Academic journal article Military Review

NATO'S GAMBLE: Combining Diplomacy and Airpower in the Kosovo Crisis 1998-1999

Academic journal article Military Review

NATO'S GAMBLE: Combining Diplomacy and Airpower in the Kosovo Crisis 1998-1999

Article excerpt

NATO'S GAMBLE: Combining Diplomacy and Airpower in the Kosovo Crisis 1998-1999, Dag Henriksen, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2007, 304 pages, $24.00.

In Nato's Gamble, Dag Henricksen, a European airpower expert, analyzes Operation Allied Force, the confusing brawl that became NATO's gamble in the 1999 Kosovo crisis. With significant insights into American and European perspectives on the application of airpower, Henrickson exposes the frailties apparent in NATO even during this limited operation. Military leaders involved in future planning for Afghanistan, the Balkans, or other NATO areas of interest should carefully consider the political realities Henricksen has detailed.

As armed confrontation with Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic loomed, many Europeans felt that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the U.S. had pushed them into the middle of a civil war for which they had no appetite. At a minimum, they wanted UN autiiorization before they struck another sovereign European nation. General Wesley Clark and diplomat Richard Holbrooke then sold them on a short air campaign that almost evolved into a full-scale ground war in tough terrain. Throughout the operation, the U.S. maintained a unilateral command structure, hitting targets the other NATO nations were unaware of. As a result of all these U.S. machinations, European loyalty to this transformed Cold War institution was sorely tested, and the effects of 1999 are still being felt today. …

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