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Operation Sharp Guard

NATO's maritime Sharp Guard operation, established to enforce economic sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro and the arms embargo, was suspended after termination of both sets of sanctions. US naval forces including surface combatants, intelligence-gathering attack submarines, and active and reserve maritime patrol aircraft operated with NATO and the Western European Union to enforce the UN sanctions in the former Yugoslavia.

In November 1994, the United States Congress enacted legislation limiting US participation in Operation "Sharp Guard". NATO Military Authorities were tasked to undertake an assessment of this development and adjustments were made to ensure the full enforcement of all UN Security Council Resolutions which form the basis of NATO's involvement in former Yugoslavia. At the Ministerial meeting of the North Atlantic Council in December, NATO Foreign Ministers reaffirmed that, together with the WEU, the Alliance would continue the maritime embargo enforcement operations in the Adriatic.

For more than three years NATO and WEU enforced both economic sanctions and an arms embargo. This helped contain the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and create the conditions for the Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. During Sharp Guard no ships were reported as having broken the embargo. To achieve this result, during the period 22 November 1992 to 18 June 1996 about 74,000 ships were challenged, almost 6,000 were inspected at sea and more than 1400 were diverted and inspected in port.

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