Because of a territorial dispute caused by the collapse of Yugoslavia, Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims entered into a brutal conflict in 1991, known as the Bosnian war.
After nearly four years of bitter fighting that cost more than 100,000 lives, military leaders gathered in Dayton, Ohio to discuss peace terms and territorial annexations. One month later, in Paris, they formally signed the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), allowing for the creation of a Bosnian state.
The U.S. Army JAG Corps was deployed to assist with the formation of a new Bosnia. Over the course of several months, Judge Advocates advised commanders on operational law matters and helped draft peace accords.
In this complex environment, Judge Advocates assisted in an unprecedented scope of legal challenges, including:
- Crafting the General Framework Agreement for Peace
- Advising commanders at all levels on the Rules of Engagement, United Nations Security Council resolutions and prisoner detainment
- Status of Forces Agreements
- Transit Agreements
- Technical Arrangements
- Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreements
- Providing contract and fiscal law support
- Processing foreign claims
- Administering military justice (in forward and rear detachments)
- Providing legal support to Soldiers and their families
The day-to-day advice Judge Advocates provided commanders in Bosnia proved to be crucial on many levels. Judge Advocates worked diligently so that operations could flow smoothly and without interruption, which ensured a stable environment during the implementation of peace accords.