By DAMIR MARUSIC, SARAH BEDENBAUGH, AND DAMON WILSON, Atlantic Council
The Western Balkans were supposed to be a solved problem. The United States has mostly watched from afar in recent years, thinking that the Europeans had these matters mostly in hand. US diplomats have played crucial roles in key moments; yet, the region continued to slide down the US political agenda. A policy of benign neglect is no longer sufficient. In the Atlantic Council’s report, Balkans Forward: A New US Strategy for the Region, authors Damir Marusic, Sarah Bedenbaugh, and Damon Wilson argue that the Western Balkan region offers the best near-term prospect to demonstrate the tangible results of a continued close US-EU relationship; and with a modest effort to recommit to a compelling vision and strategy, including key political and economic steps, the United States can catalyze positive strategic outcomes that pave the way for a more secure and prosperous region.
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