The Western alliance began its intervention in the Yugoslav wars in 1992, with political support for Bosnian and Bosnian Croat troops in their fight against Bosnian Serbian forces eventually expanded to NATO airstrikes and the deployment of tens of thousands of “peacekeeping” troops.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s military and diplomats from the US Embassy in Sarajevo will hold a welcoming ceremony on Saturday for US troops arriving in the country for the “Immediate Response 21” drills, part of the broader “Defender Europe 21″ exercises, the country’s Ministry of Defence has announced.
Immediate Response 21 is taking place across 12 European countries, including Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania (as host countries) and the US, UK, Canada, Greece, Northern Macedonia, and Slovenia. The broader Defender Europe 21 drills kicked off in the Albanian port of Durres on 4 May and are running across 12 countries and 31 separate facilities through May and June.
Some 28,000 servicemen and women are taking part in the drills, with troops to be trained for a variety of offensive and defensive operations in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. Along with National Guard troops from Alabama and Florida, Guard units from Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia are also taking part. The drills are explicitly aimed at countering the alleged ‘Russian threat” to Europe. Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO about the potential for escalation.
BiH is not a member of the Western alliance, but…