“It gets under my skin when people say airpower is not working because Milosevic hasn’t caved yet. Airpower is doing exactly what we’re asking [of it]. The question is, is the strategy working Airpower and Its Critics–July 1999? We made a conscious decision to adopt a strategy which restricts us to airpower alone, and everybody should understand that it will take a lot longer for airpower to be effective under those circumstances.”-Gen. Richard Hawley, commander of Air Combat Command, press remarks, April 29.
“As Jesse Jackson would say, give peace a chance here.”-Sen. Trent Lott, majority leader, CNN, May 2.
“[The US and NATO] must seize this moment to take the step to dramatic diplomacy from bloody, protracted war. … We have the power to bomb. We should have the strength to negotiate. If we take the position of demonization, there is no reason ever to negotiate. We demonize Milosevic. They demonize President Clinton. The cycle of demonization must stop.”-Jesse Jackson, remarks to reporters at Andrews AFB, Md., May 3.
“My father gave the order to send B-52s–planes that did not have the precision guided munitions that so impress us all today. He gave the order to send them to bomb the city where his oldest son was held a prisoner of war. That is a pretty hard thing for a father to do. … He knew that leaders were expected to make hard choices in war. Would that the President had half that regard for the responsibilities of his office.”-Sen. John McCain, Senate floor speech, May 4.
“This is a game with as many innings as we want, and I think [Milosevic] is running out of baseballs.”– Maj. Gen. Charles Wald, Washington Post, May 4.
“Not having ground troops in place in the region permitted Milosevic not only to accelerate his ethnic cleansing, but it precluded him from having to arrange Serbian defensive forces differently, to protect both northern and southern borders. So it was foolish of President Clinton to rule out a ground option, but it’s a good example of a political leader perceiving political imperatives in a way that hamstrings military success.”-Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Link, National Journal, May 8.
“I sense there’s some war by committee and trial and error going on in this operation. I subscribe, rather, to the strategy of giving it your best shot from the get-go.”-Gen. Charles Horner, Desert Storm air boss, NJ, May 8.
“On the MTW capability, Major Theater War capability: As you know, we have always tried to structure our forces in a way that we could handle two nearly simultaneously. We have never been structured to handle three. What we have now in Kosovo is roughly a Major Theater War under way. … That means that we’re at three MTWs rather than just two. And so, we didn’t plan for this.”-Defense Secretary William Cohen, Senate Appropriations Committee, May 11.
“Airpower alone has never been decisive. In Vietnam, for example, the Air Force dropped some 6 million tons of bombs, almost triple the tonnage dropped in World War II, without breaking the North Vietnamese will to resist.”-Retired Army Col. Harry Summers, Washington Times, May 12.
“Airmen would have liked to have gone after that target set on the first night and sent a clear signal that we were taking the gloves off from the very beginning, that we were not going to incrementalize, that we’re not going to try a little bit of this and see how you like it and try a little bit of that and see how you like it.”-Maj. Gen. Michael Short, head of NATO air operations, New York Times, May 13.
“Airpower alone is capable of rendering [the Yugoslav] military ineffective, and that’s what our charter is, that’s what our task is, and that’s what we’re going to do.”-Gen. John Jumper, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, press remarks at Pentagon, May 14.
“This air war is different than any we have ever fought. There is a feeling of frustration among the Air Force about the way it’s going, but I say, ‘Tough. Grow up. That’s life.’ We aren’t in charge. The politicians are in charge because there are other, larger considerations.”-USAF Col. Phillip Meilinger, Naval War College professor, WP, May 16.
“I remember him [National Security Advisor Sandy Berger] saying once, ‘Are we going to bomb Kosovo? Can I explain that to Congress? They’ll kill us.’ “-A “senior Administration official, a colleague of Berger’s in setting national security policy,” WP, May 16.
“We are at our maximum advantage in an air campaign. We have a 100-to-1 power ratio over Milosevic. We hit him every day, and every day we hit him harder, and the cost to us has been, thank God, relatively minor. [If Clinton had pressed for a ground war in Kosovo], we would have been paralyzed by a debate in NATO, and paralyzed, in my judgment, by a debate in this country by what was, at that point, a hypothetical, distant option.”-Berger, WP, May 16.
“Where [the Powell Doctrine] needs to be updated is on the question of whether or not military force can be used for more limited purposes than the decimation of the enemy. It cannot mean that we have no choices between nothing and everything.”-Berger, WP, May 16.
“The truth is bitter. The truth is sad, but the truth is we are right to choose force in the Balkans.”-Daniel Cohn-Bendit, prominent German Green Party leader, WP, May 16.
“I don’t believe you can win wars by tossing bombs around like popcorn.”-Sen. Diane Feinstein, WT, May 16.
“We’ve let them [NATO’s European members] play Tom Sawyer with us too long. They let us paint their fence.”-Rep. Barney Frank, Army Times, May 17.
“I would have argued for a campaign that, if it couldn’t include ground troops, then don’t take away also the threat of ground troops.”-Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, a former JCS Chairman, National Press Club address, May 17.
“They [Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters] are like the old Alfa Romeo sports cars. High performance but also high maintenance–and high risk.”-A “NATO official,” Los Angeles Times, May 17.
“The vast bulk of this military operation is being carried out by US forces, although Kosovo is a very long way from Kansas. Their commitment and leadership is something for which President Clinton should be praised, rather than the sneers he receives from the right in this country [Britain].”-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, NYT, May 18.
“I … always said that we intend to see our objectives achieved and that we have not, and will not, take any [military] option off the table.”-President Clinton, press remarks, May 18.
“I don’t think that we or our Allies should take any options off the table, and that has been my position from the beginning–that we ought to stay with the strategy that we have and work it through to the end.”-Clinton, press remarks, May 18.
“The end of the war must be sought through dialogue, not military victory.”-Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema, press remarks in Brussels, May 18.
“[Germany] rejects the sending of ground forces. That is the German position, the German position supported unanimously by the members of the German parliament.”-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, NATO press conference, May 19.
“The first lesson when dealing with the Balkans is not to send mixed signals. We don’t believe it makes sense to change our strategy just at the moment when there is some light at the end of the tunnel.”-Michael Steiner, chief foreign policy advisor to German chancellor, WP, May 20.
“When the Apaches were two weeks late in getting to Albania, it was clear the Army was scraping the bottom of the barrel. Those birds are stiffed [sic] up and polished for a public relations war. The only thing they’re good for is cannibalization.”-A “retired Army officer,” Wall Street Journal, May 20.
“Tell me, is Kosovo really such a big conflict that it required that all the power of NATO–which now commands two-thirds of the world’s military forces–should be aimed at it?”-Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, WP, May 20.
“Milosevic will get only what he has earned, which is the contempt of humankind. He and his cronies will remain subject to indictment by the War Crimes Tribunal.”-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, USA Today, May 21.
“We are constrained by our Allies. Will the public support this? Will the European public support this? I don’t know if the war is calibrated, but the rhetoric is calibrated. It’s a constant challenge to articulate what the US interest is, why we’re doing this, both in terms of NATO Allies and simple right-and-wrong questions. We look at this on a daily basis.”-White House spokesman Joe Lockhart, NYT, May 22.
“I just don’t think Bill Clinton wanted to have a major ground war on his watch.”-Powell, NYT, May 22.
“They [Administration policy-makers] believe that Somalia demonstrates conclusively that you cannot have any casualties. They take this as a matter of faith.”-Ivo Daalder, former National Security Council staff member in Clinton Administration, NYT, May 22.
“As an airman, I’d have done this a whole lot differently than I was allowed to do. We could have done this differently. We should have done this differently.”-Short, Miami Herald, May 22.
“Airpower is very seductive to American leaders, because it combines our love of technology with our distaste for the bestial aspects of land warfare. You do it nice and cleanly. Nobody gets their feet muddy. A pilot flies over at 15,000 feet, kills only those people that need to be killed, flies home, and has a cold beer with a beautiful lady. This is not a new concept.”-Rich Dunn, a retired US Army colonel and now analyst with the Center for National Security Studies, NYT, May 22.
