Did Albania Really Need Operation 'ALBA'?

Journal article

Mema, Fatmir (1998) Did Albania Really Need Operation 'ALBA'?, Security Dialogue 29 (1): 59–62.

While the scale of the disaster in Albania was perhaps exaggerated by the news media, the international community decided that intervention was necessary. The mandate required the troops to be prepared and fully equipped for emergency contingencies. Troops were to make every effort to prevent armed conflicts from erupting. The question of whether this operation had accomplished its tasks finds various answers, and opinions in Albania differ considerably. The list of achievements looks impressive, but many people held the opinion that Operation 'Alba' did not achieve that much. If the real aim of 'Alba' was indeed to protect the humanitarian aid, then an unnecessarily heavily armed military grouping was dispatched to perform a relatively easy job. In order to put this powerful instrument to better political use, its military capabilities should have been backed up by appropriate police capabilities. With better political will, surely it would have been possible to achieve more with a force like that.

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