Skip to main content


Q&A: Finding NATO troop levels for Balkan operations

Question: I came by the library today to seek help finding some information related to NATO. In particular, I am looking for statistics on NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR), Stabilization Force (SFOR), and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), all of which took place in the Balkans in the early 1990s. I am interested in how much money and how many troops did NATO countries commit to those three operations. Even though it is easy to get the numbers for the US, other countries are somewhat more difficult. NATO does not have that kind of information on its website either. Thus, I was wondering if you could direct me to some sources?

Answer: There are 3 angles to think about in tackling this question: 1) statistics; 2) the organizations themselves (in this case NATO and the United Nations); and 3) Secondary scholarly literature.

LexisNexis Statistical database (Stanford only) is a good place to start. If you're on campus, that link should go right through, or perhaps ask you for your SUNET id/password. If you're off campus, you'll want to set up the proxy in your browser. If you search LN statistical for NATO and allied contributions, You'll find an annual report to Congress on allied contributions to NATO going back to 1985. Hopefully, that report will have all the information you need. I also found a table for "Defense Spending As A Percentage Of GDP, 1990-2001 [U.S., NATO Allies, Pacific Allies, And Gulf Cooperation Council, By Country]" issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and several others from the DoD.


You'll want to look into both NATO and the United nations as those forces were established through various UN Security Council resolutions.

The sites for the various implementation forces have varying degrees of information about them. For instance:

NATO publishes a couple of documents similar to an annual report:

United Nations angle:

Since these were all based on UN security council resolutions, there is considerable documentation from the UN Security Council and reports from the UN Secretary General. Search the UN online document system (ODS) -- which is free to the public! -- by those 3 acronyms. I've found lists of contributing nations to all 3 forces and total numbers of troops embedded in reports, but have not as yet come across more specific troop numbers by country or amount of money coming from each country. Searching ODS will give you access to the same documents on the UN Security Council Web site. ODS may also bring up information on monetary figures as this was usually reported to the UN General Assembly. For example I found a cite for A/52/837, "Support for Peacekeeping Operations" in 1998.

The Global Policy Forum tracks UN policy making, and their site includes some useful statistics on UN Peacekeeping Operations Budget and UN finance in general.

Lastly, the Center for Defense Information, a security policy research organization, has background and statistics. The World Organizing for Peace:

20,000 members of the Bosnia Stabilization Force (SFOR) from 33 nations (4,600 U.S.) or the 38,000 in the Kosovo Force (KFOR) from 37 nations (5,500 U.S.).

Scholarly literature:

If those resources don't give you the exact numbers for which you're looking, then the next step is to search the secondary scholarly literature for journal articles with the data. Start with Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (Stanford only). Then check other article databases in the political science or history sections.

Syndicate content