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The Serbian Armed Forces (Serbian language: Bojcka Србије / Vojska Srbije) are the armed forces of Serbia.[5] The Armed Forces consist of the Serbian Army (including the River Flotilla), the Serbian Air Force and Air Defence and the Serbian Training Command. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the President of the Republic. The Serbian Armed Forces are entirely professional and volunteer based.

HistoryEdit

The first documented Serbian military operation dates to the 9th century when Vlastimir defended the Serbian Principality from the invading Bulgarian Khanate. Over the following centuries Serbia would evolve into the Serbian Empire, one of the largest states in Europe at the time.

Moravian Serbia was governed by Stefan Lazarević who introduced modern military tactics and firearms to his army, however the new technology failed to defeat the superior numbers of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had suppressed the formation of a Serbian state along with its military from 1540 until 1804, the year of the first Serbian uprising.

The 1804 Serbian Revolution, started with a Serbian rebellion against the Ottoman occupation of Serbia. The victories in the battles of Ivankovac, Mišar, Deligrad and Belgrade, led to the establishment of the Principality of Serbia in 1817. The subsequent Second Serbian Revolution led to full recognition of Serbian independence, establishment of the Kingdom of Serbia and weakened the Ottoman dominance in the Balkans. In 1885 Serbia had a war against Bulgaria. In the 1912-1913 First Balkan War, (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria) against the Ottoman Empire. The victories in the Battle of Kumanovo, Battle of Prilep, Battle of Monastir, Battle of Adrianople, Siege of Scutari helped win the war. The Third Army conquered Kosovo. In 1913 the second Balkan war broke out because Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece,Bulgaria has suffered great losses by Serbia in the Battle of Battle of Bregalnica, the war was over by the Bulgarian defeat and signed the Treaty of Bucharest (1913).

Serbia's independence and growing influence threatened neighboring Austria-Hungary which lead to the Bosnian crisis of 1908-1909. Consequently, since 1901, all Serbian males between the ages of 21 to 46 were liable for general mobilization.[6] In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, marking the start of the First World War. Serbia repelled 3 consecutive invasions by Austria, winning the first major victories of the war for the Allies, but was eventually overwhelmed by the combined forces of the Central Powers.

OrganisationEdit

The Serbian General Staff is composed of the highest-ranking officers who form the basic strategic command. The Chief of Staff is Lieutenant General Ljubiša Diković. Tactical and operational command is separated into the branches, consisting of the Army, Air Force and Air Defence, and a Serbian Training Command.

ReservesEdit

Although Serbia abolished conscription on 1 January 2011, it still maintains a passive reserve of about 1,7 million people with males ages 30–60 and females 18-50.[7] Only about 10% (170,000) are distributed to combat-ready units.[2] The active reserve numbers about 20,000 members, divided into four brigades mainly under the training command.[8]

Budget and defence industryEdit

Serbia's defence spending in 2011 stood at approximately 2.3% of GDP.[3] The 2013 defense budget has allocated about 3.8 billion dinars for purchasing new and upgrading existing military equipment.[9]

To promote efficient use of funds, the Strategic Defence Review has helped eliminate redundant services, withdrawal of outdated equipment, increase maneuverability and decrease response time. The number of active personnel has been significantly reduced from pre-2004 levels. As of 2011, over 90% of the armed forces are composed of professional soldiers and volunteers. Serbia is the largest exporter and producer of military hardware in the region. Exports totaled US$ $400 million in 2009.[4]

PeacekeepingEdit

The Serbian Armed Forces actively take part in several United Nations and European Union peacekeeping missions.[10]

Country Mission Number of personnel
Cyprus Cyprus UNFICYP 1 staff officer, 2 observers, 6 non-commissioned officers and 37 infantry
Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo MONUC 2 staff officers, 2 doctors and 4 technicians
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast UNOCI 3 officers as military observers
Lebanon Lebanon UNIFIL 8 staff officers, 5 national support element and 36 infantry
Liberia Liberia UNMIL 4 officers as military observers
Middle East UNTSO 1 officer
Uganda Uganda EUTM Medical Corps team including 1 staff officer, 1 doctor and 3 medical technicians
Somalia Somalia EUNAVFOR 1 staff officer and 1 non-commissioned officer

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The World Factbook
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Obveznici postali "pasivna rezerva"" (in Serbian). B92. 4 January 2011. http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2011&mm=01&dd=04&nav_category=12&nav_id=483708. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. http://milexdata.sipri.org/. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Serbia's Arms Industry Recovers to Become Major Exporter". Bloomberg. 16 September 2009. http://www.bloomberg.com/video/62956134-serbia-s-arms-industry-recovers-to-become-major-exporter.html. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  5. http://www.mod.gov.rs/multimedia/file/staticki_sadrzaj/dokumenta/zakoni/zakon_o_odbrani_preciscen_tekst.pdf
  6. Serbian Army in WWI
  7. http://www.odbrana.mod.gov.rs/odbrana-stari/odbrana128/12-14.pdf
  8. [1] - Latest information published in Serbia Defense Ministry monthly press "Odbrana" in 1. November 2011 about reserves according to law passed in Serbian parliament. Document contains 20 pages and have information about obligation regarding defending country use of reserve forces and division in to active and passive reserve
  9. [2]
  10. [3]

External linksEdit

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