Fight Balkan Terrorism Now

Slobodan Milosevic's trial in the Hague is a timely reminder of just how devastating terroristic violence can be. President Bush may or may not have been careless in portraying Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an ``axis of evil,'' but he was correct in pointing out the many hidden links in the global terrorist chain. Within that chain Balkan terrorism remains a small but vital link, one which has continued to flourish right under the eyes of NATO and the UN.

Osama bin Laden established his presence in the region through a series of so-called ``humanitarian" organizations in Bosnia and Albania sometime around 1994. Some of the fighters in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia during the Balkan wars included mujahedeen from many countries who had trained in Afghanistan. Local terrorist centers were also important. Indeed, in Albania terrorists were trained on the property of former Albanian President Sali Berisha near the town of Tropoje.

Beyond this powerful hint of local support for terrorists, there was an economic infrastructure. Two tons of heroin per month passed from Asia to Europe through Kosovo during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic. Instead of diminishing since Milosevic's fall, drug smuggling has increased. Last year, five tons of heroin was smuggled through the lands now overseen by the United Nations and NATO. Interpol says that Albanian gangs now control 70% of heroin trafficking in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now