Waging War: Alliances, Coalitions, and Institutions of Interstate Violence

By Patricia A. Weitsman | Go to book overview

4
OPERATION ALLIED FORCE

IN LATE FEBRUARY 1998, government forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began to clash. As the KLA began making advances in June and July of that year, the government launched a major counteroffensive, which continued through September. More than a quarter of a million people were displaced, thousands of homes were destroyed, and the makings of a humanitarian disaster confronted the international community.1 Despite attempts to negotiate a cease-fire through the Holbrooke Agreement in October 1998 and negotiations at Rambouillet, France, in February 1999, the fighting on the ground in Kosovo escalated in March 1999.2 By January 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization empowered its secretary-general Javier Solana to authorize air strikes with the intention of compelling Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević into compliance.3

U.S. and NATO planning for war began earlier, in 1998. Above all, the strategic concern of turmoil in NATO’s immediate sphere of influence was at issue. The European member states were unable to take action without the strategic assets of the United States. By early spring of 1999, more than forty air campaign options had been considered.4 It was clear that the United States was unwilling to commit ground forces and that plans for fighting an air war were a political necessity.5 On March 23, 1999, Operation Allied Force (OAF) began. The air campaign lasted until June 10 and ended with Serbian capitulation.6

Operation Allied Force is a seminal case for understanding alliance politics. NATO is the most institutionalized military alliance in history, with an enduring commitment to member states’ security. The transformation from

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Waging War: Alliances, Coalitions, and Institutions of Interstate Violence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acronyms xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Fighting with Friends 14
  • 3 - Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield 48
  • 4 - Operation Allied Force 74
  • 5 - Operation Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force 99
  • 6 - Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War in Iraq 132
  • 7 - Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector 164
  • 8 - Conclusion 188
  • Notes 199
  • Index 265
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