Saturday, September 04, 2010

"Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation" by Silber and Little [7]

Chapter 8: "You've Chosen War"
The Arming of Slovenia and Croatia, April 1991-January 1991

This chapter details efforts by the newly elected governments of Slovenia and Croatia to arm themselves. The JNA--which now viewed TOs as a danger to national unity in republics with multiparty elections--had already disarmed the TO (Territorial Defense) forces in Croatia, and made moves to do the same in Slovenia; although largely successful, the Slovenes managed to halt this move before it was completely sucessful. Small-scale smuggling was organized to augment the remaining stash of mostly small arms.

In Croatia, where the TO had largely already been eliminated, smuggling was carried out on a much larger scale. The JNA, unwilling (under the wavering leadership of Kadijevic) to take decisive action without orders from the Federal Presidency, watched with growing alarm as domestic spying accumulated damning evidence of what Croatia was up to.

The collective Presidency would ultimately never give Kadijevic the go-ahead he desired for legal legitimacy. While Milosevic had four of eight votes, Macedonia stayed out and Bosnia stuck to its guns and refused to give the JNA the majority it needed.

In the meantime, Milosevic was moving towards embracing the idea that nations--but not republics--had the right to leave Yugoslavia. He still paid lip service to Yugoslav unity, but this was increasingly a tactical position, not an inflexible belief. He would begin to move away from a strategy of keeping Yugoslavia united and towards a plan to keep all ethnic Serbs--and the land they lived on--united in one state. And he would begin the process of turning the JNA away from its traditional mission of defending Yugoslavia towards becoming, in mission and makeup, an instrument for creating Greater Serbia.

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