Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

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

to engage in revisionist foreign policies and seek advantages over their neighbors.

This may be easier said than done, as the preceding discussion demonstrates. The rivalries of the civil war in Bosnia generated broader antagonisms in the region as Balkan states gravitated toward different sides of the Bosnian conflict. Objective historical criteria, such as shared religion, compelled Turkey and Albania to side with Bosnia's Muslims and Greece with Bosnia's Serbs. The Bosnian war became also a war between Muslim and Orthodox sympathizers, with each side competing for a superior position in the Balkan peninsula. The conflict helped generate a fundamentalist revival in Turkey which called for a more direct role in the Bosnian crisis and, in turn, contributed to the electoral success of the Islamist Welfare Party.

The uneasy balance in the Balkans was threatened further by Islamic (mainly Iranian) and Orthodox (mainly Russian) support from outside the region, making the Bosnian crisis into an international one. The war divided Muslims from nonMuslims, especially since the West was perceived to be doing very little to halt the fighting and help Bosnia's Muslims defend themselves against the Serbs. The local, regional and international dimensions of the Bosnian crisis raise questions as to whether a satisfactory strategic balance can emerge in the Balkans.

Muslim support from around the world, mostly through clandestine operations, made it possible for the Bosnian army to acquire arms, funds, training and even foreign fighters. Turkey helped facilitate the process. The Bosnian army may now in a position to not only take on the Serbs, if war were to resume, but also to unify Bosnia, if the Dayton peace accord failed to do so. Unifying Bosnia, either through diplomatic or military means, is something the present Bosnian Muslim leadership, led by President Alija Izetbekovic, has always desired.

The continued presence of foreign fighters in Bosnia, despite specific demands by the Dayton peace accord that they leave, and the large stockpile of weapons, create strains among Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe. Europe's Muslims, ostensibly more moderate in their habits and conventions, fear the extremist side of Islam. Europe's non-Muslims are uneasy about the possibility of an Islamic state emerging in their midst.


Notes
1.
The section on Greco-Turkish relations draws heavily from an unpublished paper by Ilter Turan and Dilek Barlas, "Searching for Stability: Turkey and the Crisis"

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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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