U.S. Embassy Press Statement on Defense Review

The U.S. Embassy congratulates the Presidency of BiH and the Minister of Defense on the completion of the Defense Review.  While it was years in the making, we welcome the spirit of cooperation that led to the drafting of a framework  for the future of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will right-size the number of soldiers, reduce the number of prospective immovable defense properties, and outline an action plan for the modernization of the military.   The Defense Review is a living document that can be reviewed and revised in line with the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s desire to continue to reduce excess ammunition stockpiles, eliminate landmines throughout the country, train and equip soldiers to assist in natural disasters at home and missions abroad, ultimately becoming a modernized force capable of partnering with other nations.

With the completion of the Defense Review, the real work of implementation begins.  This is an opportunity for BiH to reinvigorate its relationship with NATO and work with regional partners.  In the year to come, we urge leaders in BiH to continue to move forward on registration of defense properties– to include Han Pijesak in accordance with the court order – and to seek opportunities to work with NATO Allies in preparation with the activation of its Membership Action Plan.