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Kosovo - Bombing campaign

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Jordi Escribà

on 2 September 2011

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Transcript of Kosovo - Bombing campaign

Conduct and effectiveness
of the bombing campaign

May 9th 2011 11 week bombing campaign
against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY)
conducted by NATO (19 countries)
colloquially considered a "humanitatian war"

A unique action considering that... "Operation Allied Force" 1. first sustained use of armed force by NATO since 1950

2. without UN Security Council authorisation Some crimes are so extreme that a state responsible for them may be the subject of a military intervention

despite the principle of sovereignty Main justification: 1 2 3 4 5 1. A verifiable stop to all military action & immediate ending of violence and repression 2. Withdrawal from Kosovo of the military, police
and paramilitary forces 3. The stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence 4. Unconditional and safe return of all refugees and displaced persons and unhindered access to them by humanitarian aid organisations 5. Establishment of a political framework agreement for Kosovo on the basis of the Rambouillet Accords and the UN Charter NATO
5 demands to avoid intervention NATO's Military strategy air strike campaign
restricted to key targets (50 approved
targets at the beginning)
quick (two weeks maximum)
not complemented by on the ground forces Based on wrong assumptions... 1. Parallelism with air campaign in BiH (1995)
2. Based on previous threats to Serbia in 1998
3. Total misperception of Kosovo's relevance for Serbian nationalism
4. Publicly ruling out the ground force option (Clinton) Western's misreading of the situation The Campaign 37.465 sorties
14006 strike missions
At the end of the attack, 912 aircraft and 35 ships. FRY casualties:
1031 soldiers/policemen killed
2500 civilian killed Kosovo is not Bosnia-Hercegovina BiH
air-strikes in BiH took place after 3 years of hostilities
all three sides were exhausted
BiH was a separate Republic within Yugoslavia Kosovo
not a full scale war. Fresh combatants
Kosovo was an integral part of Serbia (recognized by the International Community)
Kosovo is the cradle of Serb nationalism (1389, monasteries, etc...) Air strike to Serbia: turning point

Serbia does not sign the Rambouillet Agreement
Massacre of Racak March 24 1999
77 days Legal framework 1. Support to the implementation of UN resolutions

2. General International Law (in cases of overwhelming humanitarian necessity) destruction of key infrastructures (roads, bridges, refineries, industries, etc.)
great effect over GDP
more than 100.000 people out of work
... Strike set Serbia back decades Positive aspects for air-strike strategy free-risk (no will of losing lifes in ground interventions)
unity/consensus among NATO allies
use of smart weapons (!) collateral damage (passengers trains, buses)
errors in identifying and attacking targets (i.e Chinese Embassy)
targeting fixed targets (usually inftrastructure necessary
for civilian population) easier than mobile targets (usually military)
mistakes in Kosovo (Albanian refugee camps)
controversial use of weapons with depleted uranium Negative aspects for air-strike strategy Key question: was it effective?? NATO casualties: 0
Serbian forces were almost immune to the attacks
"Technology to fight WWIII is of limited use for a humanitarian operation"
Ethnic cleansing activities were increased just when bombing started
Huge of flow of refugees into neighbouring countries and risk of destabilization (i.e Macedonia) "Serbs can’t fight NATO, so they fight us"

During the bombing campaign, one million left Kosovo, half million IDP
Serbian troops presence increased Key lessons: 1. Misreading of the reality of Kosovo
2. Misinterpretation of the results of previous campaigns
3. Free-risk operations have limited impact
4. Publicly rule out the use of ground forces was a huge mistake
5. Diplomacy (and Russian role) + air strikes drove Milosevic to pull back the troops Main aims 1. reduce Serb military capacity (to repress in Kosovo)

2. put pressure on Milosevic to abandon his policies in the region Moltes gràcies http://ves.cat/aD36
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