Since the end of the Cold War, the United States and its European allies are using smaller militaries, disbursing more development assistance, and increasing their reliance on multilateral organizations to provide for European security. Despite reductions in force levels and budgets, U.S. and European military forces have been actively engaged in peacekeeping and other security-enhancing activities in the region. The United States and its European allies have contributed to stability in the Balkans through various military and financial means. The Balkans operations have highlighted numerous shortfalls in the military capabilities of European allies, but competing budgetary priorities may limit their ability to remedy them before the end of the decade. Defense expenditures are expected to remain relatively flat in constant 2000 dollars over the next four to five years for most European allies, placing major defense initiatives sponsored by NATO and the European Union in jeopardy.
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