Peacekeeping: May 4, 2002

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NATO is moving to cut back and restructure its peacekeeping forces in the Balkans. This is due to several factors, including cost, the need for units to support the War on Terror, and an increasingly stable Balkan region (now that the Milosevic regime is gone). The 43,000-man force in Kosovo will be cut by up to 10,000 with most of its heavy armor and artillery removed. The British and French brigades will be merged, as will the German and Italian brigades. The US brigade will remain but will contain more non-US than US troops. Britain will pull out one of its two battalions and Central European troops will make up a much larger share of the total. The Rear Logistic Headquarters (which is in Macedonia) will be eliminated. The Stabilization Force in Bosnia will also be reduced, with the British pulling out their battalion and the US cutting back. Central European troops will be recruited to make up some of the numbers but the overall size will shrink by 20 percent in the next year.--Stephen V Cole

 


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