“I don’t have a good feel for knowing how close they are to breaking, but I’ll tell you that, if we do this for two more months, we will either kill this army in Kosovo or send it on the run.”-Short, WP, May 24.
“Bombing … is oppression. If the bombing is done with the notion that our own blood is not to be shed, it is obscene.”-Norman Mailer, WP op-ed article, May 24.
“Quite frankly, these little boo-boos, where you’re hitting a KLA headquarters, where you’re killing innocent citizens, I think is hurting the image of the military, which is unfair.”-Lott, AP, May 24.
“For Clinton himself, it [Allied Force] is an anti-war movement’s sort of war. Out of one side of his mouth, he says that he fights in behalf of a ‘moral imperative.’ Out of the other side, he says, ‘Hell no, we won’t go!’ “-Peter Collier, National Review, May 24.
“I had adequate opportunity to make my views known and to raise all the issues I wanted to raise. I had concerns about whether airpower would do it [defeat Serbian forces] by itself. [Others] felt that air [power] might do it.”-Gen. Dennis Reimer, US Army chief of staff, AP, May 26.
“As one who came away from the Vietnam War with at least the expectation that we now knew what not to do, it is astonishing to see this return to feckless incrementalism, the absence of coherent policy, and a void of political leadership. Maybe you had to be there.”-Robert McFarlane, Reagan national security advisor, 1983-85, LAT op-ed article, May 26.
“I think it was Napoleon who said, ‘If you want to fight a war, make sure it’s against a coalition.’ “-Reimer, NYT, May 27.
“The world has never in this decade been so close as now to the brink of nuclear war.”-Russian negotiator Viktor Chernomyrdin, WP op-ed article, May 27.
“The [NATO] decision to attack the entire nation has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal.”-Jimmy Carter, NYT, May 27.
“The President made the sine qua non of American involvement that there would be no casualties, but that’s misguided. Polls and past experience suggest the American people would accept 25 to 50 deaths. … There’s nothing wrong with conducting wars by polls. You just have to ask the right questions.”-former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, WP, May 27.
“[When Serb air defense operators refused to turn on their radars], that’s when we realized that nobody wanted to eat a HARM missile for Slobodan Milosevic.”-Short, WP, May 28.
“This is the equivalent of [an] MTW, an air campaign, at least, so it’s a major campaign on the part of the Air Force.”-Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28.
“I think this has been a good learning experience for NATO itself.”-Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28.
“Milosevic is a sinking ship. If you were around him in Belgrade, I’m not sure you’d hitch your star to a sinking ship, to mix a metaphor.”-Berger, NYT, May 29.
“I would say the air campaign is working. We’ve always said there are theoretical limits to an air campaign, and all military analysts have pointed this out. But every operation has to be approached with the unique circumstances in which it’s conducted and for its own specific political purposes.”-US Army Gen. Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, WP, May 30.
“The catastrophic effects of NATO’s air war against Serbia have subverted the Clinton Administration’s declared humanitarian intentions.”-Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, WP op-ed, May 31.
“When the peacekeeping force goes in there, the overwhelming majority of people will be European. … When the reconstruction begins, the overwhelming amount of investment will be European.”-Clinton, remarks at Arlington Cemetery, May 31.
“Nothing has been more disturbing to conservative Kosovo hawks than the identity of their allies. To be supporting a foreign policy backed by Christopher Dodd; to be seated in a cheering section next to David Bonior; to find oneself applauded by Ted Kennedy. … It is truly enough to cause us to rethink.”-Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state in Reagan Administration, NR, May 31.
“A welfare mother has to account for every dime, but the sky’s the limit with the Pentagon.”-Rep. Jim McGovern, WSJ, June 2.
“Our policy is not to coordinate with the KLA. … We are not operating in coordination with the KLA. We are not serving as their air force.”-Cohen, press remarks, June 2.
“I don’t see any difference in the behavior of NATO and of Hitler. … NATO wants to erect its own order in the world, and it needs Yugoslavia simply as an example.”-Alexander Solzhenitsyn, remarks to reporters in Moscow, AP, June 2.
“We have no clue how many precious targets Milosevic has or when he’ll fold.”-A “top NATO airman,” WP, June 3.
“You can make it very painful for the enemy, but, as well as the Air Force performed in Desert Storm, it was the Army that rolled across the border. You can’t win wars solely through airpower.”-Maj. Gene Roles, EC-130 ABCCC operations officer, NYT, June 3.
“I don’t think there’s anybody among the Chiefs saying, ‘By God, if we don’t invade Kosovo, it will be a travesty.’ “-A defense “official,” NYT, June 3.
“Federal government [of Yugoslavia] has adopted a peace proposal by the envoys of the Russian Federation and the European Union, since it guarantees the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, disables a terrorist and separatist activity, and halts the aggression on our country, the suffering of the civilians, and demolishing of the national treasure. Federal government estimates to be of especial importance that the decision is being transferred to the United Nations, on the basis of the UN Charter.”-Dispatch from Tanjug, the official Yugoslavia news agency, June 3.
“No matter where we are today, we’re there because of the steady, professional, and strong application of airpower over the last 10 weeks. That is what has produced the reported progress out of Belgrade.”-Bacon, DoD briefing, June 3.
“We must have clarity that the Serbian leadership has fully accepted these conditions and intends to fully implement them.”-Clinton, White House statement, June 3.
“We have been in touch with various members of the Kosovar Albanian community, including the KLA. … It is our expectation that they will demilitarize, … on the basis of the Rambouillet agreements.”-Albright, news briefing, June 3.
“We don’t want this to simply be an exercise in paper promises. There must be performance.”-Cohen, remarks to reporters, June 3.
“The main thing is that we have managed to bring the Balkan [peace] process into the UN legal plane.”-Chernomyrdin, Tanjug, June 3.
“Slobodan Milosevic is Yugoslavia’s legitimate president. This is the choice of the Yugoslav people, and we all shall deal with him.”-Chernomyrdin, Tanjug, June 3.
“That [removal of Milosevic from office] is not part of the terms that NATO set out in the beginning. That question is left open.”-Clinton, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” June 4.
“The only acceptable deal with Slobodan Milosevic is one that offers him safety in exile in exchange for his agreement to step down and hand power to Serbian democrats. Milosevic must be driven from power–vertically or horizontally.”-Sen. Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, NYT, June 4.
“When we look back on this conflict, the air war may be considered the easy part. It is going to be much harder to get these people to forget the violence and live in peace.”-A “senior NATO military officer,” WP, June 4.
“We [the Allies] have taken ownership of the Balkan problem. I kind of imagine Milosevic smiling and saying, ‘We tried to deal with the Kosovars and the KLA; now let NATO try.’ “-John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago professor, NYT, June 4.
“The war has ended.”-Col. Gen. Svetozar Marjanovic, Yugoslav negotiator, to reporters after June 9 signing of NATO peace terms.
“A few moments ago I instructed Gen. Wesley Clark to suspend NATO’s air operations against Yugoslavia.”-NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, announcement in Brussels, June 10.
|Additional Verbatim Special: The Balkan War (not published in magazine)|
“We start this very important hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this morning, by all joining in expressing our profound regret for the loss of any innocent civilians, be they Kosovar, Serb, or the like.” —Sen. John Warner, SASC, April 15.
“The Alliance … is waging a struggle against the genocidal regime of Slobodan Milosevic. This struggle is neither easy nor popular, and we can differ on its strategies and tactics. But there is one thing no reasonable person can deny: This is probably the first war that has not been waged in the name of ‘national interests,’ but rather in the name of principles and values. If one can say of any war that it is ethical, or that it is being waged for ethical reasons, then it is true of this war. Kosovo has no oil fields to be coveted; no member nation in the Alliance has any territorial demands on Kosovo. Milosevic does not threaten the territorial integrity of any member of the Alliance. And yet, the Alliance is at war. It is fighting out of concern for the fate of others. It is fighting because no decent person can stand by and watch the systematic, state-directed murder of other people. It cannot tolerate such a thing. It cannot fail to provide assistance if it is within its power to do so. This war places human rights about the rights of the state.”—Vaclav Havel, president of Czech Republic, speech to Parliament of Canada, April 29.
