1980 – Ethnic tensions begin to flare after Tito's death.
1991 – Slovenia and Croatia each declare independence. Slovenia breaks away with only a minimum of fighting. However, because 12% of Croatia's population is Serbian, Yugoslavia fights hard against its secession for the next four years.
1992 – Bosnia-Herzegovina declares independence. Bosnia is the most ethnically diverse of the Yugoslav republics: 42% Muslim, 31% Serbian, and 17% Croatian. Tension is high and Bosnia erupts into war.
1995 – A fragile peace is achieved and the country is partitioned into three areas, each governed by one of the three ethnic groups.
Serbia and Montenegro form the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with Slobodan Milosevic as its leader. The U.S. does not recognize this new government as the successor to the former Yugoslavia.
1996 – In the southern province of Kosovo, militants begin attacking Serbian police.
1998 – Milosevic sends troops to the province of Kosovo to stop the unrest. Guerilla war breaks out.
1999 – Peace talks fail and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) threatens to launch airstrikes on Serbian targets. NATO intervenes in Kosovo in Operation Allied Force on March 26, and action continues until June 10. NATO-led international peace-enforcement forces attempt to restore stability in what was determined to be a strategic region lying between Alliance member states. According to NATO records, more than 38,000 sorties were flown, without a single Allied fatality.