It was less than three weeks ago that the realization first dawned on me: Airpower might actually be winning the Balkan War. I turned the thought round for a while and looked at it from several directions, rather as a Creationist Christian might have done on being shown his first dinosaur bone. I didn't want to change my beliefs, but there was too much evidence accumulating to stick to the article of faith. That article of faith, held by all military analysts outside a few beleaguered departments of airpower studies in the service academies, was that air forces could not, alone, win wars. ... It now does look as if airpower has prevailed in the Balkans and that the time to redefine how victory in war may be won has come. ... After this war, ... there will be no grounds for debate or dispute. Aircraft and pilotless weapons have been the only weapons employed. The outcome is therefore a victory for airpower and airpower alone."-Military historian and commentator John Keegan, London Daily Telegraph (LDT), June 4.
"What did the trick was the accuracy of the precision weapons, the avoidance of losses, and the increasing destruction of the Serb forces."-Army Gen. Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, New York Times (NYT), June 5.
"It's a strange situation. Just because it comes out reasonably well, at least in the eye of the Administration, doesn't mean it was conducted properly. The application of airpower was flawed."-Retired Gen. Ronald Fogleman, former USAF Chief of Staff, NYT, June 5.
"What you've got is a mess. We may have gotten Milosevic to cry uncle, but it was the absolute worst way to fight a war."-Retired Adm. Leighton Smith, former commander of NATO's southern region and the Balkans, Associated Press, June 5.
"There are certain dates in the history of warfare that mark real turning points. Nov. 20, 1917, is one, when at Cambrai the tank showed that the traditional dominance of infantry, cavalry, and artillery on the battlefield had been overthrown. Nov. 11, 1940, is another, when the sinking of the Italian fleet at Taranto demonstrated that the aircraft carrier and its aircraft had abolished the age-old supremacy of the battleship. Now there is a new turning point to fix on the calendar: June 3, 1999, when the capitulation of President Milosevic proved that a war can be won by airpower alone."-Keegan, LDT, June 6.
"Already some of the critics of the war are indulging in ungracious revisionism, suggesting that we have not witnessed a strategic revolution and that Milosevic was humbled by the threat to deploy ground troops or by the processes of traditional diplomacy, in this case exercised-we should be grateful for their skills-by the Russians and the Finns. All to be said to that is that diplomacy had not worked before March 24, when the bombing started, while the deployment of a large ground force, though clearly a growing threat, would still have taken weeks to accomplish at the moment Milosevic caved in. The revisionists are wrong. This was a victory through airpower."-Keegan, LDT, June 6.
"Not only were we fighting Hitler; we were fighting fascism. Not only were we fighting Stalin; we were fighting communism; Now, we're not only fighting Milosevic, but we're fighting genocide and ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Washington Post (WP), June 6.
"There can be circumstances short of an existential threat to the United States where the use of force is appropriate."-White House National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, WP, June 6.
"The lesson for NATO should be: If you're serious about applying power, don't screw around. Get at it. Turn out the lights, take the phone system down-not this incremental 'maybe we'll hit it, maybe we won't.' That's no way to fight a war."-A "high-ranking military officer," WP, June 6.
"I don't think anyone should walk out of this thinking we ought to only have airpower."-Gen. Henry Shelton, Chairman of the JCS, WP, June 6.
"The lesson for the Army is, it's not going to be in the game unless it develops some sort of medium-weight force that it can deploy rapidly."-Retired US Army officer John Hillen, defense analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, WP, June 6.
"We own the Balkans. NATO is now in the position of a real estate investor who keeps buying properties where the taxes exceed the rent."-Michael Mandelbaum, professor at Johns Hopkins University, WP, June 6.
"I can't give you a timetable [for the NATO occupation of Kosovo], and I'm not going to say, 'Is it six months? Is it a year? How long is it going to take?' We will do our best to facilitate the transformation of Kosovo into a self-governing province under the aegis of NATO and the UN."-Defense Secretary William Cohen, NYT, June 6.
"This war was worth fighting."-Sen. John McCain, Presidential aspirant, Los Angeles Times (LAT), June 6.
"We just overwhelmed them with destruction. It was technically excellent but strategically bankrupt."-Retired Air Force Maj. Earl H. "Butch" Tilford Jr., former editor of Air University Review, now director of research at the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, NYT, June 6.
"We never said that we're going to disarm the KLA. [The term "demilitarization" means] no longer having organized units, getting rid of the uniforms, the heavy weapons, things of this type. To our knowledge today, they [the KLA] still intend to comply with that."-Shelton, NYT, June 7.
"This war didn't do anything to vindicate airpower. It didn't stop the ethnic cleansing, and it didn't remove Milosevic."-Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, Time magazine, released June 7.
"Once you get the air defenses suppressed, you can just fly over and puke out JDAMs."-Retired Gen. Merrill McPeak, a former USAF Chief of Staff, Time, released June 7.
"We achieved our goals with the most precise application of airpower in history. ... Of more than 23,000 bombs and missiles used, we have confirmed just 20 incidents of weapons going astray from their targets to cause collateral damage."-Cohen, DoD news conference, June 10.
"We will continue to use ground forces wherever they are required in the best possible military campaign that can be devised under the most optimum of circumstances. We are not afraid to use ... a ground component to a military campaign."-Cohen, DoD news conference, June 10.
"In Kosovo, NATO's Americanled bombers, some originating their missions from inside the US, destroyed discrete targets measurable by addresses on a doorway."-Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorial, June 11.
"Airpower, in this particular case, has been effective and has been successful. It should not be seen as the only course of military combat in the future."-Cohen, WP, June 11.
"Proponents of airpower will also see this as a victory. Ever since the early days of military aircraft, 'victory through airpower' has been the Air Force's goal in war. It failed in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, and critics predicted it would fail in the Balkans. It didn't. Two factors led to success. Precision guided bombs performed as advertised, despite periodic but embarrassing and costly exceptions, such as mistakenly bombing civilians. And high-tech weaponry permitted pilots to fly high out of harm's way while visiting destruction below. An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Serbs were killed in the bombing at no cost to the airmen. This has troubling moral and political implications. Despite the accuracy of the air attacks, too many civilians were killed while Allied combatants avoided risk. This turns a principle of a just war on its head-specifically, the obligation to protect the innocent at the expense of the warrior. Another troubling and similar aspect of the so-called 'immaculate' air campaign is the ability to drive an enemy to his knees without shedding a drop of the bomber's blood. Normally, the litmus test of going to war was the willingness to suffer casualties in pursuit of its objective."-Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor, Boston Globe, June 11.
"Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the B-2 is every bit the technological marvel it was meant to be."-President Clinton, remarks June 11 at Whiteman AFB, Mo.
"This really wasn't a war. It was diplomacy backed by force."-Clark, NYT, June 12.
"The final standard is: Did it work? Did it provide crucial leverage to diplomacy? I think yes, it did."-Clark, NYT, June 12.
"I don't use the word 'victory.' I very carefully say they have advanced substantially the five goals of NATO that we have steadfastly adhered to. Any assessment of who won and who lost should await the ground campaign and how well we survive the risks and the return to their homes of the refugees. Then is the time to make that assessment."-Sen. John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington Times (WT), June 13.
"As long as Russia possesses nuclear warheads, it is allowed to pretend it is a superpower. Russia's tough and uncompromising stance on the Kosovo conflict is nothing but a face-saving measure designed to help Russia avoid complete humiliation."-Gennady Oreshkin, retired colonel of the Russian Interior Ministry, LAT, June 15.
"Certainly airpower played a very pivotal role, as it has in so many times since the invention of the airplane. ... A lot of defense pundits have egg on their face[s] at this point, and they will find reasons for explaining away this decisive use of airpower. But there's no doubt that, if facts have any power to convince, this was a victory for airpower."-McPeak, PBS "Newshour," June 16.