“Any doubts that ‘Ain’t going to study war no more’ was young Bill Clinton’s favorite college tune [have] been dispelled by his amateurish performance as Commander in Chief of the war he is waging in the Balkans. … Yet, if he had studied war, he would have known that airpower alone has never been decisive. In Vietnam, for example, the Air Force dropped some 6 million tons of bombs, almost triple the tonnage dropped in World War II, without breaking the North Vietnamese will to resist.”—Retired Army Col. Harry Summers, Washington Times (WT), May 12.
“With every ploy that Milosevic tries, our determination to defeat him is deepened. There are no half measures to his brutality. There can be no half measures about how to deal with it. No compromise. No fudge. No half-baked deals.”—Blair, speech in Aachen, Germany, May 13.
“Airpower alone is capable of rendering [the Yugoslav] military ineffective, and that’s what our charter is, that’s what our task is, and that’s what we’re going to do.” —Gen. John Jumper, Allied Air Forces Europe and USAFE commander, press remarks at Pentagon, May 14.
“Everybody is aware of the severity of the Balkan winter and that a military campaign in the Balkan winter is not a readily practical objective.”—Cook, remarks in Brussels, May 17.
“The A-10s may be able to do the work that the Apaches were sent there to do, but the Apaches are there and, if they need to be used, they will be used. … They were dispatched at a time when we were being ‘weathered out’ on a substantial number of sorties over Kosovo. … Since then, … the weather has improved.”—Bacon, DoD briefing, May 18.
“I can tell you I was in Vietnam where we used a gradual approach, and I was in Desert Storm where we used massive application of firepower and military force to shock the enemy into [conforming] to our will. If you are going to go through the immoral act of taking lives and destroying things, then you shouldn’t be hesitant on how you do it. You need to do it and get it over with.”—Horner, National Press Club (NPC) remarks, May 18.
“I think one thing that we found in Vietnam, and we found in Desert Storm, is the first fundamental importance of knowing what you are doing before you deploy military force. You have to decide: Is your political objective militarily achievable? … If you know what is militarily achievable in Kosovo, then the strategy of using the proper mix of air, land, sea, and the space forces is quite easy for the military experts. … If you find yourself debating military strategy … you have a problem.”—Horner, NPC, May 18.
“They [the B-2 stealth bombers] are the most important thing we have in our military arsenal.”—Horner, NPC, May 18.
“I believe the campaign is working. Each day, we hear reports of desertions in the Serbian Army, dissension in Belgrade, unrest in Serbian communities. President Milosevic should know that he cannot change the fundamental terms that we have outlined, because they are simply what is required for the Kosovars to go home and live in peace.”—Clinton, remarks, May 20.
“Without stop-loss, we won’t, between now and September, be able to do the Kosovo operation. … The implications [of the war] for the [Guard and Reserve forces] are serious. The reason is stop-loss. I can tell you, if you are an active duty pilot with a job in the airline industry lined up in September, and they invoke stop-loss for a war that is not popular, you are going to be [angry]. You are going to say, ‘Watch out for the Air Force.’ “—Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd (Ret.), former director of the Air National Guard, press remarks, May 20.
“The goal of the NATO campaign was not to crush Yugoslavia. … It was to degrade their force enough so that they would go to the negotiating table. Some members of NATO said, in order to do that, you don’t have to go in and, on the first few days of the campaign, demolish the country, because that’s not the goal.”—Bacon, DoD briefing, May 20.
“We believe there should be great care to avoid the errors that would increase the sense of unease among our voters.”—D’Alema, NYT, May 21.
“When [Gen. Wesley Clark, SACEUR] requested the Apache task force, the decision to move the package was made under the presumption that its mere movement to theater would be a strong stick to move Milosevic to the table. If we really intended to use the Apaches, we would have sent in the Longbows [the most capable version of the Apache]. Obviously, it was just for show, not for go.”—An “Army source” privy to Pentagon meetings of senior US officers, WT, May 21.
“Yes, there is the issue of underlying tension [in the Apache task force due to lack of action]. We would like to get on with doing our job and get this over. … We aren’t just a band of merry warriors. … I will obey the orders of the President.”—Army Lt. Gen. John Hendrix, WP, May 21.
“We are together with the Serbian people. I feel at home, here. We are brothers. I could be going to discos every night in Moscow, enjoying myself, but it is a question of my soul. I feel something.”—Pro–Serb Russian “volunteer” soldier in Kosovo, WP, May 21.
“Nobody can guarantee that. … No one can guarantee at this stage that the air campaign will produce all of the objectives by the fall. We think it will, but can you guarantee it? Will you sign your name to that, at this stage? I don’t think anybody would be willing to do that. We think that the air campaign is working extremely well, but you have to be open to other possibilities.”—Bacon, DoD briefing, May 21.
“We are constrained by our Allies. Will the public support this? Will the European public support this? I don’t know if the war is calibrated, but the rhetoric is calibrated. It’s a constant challenge to articulate what the US interest is, why we’re doing this, both in terms of NATO Allies and simple right-and-wrong questions. We look at this on a daily basis.”—Lockhart, NYT, May 22.
“I just don’t think Bill Clinton wanted to have a major ground war on his watch.”—Powell, NYT, May 22.
“We are in a different realm, now. We can fight this type of war, and we so totally outclass the enemy. It is astonishing to be fighting for eight weeks and suffer no casualties.”—Meilinger, NYT, May 22.
“All the [Clinton Administration] analysts felt that Milosevic was unpredictable but, faced with hard resolve, he would cut a deal very similar to the deal he made in Bosnia.”—Nick Dowling, former White House expert on Balkan issues, NYT, May 22.
“They [Administration policy-makers] believe that Somalia demonstrates conclusively that you cannot have any casualties. They take this as a matter of faith.”—Daalder, NYT, May 22.
“The problem with the White House is that, rather than say why did casualties occur, they just said, we can’t take casualties any more.”—Joulwan, recalling problems in running Bosnia operations, NYT, May 22.
“From the beginning, there’s been a terrible mismatch—between our rhetoric of Milosevic being another Hitler perpetrating genocide in the center of Europe and our goals and course of action. That’s a stain on our honor because, if Milosevic had to contemplate the threat of ground forces from the beginning, he could not have dispersed his forces for the efficient ethnic cleansing of innocent people. As for whether the NATO Allies would have held together in backing us in a ground-force option, I have a five-word answer: The United States must lead.”—McCain, NJ, May 22.
“None of us wish to destroy the Serb nation and create a vacuum in the Balkans.”—Short, Miami Herald, May 22.
“As an airman, I’d have done this a whole lot differently than I was allowed to do. We could have done this differently. We should have done this differently.”—Short, Miami Herald, May 22.
“Airpower is very seductive to American leaders, because it combines our love of technology with our distaste for the bestial aspects of land warfare. You do it nice and cleanly. Nobody gets their feet muddy. A pilot flies over at 15,000 feet, kills only those people that need to be killed, flies home, and has a cold beer with a beautiful lady. This is not a new concept.”—Rich Dunn, a retired US Army colonel and now analyst with the Center for National Security Studies, NYT, May 22.
“[British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s campaign for the war effort represents] “a remarkably high level of personal diplomacy for us. It’s the Diana syndrome, a policy made by image, the image of miserable refugees, not one made in terms of long years of development. [Blair’s tactics had put Britain into] a position of having to put up or shut up. And the problem is we can’t put up, and we won’t shut up.”—Kenneth Minogue, London School of Economics, NYT, May 23.
“Master politician that he [Blair] is, he has no experience of conducting the diplomatic or military side of war. He is running terrible risks. Polls show that he has a majority of public support, but it is the support of tabloid readers. The well-informed feel uninformed, are anxious, and racked by doubt. Those who cheer him on do so in the spirit of football supporters.”—John Keegan, military historian at Sandhurst, NYT, May 23.
