Balkans: July 21, 2000


: StrategyPage has (repeatedly) run comments on corruption in the Balkans. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) internet newsletter ran a fascinating article on corruption in the Croatian Army and what Croatia is trying to do to root it out. Allegations include drug trafficking and sex abuse as well as the usual graft. The report included this telling tidbit: the Croat general staff had over 2000 "official" cars, over a hundred of which were luxury autos, many stolen from Croat Serbs or "acquired" in Bosnia. In the past two months 25 Croat officers have been charged with theft or fraud. There was also hanky-panky involved in a Croat arms deal with Ukraine for an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. The S-300 buy was never completed and what parts of the system that were acquired apparently don't work. The Croat government is also investigating allegations of the physical mistreatment of 42 Croat soldiers stationed at Pula. Many (all?) of the crimes were committed during Franjo Tudjman's decade-long rule, and though rumors constantly circulated in Croatia regarding military corruption, nothing could be done about until Tudjman left the scene. It will be interesting to see if IWPR follows up on the ins-and-outs of the S-300 deal. (Austin Bay)


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