Ivo Skoric on Sun, 14 May 2000 07:54:05 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> The Big Air War In Kosovo Was Costly Scandal - Daily News

Pentagon's JOINT Vision 2010 is the just and natural follow-up to 
the Operation Allied Force (OAF) 1999. So, I am not surprised they 
are talking about destruction of moving targets from high altitude 
based on their fictional past experience. They must be smoking 
something decent to create such a deep denial in which they live - 
counting the blow-up model tanks as real ones...

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

"We were bombing Yugo plants, wineries, anything to
raise the pain to the people. Our military was
incapable of dealing with the Yugoslav military, so it
attacked the civilian structure."    

New York Daily News
Friday, May 12, 2000

The Big Air War in Kosovo
Was Costly Scandal 


After 78 days of around-the-clock NATO air strikes and
38,000 combat sorties by the latest in Western
military aircraft, Serbia withdrew from its Kosovo
province a year ago, and the West proclaimed a
groundbreaking victory.

Precision warfare had conquered a country with no
casualties to ourselves.

The Pentagon has now totaled up the damage it
inflicted on the Serb Army. It is 14 tanks for sure,
plus 12 self-propelled artillery pieces. That's what
was actually found on the ground when NATO troops
entered Kosovo.

Daily News staff writer Richard Sisk, who entered with
the first Marine units and drove freely around the
battered province, found one destroyed tank. Capt. Dan
Sullivan, commander of Marines in eastern Kosovo, said
at the time, "We haven't seen them either."

During the Kosovo war, NATO claimed that 110 Serb
tanks had been killed by the onslaught of high-tech,
precision-guided weapons. NATO also claimed to have
destroyed 153 armored personnel carriers. Only 12
wrecked APCs were found.

This week, the Air Force claimed on the basis of pilot
videos and surveillance photographs that, in fact, it
killed 93 Serb tanks and that the missing wrecks
probably were towed away. But there is no positive
evidence of such a massive removal. In fact, when the
Serb Army withdrew from Kosovo, it looked pretty much

This scandal  no, that's not too strong a word  was
first reported by Newsweek and amplified by a
newsletter called Inside the Pentagon. It is a scandal
because the entire military establishment pretended
that high-tech, highly expensive, precision-guided,
21st century weapons had brought Serbia to its knees.

In fact, the really crippling damage to Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic's little tyranny  the
old-fashioned destruction of civilian power plants and
bridges  could have been performed by World War
II-era B-17 bombers.

"We knew how to do that kind of bombing in the '30s,"
says defense analyst Chuck Spinney, a longtime critic
of Pentagon boondoggles. "This was a World War II-type
bombing, though more accurate. We were bombing Yugo
plants, wineries, anything to raise the pain of the
people. Our military was incapable of dealing with the
Serbian military, so it attacked the civilian

Spinney and others believe Serbia surrendered
primarily because Russia, its main sponsor, pulled the
plug and the West softened its initial demands. But
bombing Serb power plants and Danube River bridges
caused the real military pain.

British Gen. Michael Jackson, the NATO commander in
Kosovo, agreed this week that NATO had exaggerated its
kill claims. "It is a matter of record that the actual
damage in Kosovo was rather less than the estimated
damage," he told a British parliamentary committee.
"Certainly, when we entered Kosovo, we did not have to
clear away hundreds of burned-out tank hulls."

Kosovo has been cited as laboratory proof that the
Pentagon's new generation of supercostly high-tech
weapons can win a war neatly and precisely with
minimal casualties. In fact, it showed that these new
weapons could not hit the mobile targets  tanks and
artillery pieces  assigned.

Pilots risked their lives flying through misty valleys
over Kosovo in search of tanks and armored columns.
They claimed hits at nearly 2,000 aim points. The
provable military damage they inflicted was minimal.

Why hype the results? To justify the spending of
untold billions on the next generation of high-tech
weapons that promise us more casualty-free, surgically
antiseptic war. The Pentagon's Joint Vision 2010, a
brochure that outlines strategy for future warfare,
depicts Stealth aircraft high over a battlefield
neatly destroying enemy tanks.

"You won't find anything in JV-2010 about bombing
cities," Spinney notes. But that's what worked.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net