Magazine article VFW Magazine

Serbs Down Stealth, Capture Three GIs

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Serbs Down Stealth, Capture Three GIs

Article excerpt

The United States is now immersed in the Kosovo crisis. VFW backs the bombing campaign, but a resolution opposes use of U.S. ground troops.

VFW views the recent NATOled air strikes on Serbia with mixed emotions. On one hand it supports the air campaign-dubbed Operation Allied Force-which began March 24 and included attacks by U.S. B52 bombers, B-2 Stealth bombers, F- 117A Stealth fighters and cruise missiles launched from Navy ships and submarines. But on the other hand, the organization's August 1998 resolution opposes the use of U.S. ground troops.

"The VFW remains concerned about U.S. policy in the region," said VFW Commander-in-Chief Tom Pouliot. "Although we support the necessary actions of our military forces to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians, we remain opposed to the deployment of U.S. ground troops to Kosovo because of the hazardous situation our troops would be exposed to, the lack of a clear U.S. strategy in the region, the lack of an exit strategy and the openended nature of the mission."

VFW's position is a matter of record. VFW Res. 417-Support the Withdrawal from the Former Yugoslavia-specifically opposes "the deployment of U.S. military forces to the Serbian province of Kosovo for peace-keeping or peace-making operations."

This position was underscored during VFW's Presidential Candidate Forum earlier this year in Washington, D.C. At one point, the forum's moderator, Larry Sabato, remarked that Sen. Bob Smith (RN.H.) received the strongest applause of the afternoon when he said he opposed U.S. intervention in Kosovo and U.S. troops under foreign command.

THREE GIS CAPTURED

But within a week of the start of Operation Allied Force, U.S. troops were already involved in hostile situations on the ground. The most serious incident occurred March 31 when three GIs of the Ist Sqdn. …

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