This post by an elderly Diplomat in Residence cutting board Melady and student J. Cushman Laurent was published in the autumn 2011 execution of The Ambassadors Review, a publication of The the supervisory board of American Ambassadors. Please click here to check out the short article on the website the the council of American Ambassadors.

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The area previously known as Yugoslavia, positioned in ~ the crossroads of East and also West, is a melt pot of ethnicities and also religions. Together one country, Yugoslavia’s affluent multi-culturalism was a source of contention, finishing in a series of bloody conflicts in the at an early stage 1990s. The Dayton Accords that 1995 carried peace to the region and produced separate nations organized follow me ethnic and spiritual lines. Sixteen years ~ the signing the the Dayton Accords, we examine the geo-political situation in every of the seven independent claims of the previous Yugoslavia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the early 1990s, over there was considerable ethnic-religious problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Dayton peace Accords had the immediate impact of happen the inter-ethnic strife come an end. Bosnia and Herzegovina was shown as a can be fried state. Today, the country is slightly smaller sized than West Virginia and has a population of end four and also a half million.1

However, the political systems that ended the war is complex. There are two tiers that government. The very first tier is a nationwide government, responsible for Bosnia-Herzegovina’s economic, fiscal and foreign policies. The second tier of government administers the internal features of two entities: the Bosniak Croat Federation and also Republika Srpska (RS). The very first entity—the Bosniak Croat Federation—is composed mostly of human being of Bosniak and Croatian country backgrounds. Republika Srpska—the second entity—is overwhelmingly Serb. Secondary area, the Brčko district in northeastern Bosnia, was previously organized by both entities. The is currently a self-governing governmental unit under global supervision.

In addition to the tiered government, an Office that the High Representative (OHR) was created under the Dayton Accords through “the authority to i charged legislation and also remove officials.”2 Created during the great rush to achieve an commitment to finish the conflict, there was subsequently significant doubt about creating an exterior authority that could interfere in the interior matters that a can be fried state. In our opinion, Republika Srpska walk not support the school of the OHR since it feels the those aligned through the OHR are much less willing to have actually open discussions and meaningful negotiations about matters that the state since they can always fall earlier on the OHR if they do not provide of the results.

The situation remains complex, but there is overwhelming support for the continuation of peace. In Republika Srpska there is a optimistic sense of forward movement. Although, the bulk of the citizens space from the Serb Orthodox culture, Catholic and Bosniak minority neighborhoods enjoy spiritual freedom. The Croatian minority and also the Bosniak majority are arising a better understanding of life in a pluralistic society. Over there is, however, a level the pessimism around the future in the Croatian neighborhood that is bring about a number of younger Croatians leave the country.

The bilateral partnership with the United says is currently favorable. While there has been part discussion about updating the Dayton peace Accords, over there is increasing hesitation about transforming a mechanism that, for the many part, is at least working. In a current interview, the Minister of the internal of Republika Srpska Stanislav Cado, stated, “The much more time passes and the more I read, the much more impressed i am with the wording the the Accord.”3

Bosnia and Herzegovina aspires to become a european Union member state. The integration procedure will be among negotiation and compromise. In the watch of the authors, the goal of gift a european Union member state have the right to only be achieved by setup aside inner political strife.


Croatia, a country slightly smaller sized than the state that West Virginia through a population of almost 4.5 million people, has historic ties with main Europe.4 It was component of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of world War I and also young Croatian men, known for your bravery, were commonly recruited to serve as soldiers in the militaries of significant European powers.

The country has skilled several an overwhelming periods in that history. Complying with the breakup that the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Croatia walk through several of the same political transformations as she neighbors. During people War II, Croatia, under the manage of Nazi Germany, claimed its independence and allied itself through the Axis powers. Another challenging period in current Croatian history was in the at an early stage 1990s when the Croats dealt with to expunge Serbs from areas they asserted were an intrinsic part of the Croatian state. These four years the struggle finished in 1995.

In 1998, Croatia had the ability to occupy all of eastern Slovenia. Through regard come the country’s foreign policy, Croatia is a candidate nation for member in the europe Union. It join NATO in 2009 and enjoys a an excellent bilateral connection with the united States.