"We've got to think about what transpired during the time that we started on the 24th of March until we closed this down last week. There's a lot of ethnic cleansing that took place. The results are coming in daily, and it doesn't look very good or very pretty. We've created a refugee population of a million-plus people, and we've destroyed all of the infrastructure out there in the province. So we [won] sort of a Pyhrric victory in some sense. We destroyed Kosovo in order to win it."-Retired Marine Corps Gen. Richard Neal, former assistant commandant (1996-98), PBS "Newshour," June 16.
"So many people have predicted that airpower would be ineffective if it's used alone that, now, they have to describe what's happened in this case as some sort of a defeat. Now, victory comes in many flavors, and this one will obviously not be to the taste of everyone, but the fact of the matter is, airpower carried the day here."-McPeak, PBS "Newshour," June 16.
"It's sad, actually. The Army's got the best strategy of all the services for avoiding casualties, and that is the Army avoids combat. It can't get there. It's too heavy. It's obese."-Retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, PBS "Newshour," June 16.
"There is very little stomach for young infantrymen and other soldiers coming home in body bags, and it's very difficult to fight any sort of ground conflict without having casualties. There are some people who will continue to believe that airstrikes are surgical, that casualties do not occur, and that you can bring down an enemy without inflicting civilian casualties or suffering losses yourself. We all know that not to be correct, but some people will draw the wrong lessons."-Lt. Gen. Michael Short, head of NATO air operations in Kosovo, NYT, June 18.
"I hope those [NATO] nations that could not participate in the way they would have liked will take the necessary action and make the necessary investments to catch up. Otherwise, we run the risk of creating second or third teams within the Alliance."-Short, WP, June 20.
"I thought that there was maybe a 50 percent chance it [the war] would be over in a week. I knew if he [Milosevic] decided to take the punishment of the air campaign, it could go a long, quite a long, time."-Clinton, interview on CNN's Late Edition, NYT, June 21.
"The whole policy of gradual escalation is back. Something very different happened in this war, and to simply pass it off as being an aberration is dangerous. I think we need to think through it."-USAF Col. Philip Meilinger, US Naval War College professor, WP, June 22.
"As a result of Kosovo, I'd expect there'd be more careful scrutiny of some heavy systems that hardly ever seem to be taken to war these days and hopefully a little more respect and appreciation for those Air Force capabilities that get there quickly, are easily integrated in coalition operations, and provide only fleeting or invisible targets for enemy guns."-Retired USAF Maj. Gen. Charles Link, WP, June 22.
"The war in Kosovo wasn't really the work of one man. Saying that Serbia needs to unseat Mr. Milosevic is shorthand for saying that Serbs need at least to begin to come to terms with the terrible things their armed forces and their paramilitaries have done in this decade, to the approval or silence of most of them."-WP editorial, June 22.
"The B-2 really did the job. One thing the Air Force and all of us will want to be reviewing is the bomber force and whether we ought to be investing more in it."-Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Senate Armed Services Committee, remarks to Defense Writers Group, June 23.
"At this point in our march through history, our heavy forces are too heavy and our light forces lack staying power."-Gen. Eric Shinseki, Army chief of staff, WP, June 24.
"With the seeming victory of airpower in Kosovo, we are again in danger of thinking there is some easy way to win wars."-Retired Army Col. Harry Summers Jr., military commentator, WT op-ed, June 24.
"Albanians and Serbs will not be able to live together in peace in Kosovo until they've had a period of time with international security forces to keep them from tearing each other to pieces."-Richard Holbrooke, former Balkan negotiator, NYT, June 25.
"I was surprised about some of the things. ... I was surprised, on the one hand, that we lost no pilots. I was surprised by that. I was surprised that we'd lost only two planes and no pilots. I know that from your point of view, there were a lot of civilian casualties, but that's because you got to cover them, as opposed to covering the civilian casualties of the Gulf War. If you talked to any military person that was involved in both conflicts, they will tell you that there were far, far more civilian casualties in Iraq. I mean, many more. ... Several times as many. I was a little surprised that we had no more problems than we did in maintaining our allied unity, given the enormous pressures that were on some of our Allies. And I think that gives you some indication about the depth of conviction people had that this was right. I was surprised and heartbroken that the Chinese Embassy was hit because of the mapping accidents. That did surprise me. I had no earthly idea that our system would permit that kind of mistake. That was the biggest surprise of all."-Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"We have not put a price on Mr. Milosevic's head for someone to kill him. ... We don't try to do that to heads of state."-Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"What the Serbian people decide to do, of course, is their own affair. But they're going to have to come to grips with what Mr. Milosevic ordered in Kosovo. ... And then they're going to have to decide whether they support his leadership or not; whether they think it's OK that all those tens of thousands of people were killed, and all those hundreds of thousands of people were run out of their homes, and all those little girls were raped, and all those little boys were murdered. They're going to have to decide if they think that is OK. And if they think it's OK, they can make that decision. But I wouldn't give them one red cent for reconstruction if they think it's OK, because I don't think it's OK. ... I do not believe we should give them any money for reconstruction if they believe that is the person who should lead them into the new century. I do not, and I will not support it."-Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"Everyone agrees on the lessons to be learned from the Kosovo experience, but few people here [NATO headquarters] are confident that we will apply them. It would take the Europeans two decades to catch up with the Americans [in military power], even if they had the money and the will to spend it."-A "senior NATO intelligence official," WP, June 28.
"In the end, Short and Clark say, it was NATO's ability to hit 'strategic, fixed targets'-causing an estimated $30 billion damage and widespread hardship among civilians-that ultimately compelled Milosevic to accept the Alliance's demands."-Correspondent William Drozdiak, WP, June 28.
"The Russians have expressed concern that they will be used as target practice by the Kosovo Liberation Army. The Russians want protection. They are edgy."-A "senior officer attached to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's KFOR peacekeeping force," WSJ, June 28.
"JDAM was the hero of this war, and the B-2 was the hero of the early days of Kosovo."-Maj. Gen. Dennis Haines, ACC director of combat weapon systems, Defense Week, June 28.
"We are both aware, as God knows, how much evil has been done [in Kosovo] in the course of the last year and especially in the last three months. The great part of the guilt lies with Milosevic."-Bishop Artemije, senior representative of Serbian Orthodox Church, speaking for himself and Patriarch Pavle, head of the church, NYT, June 29.
"The apology phase is long since over. That [delivery of a US apology to China for the bombing of its embassy] was done immediately. I think it was done genuinely. It was done personally. It was done repeatedly, both publicly and privately, and I don't think there's any more, really, that could be said on this score. It was a tragic accident, and we have, you know, expressed our regrets as personally as we could. ... You know, China really must recognize that this is the only explanation that it's going to get."-Stanley Roth, assistant secretary of state for Asian Pacific affairs, WT, June 30.
"The bottom line is that there is no way to protect them [the Serbs in Kosovo], and we will indeed have a new refugee exodus, which is very sad when what we wanted is a multi-ethnic society. A lot of them would like to stay, but they are dead scared."-Soren Jessen-Petersen, assistant UN high commissioner for refugees, remarks at a UN news conference, July 1.
"By the time of NATO’s summit in Washington—almost a month into the air campaign—it became apparent to NATO that a constrained, phased approach was not effective. At the insistence of US leaders, NATO widened the air campaign to produce the strategic effects in Serbia proper. The results are becoming obvious. Serbia’s air force is essentially useless, and its air defenses are dangerous but ineffective. Military armament production is destroyed. Military supply areas are under siege. Oil refinement has ceased, and petroleum storage is systematically being destroyed. Electricity is sporadic, at best. Major transportation routes are cut. NATO aircraft are attacking with impunity throughout the country. With the continued buildup of our aircraft and better weather, the attacks are intensifying and the effects are mounting. Cracks in the Yugoslav military and police forces are widening. Draftees are failing to report for duty. Unit desertions are on the rise. Protests against the regime are increasing. Serbian civilian leaders are calling for a settlement. ... We know NATO’s forces will prevail. It may take time, but it is inevitable."—Ryan, WP op–ed article, June 4.
