Balkans: July 20, 2005


On July 18th Bosnia said that it will "merge" its Boanian Serb defense forces with its Muslim and Croat forces "by the end" of 2007. A Bosnian government spokesman said "that the military reform will lead to streamlining and consolidating of the current separate (defense) structures" in Bosnia. That's diplo-speak for getting rid of the Republika Srpska's separate army. Bosnia will end "separate defense ministries and recruiting systems" by the end of 2005. Why the change and why now? A Bosnian government spokesman laid it on the line by pointing out that NATO will not let Bosnia join if the armed forces are split into ethnic components, especially with the war on terror underway. Read the first part of the statement as the fact it is. Read the second to mean that after 9/11 the US wants Bosnian to "get over it" and set an example for Moslem-Christian relations. --Austin Bay




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