Islamism and Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Islamism and Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Islamism and Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina
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Many observers viewed the military mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia) in late-1995 as a test of the international community’s ability to keep the peace in the post-Cold War world. This task proved difficult. The many obstacles to restoring stability and growth in Bosnia have been thoroughly dissected over the years, from the challenges of transition governments to the difficulties of inter-ethnic reconciliation.

One factor, however, has received but scant attention: the role of Islamism and the political ideology based on this religion that motivates the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and many other radical groups. U.S. experts fear violence could once again break out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and some even want the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to mount another military mission there. Yet few of these experts focus on the danger of gradually expanding Islamism. In Bosnia, it appears to have made slow but steady progress, despite resistance from Bosnia’s moderate Muslims.  Senior Bosnia (Muslim) leaders retain their longstanding Islamist ties, and their calls to impose traditional Islamic law, or sharia, or to develop closer ties with the Islamic world only aggravate Bosnian Croat and Serb separatism.

This monograph will examine the impact of Islamism on Bosnian security, tracing developments during the 9 years of NATO peacekeeping, as well as the ensuing years. It will also examine the ties between so-called “nonviolent” and “violent” Islamism—ties that have already surfaced in other countries where NATO or the U.S. military is engaged. As a consequence, the monograph offers a framework to analyze the potential constraints that Islamism can place on present-day and future military missions in Muslim countries.


Other products relating to this topic include the following: 

Bosnia-Herzegovina: The United States Army\'s Role in Peace Enforcement Operations, 1995-2004 can be found at this link:

Allied Participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom --print format can be found at this link: --ePub format can be found at this link:



Political and military historians, individuals who served in NATO Headquarters (HQ) in Sarajevo, civilian analysts, political advisers, and students in political science, international relations, and global studies programs may be interested in this material. Members of Congress and government, and committees focused on foreign relations and international security may want a copy of this publication. 

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Defense Dept., Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press
  • Lebl, Leslie S.
Key Phrases:
  • Islamism
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Islamism
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