Shred NATO's credibility

Carl Remick cremick at
Tue Apr 20 08:38:10 PDT 1999

> We haven't learned a thing about humanitarian aid, conflict
> resolution or
> even how to wage war. But we do seem to have improved our propaganda
> techniques.

If the "fog of war" seems especially dense on the home front, no doubt it's because NATO has been blowing most of its smoke our way. Comparatively, NATO's attempt to spin the Serbs appears to have been pretty crude and perfunctory. There's an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal headlined, "Propaganda Push by NATO Gets Slow Start." Excerpt:

"Every morning, a giant U.S. Air Force ED-130 Hercules cargo plane takes to the Balkan skies to wage NATO's other war in Yugoslavia: propaganda.

"The plane belongs to an airborne station, called Commando Solo, that beams U.S.-produced news and music onto FM and AM radio and a television channel in Serbia. In addition, the allies have delivered a total of 12.5 million leaflets in six airdrops....

"[S]ome longtime observers of propaganda battles (in military jargon 'psyops,' or psychological operations) say the alliance blew an opportunity to paint Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, rather than the Serb nation, as NATO's real target in Serbs' minds. And they are puzzled that NATO isn't doing more to drive a wedge between Mr. Milosevic and his people.

"'It's been very tame,' says John Hillen, a combat veteran of the Gulf War who's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington research group. He calls the leafletting a 'World War I tactic.'"

[end of excerpt]

Carl Remick

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