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Battle in the Balkans. Major Carlos Rascon. Introduction.

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battle in the balkans
Battle in the Balkans

Major Carlos Rascon


During the 1980s and early 90s, the fall of Communism in Yugoslavia led to the emergence new governments in the formerly controlled republics. With the struggle for power taking place, many atrocities of war were committed by Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia. On 24 March 1999 the United Nations launched air-strikes to end the war in Serbia.

learning objectives
Learning Objectives

1. The student will understand the reasons for the downfall of Yugoslavia

2. The student will comprehend the battles of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

3. The student will comprehend the reasons for war in Kosovo

4. The student will comprehend the effects of NATO involvement in Kosovo


1. Brawley, Mark R., Martin, Pierre, Alliance Politics, Kosovo, and Nato’s War: Allied Force or Forced Allies, 2000

2. DiPrizio, Robert C., Armed Humanitarians: U.S. Interventions from Northern Iraq to Kosovo, 2002

3. Donia, Robert J., Fine, John V.A. Jr., Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1994

references cont
References Cont.

4. Hosmer, Stephen T., Conflict over Kosovo, 2001

history of yugoslavia
History of Yugoslavia
  • 1. Under Josip Tito, Yugoslavia had strong Communist control
  • Republics were established in 1946
  • 2. After his death in 1980, many of the Republics pushed for independence from Serbian rule
  • 3. Slobodan Milosevic became the President of the Communist Party in Serbia
  • 4. 1989- Milosevic became the President of Serbia
history cont
History Cont.
  • In the first meaningful election in 1990, Nationalist representatives won in 5 of the 6 Republics
  • 1991-Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina declare their independence from Yugoslavia
  • All feared living under Serbian rule
war breaks out
War Breaks Out
  • Slobodan Milosevic immediately sent troops to Slovenia
  • Slovenia was an industrial area under Yugoslav rule and is well prepared for attack
  • Easily repel JNA (Yugoslavia National Army) and Serbian forces
  • Withdrawal in two weeks
  • Milosevic then sent JNA and Serbian troops into Croatia
slovenia and croatia
Slovenia and Croatia
  • By early 1992, Serb forces control 1/3 of Croatia
  • Cease-fire ends the conflict temporarily
  • U.N. sends in 14,000 forces to monitor
  • 1995- Better equipped Croation military pushed out JNA and Serb forces
bosnia herzegovina
  • After declaring independence, they immediately elect a Croat-Muslim Government
  • 44% Muslim
  • 31% Serb
  • 17% Croat
  • 2. Serbs initiated the attack
  • Hit vulnerable Muslim and Croat targets
bosnia herzegovina cont
Bosnia-Herzegovina Cont.
  • Serbs wanted to take Bosnia to extend Serbian territory
  • Serbs were able to take about 70% of Bosnia
  • Early in the war, Croats and Muslims were fighting as allies
  • uneasy alliance
  • The Croatian fighting forces in Bosnia were being supplied from Croatia
bosnia cont
Bosnia Cont.
  • In 1993, the Bosnian-Croats had turned on their Muslim allies
  • Wanted to gain the Herzegovina area for Croatia
  • 1995- Increased U.S. and U.N. pressure persuaded the Bosnian-Croats to cease fighting with the Muslims and focus on Serbs
  • Muslims were poorly equipped
bosnia cont16
Bosnia Cont.
  • Needed the Bosnian-Croats support to survive Serbian attack
  • 1995- NATO forces assist Bosnia-Herzegovina forces with air-strikes and re-supplies
  • Serbs are forced to sign the Dayton Peace Accord
  • Calls for NATO troop enforcement
  • 1995- Due to violations of the Yugoslavia Constitution in 1946 , ethnic Albanians in Kosovo resorted to violence against Serb officials
  • The Constitution declared Kosovo an autonomous providence of Serbia
  • Albanians were given the right to run internal affairs of Kosovo
  • Albanian population in Kosovo was about 90% Milosevic had abolished Kosovo’s autonomy
kosovo cont
Kosovo Cont.
  • Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was formed to try to gain rights for the Albanians
  • Milosevic had a deep hatred for the Albanians in Kosovo
  • Was elected as President on a promise to fix the “Albanian Problem” in Kosovo
  • Wanted stronger political control of Kosovo
  • Wanted to eliminate the Albanian race from Serbia
kosovo cont20
Kosovo Cont.
  • In 1998, Milosevic launched a military campaign is Kosovo to end the KLA attacks
  • Burned down homes
  • Killed thousands of ethnic Albanians
  • Many Albanians were forced to flee
  • In October 1998, U.N. threatened air-strikes if the violence did not cease
  • Milosevic backed down
kosovo cont21
Kosovo Cont.
  • January 1999- Serb forces massacred 45 civilians in the villiage of Racak
  • March 1999- Serbia launches an all out offensive in Kosovo
  • Was based on the belief of “ethnic cleansing”
  • Wanted to eliminate the ethnic Albanian population from Serbia
kosovo cont22
Kosovo Cont.
  • 24 March 1999 NATO launches Operation “Allied Force”
  • Led by U.S.
  • 11 nations involved
  • Bombing campaign lasted about 12 weeks
  • Destroyed most of the Serbian Infrastructure
  • Serbs responded by murdering more Albanians
  • Video 3min Air War in Serbia
kosovo cont23
Kosovo Cont.
  • 20 June 1999 the campaign is ended
  • Milosevic gives in to NATO demands
  • Makes a 4 phase withdrawal
  • NATO peace-keeping forces still remain in the region today
  • NATO Losses
  • 3 aircraft (including 1 F-117A)
  • 2 Apache helicopters
  • 30 UAV’s
  • No published Reports
  • Much of the Serb infrastructure was thought to be destroyed based on the declining resistance later in the campaign
aftermath cont
Aftermath Cont.
  • 1 Chinese Embassy
war crimes tribunal
War Crimes Tribunal
  • 1 April 2001 Serbian police arrested Milosevic
  • 29 June 2001 Serbian officials hand Milosevic over to international authorities
  • Extradited to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes
  • Trial is still going on today
  • History of Yugoslavia
  • Croatia and Slovenia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Operation “Allied Force”
  • War Crimes Tribunal