NATO's Operation Unified Protector is not the only mission which is stretching European armed forces. The EU Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia is not even able to maintain the minimum military requirement of 2,000 troops, European Voice reports.
The weekly newspaper cites a paper drafted by Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary, some of the largest contributors to EUFOR, accounting for nearly half of its 1,350 troops, stating that the force cannot deal with "any serious security challenge in the country, where tensions between the main ethnic groups are on the increase."
Italy, Poland and Spain withdrew 500 troops at the end of last year and further withdrawals expected by Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands over the summer are expected to reduce EUFOR to close to 1,200. An offer by non-EU member Turkey, which along with Austria is the largest contributor to EUFOR with 300 troops, to make up for these withdrawals has reportedly been turned down by countries like France and Germany.
EUFOR and NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) rely on the same over-the-horizon reserve, meaning "that even acting together, NATO and the EU lack the military capacity to deal with simultaneous crises in Bosnia and Kosovo."