"We had to hit this gnat with a sledgehammer. People could make a very serious mistake about all this. This [the airpower-only approach to war] isn’t always going to be the solution." — Dunn, LAT, June 4.
"Let this be a turning point for southeastern Europe and the Balkans. Let this mark the point at which these countries, so often scarred by ethnic conflict and racial divides, be brought properly into the true family of European nations."—Blair, speech at European Union summit in Cologne, Germany, June 4.
"There were two options, either to stop the war by political methods or to fight, to put on our greatcoats and march ahead. I don’t think that was the option the Russian people needed. In effect, Russia has been the only one to lead this negotiating process, and if we achieve an end to the bombings, it will be a success."—Chernomyrdin, WP, June 5.
"We [the US and Russia] are both great powers with global interests and roles. What we’re trying to do now that we no longer have ideological divisions between us is to see if there are ways not possible during the Cold War to maximize our interests and minimize our differences. Kosovo has been an extremely tough test."—Talbott, WP, June 5.
"If you followed the military template, we wouldn’t have had as many restrictions as we had, but that was a political reality. It’s certainly true that, from a military point of view, we’d have liked to have taken the gloves off earlier." —Vice Adm. Daniel Murphy Jr., commander of NATO naval forces in the Adriatic, NYT, June 5.
"I think you have to be careful about what victory means, given that the initial goal was to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. What if we go in and find a lot of mass graves. We may have an agreement, but at what price?"—Joulwan, NYT, June 5.
"All this [talk of escalating the war] made the participants move faster, because everybody understood that we were on the verge of a big war, an all–European war for sure."—Valentin Sergeyev, aide to Chernomyrdin, WP, June 6.
"We need to enter a new millennium where dictators know that they cannot get away with ethnic cleansing or repress their peoples with impunity. In this conflict we are fighting not for territory but for values—for a new internationalism where the brutal repression of whole ethnic groups will no longer be tolerated."—Blair, WP, June 6.
"This operation is the first signal of the coming century. In the 21st century, human rights will be the fundamental basis for defining international relations. Relations between nations can no longer be founded on respect for sovereignty. They must be founded on respect for human rights." —Bronislaw Geremek, foreign minister of Poland, WP, June 6.
"The lesson we’ve learned is that coalitions aren’t good ways to fight a war."—Leighton Smith, WP, June 6.
"Just as the Clinton Administration decided it had to intervene in Kosovo to protect its investment in Bosnia, now it may have to intervene in Macedonia and Albania to protect its investment in Kosovo, and that may extend to Serbia as well. We own the Balkans. NATO is now in the position of a real estate investor who keeps buying properties where the taxes exceed the rent."—Michael Mandelbaum, professor at Johns Hopkins University, WP, June 6.
"NATO is like a guy who falls in the rapids and gets swept over the falls and survives. He may lie to his friends and say he enjoyed it, ... but he sure as hell isn’t going to try it again."—Mandelbaum, WP, June 6.
"A few things [about the NATO peace accord] are not logical, but the main thing is, we have no choice. I personally think we should accept."—Milosevic, June 3 address to Serb political leaders, WP, June 6.
"I didn’t come here to fight for autonomy." —Ismet Nico, 28-year-old KLA guerrilla from New York, WP, June 6.
"It is not for us to remove Milosevic. That is for the people of Serbia. But I hope they recognize there can be no chance for Serbia to become part of a Europe, democratic and free, until Serbia itself is democratic and free of Milosevic." —Blair, Newsweek, released June 6.
"Had we failed to impose our will on a third-rate adversary, the damage done to our credibility and, consequently, to our security, would have been calamitous. This war was worth fighting."—McCain, LAT, June 6.
"Are we witnessing a diplomatic victory that will bring peace to the Balkans? Or will President Clinton win the Neville Chamberlain memorial umbrella trophy for accepting a phony peace? Let us hope the former—although much evidence suggests the latter will come to pass."—Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, NYT, June 6.
"We accept your terms." Milosevic on June 2 to envoys from NATO, as reported in June 6 NYT.
"What about Mother Boss? Will she be OK with this?" —Remark by Chernomyrdin to Talbott, referring to Albright, NYT, June 6.
"I think we Republicans have to return to the traditions that have been the underpinnings of our party ever since the end of World War II. We have to be engaged in places where it is certainly an unpleasant experience." —McCain, ABC’s "This Week," June 6.
"I think we have to be more mature in handling these civil wars around the globe. We’ve got to develop other tools beyond military force to deal with what are nonvital interests, and I consider this a nonvital interest." —Retired Sen. Sam Nunn, former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, quoted by columnist Robert Novak in June 7 Chicago Sun–Times.
"This showed the incredible difficulty of a humanitarian military action by an alliance. I personally believe this is never to be repeated. NATO got in way over its head, stumbled through, didn’t know how to get out, was scared to death by what was happening. This has left a bitter taste, of tilting within governments, between governments, between NATO headquarters at Brussels and the military headquarters at Mons. This has been a searing experience." —A "senior NATO official," NYT, June 7.
"As [Milosevic] massed his forces to fight back, he set himself up for B-52 and B-1 bombing."—Shelton, Time, released June 7.
"The problem is that it was fought according to Air Force doctrine [of targeting strategic nodes, such as communications and infrastructure]. Not one TV station has committed a rape in Kosovo."—Sam Gardiner, visiting professor at USAF Air War College, US News & World Report, released June 7.
"It turns out that the air forces of countries representing something like half the productive capacity of the planet can, in two-and-a-half months, beat into submission a small, isolated country whose gross domestic product is roughly one-fifteenth the size of the American defense budget."—Eliot Cohen, WSJ op–ed, June 7.
"Who bore the burdens? We will probably find out that this war fought in Europe, to prevent a European catastrophe, was conducted overwhelmingly by Americans. Peel away the number of sorties, for example, and one will find a large number of European missions providing combat air patrol rather than bombardment, largely because the Europeans have not purchased precision guided weapons in any quantity." —Eliot Cohen, WSJ, June 7.
"In Kosovo, NATO has imposed an agreement on both sides. ... This may place our troops squarely in the middle of a civil guerrilla war, posing the same dilemma we encountered in Somalia." —Kissinger, Newsweek op–ed, released June 7.
"The war over Kosovo may well have proved the opposite of what many airpower advocates have asserted for so long. It may have offered the ultimate testimony that a true victory cannot be won through the use of airpower alone. Even assuming that the present holdout by Serbian commanders is resolved, the bottom line is that Milosevic has not been defeated. After 76 days of pounding by a vastly superior force using the most accurate and powerful conventional weapons known to man, the head of a small state of only 11 million people was able to negotiate a compromise [end to the war.] ... NATO dropped from its March ultimatum the key demand that the citizens of Kosovo ultimately be given the choice of seceding from Serbia and forming an independent state." —WSJ columnist George Melloan, WSJ, June 8.
"Milosevic is trying to cull elements of victory out of the defeat that last week’s agreement represented. We have moderated the air campaign in the last few days. They will feel pain again."—Robertson, NYT, June 8.
"This is Milosevic being Milosevic. He’s tough. He makes you press for any gain. He probes for soft spots. And he’s willing to take a few more days of bombing to see if he can get a better deal." —An "Administration official with extensive experience in the Balkans," NYT, June 8.
"The aggression against sovereign Yugoslavia has seriously worsened the international climate. The world has seen another attempt to establish the dictatorship of force. Russia resolutely rejects such an approach."—Yeltsin, public remarks at a Kremlin ceremony in Moscow, June 8.
"The representatives of the Kosovo political leadership have told me without any ambiguity that they will meet the key commitments made at Rambouillet. The KLA will demilitarize and enter into a process of transformation. Kosovo’s political leaders will, I hope, cooperate to make Kosovo truly democratic."—Albright, remarks to reporters in Germany, Reuters, June 8.
