Balkans: January 25, 2004


Serbia is making new information about its military modernization program. The military modernization program is less of a hardware modernization project than an extension of Serbias political reformation and Serbias new drive to improve and extend ties with the US and Western Europe. Ultimately, many Serbs, including many in the Serbian-Montenegrin military, want to join NATO and remember, in 1999, NATO fought a war against Slobodan Milosevics Serbia. The name change to The Army of Serbia and Montenegro (VSCG is the Serb acronym) is part of the public relations campaign. Serbia has also offered to send troops to support US peacekeeping efforts and operations in The War of Terror. Serbia is also seeking closer defense ties with its neighbors, particularly Macedonia. Modernization does mean cuts in force structure (particularly higher ranks and large staffs). Serbia began cutting general officer slots in 2002, though some of those cuts were also political in that the officers removed were holdovers from the Milosevic era. The VSCG ultimately wants to acquire new military technology, and that means Western European or US military technology. That takes hard currency. Though Serbia (as Yugoslavia) used to produce a wide variety of weapons, it lacks the industrial capacity to build truly hi-tech weaponry. This is where the political reform comes into play. The VSCG would like to get in line to receive cascading military hardware from the US or Western Europe. The example here is Turkey taking used F-16s or M60-series tanks and refurbishing the weapons. To get in the line however, means economic and political reforms in Serbia to gain the trust of NATO nations. (Austin Bay) 




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close