“Milosevic faces the certainty of continuing airstrikes, the persistence of the KLA, and the prospect of having to answer to his people for starting an unwinnable conflict that is bringing military failure and economic ruin. The question now is not whether his ethnic cleansing will be reversed but when, and how much of his military he is willing to see destroyed along the way.”—Clinton, NYT op–ed article, May 23.
“If I were Milosevic, I would be more encouraged than I was at the beginning. Milosevic thinks he doesn’t have to worry about anything further. All the signals we’re sending to him are the wrong signals, other than saying we are going to go on bombing.”—Scowcroft, NYT, May 23.
“This is a half-war, fought for half a result, and that’s where we’re heading. Milosevic is still sitting there.”—A “senior NATO diplomat,” NYT, May 23.
“I support the President. He’s the Commander in Chief, … [but] I just don’t believe bombing is the answer to political problems. I just don’t know how many lives have to be lost before we say we’ve won.”—Rep. Charles Rangel, WP, May 23.
“All of them were angry at the United States and apparently far more offended that the Chinese Embassy had been bombed than that thousands of Kosovars had been executed and hundreds of thousands forcibly removed from their homes.”—Rep. James Moran, referring to a recent encounter with some constituents, WP, May 23.
“For sure, we have no sign of withdrawal. The contrary is correct. We have just found out recently that, obviously, another still-unspecific number of recruits did come into the Pec area. … There are men coming in and we are just checking on the number. So, for sure, no withdrawal.”—Jertz, NATO briefing, May 23.
“If you’re talking about [US ground troops] fighting their way in there [Kosovo], absolutely not. The American people, I believe, overwhelmingly would be opposed to that.”—Lott, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” May 23.
“If you are getting pounded by B-1s and B-52s, and A-10s are chasing you every day, and if you know that every time you move you are liable to be hit, at some point your spirit will break, particularly if you are not getting any help from Belgrade. I don’t have a good feel for knowing how close they are to breaking, but I’ll tell you that, if we do this for two more months, we will either kill this army in Kosovo or send it on the run.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“As an airman, I would have done this differently. It would not be an incremental air campaign or a slow buildup, but we would go downtown from the first night … so that on the first morning, the influential citizens of Belgrade gathered around Milosevic would have awakened to significant destruction and a clear signal from NATO that we were taking the gloves off. If you wake up in the morning and you have no power to your house and no gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be lying in [the] Danube for the next 20 years, I think you begin to ask, ‘Hey, Slobo, what’s this all about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?’ And at some point, you make the transition from applauding Serb machismo against the world to thinking what your country is going to look like if this continues.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“There are targets I would like to hit that we are restricted from hitting because of 19 nations needing to agree, but that’s just a reality of working within a coalition. They all have a different view of the problem and they all want it solved a little differently.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“We decided to start out at an altitude we felt appropriate for the threat we expected to see and which allowed us to attack fixed targets with guided munitions in Kosovo and around Belgrade. … I wanted to destroy the target set and bring this guy [Milosevic] to the negotiating table without losing our kids.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“They [Serbian air defense operators] did not react the way we thought they would. We thought they would make every effort to shoot us down, but they chose to shoot unguided missiles that were not very effective. They are good at concealment and constantly on the move, but they have stayed in a survival mode. It shows us there are not too many air defense operators willing to die for Milosevic.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“I met with all of my squadron commanders and said, ‘OK, what do we need to do to keep this [strikes on wrong targets] from happening again?’ They gave me feedback as to altitude limits they felt were appropriate in getting down closer to the target set. I approved it and we’ve been operating under those guidelines ever since. I am convinced I have given them more than adequate latitude. I’d be real surprised if you could find an aircrew out there now that says they want to go lower than the altitude I have cleared.”—Short, WP, May 24.
“Bombing … is oppression. If the bombing is done with the notion that our own blood is not to be shed, it is obscene. In large part, people who are bombed will never forgive the aggressor. We can hardly wish to meditate upon the detestation of America that we are seeding in all the poor populations of the world.”—Norman Mailer, WP op–ed article, May 24.
“President Clinton’s conduct of the war over Kosovo has been feckless.”—Brzezinski, WSJ, May 24.
“Quite frankly, these little boo-boos, where you’re hitting a KLA headquarters, where you’re killing innocent citizens, I think is hurting the image of the military, which is unfair.”—Lott, Associated Press, May 24.
“Downed helicopters and dead pilots scare this Administration to death.”—An “Army officer,” Time, May 24 (May 31 issue).
“If the U.S. wants to do something in NATO, like send in ground troops, it happens. We’ve been consistently hiding behind NATO to avoid doing what we don’t want to do.”—Daalder,Time, May 24 (May 31 issue).
“The political support for this operation isn’t so strong that it can tolerate high casualties. You should avoid the casualties if you can, even if it takes a little longer.”—Retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Time, May 24 (May 31 issue).
“We’re creeping forward; we’re inching forward. We’re not taking great strides.”—A “senior Administration official,” Time, May 24 (May 31 issue).
“You’re getting a pretty good account now of where the strikes are going on in Kosovo. But the problem I have—and anyone looking at this has—is, OK, we have this data. So what? Does it tell us when Milosevic is going to give in? Does it tell us when Serbian operations are truly crippled? No.”—Cordesman, WP, May 24.
“No issue is more in need of rethinking than the concept of humanitarian intervention, put forward as the Administration’s contribution to a new approach to foreign policy. The air war in Kosovo is justified as establishing the principle that the international community—or at least NATO—will henceforth punish the transgressions of governments against their own people. But we did not do so in Algeria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Croatia, Rwanda, the Caucasus, the Kurdish areas, and many other regions. And what will be our attitude to emerging ethnic conflicts in Asia—for example, in Indonesia and the Philippines? The answer often given is that we act where we are able to [act] without undue risk, not elsewhere. But what are the criteria for this distinction? And what kind of humanism expresses its reluctance to suffer military casualties by devastating the civilian economy of its adversary for decades to come?”—Kissinger, Newsweek, May 24.
“For anyone who has spent more than five days in Serbia, and wasn’t drunk all the time—which is hard, but spies should be sober for at least half an hour a day—it should have been obvious that the bombing would set off a humanitarian catastrophe and empower this government, maybe forever. But people here believe the violence in Kosovo started with the Kosovo Liberation Army that killed Serbs to get independence, and that the state is right to defeat them. … First comes the war. We’ll vote [on the future of Milosevic] later.”—Serbian rock star Dejan Cukic, NYT, May 24.
“We have not targeted … the power plants, per se. We have targeted the transformers and the edges, so to speak, of the electricity-generating system. And it is mainly to cause difficulties to the military complex in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.”—Spokesman Peter Daniel, NATO briefing, May 24.
“For Clinton himself, it [Allied Force] is an anti-war movement’s sort of war. Out of one side of his mouth, he says that he fights in behalf of a ‘moral imperative.’ Out of the other side, he says, ‘Hell no, we won’t go!’ All things at once and nothing for sure, he threatens, as always, to cancel himself—and us—out.”—Peter Collier, National Review (NR), May 24.
“As long as the bombing goes on, Milosevic will be absolved and rage will be directed at NATO. Citizens of Belgrade do not consider themselves responsible for what happened in Kosovo. … For the majority of the population, this is an absurd situation they cannot explain to themselves.”—Dusan Mihajlovic, leader of Yugoslavia’s New Democracy Party, WP, May 25.
“Like the Duke of Plaza–Toro in Gilbert and Sullivan, Mr. Clinton prefers to lead his regiment from behind. Touring American television studios, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook found himself showing a ‘united front’ with Madeleine Albright. When asked about ground troops, Secretary Albright said she thought the bombings would do the trick; Mr. Cook emphasized the Alliance’s preparations on the ground. Mr. Cook returned from Washington announcing that the 50,000-strong [NATO] contingent would be ‘more than just a peacekeeping force’ and would be prepared for a ‘nonpermissive’ environment. From Washington, the response from Secretary Albright’s office was swift: ‘Those troops are going to go in a permissive way.’ “—WSJ editorial, May 25.