"Our position is correct. We will uphold it until the end."—Chinese President Jiang Zemin’s remarks to Yeltsin, referring to China’s demand that NATO halt the bombing before presenting the peace plan to the UN Security Council, June 8.
"We got what we came for."—Albright, referring to the peace proposal hammered out between NATO and Russia, WP, June 9.
"What he [Milosevic] wants ... is to stop the bombing without delivering his side of the bargain. We’re not going to let him get away with that."—Cook, WP, June 9.
"This hit must have really stunned them. There’s no doubt that the Serbs suffered enormous casualties. They were absolutely pulverized."—A "NATO official," referring to the June 7 B-52 strike on Serbian forces near Mount Pastrik in Kosovo in which several hundred Serb troops perished, WP, June 9.
"I’m sure that if you were in the field in Kosovo with the Yugoslav army yesterday, you would not have perceived the [NATO attackers] as holding back at all. The pressure was very intense, particularly in the sorties carried out by B-52s in the Mount Pastrik area."—Shea, WP, June 9.
"If the intent was to come up with a fuzzy document that the Russians could agree to, the foreign ministers achieved their purpose. If the intent was to clarify the nature of the international security presence that would be deployed in Kosovo, that presence was left undefined."—A "diplomat," NYT, June 9.
"There is no alternative [to a European military buildup], if we are not prepared to accept the consequences of a long-term Pax Americana."—Carl Bildt, UN Kosovo mediator, WSJ, June 9.
"The agreement reached today by NATO and Serbian military officials is another important step toward achieving our objectives in Kosovo. It lays out the details to meet the essential conditions for peace: the rapid, orderly withdrawal of all Serb forces from Kosovo and the deployment of an international security force, with NATO at its core, which means a unified NATO chain of command so the Kosovars can return home safely."—Clinton, public statement, June 9.
"The war has ended."—Col. Gen. svetozar Marjanovic, Yugoslav negotiator, to reporters after June 9 signing of NATO peace terms.
"Dear viewers and listeners, the aggression against Yugoslavia is over." —Yugoslavian government announcement on state-run television, June 9.
"I can confirm that General Marjanovic and General Stefanovic have signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and that I have signed on behalf of NATO."—British Lt. Gen. Michael Jackson, commander of NATO forces in Kosovo, remarks at Kumanovo, Macedonia, WP June 10.
"Finally, we managed to sign the agreement, the agreement on peace. It means that the war ended. It also means the policy of peace prevailed." —Gen. Svetozar Marjanovic, deputy chief of staff, Yugoslav Army, remarks at Kumanovo, Macedonia, WP, June 10.
"A few moments ago I instructed Gen. Wesley Clark to suspend NATO’s air operations against Yugoslavia."—Solana, announcement in Brussels, June 10.
"Not a single airstrike—and there were about 22,000 of them—was carried out without France’s approval. ... When France objected, the strikes were not carried out. ... If Belgrade’s bridges are still largely standing today—and they were the subject of important and harsh discussions between military officials—it is mostly due to France. If Montenegro was not the victim of a great number of strikes, ... it is because I objected."—French President Jacques Chirac, interview with French television TF1, Reuters, June 10.
"Military men are going to be challenged to perform tasks unlike any they have ever faced before."—Warner, WP, June 10.
"It’s a sound agreement that meets all of NATO’s demands."—Cohen, NYT, June 10.
"The international security force commander is the final authority regarding interpretation of this agreement and the security aspects of the peace settlement it supports. His determinations are binding on all parties and persons." —The Military Technical Agreement on the authority granted to Lt. Gen. Michael Jackson, KFOR commander, NYT, June 10.
"If Serbs leave Kosovo, that will be a historic step than cannot be reversed." —Orthodox Archbishop Artemye, public remarks, WP, June 10.
"The Russians are out for their own interests, and they will look for opportunities to push them. It is difficult when they’re out, but it’s also going to be difficult when they’re in." —Robert Zoellick, senior Bush Administration State Department official, WP, June 10.
"I think this is a big vindication for Mr. Berger. He didn’t want to use troops and thought the air war would be sufficient ... and now he has reason to be pleased." —Daniel Serwer, former State Department director of European intelligence, Christian Science Monitor (CSM), June 10.
"Our Kosovo policy ... has laid the foundations for ultranationalism in Russian. These policy fiascoes are going to be going on for 20 years." —Rep. Curt Weldon, CSM, June 10.
"The demands of an outraged and united international community have been met. I can report to the American people that we have achieved a victory for a safer world, for our democratic values, and for a stronger America. Our pilots have returned to base. The airstrikes have been suspended. Aggression against an innocent people has been contained and is being turned back." —Clinton, remarks at the White House, June 10.
"Each additional contingency operation impacts the Army’s ability to remain focused on its warfighting requirements. I am concerned about the prospects of a long-term commitment to Kosovo with ground forces." —Gen. Eric Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff, Pacific Stars & Stripes, June 10.
"Dear citizens, the aggression is over. Peace has prevailed over violence. ... We never gave up Kosovo." —Milosevic, televised address from Belgrade, June 10, as reported in WP, June 11.
"Each of us should answer this question in his own soul: Have we betrayed Yugoslavia or not?" —Russian Gen. Leonid Ivashov, Russia’s chief military negotiator at Kosovo peace talks, AP, June 10.
"The surprise ... was that [US] leadership was not as feckless as might have been expected. Though surprised by events, Bill Clinton did not cut and run, taking the first face-saver Milosevic offered. Though some governments were under domestic pressure, the Alliance did not splinter. Though ground troops were withheld, the bombing continued without pause, indeed escalated. Though NATO did not adjust its war aims as Milosevic’s depredations increased, it did not deeply compromise them, either." —WSJ editorial, June 11.
"Clearly, ... computer-guided airpower must suddenly be reckoned a very potent instrument of military strategy. For sure, the use of airpower alone in this instance raises many issues worth discussion. But in Kosovo, NATO’s American–led bombers, some originating their missions from inside the US, destroyed discrete targets measurable by addresses on a doorway. The steady ramping up of NATO’s bombing schedule clearly had a fatiguing effect on the Yugoslav military. All this without casualties." —WSJ editorial, June 11.
"Deterrence’s implicit threat must be seen as larger now than before, if only because the political left, long in opposition, now stands heavily invested in it, using traditional methods. Yes, distinctions will be drawn between human rights wars and commercial wars, but the century-long debate over the legitimacy of modern military power is over." —WSJ editorial, June 11.
"Is it still true at the dawn of the 21st century that a tyrant like Slobodan Milosevic can claim sovereign authority over each breath drawn by those inside his borders? After Kosovo, maybe not. Maybe it is finally possible that there are limits to the claims rank evil can make under cover of sovereignty. ... World opinion has spent the past two months learning that at least 19 of its members, known as NATO, acted in the belief that Slobodan Milosevic’s politics of mass murder were unacceptable. Some six months from the millennium, we would regard that coda as a net plus." —WSJ editorial, June 11.
"Airpower, in this particular case, has been effective and has been successful. It should not be seen as the only course of military combat in the future." —Cohen, WP, June 11.
"Today, we are seeing at least the beginning of the end of a dark and desolate chapter in the history of the Balkans." —UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, NYT, June 11.
"Violence and noncompliance will not be tolerated. We want a secure environment for the return of all refugees. There will be peace and security to all the people of Kosovo. The armed Kosovo groups, we will require them to demilitarize. We want the people to have the confidence to return to a normal way of life." —Jackson, NYT, June 11.
"Peacekeeping is tough. ... You’re asking some 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds in the middle of some blown-up province to be making decisions on who lives where, and how they’re to be separated, and how you manage to keep some kind of peace." —Retired Gen. Charles Krulak, then-commandant, US Marine Corps, LAT, June 11.
"Tactical (short-range) air forces proved their worth in Allied Force. Yet the Pentagon plans to spend some $300 billion to replace its fleets of tactical aircraft. Why? Against both Iraq and Yugoslavia, only a handful [of tactical aircraft] were lost." —Andrew Krepinevich, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, WSJ op–ed article, June 11.
