Friday, December 03, 2004

Exit Strategy: Bosnia

Nine years ago, NATO forces entered Bosnia in order to end a brutal conflict and campaign of ethnic cleansing. Their specific responsibility was to implement the Dayton Accords. That mission, IFOR (for Implementation Force), and its successor, SFOR (for Stabilization Force), successfully brought to an end Europe's most destructive war since World War II.

The peacekeeping operation, NATO's first, has been turned over to the 7,000 troops in the European Union Force (EUFOR). Meanwhile, NATO has established a headquarters in Sarajevo to help the Bosnian government reform its military and to support Bosnian efforts to move toward entry into the EU and NATO.

In Washington at the State Department, Secretary Powell noted that "over 500,000 servicemen and women from 43 nations, including 90,000 Americans, served in Bosnia and Herzegovina without losing a single soldier to hostile action."