Ground Troops in Kosovo?

G*rd*n gcf at
Fri Apr 2 09:45:52 PST 1999

| ...

Sam Pawlett:
> It certainly has. I would estimate the U.S. (NATO) would need at least
> 500-750,000 troops to make Serbia cry uncle and give up Kosovo.In contrast
> to NATO, the JNA is battle hardened, experienced, mobile, knows the
> geography, knows the people, culture, language etc. and has fairly
> sophisticated Eastern bloc weapons. If the Generals are crazy enough and
> have enough lust for blood to introduce ground troops, a lot of people are
> going to die. It took 6 months to amass a similiar sized force in the
> Persian Gulf. There already are 10-20,000 American troops each, in Bosnia
> and Macedonia, so that is where the new troops will go. On a personal
> level, I do not envy the Americans who might have to fight the Serbs on the
> ground. ...

The problem seems much more difficult to me. The American troops now in Bosnia and Macedonia were put there under conditions of relative peace. If it appears that either of these regions are to be a route of attack against Serbia, one would have to expect that the Serbians would move against them as decisively as possible. The terrain is difficult and land routes are easily blocked; the Americans would most likely be besieged and suffer heavy losses, and in any case the war and its accompanying disasters would be spread to those regions. Alternatively, the US could go in through Albania, thus bringing Albania into the war with results similar to those to be expected in Bosnia or Macedonia, except that the U.S. forces might have time to build some kind of base area before being attacked by the Serbians. Meanwhile Serbia will have completely subjugated Kosovo and finished driving out or killing as many Albanians as they think good. In other words, the introduction of ground troops can be expected to cost several thousand casualties and many billions of dollars, and to accomplish very little; a rerun of Korea or Vietnam rather than Iraq. This is not to say that our leaders won't do it, of course. _They_ don't have to go, and are evidently ready to defend their inflated rhetoric to the death (of some other people).

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