"Our sense is the Russians did not intend to deploy forces into Kosovo without coordinating with NATO. We’re trying to determine the facts. We’ll be reaching out to the Russians to determine what happened." —A "Clinton Administration official," referring to the surprise Russian move into Kosovo, Reuters, June 11.
"As [Russian] Foreign Minister [Igor] Ivanov has said, it was an unfortunate mistake and the troops will be withdrawn immediately."—Lockhart, Reuters, June 11.
"There must be NATO forces throughout the region , in every sector, and that we have a unified command. ... There must be a clear understanding of who is in charge." —Cohen, DoD briefing, June 12.
"Why are they not afraid of us? We have not stopped anything!" —Yeltsin, referring to NATO’s dismissal of Russian protests of the bombing of Serbia, WP, June 12.
"There were clearly sharp divisions inside the Russian government about what was going on and who was calling the shots. None of this looks very good for the Russian government. This is not the kind of behavior you expect out of a world power that wants to be taken seriously for peacekeeping." —A "Western diplomat," referring to Russia’s surprise deployment of 200 Russian soldiers to the Pristina airport, WP, June 13.
"It may have been simply overanxiousness on the part of military commanders. It may have been some confusion in terms of what the direction was. There’s no particular glory in arriving in Pristina with 200 troops." —Cohen, WP, June 13.
"It’s not a question, when Ivanov makes a statement, of doubting that individual, but seeing so many actors and the lack of coordination between those actors makes people here wonder whether we can count on them." —A "senior White House official," WP, June 13.
"What will Mr. Talbott be remembered for: The defeat of Serbia or a realignment of Russia and other nations against the United States and the Allies?" —Dmitri Simes, Russia expert and head of the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom, WP, June 13.
"They [the Russians] are going through a very difficult period. They are trying to sort themselves out, what their own agenda is in the world. It is remarkable that ... with our No. 1 enemy for 50 years, we now have a very important, serious working relationship dealing with the most complicated issues that exist." —Albright, WP, June 13.
"The assurance she received yesterday was not correct. She wants to move beyond that."—Rubin, referring to Russia’s assurances to Albright that they would not unilaterally send troops into Kosovo, WP, June 13.
"We have indicated before that the Russians, certainly in view of the role they played in helping to bring about … capitulation on the part of Milosevic, [need] to play a role in the peacekeeping mission. We have also indicated that their participation, though welcomed, has to be under the aegis or the authority of the NATO command structure. There can be no separate command structure." —Cohen, CNN’s "Late Edition," June 13.
"It [the Russian troop movement] was a surprise, I think, to everyone, including the foreign minister of Russia, who had indicated that they would not be moving out of Belgrade into Pristina. So, apparently he was surprised by the move as well. It was surprising, somewhat disappointing." —Cohen, CNN’s "Late Edition," June 13.
"We have to be very careful. We have to make sure that this agreement stands. And it cannot stand if there is going to be a posture struck by the Russians that they are there to defend the Serb population against the Kosovars. They are there to be a peace enforcer as such, the implementer, along with KFOR" —Cohen, CNN’s "Late Edition," June 13.
"It was never our intent to try to disarm, meaning take away every individual weapon, such as a pistol or rifle, but in fact to have them disband those military units, take off the uniform, get rid of the heavy weapons, and, as a matter of fact, just in the last couple of days, we have in fact confiscated some of the heavy weapons that are associated with both sides. And so, that will be critical, I think, as we go now that we enforce the rules that have been agreed to by both the UCK and the Serbs." —Shelton, CNN’s Late Edition, June 13.
"I think what we’ve seen in this conflict is an absolutely fantastic performance by the airmen of our great United States Air Force, Navy, Marines, and their NATO counterparts. It has been carried out in a very professional manner, and we have had zero casualties. However, we also have the capabilities of all of our other armed forces that we can bring to the spectrum of conflict to cover that with our forces. And as a world power that has global commitments and global responsibilities, we need the complementary capabilities brought on by all of our services." —Shelton, CNN’s "Late Edition," June 13.
"If there had been any doubt about the wisdom of denying an exclusive zone of occupation to Russian troops in Kosovo, the Russians themselves removed it with their secretive entry into Pristina early yesterday morning. With its misleading and confusing series of statements and counterstatements, Russian’s government cast doubt on its trustworthiness as a partner. More important, with their victory rally with Serbs in Kosovo’s capital, Russian soldiers demonstrated anew that their sympathies lie more with the criminal perpetrators of Serbia’s war than with its victims. Those sympathies make Russia’s army a poor choice to play the role of protector of returning deportees." —WP editorial, June 13.
"I don’t think our military people are all that worked up about it. They don’t like the idea they were lied to by the Russians, but, on the other hand, there’s a lot going on in the Russian government, so who the hell knows what they’re up to?" —A "senior Administration official," NYT, June 13.
"Of course, from Washington’s point of view, and in sharp contrast to its rhetoric about the Balkan Hitler, this has scarcely been a war at all. It has been more like a police action from the sky. Here, I feel some shame. Looked at from beneath the bombs, NATO’s conduct can seem cowardly." —NYT Belgrade correspondent Steven Erlanger, NYT Magazine, June 13.
"I can’t think of anything we achieved that is commensurate with the cost and resources expended for this mission." —Inhofe, WT, June 13.
"It [the B-2 bomber] achieved stealthiness, accuracy, plus 3 percent of the sorties and 20 percent of the hits." —Rep. Ike Skelton, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, WT, June 13.
"I don’t think that we should get overexcited about what is going on. They want to be part of the KFOR force. We want them to be part of it. I think they got a little bit ahead of themselves. The Russian component is about 200, so I think we don’t want to overestimate all of this. It is being handled in the proper channels."—Albright, NYT, June 14.
"The Alliance stayed together. For more than 11 weeks, NATO held firm in its resolve against Mr. Milosevic despite setbacks and notwithstanding a loud chorus of critics, carpers, and prophets of doom."—Albright, WSJ op–ed article, June 14.
"Slobodan Milosevic’s somewhat conditional but hardly face-saving surrender is undeniably a success for NATO and for the US."—Brzezinski, WSJ op–ed article, June 14.
"Russia’s conduct does not serve the high praise that the Clinton Administration has showered on the Yeltsin leadership. Perhaps some of the praise was tactical, designed to isolate Mr. Milosevic. The fact remains, however, that Russia’s conduct was malicious and much of it involved deliberate collusion with the Belgrade sponsor of ethnic cleansing. The sudden deployment of Russian troops into Serbia had to be coordinated by Moscow and Belgrade, and its obvious aim was to force a partition of Kosovo, on Mr. Milosevic’s behalf. That means that Russia’s role in the Group of Eight discussions regarding Kosovo has been duplicitous. To obscure all of that, and to reward Russia with a major role in Kosovo is to fuel further Russian ambitions. The bottom line is that Russia’s good behavior should be reward, its hostile conduct should neither be propitiated nor be cost-free." —Brzezinski, op–ed article, WSJ, June 14.
"Kosovo is not in America’s vital security interest. It is in Europe’s. We paid for the air war. Europe should carry the peacekeeping load. The US military should return to its proper mission—defending America." —Inhofe, op–ed article, USA Today, June 14.
"There is an enormous opportunity to be seized here, a chance to shift our focus from defeating something evil to building something good." —Clinton, June 4 White House remarks, quoted in the New Republic, released June 14.
"To date, ... the President of the United States has compared two American adversaries [Milosevic and Saddam Hussein] to Hitler and then learned to live with them." —Leon Wieseltier, the New Republic, released June 14.
