from the book
The CIAs Greatest Hits
by Mark Zepezauer
The bloodshed and chaos that have engulfed
Yugoslavia since its breakup have been portrayed as the inevitable
result of bottled-up ethnic tensions. But there's considerable
evidence that both the breakup and the warfare were encouraged
by Western intelligence services-including Germany's BND, the
successor to the Gehlen Org.
Germany's interests in the region date
to World War II, when the Bosnians and Croats allied with the
Nazis against the Serbs, who the Nazis regarded as untermenschen
(subhumans). After Germany reunified in 1989, it began to take
a more expansionist attitude toward Eastern Europe, and Yugoslavia
in particular. In 1990, it urged the Bush administration to help
it dismantle Yugoslavia.
Bush was happy to comply, since the US
had longstanding plans to overthrow Yugoslavia's government. Yugoslavia
had recently renounced the market-oriented "shock treatment"
prescribed for it, which had been causing social unrest, so it
was a prime candidate for further destabilization.
The Germans encouraged Croatia to secede
from Yugoslavia, and Bosnia soon followed. Germany immediately
recognized the new nations, forcing the hand of the European Community,
which had wanted to take a more cautious approach. The new Croatian
state adopted the flag and anthem of its WWII Nazi puppet regime-and,
in some cases, the same personnel.
Virulently fascist Croats had long been
active in the World Anti-Communist League and other exile groups
nurtured by the CIA. Many Eastern European Nazis had gone on to
work with the CIA, either in the US or in covert operations abroad.
With the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, many of these
aging chickens came home to roost. Neofascist movements are active
in Lithuania, Hungary and Romania, as well as in much of Western
Europe (notably Italy).
Despite an official arms embargo against
Croatia and Bosnia, Western powers immediately began covertly
arming them, which would have been impossible without the knowledge
and acquiescence of the CIA and the BND. Mercenaries from Britain,
Germany and the US are said to be serving alongside the Croat
militias-a sure sign of an ongoing covert operation. In fact,
in 1994, the CIA opened a new base in Albania to monitor troop
movements and "potential targets."