a.  In the post cold war era the Balkans is a part of Europe where the destabilization risk is still visible. This view is enhanced by the fact that the Balkans is a region of fierce controversies. Destabilization tensions coexist with those of stabilization and cooperation. It is a typical characteristic that, on the one hand, the Balkan countries strive to be integrated in the hyper-national European Union and NATO - the alliance of collective effort - whereas, on the other hand, they strive for separation and creation of ethnically pure countries.
 b. The threat of armed conflict remains visible in the Balkans since some countries dispute the existing Status Quo.

c. NATO has to face a number of threats of a completely different nature from those of the cold war era, when the Alliance was established. This fact poses new challenges to the Alliance. These challenges have to do with doctrine, tactics, cooperation with non-NATO forces as well as with the establishment of forces ready to meet the aforementioned risks.