There’s a much-bruited list of quotes from prominent Democrats used to “prove” that democratic opposition to the war in Iraq is hypocritical. Fine and good. There’s a similar list of quotations culled from GOP opponents of Clinton’s “police action” in Yugoslavia. So we’ll call it a tie.
My question is, how long were US troops committed, and how many casualities (of troops) were incurred in Yugoslavia? I’m not looking for an argument or debate here (which is why I’m putting it in GQ), just some facts to refute a gung-ho, koolaid-drinking coworker who has sent me the former list and probably hasn’t bothered read the latter one (a copy of which I sent him)
By “Yugoslavia” and the other general tenor of your questions I assume you mean Clinton’s Airwar in and peacekeeping in Kosovo not the UN-EU Bosnia and Herzegovina peeckeeping Mission that the US contributes some troops to.
U.S. peacekeeping troops in Kosovo are at 6 years and counting:
about 1,700 U.S. service members — mostly National Guard Soldiers from California, Kansas and Pennsylvania along with smaller units from a number of other states and a composite Army Reserve medical unit. MNB(E) also includes Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians, among others.
KFOR is a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and maintaining security in Kosovo following the civil war waged against it by former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic that ended six years ago this past spring.
No Americans were killed in Action in Kosovo http://members.aol.com/usregistry/allwars.htm
largely becuase there were no U.S. troops on the ground during the 78-day NATO-led air war aimed at halting Serbia’s assault on ethnic Albanians.
Clinton had publicly ruled out the option of US troops used in ground combat on the first day of the war. The decision to let the world know this was LOUDLY criticized. The war ended at Day 78, after Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agreed to NATO terms to halt the fighting.
So, the whole thing was a Nato operation, to which the US contributed to? At the risk of flouting my ignorance, why do I remember people critizing Clinton’s “unilateral” invasion of a sovereign country which was not approved by Congress?
You’re flaunting your ignorance, not flouting it. Nobody criticized the NATO action as an “invasion”, because it wasn’t. It was a bombing campaign. The campaign was criticized because it didn’t have UN approval; NATO (led, of course, by the United States) acted on its own initiative. The UN did approve the deployment of NATO peacekeepers after the bombing campaign was over.
Looking at the Kosovo “war” the idea seemed to be not to go in and fight, but simply that there were a bunch of people who all disliked each other because their country was created from bits lopped off from the surrounding countries, so they were all of different religions, beliefs, tobacco, etc. Solution? Bomb 'em to hell and when everyone runs they’ll run towards the country their people came from…
Assuming that was the intention. I’d give it about 55% odds vs. 45% just not wanting to suffer American losses.
I wouldn’t call Yugoslavia as being anything parallel to Iraq. But then, I don’t know why you would feel that you are losing to the kool-aid guy because American troops died in Iraq. Conquering a country requires ground troops and that means some of the home team is going to die. Your debate isn’t one of whether soldiers should die or not, but whether it was worth it.
No wonder they call you “Sage.” I’m not the one equating Kosovo to Iraq, my worthy opponent is. I thought he was mischaracterizing the affair, but upon reflection, I realized that I was a bit foggy on the whole thing, myself, and wanted to make sure I had my facts strtaight before rebutting him. Thanks for the short course.