"Victory leaves us with just as severe a challenge: to avoid being permanently mired in a corner of the Balkans as the modern equivalent of the Ottoman and Austrian empires. The so-called Petersburg plan risks turning into an open-ended commitment toward ever deeper involvement, casting us in the role of gendarme of a region of passionate hatreds and where we have few strategic interests. ... [The peace plan] threatens near-permanent American involvement in an endless set of predictable conflicts and possible guerrilla war. ... Every aspect of this scheme is a potential land mine." —Kissinger, Newsweek op–ed, released June 14.
"We are in a difficult, volatile, and, at times, dangerous environment."— Jackson, NYT, June 15.
"There is no military exit strategy from the region. An international military presence to guarantee peace in the Balkans must be seen in the coming decades as something as natural as it was to have troops in divided Germany during the Cold War years."—Bildt, NYT, June 15.
"The Russians made an informal request [to overfly Romania] last night and have been denied. [The Russians had] done the same to Bulgaria and Hungary." —Mircea Geoana, Romania’s ambassador to the US, WT, June 15. He was talking about Russian efforts to reinforce the garrison at Pristina airport.
"Russia wanted one very primitive and rather vain thing—to be in on it. Russia didn’t care so much about what was happening to Yugoslavia. It just couldn’t bear the thought that something could be decided in the world without Russia’s participation." —Dimitry Y. Furman, senior analyst with the Institute of Europe, LAT, June 15.
"Russia had to demonstrate to the world that it was not ready to trail behind and be at the tail end of the largest peacekeeping operating in Europe since World War II. Russia showed that it was ready to compete with other countries." —Russian Army Gen. Makhmut A. Gareyev, president of the Academy of Military Sciences in Russia, LAT, June 15.
"We don’t intend to beg the American side to provide Russia with a relevant sector in Kosovo. ... We will declare our sector and agree on this question with the Yugoslav side."—Ivashov, WSJ, June 15.
"This year’s anniversary is marked with great results in carrying out combat tasks of the Yugoslav Army commands, units, and institutions, which you have proven in the heroic defense of our country during the aggression of a vastly superior enemy." —Milosevic, Army Day message, Reuters June 15.
"Remember, this is an administration that prides itself on constructive engagement with Russia. These administration officials do not wish to acknowledge that Russian high officials have been stringing them along all week." —A "senior NATO official," NYT, June 16.
"The blitzkrieg of Russian paratroopers into Kosovo ... is on the verge of failure. They have fallen into a trap. There is no reinforcement, there is food only to last them two days, and there are several hundred Albanian fighters around them." —Russian newspaper Kommersant, quoted in LAT, June 16.
"It wasn’t just the military instrument alone that brought this successful conclusion, but certainly airpower played a very pivotal role, as it has in so many times since the invention of the airplane. ... A lot of defense pundits have egg on their face[s] at this point, and they will find reasons for explaining away this decisive use of airpower. But there’s no doubt that, if facts have any power to convince, this was a victory for airpower." —McPeak, PBS "News Hour," June 16.
"Well, I think airpower played, obviously, a vital role in getting Milosevic to the table, as did the missiles coming off the naval ships, but I think ... I agree we kind of sent our military there as a one-arm puncher. ... We’ve got to think about what transpired during the time that we started on the 24th of March until we closed this down last week. There’s a lot of ethnic cleansing that took place. The results are coming in daily, and it doesn’t look very good or very pretty. We’ve created a refugee population of a million-plus people, and we’ve destroyed all of the infrastructure out there in the province. So we [won] sort of a Pyhrric victory in some sense. We destroyed Kosovo in order to win it." —Retired Marine Corps Gen. Richard Neal, former assistant commandant (1996–98), PBS "News Hour," June 16.
"What’s happened here is that so many people have predicted that airpower would be ineffective if it’s used alone that, now, they have to describe what’s happened in this case as some sort of a defeat. Now, victory comes in many flavors, and this one will obviously not be to the taste of everyone, but the fact of the matter is, airpower carried the day here. It had a lot of help in many ways, but at the end of the day, this was airpower carrying the ball, and we ought to celebrate it." —McPeak, PBS "News Hour," June 16.
"I don’t hear any airman complaining about the fact that we didn’t lose pilots. And we didn’t do it with a consequence that we killed a lot of innocent civilians. Almost 25,000 bombs and munitions and missiles were fired of various kinds in this conflict. There were about 20 instances of collateral damage that we know about. Now, that’s not 1 percent of the bombs dropped. That’s not one-tenth of 1 percent. That’s not 100th of 1 percent of the munitions used in this war. The war was, in fact, a very remarkable occasion of restraint on our part, and we ought to be proud of it. We did trade time in order to reduce the vulnerability of our aircrews, but so what? Seventy-eight days is not like the 10-year war in Vietnam. It means we were able to achieve our national security objectives at rather low risk, with low collateral damage and very quickly." —McPeak, PBS "News Hour," June 16.
"My force does not tolerate threatening behavior, wherever it comes from. I ask you to stay in your homes here in Kosovo. The world has too many refugees already. I beg you not to make the numbers greater. Stay at home!" —Jackson, remarks to Kosovo Serbs preparing to flee, WP, June 17.
"At one time, Serbia could make a legitimate claim, based on history, to sovereignty over the independence-minded province of Kosovo. But asserting such a claim now, in the face of further emerging evidence of its crimes against Kosovo, seems almost ludicrous. As a picture unfolds of mass graves, burned houses, looted shops, and smashed mosques, it is hard to imagine that anyone could seriously propose returning Kosovo against its will to the control of a government that sought systematically to destroy it." —WP editorial, June 17.
"As a practical matter, intervention should be confined to cases where violence is extreme and threatens to engulf neighboring nations, and where democratic nations have the means, as in Kosovo, to respond. The combination will be rare outside Europe. When possible, such military actions should be conducted with the approval of the United Nations Security Council. They should not be initiated without the support f the American people and Congress.—NYT editorial, June 17.
"I do not believe the NATO Allies can invade Belgrade to try to deliver the indictment [of Milosevic on war crimes charges], if you will. If he remains in Serbia, ... presumably he is beyond the reach of the extradition powers of the other governments. Sometimes these things take a good while. ... I think we’ll just have to wait and see how that develops. That does not mean that ... there won’t some day be a trial, but we need to focus on our obligations, our fundamental humanitarian obligations to get the Kosovars home and to continue to uncover whatever evidence of war crimes there is in Kosovo." —Clinton, remarks to reporters in Paris, Reuters, June 17.
"I’m afraid some people will draw lessons from this conflict, and the shorter conflict in Bosnia in 1994 and 1995, and conclude that you can conduct an air war without losses. There is very little stomach for young infantrymen and other soldiers coming home in body bags, and it’s very difficult to fight any sort of ground conflict without having casualties. There are some people who will continue to believe that airstrikes are surgical, that casualties do not occur, and that you can bring down an enemy without inflicting civilian casualties or suffering losses yourself. We all know that not to be correct, but some people will draw the wrong lessons." —Short, NYT, June 18.
"I believe airpower established itself in this campaign. We brought Milosevic to the bargaining table. NATO got every one of the terms it had stipulated in Rambouillet, and beyond Rambouillet, and I credit this as a victory for airpower." —Short, NYT, June 18.
"The Serb air defenses chose to survive, as opposed to fight. They [launched] close to 700 surface-to-air missiles of various types, but I venture to say that not more than a handful of those were guided. That was reflective of their determination to survive—they didn’t turn on the radar. ... Our analysis was that there weren’t many Serb defenders willing to die for Slobodan Milosevic. My guess is that they had talked to the Iraqis and knew how effective we had been against these systems during the Gulf War. We had air superiority wherever we wanted, and whenever we wanted it." —Short, NYT, June 18.
"We have made it quite clear there would not be a separate Russian sector." —Albright, WSJ, June 18.
"It’s hard to feel good about a humanitarian mission in which [so many] of the people you’re trying to help are now homeless." —Richard Haass, Brookings Institution foreign policy expert, WP, June 19.
"We got what we needed in that there will be no Russian sector, no partition, and no alternative to a unified NATO command structure. The Russians finally realized those were red lines that none of the Allies would cross." —A "senior Administration official," WP, June 19.