“The winter is clearly a driver to what we are doing and saying. We want to get as many people back into Kosovo as possible. Whether that will be logistically possible or feasible in that time constraint is clearly a matter of interpretation.”—British Defense Secretary George Robertson, Times of London, May 25.
“First of all, this is what I personally call our Teddy Roosevelt force. It’s a force that we are designing to speak softly but to carry a big stick. In other words, to be a robust force, robust command and control, built around a NATO core. … When we say, ‘big stick,’ we mean a heavily armed force, absolutely, not side arms or side arms with a few other things as well. … This force will be a force, as I say, which will speak softly, by which I mean that it will be friendly to everybody; it will be evenhanded towards the Serbs as well as the Kosovars. It will be constructive and cooperative, but it will have very sharp teeth as well as very big teeth, if anybody should try to oppose it carrying out its mandate or to threaten its personnel.”—Shea, NATO briefing, May 25.
“I fear that the President … will put ground troops into Yugoslavia without the approval of the people’s representatives. … He will then put us into a position of a fait accompli and perhaps then come to Congress, saying, ‘Now, give me the authority because we have already committed the ground troops.”—Rep. Tom Campbell, remarks to the press, May 25.
“Our troops are in a state of war in Kosovo. To say anything else is sophistry.”—Campbell, May 25.
“I am here to say that the representatives of the American people voted against this war in the Balkans. [They] voted against a declaration of war. [They] voted against an air war. [They] voted against a ground war. Yet the war continues unauthorized, without the consent of the governed.”—Rep. Dennis Kucinich, remarks to the press, May 25.
“All options are open. … We don’t want to take off the table any option.”—Solana, NATO press conference, May 25.
“Modern militaries cannot run for long without oil, gas, and electricity, and this is a way to cut down their ability to operate and to weaken the military further until Milosevic decides that he’s had enough.”—Bacon, DoD briefing, May 25.
“We are in a very decisive situation of the conflict, because, within the next two weeks, we will see whether we get a political solution or not. In the next two weeks, we will know whether we are successful at the Security Council.”—Fischer, press remarks in Washington, May 25.
“I had adequate opportunity to make my views known and to raise all the issues I wanted to raise. I had concerns about whether airpower would do it [defeat Serbian forces] by itself. [Others] felt that air[power] might do it.”—Gen. Dennis Reimer, US Army chief of staff, AP, May 26.
“My view in general terms is that if you’re going to use military force, using the total military force available to you is the right way to go. It works best if you have a good balance [of land, air-, and sea power].”—Reimer, AP, May 26.
“The only option that was available to us at that point in time, to NATO, I think, was the airstrikes. At that point in time, people felt the airstrikes might be sufficient to do the job, and they still may be. It’s a matter of how much time is required. … We don’t know whether tomorrow he [Milosevic] will [give up]. The airstrikes have hurt him. I think it’s hard not to make the case that when you get hit like that … day and night, it makes you mad. … Whether it actually will succeed in bringing him to his knees … I just don’t know yet, and that’s the hard part about it.”—Reimer, AP, May 26.
“We are acutely aware that ours is a volunteer force and that this action [stop-loss], while essential to meeting our worldwide obligations, is inconsistent with fundamental principles of voluntary service. We also know that this action will adversely affect the lives of airmen and their families.”—Acting USAF Secretary Whitten Peters, public statement, May 26.
“As one who came away from the Vietnam War with at least the expectation that we now knew what not to do, it is astonishing to see this return to feckless incrementalism, the absence of coherent policy, and a void of political leadership. Maybe you had to be there. We’re in a war, Mr. President. This is important. Let’s get on with it.”—Robert McFarlane, Reagan national security advisor, 1983–85, LAT op–ed article, May 26.
“The scale of destruction caused by Milosevic in Kosovo means that we will need significantly greater numbers of people to help re-establish the civil infrastructure, provide humanitarian aid, and clear the vicious and dangerous fields of mines laid by Serbian troops and military police. … This is a peace-implementation force, not an invasion force.”—Robertson, remarks in House of Commons, May 26.
“This isn’t just the first step, or the camel’s nose. It’s the front half of the beast. [If] Milosevic doesn’t cave in by early June, NATO will have to prepare to force him out.”—Daniel Gouré, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Boston Globe, May 27.
“According to Foreign Affairs magazine, between 1986 and 1989, 130,000 Serbs were forced out of Kosovo because of ‘harassment and discrimination by the Kosovar majority.’ New York Times correspondent David Binder reported throughout the 1980s on Kosovar atrocities that included trying to set fire to young boys, raping Serbian girls, attacking Serbian Orthodox churches, and poisoning Serbian wells, ‘thereby helping to fulfill a nationalist demand for an ethnically “pure” Albanian Kosovo.’ “—Former Vietnam War activist Tom Hayden, Salon magazine, May 27.
“The plan is to cut off the main telephone system, drive their computer systems crazy, and make sure the Serbs can only use cellular phones that are most vulnerable to eavesdropping by satellite. There is agreement that this is the moment to apply maximum pressure.”—A “senior Alliance official,” WP, May 27.
“I think it was Napoleon who said, ‘If you want to fight a war, make sure it’s against a coalition.’ “—Reimer, NYT, May 27.
“We do not intend to negotiate NATO’s conditions. Milosevic and the people in Belgrade know what they have to do. But we are not going to rule out future contacts in Belgrade if they are necessary to achieve our objectives or advance our national interests.”—A “senior Clinton Administration official,” WP, May 27.
“The new NATO strategy, the first practical instance of which we are witnessing in Yugoslavia, has led to a serious deterioration in Russia–US contacts. I will be so bold as to say it has set them back by several decades. Recent opinion polls back this up. Before the air raids, 57 percent of Russians were positively disposed toward the United States, with 28 percent hostile. The raids reversed those numbers, to 14 percent positive and 72 percent negative. Sixty-three percent of Russians blame NATO for unleashing the conflict, while only 6 percent blame Yugoslavia.”—Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russia’s special envoy on Kosovo, WP op–ed article, May 27.
“The world has never in this decade been so close as now to the brink of nuclear war.”—Chernomyrdin, WP op–ed article, May 27.
“It is impossible to talk peace with bombs falling. This is clear, now. So I deem it necessary to say that, unless the raids stop soon, I shall advise Russia’s president to suspend Russian participation in the negotiating process, put an end to all military–technological cooperation with the United States and Western Europe, put off the ratification of START II, and use Russia’s veto as the United Nations debates a resolution on Yugoslavia. On this we shall find understanding from great powers such as China and India. Of this, I am sure.”—Chernomyrdin, WP op–ed article, May 27.
“Although formidable commitments are being made in the Balkans, where white Europeans are involved, no such concerted efforts are being made by leaders outside of Africa to resolve [purely African] disputes.”—Former President Jimmy Carter, NYT op–ed article, May 27.
“The [NATO] decision to attack the entire nation has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal.”—Carter, NYT, May 27.
“The tribunal is an independent body, and we respect its decision. There is no point complaining or applauding. Now we will just have to see how the whole legal, military, and diplomatic cocktail works.”—Steiner, NYT, May 27.
“The president made the sine qua non of American involvement that there would be no casualties, but that’s misguided. Polls and past experience suggest the American people would accept 25 to 50 deaths. … There’s nothing wrong with conducting wars by polls. You just have to ask the right questions.”—Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, WP, May 27.
“Perhaps desperation is really setting in as they make a last determined stand to shoot down NATO aircraft. They are shooting as many [unguided missiles] as they can just to … claim one more victory.”—Jertz, NATO briefing, May 27.