Kosovo to be a highly disputed territory constituting about 15 percent of Serbia. Slightly bigger than Delaware, Kosovo came to be the youngest elevation state that the former Yugoslavia with its declaration of freedom on February 17, 2008. Landlocked and with few natural resources, the country has benefited native the aid and aid of the West, specifically the united States. While Kosovo is currently a member of the world Bank and also the international Monetary Fund, her neighbor, Serbia, continues to refuse Kosovo’s independence.

The area is rich with Serbian history. The human being Factbook claims that “during the middle ages period, Kosovo came to be the facility of a Serbian Empire and also saw the building of plenty of important Serb spiritual sites.”5 It was additionally here that the Serbs experienced a significant defeat by the ottoman Turks in the battle of Kosovo in 1389. The Albanian presence ongoing to thrive and, by the finish of the 19th century, Albanians had come to be the leading ethnic team in Kosovo.6

The expansion of the Albanian neighborhood led to enhanced demands for higher minority civil liberties by ethnic Albanians, specifically during the 1980s. In 1990, Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic authorized a brutal counterinsurgency; many Albanians were killed or wounded. The severity the the counterinsurgency caused a 3 month NATO-led military operation against Serbia, which led to the withdrawal of Serbian military and police pressures from Kosovo. Interim arrangements design to ease tensions failed and the Kosovo Assembly claimed the country’s self-reliance in 2008.


Located in the southern component of the former Yugoslavia, Macedonia, an area slightly bigger than Vermont, asserted its independence in 1991.7 Greece objected come the name “Macedonia,” because of its roots in classic history. Because that this reason, upon the country’s independence, “Macedonia” was temporarily designated “the previous Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” return the naming concern has no been totally resolved, many countries, consisting of the united States, describe the nation as the “Republic that Macedonia” today. If Greece maintained a trade embargo because that the an initial several years after Macedonia’s explanation of independence, diplomatic relations have since been normalized.

There are two primary ethnic teams in the Republic: Macedonians (64.2 percent of the population) and also Albanians (25.2 percent of the population).8 In 2001, country Albanians protested miscellaneous inequities which resulted in the Ohrid Framework covenant (2001). Brokered by the international community, Ohrid transformed Macedonia right into a bi-cultural ar in i m sorry the majority ethnic group determines the official language of the community. The legal rights of minorities were advanced. While the united States stays concerned about some concerns of corruption and also human trafficking in Macedonia, the bilateral relationship is strong.


The co-authors newly visited Montenegro, a nation slightly smaller sized than Connecticut, v a population of almost 662,000, located on the shores the the Adriatic Sea.9 The outlook, articulated by some Balkan experts on the future the Montenegro to be pessimistic, however in the couple of years since independence, Montenegro’s stability has erased this pessimism and the country is now an example of a small but stable state in the West Balkans.

Following the Socialist federal Republic that Yugoslavia’s dissolved in 1992, Montenegro gotten in into a federation with Serbia. It began transitioning to full independence despite a loose state union in 2003 recognized as “Serbia and also Montenegro.” The 14 year of shift passed peacefully and also in June 2006, adhering to a decade of negotiations, Montenegro came to be the 192nd member state that the unified Nations. The United claims played a significant role in the negotiations that led to Montenegrin freedom in 2006, and also the bilateral connection remains favorable today.


Among the nations of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia, i m sorry is slightly smaller than southern Carolina, is renowned for its joining in worldwide affairs because that over 200 years.10 Appearing very first as a sovereign state in 187811 when its freedom from the Ottoman empire was known by european powers, the region was recognized as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and also Slovenes upon its development in 1918. Following world War I, the an ar emerged together a central power, an altering its name to “Yugoslavia” in 1929.

Josip “Tito” Broz, the leader of the Partisans in the struggle against Nazi Germany during human being War II, arised as the leader that Yugoslavia in 1945. Although regarded as a communist, that guided Yugoslavia via the Non-Aligned Movement. He led Yugoslavia until his fatality in 1980.

After practically a te of weak inner leadership, Slobodan Milosevic ended up being President of Serbia in 1989. One ultra-nationalist, Milosevic promoted Serb supremacy which brought about the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. The result was a much more intense ethnic department with Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia in 1991 and Bosnia in 1992 declaring their self-reliance as sovereign states.