"I hope those [NATO] nations that could not participate in the way they would have liked will take the necessary action and make the necessary investments to catch up. Otherwise, we run the risk of creating second or third teams within the Alliance." —Short, WP, June 20.
"I hope the Alliance will learn that, before you drop the first bomb or fire the first shot, we need to lock the political leaders up in a room and have them decide what the rules of engagement will be so they can provide the military with the proper guidance and latitude needed to prosecute the war." —Short, WP, June 20.
"This conflict was unlike others, in that we did not have a ground element to fix the enemy, to make him predictable, and to give us information as to where the enemy might be. Certainly, we were not allied with the KLA, but the fact that they were in the field and having some success made the Yugoslav army come out and fight and try to blunt their offensive. They could not stay under cover. And once they moved, or fired their artillery, our strikers learned where they were and could go in for the kill." —Short, WP, June 20.
"At one o’clock this afternoon, the commander [of the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo], Lt. Gen. Mike Jackson, declared ... that, with the exception of a few stragglers, all Yugoslav uniformed forces have now withdrawn from Kosovo." —Remarks of NATO spokesman on June 20 in Pristina, WP, June 21.
"The more we see what has happened in Kosovo, the more we see that the Serbian people have got a responsibility to make Milosevic culpable. They cannot walk away from these crimes." —Blair, remarks in Cologne, Germany, WP, June 21.
"I think we’re actually in a position to have a stronger relationship with Russia in the future than before the conflict started." —Clinton, remarks in Cologne, Germany, NYT, June 21.
"We need to make up after our fight." —Yeltsin, remarks in Cologne, Germany, NYT, June 21.
"I thought that there was maybe a 50 percent chance it [the war] would be over in a week. I knew if he [Milosevic] decided to take the punishment of the air campaign, it could go a long, quite a long, time." —Clinton, interview on CNN’s Late Edition, NYT, June 21.
"The whole policy of gradual escalation is back. Something very different happened in this war, and to simply pass it off as being an aberration is dangerous. I think we need to think through it."—Meilinger, WP, June 22.
"We must be a full-spectrum force. We cannot automatically redesign the Army in response to some specific area, whether it’s Kosovo or some other place, with every crisis that crops up." —Retired US Army Gen. Dennis Reimer, former Army chief of staff, WP, June 22.
"What you had, in effect, was the KLA acting as a surrogate ground force. It was a confirmation, of sorts, of our joint doctrine, which calls for using air and ground forces together." —An "Army general," WP, June 22.
"We must restructure the Army. We want to make our heavy divisions more deployable and our light divisions more lethal, give them more punch." —Reimer, WP, June 22.
"As a result of Kosovo, I’d expect there’d be more careful scrutiny of some heavy systems that hardly ever seem to be taken to war these days and hopefully a little more respect and appreciation for those Air Force capabilities that get there quickly, are easily integrated in coalition operations, and provide only fleeting or invisible targets for enemy guns." — Link, WP, June 22.
"If the Serbs want to keep Mr. Milosevic, [the US and its Allies will help rebuild power plants so hospitals can stay open and people won’t] freeze to death this winter. ... In terms of rebuilding the bridges so people can go to work, I don’t buy that. That’s part of their economic reconstruction, and I don’t think we should help, not a bit, not a penny." —Clinton, June 21 news conference in Slovenia, WP, June 22.
"The war in Kosovo wasn’t really the work of one man. Saying that Serbia needs to unseat Mr. Milosevic is shorthand for saying that Serbs need at least to begin to come to terms with the terrible things their armed forces and their paramilitaries have done in this decade, to the approval or silence of most of them." —WP editorial, June 22.
"The Serbian people have the responsibility to make Milosevic culpable for these crimes. They can’t walk away from the situation. The fact is we now know that these militia men have killed thousands of innocent people in Kosovo and there is no way we can give money to Serbia unless it’s democratic." —Blair, as quoted in WSJ Europe editorial, June 22.
"In rural Serbia, where the sole source of information was state television with its unrelenting stream of propaganda, ignorance combined with years of brainwashing helps explain why Kosovars were regarded as subhumans; why the killing there was, if recognized at all, justified as self-defense; and why Serb soldiers were considered war heroes. But what of the Serbian intelligentsia—the university professors, journalists, potentates of the Orthodox Church, and other cognoscenti who knew better but kept silent?" —WSJ Europe editorial, June 22.
"I am calling on NATO governments to accelerate the arrival of the [planned peacekeeping] troops to the greatest possible extent. There are not enough troops in there now." —Clark, NYT, June 23.
"We will have to stay [in Kosovo] all the time necessary, from a military point of view and from the point of view of the international community, to carry out civilian operations. I do not want to specify the number of years, but I believe we are probably talking about more than three years."—Solana, WT, June 23.
"My conclusion is the military performed extremely well, and the weapons systems we invested in over the last three decades performed brilliantly. The B-2 really did the job. One thing the Air Force and all of us will want to be reviewing is the bomber force and whether we ought to be investing more in it."—Lieberman, remarks to Defense Writers Group in Washington, June 23.
"While the unrestrained killings were taking place, tens of thousands of NATO troops were slumped inert over the horizon, in Macedonia, Albania, and aboard a vast Adriatic armada. NATO openly admits to knowing what was happening. ... Yet all NATO did was roam the skies, bombing empty office blocks and deserted barracks. NATO’s true response to ‘ethnic cleansing’ was to tell its soldiers to look good but not get hurt." —British military analyst Simon Jenkins, Times of London, June 23.
"I think we’ve already heard the Russian explanation [for the surreptitious entry of Russian troops into Kosovo]. I don’t expect that there would have been any different explanation had the President raised it. And it simply would have diverted this meeting into a rehash of recriminations on both sides. I think the President was determined, since we know what the official explanation is, to focus on rebuilding the relationship, on renewal." —Berger, explaining why Clinton did not ask Yeltsin about the matter at a recent meeting, WT, June 24.
"At this point in our march through history, our heavy forces are too heavy and our light forces lack staying power." —Shinseki, WP, June 24.
"As we approach the 49th anniversary of the start of [the Korean War] this week, we are in danger of the same myopia that led to near-disaster there. With the seeming victory of airpower in Kosovo, we are again in danger of thinking there is some easy way to win wars."—Summers, WT op–ed, June 24.
"The operation [movement of Russian troops into Kosovo] was very carefully prepared. The main difficulty was to hide the fact that the operation was being prepared." —Gen. Georgi Shpak, commander of Russian paratroopers, WP, June 25.
"We are neither friends nor partners. He [Milosevic] was the recognized leader of the Serbs under international law. I’ve spent a great deal of time with President Slobodan Milosevic, during none of which, I would stress, he was indicted." —Richard Holbrooke, former Balkan negotiator, NYT, June 25.
"I believe firmly and have stated repeatedly in public and private that Albanians and Serbs will not be able to live together in peace in Kosovo until they’ve had a period of time with international security forces to keep them from tearing each other to pieces." —Holbrooke, NYT, June 25.
