NATO's Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment

By Benjamin S. Lambeth | Go to book overview

Chapter Four
WHY MILOSEVIC GAVE UP WHEN HE DID

As might have been predicted, disagreements arose after the cease/ fire went into effect over which of the air war's target priorities (fielded forces or infrastructure assets) was more crucial to produc/ ing the outcome. Contention also arose over the more basic question of the extent to which the air effort as a whole had been the cause of Milosevic's capitulation. On the one hand, there was the view of those air power proponents who were wont to conclude up front that “for the first time in history, the application of air power alone forced the wholesale withdrawal of a military force from a disputed piece of real estate.”1 On the other hand, there was the more skeptical view offered by the commander of the international peacekeeping forces in Kosovo, British Army Lieutenant General Sir Michael Jackson, who suggested that “the event of June 3 [when the Russians backed the West's position and urged Milosevic to surrender] was the single event that appeared to me to have the greatest significance in ending the war.” Asked about the effects of the air attacks, Jackson, an avowed critic of air power, replied tartly: “I wasn't responsible for the air campaign; you're asking the wrong person.”2

____________________
1
John A. Tirpak, “Lessons Learned and Re-Learned,” Air Force Magazine, August 1999, p. 23.
2
Andrew Gilligan, “Russia, Not Bombs, Brought End to War in Kosovo, Says Jackson,” London Sunday Telegraph, August 1, 1999. To his credit, Jackson did later testify to the Commons Defense Committee of Britain's parliament that “the effect of the strategic bombing, I suspect, was much weightier than the damage being done to the [Serb] army in Kosovo.” “General Admits NATO Exaggerated Bombing Success,” London Times, May 11, 2000.

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NATO's Air War for Kosovo: A Strategic and Operational Assessment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Figures xi
  • Summary xiii
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Acronyms xxix
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - Prelude to Combat 5
  • Chapter Three - The Air War Unfolds 17
  • Chapter Four - Why Milosevic Gave Up When He Did 67
  • Chapter Five - Accomplishments of the Air War 87
  • Chapter Six - Friction and Operational Problems 101
  • Chapter Seven - Lapses in Strategy and Implementation 179
  • Chapter Eight - Nato's Air War in Perspective 219
  • Bibliography 251
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