US media say the Kosovo war is being despised: this "small-scale war" is still affecting the world

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US media say the Kosovo war is being despised: this "small-scale war" is still affecting the world

2019-01-13 09:03:51 19 ℃
The period between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the September 11 Incident was largely regarded as an insignificant part of history. A good example is the weak impact of the U.S. military intervention in Kosovo: it is considered a short and successful low-risk war, and even if people remember it, the impression feels insignificant - Americans rarely remember it, even though March marks the 20th anniversary of the war.

However, the report argues that this idea is wrong. Although the Kosovo war lasted only three months, its significance was not small. Even so, it is an important turning point in international politics.

In March 1999, the war between the military forces of then President Milosevic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Kosovo Albanian rebels became more and more fierce. Kosovo refugees flooded into the neighbouring areas, and Western countries were involved. When Milosevic rejected the request for a negotiated settlement, NATO used force. After 78 days of bombing, Yugoslav forces withdrew and NATO ground forces entered Kosovo.

This war has opened up a continuing discussion on humanitarian intervention. In recent years, the policy debate on military intervention in Syria and Libya is actually the first recurrence of the Balkan Peninsula problem. At that time, British Prime Minister Tony Blair publicly declared that the intervention in Kosovo was "a battle between good and evil, between civilization and barbarism, between democracy and dictatorship". But the truth is far from simple. NATO's military intervention eventually turned into support for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which the United States had previously defined as a terrorist organization. The organization fought for the goal of complete independence rather than limited autonomy, which Washington favoured. American officials are well aware of the risks concealed by such moral rhetoric. In fact, US intelligence agencies have privately warned that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is trying to provoke Serb massacres in the hope of persuading NATO to support its independence. The Kosovo War has also raised new questions about NATO's military value, which has aroused considerable repercussions up to now, according to the

report.

NATO's European members have even tried to stop the war from its earliest stages. When General Wesley Clark, NATO's then Supreme commander, informed the allies in July 1998 of the plan drafted by the US military (including the pursuit of snake heads by bombing Belgrade), distracted European officials considered it "too big and too scary" and demanded restrictions. Finally, NATO decided to bomb only a small number of military targets in Kosovo, and European heads of government insisted that these targets be approved by them before they were launched.

reports that two months after the war began, the United States insisted on changing its tactics of operations, instead bombing targets deep into Serbian territory. By the end of the war, the United States had carried out bombing sorties, accounting for about two-thirds of all NATO bombing sorties. At the same time, it also undertook most of the reconnaissance, air suppression and precision strike tasks. The report

points out that for the United States, NATO's contribution to the war in Kosovo is mainly political. But in military terms, the European allies are essentially indispensable. This experience laid the foundation for American unilateralism later, including the Bush administration's decision to give up seeking NATO support before invading Iraq, and President Trump's direct threat to Europe's over-reliance on US troops for its own defence. The war in Kosovo also heralds the return of great power politics. Although Russia has always been an ally of Serbia in the past, in seeking a solution to the crisis, the Kremlin initially positioned itself as a partner of the West. Russian diplomats even ventilated with their Western counterparts. Although they would still veto any UN Security Council resolution on the war, they did not oppose air strikes. As Richard Holbrooke, an American diplomat, put it, "For them, it's all about face." (Compiler/Song Caiping)

Data graph: During the Kosovo War, US F-117 fighter plane was shot down by SA-3 air defense missile of Yugoslav army.