • Conclusion 367
  • Notes 368
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
  • Index 381
  • About the Book 390


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