“The Air Force has some dual-role F-15Es that can operate effectively in bad weather, but the Navy carriers are now bereft of all-weather strike aircraft, greatly limiting their usefulness in Kosovo. The single-seat F-16s and F-18s flying most of the missions are fine versatile fighters, but neither can bomb reliably in foul weather. Nor do they have adequate jamming, eavesdropping, or photoreconnaissance support, absolutely critical for the type of mission assigned, because the Clinton team also scrapped the EF-111 jammers, the ES-3 electronic eavesdroppers, and the RF-4E reconnaissance aircraft, all without replacement.”—Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman Jr., WSJ op–ed article, May 28.
“The evidence upon which this indictment was confirmed raises serious questions about their suitability to be the guarantors of any deal, let alone a peace agreement. They have not been rendered less suitable by the indictment. The indictment has simply exposed their unsuitability.”—Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, UN War Crimes Tribunal, commenting on indictment of Milosevic and others, WP, May 28.
“If I have one constituent who comes back in a body bag, I want to be able to look their family in the eye and tell them we tried everything we could before their son or daughter gave their lives for our country.”—Rep. Michael Capuano, WP, May 28.
“Now we’re hearing the voice of the people. Our constituents are saying, ‘Why not try the peace card?’ “—Rep. Sam Farr, WP May 28.
“A majority of the caucus is still uncomfortable with the concept of ground troops. A clear majority of the caucus wants to give the President every opportunity to be successful and let the bombing campaign continue. There is some sentiment for a bombing pause, but the majority wants to let the President, as Commander in Chief, handle that.”—Rep. Martin Frost, WP, May 28.
“We must have the courage to face reality and admit that our current strategy is failing to achieve our principal objective in the region—namely, ending the violence and returning the Kosovo Albanian refugees to their homes. It is time to open the door to a peace settlement in the Balkans, and see if Milosevic is serious about withdrawing his troops from Kosovo. Let us challenge him to put up or shut up.”—Rep. Rod Blagojevich, WP, May 28.
“[When Serb air defense operators refused to turn on their radars], that’s when we realized that nobody wanted to eat a HARM missile for Slobodan Milosevic.”—Short, WP, May 28.
“I estimate that, if NATO attacks on the ground, their casualties will be between 8 and 12 percent of their forces, including about 30 dead a day.”—Col. Milan Gorjanc, former Yugoslav Army leader and now senior military strategist for Slovenia, Times of London, May 28.
“This is going to make the road a little rockier to stabilizing the relationship between China and the United States.”—James Sasser, US ambassador to China, during the attacks on the US Embassy in Beijing following the inadvertent US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, WP, May 28.
“We believe that the air campaign, in fact, is working, consistent with our goals of diminishing and damaging and degrading Milosevic’s military and his infrastructure.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“We are increasingly finding forces in the field. We are going after the tanks, artillery pieces. They continue to be hit with increasing frequency and the better the weather, obviously the better it’s going to be as far as carrying out that mission.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“There is some indication that the numbers of the UCK [Albanian acronym for Kosovo Liberation Army] are increasing. It is likely that they will get money and revenues in order to acquire weaponry. And over a long period of time, they are going to pose a significant threat to a diminished Milosevic.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“As we’ve indicated with all the indicted war criminals, that there’s no statute of limitations on the war crimes. That they run the risk and they are open to being apprehended and arrested and brought before the Hague at any given time when the circumstances permit. And so, the same would apply to Milosevic himself.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“One day, he will [come to trial]. The purpose of the indictment is to put everyone in the world on notice that he stands accused of having committed war crimes by the direction of the campaign against the Kosovars. So to the extent there’s no time limitation on that, at some point in time, he will be brought to justice.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“The only circumstance where I could see where the bombing would stop is when Milosevic agrees to the conditions that NATO has set forth and manifests an intent to comply with them. For example, after agreeing to those conditions, he would have to take steps to pull his forces out. I’ve said this in the past, that if he agrees to the conditions about his forces out, the others, the Kosovars back in, international peacekeeping force, NATO at the core and agree to the greater autonomy for the Kosovars and then started to pull his forces out, that would be a situation in which I don’t see that we would start attacking his forces as they’re pulling out.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“What the Administration has said is, that there is no consensus for a ground force. And until there is a consensus, we should not undertake any action for which we could not measure up in the way of performance. There has been a consensus on airpower. And so, the air campaign will, in fact, continue. The President indicated that nothing was going to be taken off the table, but also very clearly that there has to be a consensus. There is no consensus. It’s been made very clear that one does not exist. … The President said he would not take any option off the table, but it’s clear to me that there would need to be a consensus. There is not a consensus for a major ground effort.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“It can go on as long as necessary. We have made it, I think, fairly clear that this is the equivalent of [an] MTW, an air campaign, at least, so it’s a major campaign on the part of the Air Force. Right now, we are replenishing those munitions that have been used. I think the support coming from the Congress has been important. … And so, we can carry this as long as necessary. We’re using the different types of munitions, now, from day to day, and we are increasing the production [of] JDAMs and other munitions. So we can carry this out as long as necessary. … If it extends over a long, long period of time, then, sure, it could have an impact at that point. But right now, we’re satisfied we can carry it on indefinitely.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“We’re having more and more indications that morale is being affected on the part of the Serbs. We’re seeing more defections taking place. We’re seeing more demonstrations taking place. We’re seeing a good deal more damage taking place. … And now that we’re seeing the weather no longer being an inhibiting factor, each day that goes by, more and more damage is being inflicted. And so, I think we’re reaching the point now where you’re going to start seeing a much different reaction on the part of the Serb forces.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“I think we’ve indicated that had the United States been planning this operation, it would have ended differently. I’ve mentioned this to USA Today and others, that the planning process took some time to iron out a lot of difficulties in terms of how this was going to be put together. And it was a planning process which had some delays in the approval process. It, for the most part, has been worked out now where Gen. Clark has almost complete flexibility. So, by holding the Allies together, the 19 countries, it did present some challenges in the first month or so, but I think since that time, we have gotten to the point where he has enough flexibility to do the kind of damage that needs to be done.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“[With the US acting alone,] it would have been wider and more intense from my perspective. I think that any time you’re dealing with an alliance, you have to take into account the need to hold that alliance together. And this is the first time NATO has had to operate in this fashion. And so, satisfying the command and control structure and the selection of the targets, I should say, and approval of those targets, I think presented some initial challenges which have since been worked out for the most part.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“[NATO’s] certainly a viable institution. And I would say, as compared to the United States acting unilaterally, this was certainly the best option and the only option. We had to have an Alliance effort and that requires consensus building. And I think whatever impediments that we saw in the organizational aspect of this have been for the most part worked out. Most of those have been removed. And I think Gen. Clark is satisfied he has the kind of authority, now, in terms of target recommendation selection and approval, that it’s very quick as opposed to going through a process where targets were taken off a list by—from time to time delayed. And so, that contributed, I think, to the lack of a much intensive campaign in the beginning.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“I think this has been a good learning experience for NATO itself. NATO has gone through this process for the first time. And I think that learning curve is up substantially now, that should this ever be required in the future, that those kinds of problems initially encountered will not be there.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“I think the proof is in the [Bomb Damage Assessment] each day. You can take a look at what is being hit and reach a judgment that Gen. Clark has had the authority to extend the range of targets and the types of targets and the areas from which—where they are hit and from where they are hit.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“It’s very difficult … to try to compare Desert Storm with this particular operation. In Desert Storm, you had one country basically in charge. Even though you had many participants, it was the United States leading the effort. No. 2, you had a staging area which was open to all of our forces going in without any restriction. No. 3, you had no weather impediments. No. 4, you had massed forces dug in in the ground, but clearly open to attack by our air forces without the kind of restraints that we have as far a geography, weather in Kosovo. So you have an entirely different circumstance. And, plus, here, you have 16 countries, which became 19 countries, involved in the effort. So even though it’s the United States in the lead of NATO, nonetheless, when you’re trying to carry out a campaign on the basis of consensus, it presents many more impediments.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“There needs to be a substantial winterization program started now to winterize facilities for the Kosovars. So there’s no limitation on the air campaign. That can continue indefinitely, but there is a recognition that we have to move on the winterization program.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“I am increasingly confident given the amount of damage that we’re doing day by day. We’re seeing signals coming out again, more anecdotal at this point, but increased discontent on the part of the VJ forces, concern of the losses that are mounting, demonstration by families [of] the soldiers who are either not returning or being killed. So much of that is starting to surface now, and it’s precisely the wrong time to be talking about a pause. Right now, we should intensify it and not talk about pausing.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“We have the capability of carrying out two MTWs. As I indicated a few moments ago, this is another MTW, but it’s an air MTW. And if we were called upon to respond to the other regions, then we would have to call upon our European Allies to do much more in the region, but we would protect those other two MTWs.”—Cohen, DoD briefing, May 28
“Milosevic is a sinking ship. If you were around him in Belgrade, I’m not sure you’d hitch your star to a sinking ship, to mix a metaphor.”—Berger, NYT, May 29.
