OT - War in The Balkans - General admits failure of air strikes

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War in The Balkans - General admits failure of air strikes


5/5/99 Stephen Castle in Brussels and Rupert Cornwell

NATO's senior military official yesterday conceded that the alliance had failed in its initial war aims and admitted, for the first time, that two allied planes have been shot down.

In remarkably blunt terms, General Klaus Naumann, the chairman of Nato's powerful Military Committee, said that political limitations of the 19-nation alliance had led it to sacrifice crucial advantages in the early stages of the campaign.

Because Nato had not surprised the enemy or overwhelmed the Yugoslav armed forces, the conflict had been prolonged, the German general said, adding that the the need to avoid civilian casualties was inhibiting the campaign. He refused to admit that the early use of ground troops was inevitable. At a farewell press conference in Brussels, General Naumann, who retires from his post tomorrow, referred for the first time, to two allied aircraft being "shot down". Nato sources later said that that referred to the F-117A Nighthawk "Stealth" fighter-bomber lost during the early stages of the air bombardment, and an F-16 which was brought down over the weekend.

The losses, both of which resulted in dramatic rescues of airmen from inside Yugoslav territory, had been put down to mechanical failure with Nato refusing to say whether the planes had been shot down.

General Naumann said bluntly: "Quite frankly and honestly we did not succeed in our initial attempts to coerce Milosevic through air strikes to accept our demands, nor did we succeed in preventing the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] from pursuing a campaign of ethnic separation and expulsion." Not only was there a lengthy diplomatic build-up to the bombardment, but the first phase of the strikes was made deliberately light, in the hope that President Slobodan Milosevic would concede quickly. "This", the general added, "cost time, effort and potentially additional casualties, the net result being that the campaign is undoubtedly prolonged."

He also accepted that the alliance was powerless to prevent the expulsion of the remaining ethnic Albanians. "President Milosevic's campaign of mass deportation is still achievable. If he really wants to get them out and he uses the same brutal methods he may have a chance to do this."

The striking honesty of General Naumann's account of the 41-day campaign was put down to his impending departure, to make way for Admiral Guido Venturoni of the Italian Navy.

As chairman of the Military Committee, General Naumann is technically senior to General Wesley Clark, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, the man in charge of operation Allied Force.

Meanwhile a leading military think tank yesterday delivered its own scathing critique of Nato's performance, saying that the alliance had ignored two cardinal tenets of warfare, misread its own public opinion, and fallen victim to what it called "strategic correctness".

In its annual "Strategic Survey", the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies said that by announcing its plans in advance and ruling out the ground option, the alliance had abandoned the first principle of war - surprise - and breached a second one by failing to keep an enemy in doubt about its intentions.

"These mistakes meant the air campaign was less successful than it might have been and that preparations for the ground campaign that would be necessary were delayed," John Chipman, the IISS director, said. A ground force would take some two months to prepare, the military analysts say.

They argue that unless one is ready to go in by the end of July, it would be too late to be sure of completing the operation and sending in peace-keepers before winter comes.

Nor have Belgrade's air defences been as comprehensively destroyed as might have been expected after six weeks of bombing. Simultaneously, Dr Chipman said, Nato had underestimated the extent of public support for a truly effective campaign.

Instead Nato had displayed a misguided obsession with "strategic correctness". Dr Chipman cited as examples the divorce of diplomatic rhetoric from political reality - a special fault of the US, he said - and the tendency to threaten force without any readiness to "accept the casualties that inevitably come with a serious military effort".

He predicted that the mere assembly of a credible ground force would lead President Milosevic to climb down, without the alliance actually having to make an opposed invasion.


A rather sobering analysis.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), May 04, 1999


Please explain how this relates to Y2K and survival of Y2K.

-- Yar (yar@ccatot.moc), May 04, 1999.

Yar commented:

"Please explain how this relates to Y2K and survival of Y2K. "

Yar, OT means Off Topic. Please explain why you want to know.

Thank You, Ray

-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), May 04, 1999.


The Yugoslav war is related to Y2K because it it diverting our attention and resources from fixing Y2K. Craven criminal politians like Klinton love a war because it gives cover to their nefarious activities. While the public is distracted by the war, the computer bomb keeps ticking way.

We are also unnessarily creating a whole new group of enemies who will take their revenge when we are most vulnerable, when Y2k strikes.

Think how Klinton's mouthpieces gloat about disrupting the Serbs' electricity. Isn't it ironic that Y2K will soon turn ours off. The Serbs can survive a whole lot better without electricity that we can.

-- Incredulous (ytt000@aol.com), May 04, 1999.

