US Intelligence: Balkans pose the Greatest Thread of Instability in Europe

Article published on Feb. 14, 2009
community published
Article published on Feb. 14, 2009
This post was first published in TH!NK ABOUT IT site 12th February 2009. AFP/Washington reports Feb.13th 2009 that The Balkans pose the greatest threat of instability in Europe in 2009, according to an annual threat assessment presented Thursday by U.S. intelligence director Dennis Blair.
The report said the principal challenge will come from the unresolved political status of the Serb minority in Kosovo, and the uneasy interethnic power-sharing arrangements in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The report concludes following:

Events in the Balkans will again pose the greatest threat of instability in Europe in 2009, despite positive developments in the last year that included Kosovo's peaceful declaration of independence from Serbia, the election of pro-E.U. leaders in Serbia, and offers of NATO membership to Croatia and Albania.

Belgrade openly supports parallel Kosovo Serb institutions. It has used political and legal means to challenge and undermine Pristina's sovereignty and to limit the mandate of the E.U.'s Rule of Law mission (EULEX) in Kosovo...This has reinforced the de-facto separation of Kosovo into an Albanian-majority south and a Serb-majority north and frustrated the Kosovo Albanians," the report said.

As for Bosnia, the report said its future as a multiethnic state "remains in doubt, although neither widespread violence nor a formal split is imminent. Threats of secession by Bosnian Serb leaders and calls by some Bosniak leaders to eliminate the Bosnian Serb entity have increased interethnic tensions to perhaps the highest level in years," report notes.

The report is similar with my own observations. However I disagree with conclusion that the principal challenge will come from the unresolved political status of the Serb minority in Kosovo. From my point of view the core problem is that Kosovo conflict is frozen with forced implementation of one-sided temporary solution designed mostly in Washington and not negotiated between local stakeholders. During sc. Kosovo talks – leaded by Mr. Ahtisaari – the Albanian side did not had any reason to talk alternatives while US had already supported their independence; the same positions were later in sc. Troika (USA,Russia, EU) talks.

United Nations send Kosovo case to International Court of Justice and its decision is coming maybe 2010. I hope that real Talks between Belgrade and Pristina are starting latest then.

About Bosnia-Herzegovina I agree with US intelligence report. My estimation about situation is even more negative because the dispute is not anymore between the two entities - the Serb Republic and Muslim-Croat Federation. Last year alarming reports started to come about rise of radical Islam in Bosnia-Herzegovina (more e.g. in my article “Islamic terror …”) and how Croatians in Bosnia felt that hey are victims of Bosnian Muslim terror. Also arms trafficking in Bosnia changed more alarming not because their selling in EU but because their planned use in Europe by radicals (more e.g. in my article “Radical Islamists arming their selves in Balkans").