“NATO air attacks have killed Serbian civilians. That is regrettable. But it is a price that has to be paid when a nation falls in behind a criminal leader. It happened in Germany. And it has happened again in Serbia.”—Columnist Anthony Lewis, NYT, May 29.
“I would say the air campaign is working. We’ve always said there are theoretical limits to an air campaign, and all military analysts have pointed this out. But every operation has to be approached with the unique circumstances in which it’s conducted and for its own specific political purposes.”—Clark, WP, May 30.
“I would never purport to be a military strategist, where I was going to start drawing military plans.”—Cohen, NYT, May 30.
“He’s not uncomfortable being silent.”—An “aide” to Shelton, referring to the JCS Chairman, NYT, May 30.
“Americans sense that, despite our disgust at the latest massacre and Milosevic’s thuggery, no vital US interest exists there. The Serbs do not threaten NATO. They have not attacked Americans.”—Patrick J. Buchanan, NYT, May 30.
“Advocates of this air war insisted it would forestall the mass displacement, plunder, and murder of the Albanian Kosovars. Reality: The catastrophic effects of NATO’s air war against Serbia have subverted the Clinton Administration’s declared humanitarian intentions.”—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, WP op–ed article, May 31.
“We have a clear objective, here, of striking at the Yugoslav forces wherever they are in Kosovo. [If the KLA rebels] are able to benefit from that, so be it.”—Shea, NATO briefing, May 31.
“I know that many Americans believe that this is not our fight. But remember why many of the people are laying in these graves out here—because of what happened in Europe and because of what was allowed to go on too long before people intervened. What we are doing today will save lives, including American lives, in the future.”—Clinton, Memorial Day remarks at Arlington Cemetery, May 31.
“In this military campaign the United States has borne a large share of the burden, as we must, because we have a greater capacity to bear that burden, but all Americans should know that we have been strongly supported by our European Allies; that, when the peacekeeping force goes in there, the overwhelming majority of people will be European; and that, when the reconstruction begins, the overwhelming amount of investment will be European.”—Clinton, remarks at Arlington Cemetery, May 31.
“Now, you’re going to ask me, ‘Are innocent people going to die in a conflict like this one?’ The answer is undoubtedly yes. But Milosevic kills and terrorizes civilians not by the dozen, but by the hundreds of thousands, and it’s a matter of policy for him to do that.”—Shea, NATO briefing, June 1.
“A welfare mother has to account for every dime, but the sky’s the limit with the Pentagon.”—Rep. Jim McGovern, WSJ, June 2.
“This is exactly the kind of NATO we wanted to join 10 years ago, one that stands for a certain set of values. Now, NATO is fighting to defend those values.”—Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, Christian Science Monitor (CSM), June 2.
“We never wanted them [US F/A-18 fighters] here [at Taszar AB, Hungary], but nobody asks what the simple people want. More and more people around here are talking about World War III.”—Retired truck driver Laszlo Kalmar, resident of Taszar village, CSM, June 2.
“The more the US bombs, the bigger the demonstrations will get. If there’s no early resolution—and if US ground troops are sent to fight—the anti-war movement will become really fierce.”—Brian Becker, co-director of anti-war International Action Center, LAT, June 2.
“Most people are unimpressed by the arguments of the anti-war protesters because they see that we have a very different situation now than we had during the Vietnam War.”—Todd Gitlin, New York University professor and 1960s activist, LAT, June 2.
“The easiest way to understand why we are where we are in Kosovo is to recall what Bill Clinton said in early 1991 after Congress had authorized President Bush to attack Iraq. Just before American fliers and soldiers went into action, the then-governor of Arkansas reflected, ‘I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote, but I agree with the arguments the minority made.’ There you have the reasoning of a principled man who knows his own mind and is willing to run huge political risks to defend deep convictions.”—Columnist Robert J. Samuelson, WP, June 2.
“In the next few days, a week, there will be serious discussion of ground troops for the first time. People are coming to the point of very sobering talks about ground troops. It’s all coming to a point of convergence.”—An “Administration official,” NYT, June 2.
“The sentiment in the House is against a ground war. If the President wants to send up a supplemental to fund a ground war, it would meet with stiff resistance from all quarters of Congress.”—John Feehery, spokesman for Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, WP, June 2.
“I’m sure that there will be a full range of discussions, questions about whether or not there would be any kind of ground option for a nonpermissive environment. But as we have indicated on many occasions before, there is a consensus for a strong air operation in the NATO countries. There is not a consensus for a ground operation in a nonpermissive environment. So we intend to focus on the positive.”—Cohen, press remarks, June 2.
“Our policy is not to coordinate with the KLA. Our policy is to attack Serb forces wherever they are massed. This is something that, whenever they mass their forces and present a target of opportunity for us, we will continue to pound them. So, to the extent that they are posing that kind of a threat in the region, we are going to go after them. But we are not coordinating or working in conjunction with the KLA. … We are not operating in coordination with the KLA. We are not serving as their air force.”—Cohen, press remarks, June 2.
“There is no deadline for any of these plans. We know how to deploy troops in the winter. We’ve proven that in Bosnia before. We certainly know how to operate in the winter.” —Bacon, DoD briefing, June 2.
“We are talking about a single [peacekeeping] force with a single unity of command, robust rules of engagement, and a common approach throughout Kosovo.”—Shea, NATO briefing, June 2.
“There is a clear choice before the Serbian leader. He can cut his losses now and accept the basic requirements of a just peace, or he can continue to face military failure and economic ruin of his people. In the end, the outcome will be the same.”—Clinton, speech to Air Force Academy graduates, June 2.
“I don’t see any difference in the behavior of NATO and of Hitler. … NATO wants to erect its own order in the world, and it needs Yugoslavia simply as an example: ‘We’ll punish Yugoslavia, and the whole rest of the planet will tremble.’ “—Alexander Solzhenitsyn, remarks to reporters in Moscow, AP, June 2.
“I think there’s a pretty strong belief that the air campaign is working, and we can do it by air, and certainly we ought to let the air campaign go longer before moving rapidly to a decision.”—A “senior defense official reflecting the Joint Chiefs’ views,” WP, June 3.
“The implications [of a ground attack] are global. Breaking up a sovereign nation at gunpoint is an act of coercion that will polarize NATO within camps.”—Chester Crocker, a former assistant secretary of state, WP, June 3.
“There is no way he [Milosevic] is going to be able to take the punishment he is receiving every single day. He cannot last.”—A White House official, WP, June 3.
“Generally, after a little more than two months of bombing, there’s no question that Milosevic has been hurt; the situation is worse for him. At the same time, we don’t yet see signs that he’s about to break or that he’s ready to yield to NATO’s core demands. The balance is roughly that. He has been hurt, but he is still holding, for the most part, on his core demands.”—A “senior U.S. intelligence official, WP, June 3.
“He [Milosevic] has for the most part surrounded himself with yes-men, but we’ve had some indication that people are getting through to him to say, ‘Take a look around you; here are some reports from the scenes of destruction.’ But we have no evidence that he’s lost his core belief … that NATO will falter before he does.”—An “intelligence official,” WP, June 3.