In April 1992, Milosevic became the leader of the federal Yugoslav Republic, encompassing Serbia and also Montenegro. He remained a strong promoter that “Greater Serbia,” and the use of military pressure to hold together Serbians the the bordering republics. Ethnic-religious tensions became an ext serious in 1998 when Milosevic embarked on a counter-insurgency project in an answer to polite disturbances by country Albanians in Kosovo; plenty of died. The Milosevic government also expelled big numbers that Albanians life in Kosovo. Milosevic was adamant in his refusal to comment on a equipment to the difficulty in Kosovo; this led to the NATO battle of Serbia. In 1999, both Serbian military and police forces were withdrawn indigenous Kosovo and NATO forces gotten in the nation to defend ethnic minorities. Kosovo asserted its freedom from Serbia in 2008, thereby ending the targeting of ethnic Serbs.

The instance in Serbia has resulted in a residual environment of national disappointment and also aspirations for a “Greater Serbia” have actually faded. The hope that Montenegro would remain in a politics union v Serbia did not materialize and also Kosovo, home of so many members the the Serb Orthodox faith, is now an independent state. Serbia has experienced a few daunting years. Fortunately, president Boris Tadic, who has led the country due to the fact that 2004, is an internationally-respected leader.


With a population of slightly more than two million and an area slightly smaller sized than new Jersey, the nation now referred to as Slovenia was strongly affected by its historic and social ties to west Europe.12 It was a contingent of the roman inn Empire, the holy Roman Empire, and the Hapsburg Dynasty before becoming component of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Adhering to the dissolution of the empire in 1919, the Slovenes joined their Croatian and Serb neighbors in 1929 in creating a multinational state called “Yugoslavia.” Following world War II, Slovenia ended up being a republic within the communist Yugoslavia. In 1991, propelled by the score of full liberty from the Serb majority, Slovenia declared its freedom after a ten-day struggle.

Slovenia is the most flourishing of the former member claims of Yugoslavia, enjoying solid economic services from a secure political system. The country is a member of NATO and the europe Union. With its strong alliances, Slovenia will many likely proceed to thrive in influence during the 21st century.

Currently, over there is some debate worrying the land and maritime border agreement in between Croatia and also Slovenia. The agreement, “which would have yielded most of Piran Bay and also maritime access to Slovenia and also several villages to Croatia, remains ungratified and in dispute.”13 There is also strife regarding a 2003 Croatian claim to one exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia is likewise trying to improve cross-border teamwork with Croatia worrying the southern border.

Summary Observations

The birth of Yugoslavia is in some means attributable to us President Woodrow Wilson who, at the Versailles peace Conference in 1919, actively supported the development of the Kingdom the the Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs—the predecessor that Yugoslavia. Throughout the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, the unified States, under president Clinton, offered decisive leadership to finishing that dispute in 1995 v the Dayton peace Accords. The united States proceeds to have actually a distinct attachment come the seven claims that were formerly part of Yugoslavia and enjoys close connections with these seven states. Today, choose the joined States, the area the Yugoslavia is multiculturally diverse and also widely engaged with the worldwide and regional communities in stimulate to boost the resides of its citizens.

In the opinion that the co-authors, the international community should refrain from imposing any new solutions on this states. Their sovereignty need to be respected and they room at tranquility with one another. Their futures room in your hands.

The institute of civilization Politics is a graduate school of nationwide security and also international work in Washington, D.C.

Learn an ext about

1 “Bosnia and Herzegovina,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 respectable 2011.

2 “Bosnia and also Herzegovina,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 august 2011.

3 J. Cushman Laurent, an individual Interview top top 13 July 2011 with Minister of internal (Republika Srpska) Stanislav Cado.

4 “Croatia,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 respectable 2011.

5 “Kosovo,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 august 2011.

6 Ibid.

7 “Macedonia,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 august 2011.

8 Percentages from the 2002 census together reported in “Macedonia,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 respectable 2011.

9 “Montenegro,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 august 2011.

10 “Serbia,” The CIA World Factbook, 16 respectable 2011.

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11 This date, 1878, is largely accepted by the international community as the date when sovereignty to be recognized.