The Balkans: Challenges and Priorities for the Next Administration

by F. Stephen Larrabee

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The Balkans have proven to be one of the most difficult and intractable policy challenges facing U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations found themselves embroiled in crises there, often against their will. However, the victory of Vojislav Kastunica in the presidential elections in Serbia opens up important new prospects for stabilizing the Balkans. As long as Slobodan Milosevic was in power, there was no chance of integrating Serbia into the broader range of Western policy initiatives in the Balkans and developing a comprehensive strategy toward the region. Kostunica's election, however, changes the dynamics of Balkan politics and creates a possibility to develop a comprehensive, long-term policy to stabilize the region.

Originally published in: Taking Charge : A Bipartisan Report to the President-Elect on Foreign Policy and National Security, pp. 89-97.

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