Kosovo and our military intervention
What’s your take on our current military adventure in Kosovo? My initial feelings were based on a mix of:
- Nasty stuff getting done to ethnic Albanians (“EA”) by general bad guy Slobodan
- Disruption of life for surrounding sovereignities due to influx of EA refugees
• Always tough to deal w/refugees
• Tougher yet when they wind up in a neighborhood like Macedonia where ethnic tensions are high already
- What if the western world had reacted a little more resolutely to the early provocations of Hitler? Would we have possibly avoided WWII & its holocaust?
- Related to a comment I’ll make below; this exercise is historically a little different from what has been the norm post-WWII, but things change.
- It had (ignoring the refugee question for the moment) remained a conflict w/in one sovereignity and thus, by previous post-Cold War standards, did not require the international community’s military action
- The UN had been the historic (post WWII) meeting post & was avoided because near superpowers Russia & China could have taken the motion out of the emotion
- No real tangible goal & plan to get there - the threat of bombing did not have its desired result in the diplomatic interchanges of the last year and was backed off on enough times that neither I nor Slobodan probably really believed it was forthcoming - but I was worried at that time about the threat to our credibility. It has been pointed out many times in the last week that no air campaign has won a war by itself (things do change).
- Advertising in advance that we would not occupy any Serbian territory w/o Serb (“SB”) permission & that we would not use ground troops (“I’m coming to the fight, but don’t worry; I left my right hand at home.”) Sounds a lot like the worry over bombing Hanoi when we were at war w/them and the earlier constraints on UN fliers in Korea against pursuing Communist aircraft past the Yalu River ( We’re gonna be gentlemen in this game; we’re gonna pursue a policy of NEVER crossing their 50-yard line, and they’ll just look bad when they cross ours).
- No good guys over there: EA are not likely candidates to take an ethnic minority SB to their hearts and protect them from another PC-deficient EA or a Bosnian or a Macedonian (Generally speaking, who hates each other the most in the world? The people who live next door to each other. This is a little bit like an outsider taking sides in a divorce.).
- A little bit of a suspicion of the “Wag the Dog” factor; afterall, this President has nothing to mark his regime in any positive style - this is the last of my “against intervention” remarks because I would really like to highly discount the possibility of an effort toward acheiving some historical grandeur being WJC’s motivation for starting another war
So, now where are we:
This post is long enough already, so I’ll tell ya I was opposed to intervention at the outset of the campaign ~two weeks ago, but as soon as the first bomb dropped I realized this cannot be another unresolved situation, we must campaign and win. The only way to resolve a military confrontation is to destroy your enemy’s ability to fight & that probably involves the massive insertion of ground troops.
We have to win this war (that’s what it is)!
Should we opt for a disguised defeat like Vietnam NATO will have… what meaning? If you have a better idea, I would REALLY like to hear from you.