Last week, Serbia signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia. In an email interview, Jim Seroka, professor at Auburn University and former visiting professor of national security studies at the U.S. Air War College who has written extensively on the Western Balkans, explained the state of Serbia’s armed forces.
WPR: What is the current state of Serbia’s defense forces?
Jim Seroka: The Serbian armed forces today have shrunk considerably in size and capabilities since 2000 and no longer represent a security threat to Serbia’s neighbors. In 2000, Serbia-Montenegro had more than 100,000 military personnel, 1,500 main battle tanks and 192 combat aircraft in its order of battle. In 2013, Serbia’s fully professional armed forces consist of 28,150 personnel, of which 13,250 serve in the land forces and 5,100 in the air force and air defense units. The Serbian defense equipment inventory has shrunk to 212 main battle tanks and 84 obsolete and aging combat aircraft.