Although Kosovo is corrupt, bankrupt and not willing to halt the
ethnic cleansing of its remaining Serbs, the UN is determined to grant
independence. That would most likely trigger invasion by neighboring Serbia, to
protect the Serb minority, and intervention by Albania, to protect the
integrity of Kosovo, a part of what many Albanians call "Greater
Albania." NATO countries supplying peacekeepers for Kosovo want to get
out. A similar situation is found in nearby Bosnia, where Moslems, Croats and,
especially, Serbs, are not getting along.
16, 2006: A Bulgarian defense ministry official visited Bulgarian troops in
Iraq. The Bulgarian delegation also met with Iraqi officials to discuss ways
Bulgaria and Iraq can continue cooperating on defense issues. In July Bulgaria
agreed to train Iraqi soldiers for peacekeeping duties in a combined training
program in Bulgaria.
said it was considering a request to provide soldiers for the new UN
peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon. Turkey is also considering joining
the force. Turkish sources said that Turkey could send as many as 5000 troops
to southern Lebanon. The big question for Turkey is the ROE (rules of
engagement) of the UN force. Turkey is not interested in provoking a wider war
in the Middle East. However, the Turkish military does not look favorably on
conditions which expose its troops to hostile fire and restricts their ability
to respond. The Turks' interpretation of the UN's ROE in south Lebanon may be a
useful indicator of just how robust that ROE truly is. Turkey is also regarded
as an ally of Israel. The US would like to see Turkey participate in the UN-led
15, 2006: Montenegro said its police broke a huge currency counterfeiting ring.
Montenegro said the ring was the largest in southeastern Europe and was an
"organized counterfeit money trafficking" operation. Montenegro
cooperated with Croatia in the investigation. The ring specialized in
counterfeit Euro and US bills. Criminal gangs plague the Balkans. The sad fact
is the gangs quickly morph into "nationalist rebels." Waging an
effective anti-crime campaign ultimately adds to long term political security
in the Balkans.
new UN chief of mission took over duties in Kosovo. Joachim Ruecker (a German) becomes
the sixth UN chief administrator in Kosovo. Ruecker said that the UN opposed
any attempt to "partition Kosovo." In the event of Kosovar
independence, the Kosovo partition concept would split off hte small
Serb-dominated enclaves in Kosovo and let them remain part of Serbia. On August
13 a Serb delegate to the Kosovo "future status" talks suggested
partition as a solution to the Kosovo question. The UN has moved police and
KFOR units (NATO troops) to provide protection for Kosovar Serbs.
Bosnian Serb statelet within Bosnia (Republika Srpska) wants to keep its own
separate police force. The European Union wants Bosnia to combine its
Muslim-Croat and Bosnian Serb security forces. The separate security forces
could provide leadership and troop cadres for new separatist armed forces.
14, 2006: It's a signal the Serbians won't like. Kosovo's Kosovo Police Service
(KPS) took over security operations at the Pristina (Kosovo) airport. The KPS
assigned a border patrol unit to the airport. Why is this a problem for Serbia?
Because Kosovo appears to be acting as an independent nation.
13, 2006: Moldova's separatist Transdniestria province suffered what the
Transdniestiran authorities described as a terrorist attack. The bomb attack on
a bus killed two people and injured at least ten more. Initial reports called
the bomb blast a criminal act. The attack took place in the Moldovan city of
Tiraspol. A bomb explosion on July 6 killed eight people.
10, 2006: Turkey said that plans to reorganize and modernize the Turkish
military would include troop reductions. The troop cuts could reduce Turkey's
800,000 man military by 20 to 30 percent. Turkey said the reductions would be
completed by 2014.
9, 2006: The Albanian government said that it believes it will receive an
invitation in 2008 to join NATO. For Albania, the invitation would be a huge
diplomatic and political plus and a statement that Albania has finally shed the
legacy of super-Stalinist Enver Hoxja (Albania's Cold War dictator). Albania
has hosted British and US military training delegations and initiated several
military reform and modernization programs.