Bosnia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy [June 20, 2011]   [open pdf - 352KB]

"In recent years, many analysts have expressed concern that the international community's efforts over the past 15 years to stabilize Bosnia are failing. Milorad Dodik, president of the Republika Srpska (RS), one of the two semi-autonomous 'entities' within Bosnia, has obstructed efforts to make Bosnia's central government more effective. He has repeatedly asserted the RS's right to secede from Bosnia, although he has so far refrained from trying to make this threat a reality. An RS referendum, scheduled for June 2011, aimed at attacking the legitimacy of a central government-level court, was averted when Dodik backed down. Ethnic Croat leaders in Bosnia have called for the creation of a third, Croat 'entity,' threatening a further fragmentation of the country. After two major Croat parties were excluded from the government of the Federation (the other autonomous 'entity' in Bosnia), they refused to recognize its legitimacy and formed their own assembly. Bosnia has failed to form a central government, more than eight months after October 2010 elections. […] According to the USAID 'Greenbook,' the United States provided just over $2 billion in aid to Bosnia between FY1993 and FY2009. However, the U.S. role in the country has declined in recent years as the EU role has increased. The Obama Administration has stressed the importance of maintaining a close partnership with the EU in dealing with Bosnia. Like the EU, the United States has urged Bosnian politicians to agree to constitutional and other reforms to make Bosnia's central government institutions more effective, so that the country can become a better candidate for eventual NATO and EU membership."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40479
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