NATO plans to reduce its troops in Bosnia from 19,000
peacekeepers to about 12,000 by the end of this year, the
alliance said in a statement posted at
The cutbacks are due to "a great improvement in the security
situation in the Balkans," the statement said.
The Bush administration has long sought a pull-out of
American troops from Bosnia, but U.S. officials have agreed
they would not leave before America's European allies.
"In January the international community's high
representative in Bosnia, Wolfgang Petritsch, told NATO
it should maintain its military presence," BBC recalled.
"We have not yet reached the point of no return where
Bosnia-Hercegovina would truly be a viable state that could
stand alone," he said then.