This is a research paper analyzing the country of Albania, issues within the country, as well as the terrorist and organized crime groups that are associated with the country. I will cover United States and Albanian relation, along with a brief summery of the government that is in place. I will also cover the transition that Albania has gone through from being a communist state to becoming a true democratic government. I will explain the different terrorist and organized crime groups along with their agendas, leaders and the threats that they pose. In conclusion I will explain the United States Albanian relations as of today and the steps that the United States has taken to help Albania become a strong prosperous democratic country.
Albania and the Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups Within
Albania, officially known as the Republic of Albania, is a country in southern Europe flourishing with rich natural diversity. Slightly smaller than the state of Maryland, Albania is bordered by Kosovo to the northeast, Montenegro to the northwest, The Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. Albania has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and to the southwest it has a coast on the Ionian Sea. Albania hosts a landscape of costal plains, a large forested mountainous interior and the deepest lake in the Balkans. Forty-five miles from Albania across the Strait of Otranto lay Italy. The capital of Albania, Tirana situated in the southwestern region of the Balkan Peninsula, is home to some 374,801 of the country’s 2,994,667 people. Albania is an ally of the United States and since the fall of the communist regime the United States has worked to help transition Albania from a devastated communist state to a successful democratic country. “The United States and Albania signed a number of agreements in 2003, including a treaty on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the promotion of defense and military relations, an agreement regarding the non-surrender of persons to the International Criminal Court, as well as the Adriatic Charter. As a step toward strengthening bilateral cooperation and improving the security, peace, and stability in the region the United States and Albania signed a Supplementary Agreement to the Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement.” (US Department of State, 2011) “NATO invited Albania in April 2008 to join the alliance and in October of that same year president Bush signed Albanian NATO Protocols, saying, “The people of Albania and Croatia are helping move the world closer to a great triumph of history- a Europe that is whole, a Europe that is free and a Europe that is at peace.”” (Miles, 2008) Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009. “After 9/11 Albania supported the United State’s Global war on Terrorism, the Albanian government began by freezing terrorist assets, and then they began shutting down non-governmental organizations that could have possible links to terrorist financing.” (US Department of State, 2005) They also provided military support for the United States by deploying elite soldiers in Afghanistan. The United States has provided assistance to the Government of Albania with it’s INL program since 2000, aiming to strengthen the criminal justice system and arm them with the tools necessary to combat complex and transnational crime. The United States has assigned an experienced U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor to Albania as a full time Resident Legal Advisor, to implement legal assistance programs. The United State’s top priorities of legal assistance are combating corruption, money laundering, organized crime (including trafficking in persons and narcotics) and terrorist financing. (US Department of State, 2012) “After World War II Albania was a communist country ruled by dictator Enver Hoxha. After the death of Enver Hoxha in 1985, he...