Ivo Skoric on Thu, 21 Nov 2002 18:52:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Before the War

Before the war against Iraq, just so people don't get to excited 
about American military superiority, after the resolute victory over 
Taliban (now, reports say that victory was due in large part to hefty 
bribes CIA delivered to Afghan warlords as an incentive for them to 
abandon Taliban...), maybe it is time to re-trace how well did the 
American military performed against those who trained Iraqis: 
Yugoslav Army.

Yugoslav Army was a very serious military force, 4th by size in 
Europe, the state within a state (Yugoslavia today is a country of 
three entities: Serbia, ruled by Djindjic, Montenegro, ruled by 
Djukanovic, and the Army, ruled by Kostunica). After 70+ days of 
relentless bombing by the U.S./NATO in 1999 it was 'downsized' 
for meager 13 tanks (the T-55 ones) and 3 airplanes, as I recollect. 
On top of that the US lost one of its F-117 stealth aircraft, and 
never dared to fly an Apache helicopter or a C-130 transport plane 
over the country. 

American superiority works well against stone age dessert 
countries with near illiterate population. It doesn't work as well 
against an educated enemy. The only superiority America does 
have there is that of numbers - America's industry can produce by 
far the most bombs on planet and bomb others long enough to 
eventually win. As they have proven against Germany and Japan in 



Tactics employed by the Yugoslav army to limit NATO air strikes
      Mon Nov 18,10:49 PM ET  

By The Associated Press 

An overview of tactics employed by the Yugoslav army to limit the 
effectiveness of the NATO (news - web sites) air strikes: 

_Yugoslav air defenses tracked U.S. stealth aircraft by using old 
Russian radars operating on long wavelengths. This, combined with 
the loss of stealth characteristics when the jets got wet or opened 
their bomb bays, "made them shine like flying buses" on radar 

_Radars confounded precision-guided HARM and ALARM missiles 
by reflecting their electromagnetic beams off heavy farm 
machinery, such as plows or old tractors placed around the sites. 
This cluttered the missiles' guidance systems which were unable 
to pinpoint the emitters. 

_Scout helicopters would land on flatbed trucks and rev their 
engines before being towed to camouflaged revetments several 
hundred meters away. Heat-seeking missiles from NATO jets 
would then locate and go after the residual heat on the landing 

_Yugoslav troops used cheap heat-emitting decoys such as small 
gas furnaces to simulate nonexistent positions on Kosovo 
mountainsides. B-52 bombers, employing advanced infrared 
sensors, repeatedly blasted the empty hills. 

_The army drew up plans for covert placement of heat and 
microwave emitters on territory NATO troops were expected to 
occupy in a ground war. This was intended to trick the B-52s into 
carpet-bombing their own forces.

_Dozens of dummy objectives, including fake bridges and airfields, 
were constructed. Many of the decoy planes were so good that 
NATO claimed that the Yugoslav air force had been decimated. 
After the war, it turned out most of its planes had survived 

_Fake tanks were built using plastic sheeting, old tires and logs. To
mimic heat emissions, cans were filled with sand and fuel and set 
alight. Hundreds of these makeshift decoys were bombed, leading 
to wildly inflated destruction claims. 

_Bridges and other strategic targets were defended from missiles 
with laser guidance systems by bonfires made of old tires and wet 
hay, which emit dense smoke filled with laser-reflecting particles. 

_U.S. bombs equipped with GPS guidance proved vulnerable to old 
electronic jammers that blocked their links with satellites. 

_Despite NATO's total air supremacy, Yugoslav jets flew combat 
missions over Kosovo at extremely low levels, using terrain 
masking to remain undetected by AWACS flying radars. 

_Weapons that performed well in Afghanistan (news - web sites) - 
Predator drones, Apache attack choppers and C-130 Hercules 
gunships - proved ineffective in Kosovo. Drones were easy targets 
for 1940s-era Hispano-Suisa anti-aircraft cannons, and C-130s and 
Apaches were considered too vulnerable to be deployed. 

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