Bosnia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy [April 12, 2010]   [open pdf - 347KB]

"There has been a debate about the future role of the international community in Bosnia. The Office of the High Representative (OHR), chosen by leading countries and international institutions, oversees implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. An EU [European Union] peacekeeping force, called EUFOR, is charged with keeping the peace in Bosnia and overseeing the Bosnian armed forces. The international community has vowed to close OHR after Bosnia meets a series of reform objectives, ending direct international oversight. After OHR's closure, international support for Bosnian reforms would be limited to aid and advice from the United States, European Union, NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], and other institutions, with the prospect of eventual NATO and EU membership. An EU Special Representative (EUSR) would remain in Bosnia, although the post would likely have a smaller staff than OHR. In addition, it would likely be limited to an advisory and reporting role, lacking OHR's powers to veto legislation and remove local officials. [...] Some observers are concerned that the combination of increasing internal tension within Bosnia and a declining international role could seriously set back over a decade of peace in Bosnia, perhaps leading to violence and the destabilization of the region as a whole. They call for greater international engagement in Bosnia, including an increase in EUFOR's capabilities and strong powers for the EUSR, if OHR leaves. The United States has strongly supported Bosnia's integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. However, the U.S. role in the country has declined in recent years as the EU role has increased."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40479
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