Well as long as the thread is here no need to waste it. I just caught on MSNBC that another of our apache helicopters has crashed in albania. These guys are making a hell of a showing, aint fired a shot and already lost two choppers.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), May 04, 1999.

For some people, US foreign policy is and always will be "off topic" no matter what forum it's presented in. "No foreign policy with my Y2k, please. Keep it focused on my own little garden, thank you."


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), May 04, 1999.

Dano: It didn't used to be that way in this country: foreign policy was very much a matter open to public debate. Only since the (convenient) emergence of the National Security State has the public been told that it's too stupid to understand such complex affairs. Or, as is usually parroted by some cloneboy, "we don't have access to the intelligence data." This, of course, is the same incisive data that forecast the fall of the Berlin Wall and pinpointed the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant as a terrorist operation (oops!). Or, presently, led the Prozacdent to attack a sovereign nation because of ethnic conflicts (one wonders--has the Prozacdent ever heard of the Sudan, or had anyone tell him of the religious persecutions and female infanticide in China?). Nowadays, any 'lay' citizen who is concerned over his nation's insane foreign machinations is dismissed as a lunatic, a conspiracy-monger, or, at best, a harmless crank. "Oooo say can you seeeee..."

-- Spidey (iln@jam.com), May 05, 1999.

This thread looked like as good a place as any to put this. Question, do we have a communist propoganda organization at work in arlington, or is the U.S. government being far less than truthfull about the extent of our losses to date? If the latter how are they going to explain all these bodies when the conflict is over? Do we have another marine corps barracks bombing in the works?

ARLINGTON - The NATO losses stood at approximately 38 fixed-wing aircraft, six helicopters, seven unmanned aerial vehicles, and "many" cruise missiles shot down by the YU Army's AAA or SAM missile fire as of April 20, 1999, said the Arlington, VA-based, ISSA, closely approximating TiM's other sources about the NATO losses during the first four weeks of its air campaign against Serbia. "Several other NATO aircraft were reported down after that date, including at least one of which there was Serbian television coverage. The aircraft reportedly include three F-117A Stealth strike aircraft, including the one already known. One of the remaining two was shot down in an air-to-air engagement with a Yugoslav Air Force MiG-29 fighter; the other was lost to AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) or SAM (surface-to-air missile) fire. Given the recovery by the Yugoslavs of F-117A technology, and the fact that the type has proven less than invincible, the mystique of the aircraft a valuable deterrent tool until now for the US - has been lost. At least one USAF F-15 Eagle fighter has been lost, with the pilot, reportedly an African-American major, alive and in custody as a POW. At least one German pilot (some sources say two men, implying perhaps a Luftwaffe crew from a Tornado) has been captured. There is also a report that at least one US female pilot has been killed. In one instance in the first week of the fighting, an aircraft was downed near Podgorica. A NATO helicopter then picked up the downed pilot, but the helicopter itself was then shot down, according to a number of reports. Losses of US and other NATO ground force personnel, inside Serbia, have also been extensive. A Yugoslav Army unit ambushed a squad climbing a ravine south of Pristina, killing 20 men. When the black tape was taken from their dog-tags it was found that 12 were US Green Berets; eight were British special forces (presumably Special Air Service/SAS). This incident apparently occurred within a week or so of the bombing campaign launch. It is known that other US and other NATO casualties have, on some occasions, been retrieved by NATO forces after being hit inside Yugoslavia. At least 30 bodies of US servicemen have been processed through Athens, after being transported from the combat zone. At least two of the helicopters downed by the Yugoslavs were carrying troops, and in these two a total of 50 men were believed to have been killed, most of them (but not all) of US origin." For a full ISSA report on the situation in the Balkans, check out: http://www.strategicstudies.org/crisis/newrome.htm#-NATO

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), May 05, 1999.

Who is ISSA?

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 05, 1999.

I have never heard of them before. The initials stand for International Strategic Studies Association, apparently a private think tank. I plucked the article off of another board and it gave no background, just what I have given here.

-- Nikoli Krushev (doomsday@y2000.com), May 05, 1999.

When I posted a similar report two weeks or more ago detailing 19 dead and a host of aircraft shot down the thread went venomous against me (so what's new?) - time will tell on this one, this sort of news will leak eventually.

BD - Nik has a link at the bottom of his piece.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), May 05, 1999.

Big Dog,

The ISSA is synonymous with J.A.B.P.W.S., or in other words;


There are tons of them out there. At least these clowns apparently don't intend to be try to fool anyone into thinking that their opinions are actually based on factual evidence. You usually need at least a halfway decent webmaster to try to pull that off.

-- @ (@@@.@), May 05, 1999.

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