Albania is a small country located in the Balkans region of southeastern Europe. It has a population of approximately 2.8 million people, and its capital city is Tirana. Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009 and is an important contributor to the international military alliance. The Albanian Armed Forces are composed of the Albanian Land Force, Air Force, and Navy, as well as Special Operations Command and the Rapid Reaction Brigade. The Land Force consists of around 11,000 personnel while the Air Force includes around 1,200 personnel. The Navy consists of approximately 700 personnel and operates a number of vessels for patrol purposes. In addition to these forces, Albania also maintains several paramilitary forces such as the Gendarmerie and Border Police which are responsible for law enforcement activities within its borders. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Albania.
After 1945, Albania has undergone an extensive process of change. The country was a member of the 1955 Warsaw Pact but left the same in 1968 to approach China. From 1976, ie. After Mao Zedong’s death, the cooperation diminished to completely cease in 1978. Albania was, until 1989, largely isolated in the face of major security policy changes. A number of democratic elections, supported mainly by neighboring countries, have been conducted and the situation has stabilized since 1997. Periodically, however, almost civil war-like conditions have prevailed.
During 1998-99, Albania became a reception area for refugees from Kosovo and most recently a march and base area for NATO allies in UN sanctions against Yugoslavia. The defense was disorganized and is 2007-10 under reconstruction. It is always based on selective military duty with an initial service of 12 months and (2006) comprises 11,000 men distributed on 6,000 men ground combat forces, a rapid-fire brigade, 1,100 men naval forces, 13 smaller fighter ships and 1,400 man combat forces without combat aircraft but with seven modern reconnaissance helicopters. The material is outdated and of Chinese and Soviet origin.
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Defense costs rose from 5.3% to 6.7% of GDP in 1985-96, having decreased to 1.5% of GDP in 2006. Albania participates in UN peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR), in Afghanistan (ISAF), in Iraq (MNF) and others. NATO has a management team of 155 men Italian troops stationed in Albania. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that ALB stands for Albania.
The pro-Yugoslav wing of the AKP was quickly removed. Albania took an active part in the grotesque anti-Yugoslav campaign launched by the Komin countries. But Albania, as before, depended on outside help. Immediately after the breach, the USSR was willing to provide Albania with assistance in compensation for the termination of economic cooperation with Yugoslavia. Already in 1949, loans and other assistance from the USSR and the other Komin countries accounted for 38% of Albanian state revenue. Thousands of Soviet advisers flocked to the country. Soviet aid greatly contributed to increased economic growth in the early 1950’s. In the period 1951-55, industrial production increased 3 fold. In 1949, Albania became a member of COMECON, and in 1955 helped create the Warsaw Pact. Until the late 1950’s, the USSR dominated Albania in the same way as the other countries of the Warsaw Pact.
The first political contradictions between Albania and the USSR emerged after Khrushchev approximation to Yugoslavia in 1955, and after the Soviet Communist Party’s 20th Congress the following year, when the Stalinisation gained momentum in the USSR and the other popular democracies. Albania was not very willing to normalize relations with Yugoslavia. The Albanian leaders were in no way prepared to rehabilitate the victims of the terror after the break-up with Yugoslavia, as Khrushchev demanded, and to take part in the Afalinisation. But it was at the economic level that the contradictions two years later were further sharpened. In COMECON’s long-term plan for integrating the Eastern European economies, Albania had been assigned the role of agricultural and commodity producing country. Albania was pressured to increase investment in agriculture at the expense of industry, which was in direct opposition to APA’s industrialization program. China had common views about the criticism of Soviet politics. At that time, China was also interested in weakening Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and had already provided Albania with financial assistance since 1954.