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.The Nato air war was overwhelmingly a US effort.The US flew over 80 percent of the strike sorties, over 90 per cent of the electronic warfare missions,fired over 80 per cent of the guided air weapons and launched over 95 percent of the Cruise missiles (ibid.).The European Nato member states thus hadonly an auxiliary role in the direct military effort and both command structures39 40 DEGRADED CAPABILITYand decision-making on the targeting of air strikes and on the terminationof the air war were effectively in American hands.As far as the Yugoslav side was concerned, it was both militarily and polit-ically almost entirely isolated.This is another way of saying that the Russiangovernment decided not to take military action to assist Yugoslavia, nor tosupply it with weapons systems that could have created difficulties for Natowarplanes.As the Russian general staff indicated at the start of the war,Russia did have the military capability to transform the military equation,but decided not to do so, and as the war progressed, reduced its support forcore Yugoslav political demands.On the political-diplomatic side US predominance within Nato was less over-whelming but was greatly strengthened by Nato s rule that the ending of thewar had to be a unanimous decision, thus giving the US a veto.The otherkey players were the German and French governments.And as the warcontinued, the international political role of the Russian government becameincreasingly important as it became clear that Nato military action could notlead to an unconditional Yugoslav surrender in the short term.Evaluation Against AimsThe difficulty of evaluating the Nato war against the Yugoslav/Serbian statelies in establishing what the political goals of the Nato states and ofYugoslavia/Serbia were in conducting the war.The public statements ofgovernment leaders about their war aims do not necessarily express the realoperational goals of policy in this war any more than in any other.At the sametime, information about the US government s decision-making on war aimsand means remains classified.Nevertheless, an interim interpretation of aimscan be reached through making the reasonable assumption that the USgovernment made a rational calculation on how to harmonise operationalmeans and goals.From this assumption we can engage in backward mappingfrom actual policy outputs back to policy goals and thus gain some basis forestablishing aims against which the war can be evaluated.Such an assumptionof rationality in the case of US policy on this war is all the more reasonablesince we know that the US administration spent some 14 months preparingthe military campaign and its political repercussions in painstaking detail(Washington Post, 23 March 1999).The Nato powers publicly declared the aim of the air war to be purelyhumanitarian.In the first days of the war this declared humanitarian goalwas presented in direct and immediate terms: Nato said it was bombingYugoslav/Serbian forces to prevent them from attacking the Kosovo Albanianpopulation.Yet the means Nato employed for this supposed purpose  analliance with the KLA combined with high altitude bombing of Kosovo whenweather permitted  had an effect opposite to the declaratory aim: Serbiansecurity forces launched a full-scale offensive against the KLA and forciblyexpelled hundreds of thousands of Albanians from Kosovo.This was an THE WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH 41outcome which Pentagon chiefs had foreseen as likely, before the war waslaunched.As the Washington Post reported on 5 April 1999:Privately even the staunchest advocates of air power amongst the four starcommanders doubted that air power alone could do much to budgeMilosevic in the near term.They noted the challenges of sending planesagainst widely dispersed ground forces that were carrying out door todoor terror.The Defense Secretary, William Cohen, also advised, before the war started,that there would have to be a long bombing campaign.The Washington Post(11 April) explained:  Aides say Cohen never counted on the operation beingover quickly.Thus the declaratory aim of the air war could not have been its opera-tional aim.If humanitarian aims are held to have played any governingoperational role, then it must have been that of a humanitarian end resultthrough an eventual Nato occupation of Kosovo.This may be described asa humanitarian paradox: Nato was prepared to precipitate a humanitariancatastrophe and even, according to some Nato leaders, a  genocidal cata-strophe, for humanitarian goals to be achieved when the Yugoslav leadershipwas eventually coerced into accepting a Nato occupation of Kosovo.The factthat such a paradox is not permissible within a humanitarian, ethical jus-tification for war may account for the fact that Nato leaders insisted at thestart of the war that they believed President Slobodan Milosevic accepted thatNato should occupy Kosovo and actually would welcome the bombing as ameans of persuading Serbian public opinion that there was no choice butto accept the occupation.This, in turn, however, undermines the argumentthat the purpose of the bombing was to stop Milosevic from perpetrating ahumanitarian catastrophe.These declaratory contradictions on the part of US and Nato leaders leaveus with a conundrum as to the real operational motives for the war on Nato spart.2 The only certain, coherent link between evident Nato means and goalsis that between the bombing campaign against the Yugoslav state and thegoal of gaining eventual Nato occupation of Kosovo.The various declaratoryrationales mentioned above seem to belong more properly to means of legit-imation of the war vis--vis various politically relevant audiences, as follows:1.The rationale in terms of direct humanitarian intervention to prevent ahumanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo had great significance for Natoattempts to gain some semblance of international legal legitimation of awar that violated core legal rules of the inter-state system.What, in inter-national law, was an act of unprovoked aggression against a sovereignstate in violation of the UN Charter might be justified by the claim thatinternational law could be overridden by the need militarily to try toprevent an imminent genocide in Kosovo. 42 DEGRADED CAPABILITY2.The suggestion from General Wesley Clark that he had intelligence infor-mation indicating that Milosevic welcomed the bombing as a means ofgaining Serbian acceptance of Nato occupation of Kosovo seems to havebeen designed to win support for the air war from Nato governments inEurope which were opposed to the campaign.3.The claims, after the bombing started, that the Yugoslav/Serbian author-ities were engaged in genocide within Kosovo seems to have been designedto gain enduring popular legitimation within Nato countries for a longbombing war.These claims, made by British and American leaders, werereinforced by the decision of the UN Security Council s InternationalCriminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to indict Milosevic forwar crimes at the end of the war.The actions of the Serbian/Yugoslav state in Kosovo in response to the Natoattack served to provide the Nato states with ex post facto popular legitima-tion of the attack on Yugoslavia amongst the Nato populations themselves [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]



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