Strategy - Geopolitics
THE YUGOSLAV WARS – 10 YEARS AFTER
November 06, 2009
by Ioannis Michelis
(Security Analyst)Copyright: www.rieas.gr
The opening session of the former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's trial at the international Tribune of Hague in late October 2009, gave the international community the occasion to unearth the painful memories of the Yugoslav wars and their repercussions throughout the Balkans. Due to the geopolitical importance of the region and it having only seemingly receded into the background of international politics, the events of that period (1991-2001) have accorded tacitly the status of a landmark to geopolitical developments ranging from the Balkan region to the Middle East.
The ten years war, as coined by the Italian scholar Alessandro Marzo Magno, has served as a token of paradigm shift in the international relations, which reintroduced forcefully the verboten -since WWII- issue of delineating anew the national borders. The original mandate of NATO was transformed from the simple, post-WWII doctrine of “Russia out, Germany down and USA in” to humanitarian interventions around the world, a practice of armed interference possibly dating back to the Greek War of Independence.
It was in the naval battle of Navarino Bay, Greece on 20th October 1827 that the combined British, French and Russian armada laid waste to the combined Ottoman and Egyptian naval forces. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was performed 10 years ago on humanitarian grounds and precipitated the emergence of seven states (Bosnia, Croatia, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and Kosovo), which added to the twelve -formerly veiled behind the Iron Curtain- states of Central Europe and Caucasus, augmented further the number of the signatory parties of the UN Charter.
After the elimination of the imminent threat to NATO's raison d'etre caused by its lack of purpose after the dissolution of the USSR, the Balkan wars urged the EU to form a new security strategy, according to which ethnoreligious conflicts could be alleviated via the prospect of EU membership to the countries involved. A selfsame stance has been adopted by Greece, and more recently by Cyprus vis-à-vis Turkey with regard to the estimated rewards to be harvested in case regional peace prevails. As a result, historical revisionism emerged in the Balkan countries as a possible tool to mitigate the ethnic and religious divisions among different, frequently inimical, numerous groups, which were encapsulated in the near, historical past by the Ottoman Empire. ...............................
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