"NATO is not letting it [violent acts of revenge] happen. We’re doing what we can to stop it. And I am concerned about it. I’m not particularly surprised after what they’ve been through. But we signed an agreement with the KLA in which they agreed to demilitarize. The leader even asked the Serbs to come home. And we are deploying our people as quickly as we can. Obviously, if we can get all of our people in completely, and then get them properly dispersed around the country, we’ll be able to provide a far higher level of protection. And I think it’s very important. And for those people who lose their homes, they’re entitled to have them rebuilt, along with everybody else, and I intend to do that." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"I don’t think they [Serbs and ethnic Albanians] could do it [live together in peace] without a lot of help in the short run. ... I think that the first and most important thing is for us to get the whole KFOR force in there, all 50,000, as quickly as possible, properly deployed to maximize security. Then I think we’ve got to get people busy doing positive things—rebuilding their homes, re-establishing their property records, re-establishing their schools. We’ve got to give them something to think about on a daily basis that is positive. Then I strongly believe we need to give them the help they need to try to work through this emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, morally. I think a lot of these children are going to need mental health services, and I hope we can get them. I think that we need to bring people in who have been through similar things. ... Can it be done? I believe it can be done. It’s going to take a lot of courage and it’s going to take some time." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"I believe that the young people of America are likely to live in a world where the biggest threats are not from other countries, but from horrible racial, ethnic, and religious fighting, making people very vulnerable to exploitation from organized criminals, drug runners, terrorists, who, themselves, are more and more likely to have weapons of mass destruction, no matter how hard we work against it. So I think anything I can do to reduce terrorism, to reduce the ability of terrorists to have weapons of mass destruction, or to stand against racial and ethnic genocide and cleansing, is a good thing for our future." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"I had two models in my mind on what would happen with the bombing campaign. I thought it would either be over within a couple of days, because Mr. Milosevic would see we were united; or if he decided to sustain the damage to his country, that it would take quite a long while for the damage to actually reach the point where it was unsustainable. It took only a little longer than I thought it would once we got into the second model." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"I was surprised about some of the things. ... I was surprised, on the one hand, that we lost no pilots. I was surprised by that. I was surprised that we’d lost only two planes and no pilots. I know that from your point of view, there were a lot of civilian casualties, but that’s because you got to cover them, as opposed to covering the civilian casualties of the Gulf War. If you talked to any military person that was involved in both conflicts, they will tell you that there were far, far more civilian casualties in Iraq. I mean, many more. ... Several times as many. I was a little surprised that we had no more problems than we did in maintaining our Allied unity, given the enormous pressures that were on some of our Allies. And I think that gives you some indication about the depth of conviction people had that this was right. I was surprised and heartbroken that the Chinese Embassy was hit because of the mapping accidents. That did surprise me. I had no earthly idea that our system would permit that kind of mistake. That was the biggest surprise of all." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"I think you have to see this through the lens of Bosnia. And keep in mind in Bosnia, we had the UN in there first in a peacekeeping mission. Then we tried for four years, 50 different diplomatic solutions, all those different maps, all that different argument. And the end of it all, from 1991 to 1995, we still had Srebrenica. We still had—and when it was all said and done—we had a quarter of a million people dead and two-and-a-half million refugees. And I think what you have to understand is that we saw this through the lens of Bosnia. And we said we are not going to wait a day, not a day, if we can stop it. Once we knew there was a military plan, they had all those soldiers deployed, they had all those tanks deployed, we knew what was coming and we decided to move." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"We have not put a price on Mr. Milosevic’s head for someone to kill him. We have offered a reward for people who can arrest and help bring to justice war criminals, because of the absence of honoring the international extradition rules in Serbia. So let’s get that clear. No one is interested in that. The United States policy is opposed to assassination, has been since Gerald Ford was President, officially, and I have rigorously maintained it. So we don’t try to do that to heads of state. So that’s the first thing." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"NATO did not commit war crimes. NATO stopped war crimes. NATO stopped deliberate, systematic efforts at ethnic cleansing and genocide. And we did it in a way to minimize civilian casualties. Our pilots were up there—I’m telling you, there were days when they were consistently risking their lives because the Serbs were firing at them with shoulder-fired missiles in the midst of highly populated villages, and the pilots did not fire back and take them out because they knew if they missed, they would kill civilians. Yes, there were civilians killed. But I will say again, if you compare the civilian losses here with the losses in Desert Storm, it’s not even close. They did a magnificent job. They were brave. We tried to minimize casualties. Every target we hit was relevant to the, essentially, the state machine of terrorism that Mr. Milosevic was running." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"What the Serbian people decide to do, of course, is their own affair. But they’re going to have to come to grips with what Mr. Milosevic ordered in Kosovo. They’re just going to have to come to grips with it. And they’re going to have to get out of denial. They’re going to have to come to grips with it. And then they’re going to have to decide whether they support his leadership or not; whether they think it’s OK that all those tens of thousands of people were killed, and all those hundreds of thousands of people were run out of their homes, and all those little girls were raped, and all those little boys were murdered. They’re going to have to decide if they think that is OK. And if they think it’s OK, they can make that decision. But I wouldn’t give them one red cent for reconstruction if they think it’s OK, because I don’t think it’s OK. ... I do not believe we should give them any money for reconstruction if they believe that is the person who should lead them into the new century. I do not, and I will not support it." —Clinton, White House press conference, June 25.
"From our perspective, we’re satisfied we destroyed enough stuff to get him [Milosevic] to say, uncle." —Navy Capt. Stephan Pietropaoli, Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman, NYT, June 28.
"The Kosovo war was mainly an experience of Europe’s own insufficiency and weakness. We as Europeans never could have coped with the Balkan wars that were caused by Milosevic without the help of the United States. The sad truth is that Kosovo showed Europe is still not able to solve its own problems. We have to accept the consequences and hope that Europe can grow from this crisis."— Fischer, WP, June 28.
"We do not need a second NATO. It [bringing European military forces closer to the level of US forces] is a matter of political will and harmonizing Europe’s military industries, but most of all it’s a matter of money. It’s hard to say just how much will be enough. Defense budgets will have to rise, but we could accomplish a lot just through better coordination of the way we spend our money."—Solana, WP, June 28.
"Everyone agrees on the lessons to be learned from the Kosovo experience, but few people here [NATO headquarters] are confident that we will apply them. It would take the Europeans two decades to catch up with the Americans, even if they had the money and the will to spend it." —A "senior NATO intelligence official," WP, June 28.
"In the end, Short and Clark say, it was NATO’s ability to hit ‘strategic, fixed targets’—causing an estimated $30 billion damage and widespread hardship among civilians—that ultimately compelled Milosevic to accept the Alliance’s demands." —Correspondent William Drozdiak, WP, June 28.
"We [NATO officials] were much too narcissistic. This air war was prepared almost as if Milosevic did not exist. We thought he would buckle right away, and when he didn’t, we did not know what to do except keep on bombing. What the Alliance needs in dealing with future conflicts are more chess players and fewer pollsters." —A "senior NATO planner," WP, June 28.
"The Russians have expressed concern that they will be used as target practice by the Kosovo Liberation Army. The Russians want protection. They are edgy." —A "senior officer attached to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s KFOR peacekeeping force," WSJ, June 28.
"JDAM was the hero of this war, and the B-2 was the hero of the early days of Kosovo." —Maj. Gen. Dennis Haines, ACC director of combat weapon systems, Defense Week, June 28.
"We still saw a dedicated enemy that used innovative tactics. They were still firing SAMs on the last day of the war. We were unable to knock out that capability. We need to be able to knock out and kill systems much more effectively than we can today." —Haines, Defense Week, June 28.
"We are both aware, as God knows, how much evil has been done [in Kosovo] in the course of the last year and especially in the last three months. The great part of the guilt lies with Milosevic."—Bishop Artemije, senior representative of Serbian Orthodox Church, speaking for himself and Patriarch Pavle, head of the church, NYT, June 29.
"The apology phase is long since over. That [delivery of a US apology to China for the bombing of its embassy] was done immediately. I think it was done genuinely. It was done personally. It was done repeatedly, both publicly and privately, and I don’t think there’s any more, really, that could be said on this score. It was a tragic accident, and we have, you know, expressed our regrets as personally as we could. ... You know, China really must recognize that this is the only explanation that it’s going to get."—Stanley Roth, assistant secretary of state for Asian Pacific affairs, WT, June 30.
"The bottom line is that there is no way to protect them [the Serbs in Kosovo], and we will indeed have a new refugee exodus, which is very sad when what we wanted is a multi-ethnic society. A lot of them would like to stay, but they are dead scared."—Soren Jessen–Petersen, assistant UN high commissioner for refugees, remarks at a UN news conference, July 1.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news about the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Tweets by @AirForceMag