“If anything, I was swayed that airpower was not going to be able to do what they want it to do. If they are sticking with the goals they announced … it’s going to take the use of mechanized ground troops soon.”—Sen. Tom Harkin, who visited the Balkans, WP, June 3.
“My district is not prepared, nor is the Congress of the United States prepared, to risk American troops in Kosovo. The President has failed dramatically in that regard.”—Rep. David Hobson, WP, June 3.
“We have no clue how many precious targets Milosevic has or when he’ll fold.”—A “top NATO airman,” WP, June 3.
“There needs to be unity of command [of a Kosovo peacekeeping force] for this to be really effective, in order for it not to slip down a slippery slope into partition, ineffectiveness, or worse.”—Strobe Talbott, deputy secretary of state, WP, June 3.
“You can make it very painful for the enemy, but as well as the Air Force performed in Desert Storm, it was the Army that rolled across the border. You can’t win wars solely through airpower.”—USAF Maj. Gene Roles, EC-130 ABCCC operations officer, NYT, June 3.
“I don’t think there’s anybody among the Chiefs saying, ‘By God, if we don’t invade Kosovo, it will be a travesty.’ ” —A defense “official,” NYT, June 3.
“Federal government [of Yugoslavia] has adopted a peace proposal by the envoys of the Russian Federation and the European Union, since it guarantees the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, disables a terrorist and separatist activity, and halts the aggression on our country, the suffering of the civilians, and demolishing of the national treasure. Federal government estimates to be of especial importance that the decision is being transferred to the United Nations, on the basis of the UN Charter.”—Tanjug, the official Yugoslavia news agency, June 3.
“No matter where we are today, we’re there because of the steady, professional, and strong application of airpower over the last 10 weeks. That is what has produced the reported progress out of Belgrade.”—Bacon, DoD briefing, June 3.
“It [withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo] won’t be as easy as it would have been for them [before NATO destroyed roads, bridges, and so forth], but the fact of the matter is, if they start withdrawing, they’ll find a way to get out of Kosovo, I’m sure. … They could withdraw right now, I think, if they wanted to. … Until there’s an agreement, they’re a military target.”—Wald, DOD briefing, June 3.
“We must have clarity that the Serbian leadership has fully accepted these conditions and intends to fully implement them.”—Clinton, White House statement, June 3.
“We’re determined to help the nations of southeast Europe integrate themselves fully into the mainstream of the Euro-Atlantic community. This includes Serbia, when that nation becomes democratic.”—Albright, news briefing, June 3.
“We have been in touch with various members of the Kosovar Albanian community, including the KLA. … It is our expectation that they will demilitarize, according to the Rambouillet, on the basis of the Rambouillet agreements.”—Albright, news briefing, June 3.
“[Finnish] President [Martti] Ahtisaari [the European Union’s envoy on Kosovo] has stated … that he made very clear that NATO had to be at the core [of the peacekeeping force]. … The whole purpose of this is to have the refugees go back. The refugees will not go back if all the Serb forces are not out, and they will not go back if Americans are not part of a force, and Americans will not be part of a security force that does not have NATO at its core, with a unified command structure.”—Albright, news briefing, June 3.
“I think if anything has been shown in the last 70 days, or whatever, it is the ‘long-ness’ of breath, or the amount of breath, that NATO has, and the unity of the Alliance.”—Albright, news briefing, June 3.
“The air campaign is achieving the goals that NATO set. Airpower has significantly weakened the threat posed by Yugoslavia’s air defense system, it has severely damaged Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, and it’s reduced the combat capacity of the military forces throughout Yugoslavia.”—Cohen, remarks to reporters, June 3.
“We will exercise great caution on this [Serbian peace overture]. We don’t want this to simply be an exercise in paper promises. There must be performance.”—Cohen, remarks to reporters, June 3.
“We have every confidence that, if the Serb government intends and takes steps to comply with the agreement, that the KLA, consistent with their agreement at Rambouillet, would in fact work to carry this [disarmament] out. … The agreement, as it is spelled out, would call for the disarming of the KLA. That is what they signed up to in Rambouillet, and we would expect the same.”—Cohen, remarks to reporters, June 3.
“I don’t believe that there have been any arrangements made as far as Russian participation. We have indicated in the past that we would welcome Russian participation as far as a component of the peacekeeping force, much as they have in Bosnia, but there’s been no arrangement made with the Russians. That was not a precondition for this particular agreement.”—Cohen, remarks to reporters, June 3.
“The main thing is that we have managed to bring the Balkan [peace] process into the UN legal plane.”—Chernomyrdin, Tanjug, June 3.
“Slobodan Milosevic is Yugoslavia’s legitimate president. This is the choice of the Yugoslav people, and we all shall deal with him.”—Chernomyrdin, Tanjug, June 3.
“We have been informed that the federal government and the parliament of Serbia accept the peace offer we have made.”—Finnish President Maarti Ahtisaari, public statement, June 3.
“I had to be candid. It was the best offer the international community could come up with.”—Ahtisaari, public statement, June 3.
“With the unity of the nation, citizens, and political parties and leadership, and the heroic battle of the army and police, we defended freedom, dignity, and honor of our nation from the many-fold superior military and enemy NATO pact, which committed aggression on our country with the aim to nullify our sovereignty and territorial integrity, against all norms of international law.”—Statement of Yugoslavia’s ruling Socialist Party, June 3.
“We don’t intend to shoot the Serbs in the back as they are leaving. If they comply with the accord in the way they should, there is no reason why the bombing cannot be halted within 72 hours.”—A “top NATO military commander, WP, June 4.
“That [removal of Milosevic from office] is not part of the terms that NATO set out in the beginning. That question is left open.”—Clinton, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” June 4.
“What we are witnessing here is the final failure of the Serbian nationalistic politicians who voted for war two-and-a-half months ago. Seventy days ago, they were saying that not a single foreign solider would enter the country. Today, not even they know how many will end up coming here.”—Dragan Veselinov, leader of a small Serbian opposition party, WP, June 4.
“The Russians put a knife under Milosevic’s throat. He had been hoping for more support from Russia, but the help never came.”—Ljiljana Smajlovic, leading Yugoslav journalist, WP, June 4.
“There’s only one reason why Milosevic caved in to NATO’s demands after rejecting them for so long. He realized he could not survive against the combination of attacks from the world’s best aircraft and the Kosovo Liberation Army, which he personally revived through his crimes against their people.”—A “senior NATO diplomat,” WP, June 4.
“When we look back on this conflict, the air war may be considered the easy part. It is going to be much harder to get these people to forget the violence and live in peace.”—A “senior NATO military officer,” WP, June 4.
“Today is a good day for Europe, and in that I include the people of Yugoslavia.”—Schroeder, remarks in Cologne, Germany, WP, June 4.
“Does the Clinton Administration deserve credit for the most powerful country in the world smashing a fifth-rate power that can’t even defend itself? I think we ought to be ashamed of ourselves.”—Buchanan, WP, June 4.
“We [the Allies] have taken ownership of the Balkan problem. I kind of imagine Milosevic smiling and saying, ‘We tried to deal with the Kosovars and the KLA; now let NATO try.’ “—John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago professor, NYT, June 4.
“The only acceptable deal with Slobodan Milosevic is one that offers him safety in exile in exchange for his agreement to step down and hand power to Serbian Democrats. Milosevic must be driven from power—vertically or horizontally.”—Sen. Jesse Helms, NYT, June 4.
“It appears that, in fact, we have achieved our objectives on the ground from the air, and achieved them at an astonishingly low rate of casualties. We did not lose a NATO soldier in combat.”—Sen. Joseph Lieberman, NYT, June 4.
“The Russian leadership has not yet taken a decision on whether Russian units will take part in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo if it is under NATO command.” —Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, Reuters, June 4.
“As an indicted war criminal, like other indicted war criminals, he [Milosevic] has to face justice. He has to stand trial. There can be no lasting peace and settlement in Kosovo without justice against those who have carried out the atrocities against Kosovo.”—Cook, BBC TV interview, June 4.