“We Are the Hawks of Freedom”: Bulgaria’s Good Fishing in the Muddy Waters of the Gulf

Emilian Kavalski

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Yes, we are hawks. We are the hawks of freedom, humanism and democracy! Solomon Passi Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs 1 1 FocusNews Agency (hereafter Focus), 12 April 2003. Bulgaria’s decision to withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of 2005 offers an opportunity to asses the country’s contribution to the ‘coalition of the willing.’ Viewed from the outside, Sofia’s instrumental entrepreneurship in Iraq has tended to confirm that within the Balkan region, Bulgaria has one of the highest levels of institutional development and stable civil-military relations. Domestically, however, Sofia’s military mission to Iraq has revealed that the protested institutionalization of its civil-military relations, has in effect amounted to the entrenchment of civil-military rivalries. Consequently, the article traces how these civil-military rivalries have affected the coordination of the Bulgarian armed forces with the coalition partners and also how they have informed the public perception of Bulgaria’s participation in military missions abroad. Finally, and on a positive note, the presence of Bulgarian troops in Iraq has evinced a significant experiential learning on behalf of the military establishment. The novelty of such exploration is that it is premised on discourses and statements aired in Bulgarian media and, thus, makes available the particular domestic public debate informing Sofia’s decision-making. The author wishes to thank Raicho Kavalski and Magdalena Zolkos for their advice and encouragement, and the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for the generous support. All translations from Bulgarian are made by the author. This article is dedicated to the memory of Slavka Kavalska.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-55
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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