The Lessons and Non-lessons of the Air and Missile Campaign in Kosovo

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - History - 399 pages
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The conclusion of a war typically signals the beginning of a flood of memoirs and instant campaign histories, many presenting the purported, but often dubious lessons of the recent conflict. Cordesman is careful to avoid such pitfalls in this detailed and closely reasoned analysis, and helps us to begin to understand the implications of this dramatic conflict on its own terms. Based on a combination of official and unofficial (but always authoritative) sources, he builds a thorough case for the true lessons of NATO's first battle fought within Europe.

After consideration of the historical, major political, and strategic factors that set the stage for the Kosovo campaign, Cordesman critically examines the actual effectiveness of the NATO air campaigns, both in Kosovo and Serbia proper. Operations in this rugged part of Europe were difficult, and compounding the challenges of terrain and weather were the conflicting national agendas within the Allied coalition that seriously hampered focused and decisive action by NATO. Although Milosevic ultimately conceded defeat, all of these factors played an important role in limiting the intensity and shaping the military outcome of the campaign, and the likely political and strategic results were far from certain. Cordesman unflinchingly concludes, that the air campaign over Kosovo exposed deep fault lines within and among the NATO countries and fundamental flaws in the way the West wages war.

 

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Contents

The Lessons and NonLessons of the Air and Missile Campaign in Kosovo
1
The Historical Background The Course and Character of the NATO Campaign
5
BOSNIA AND THE DAYTON ACCORDS BECOME THE PRELUDE TO WAR IN KOSOVO
6
THE DIPLOMATIC PRELUDE
8
PEACE TALKS END IN WAR
16
Serbias Grand Strategic and Tactical Mistakes
17
THE AIR AND MISSILE CAMPAIGN
20
The Phases and NonPhases of the Air and Missile Campaign
22
The Problems of Operational Effectiveness
212
The Impact of Problems in Reporting on the Strikes on Serbian Land Forces and Battle Damage Assessment
217
NATOs Damage Claims in MidMay
219
NATOs Damage Claims on June 10
220
NATOs PostConflict Damage Assessment Efforts
223
British PostConflict Damage Assessment Claims
227
The Lessons of Attacks on Serbian Ground Forces
232
THE SERBIAN BUILDUP SERBIAN OPERATIONS AND THE CHALLENGE OF ASYMMETRIC WARFARE
234

The Road to Escalation
25
Expanding the Target Base and Scale of Military Action
26
NATOs Changing Objectives
29
NATO Moves Towards Decisive Force
30
Ending the Air and Missile Campaign
31
Why Serbia Conceded
32
Estimates of the Overall Impact of the Air and Missile Campaign
34
INCREASES IN NATO FORCES AND LEVELS OF EFFORT
35
NATO Aircraft Numbers
36
Sortie Rates and Intensity
40
RELIANCE AND NONRELIANCE ON PRECISIONGUIDED WEAPONS
44
British and French Use of Precision and NonPrecision Weapons
47
The Limits of Precision Weapons and Precision Engagement
48
NATOS LIMITED LOSSES
51
CONFLICT TERMINATION
52
The Grand Strategic Aspects of Kosovo The Whys and Hows of the War and the Implications for Strategy and Force Planning
57
A Lack of Criteria for Deciding on Military Action
58
The Dilemmas in Deciding on Peacemaking
60
THE HOWS OF GOING TO WAR
62
COALITION WARFARE AND LEVELS OF COMMITMENT
63
National Decision Making and the Air War
66
National Decision Making and the Incident at Pristina
70
Unity of Command versus Unity of Coalition
71
Lessons for the NATO Alliance
72
US STRATEGY FORCE PLANNING AND DEFENSE SPENDING
74
Problems in US Defense Spending and Readiness
76
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
77
Commandant of the Marine Corps
78
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
79
Being the Worlds Only Superpower Without Paying for the Power
80
The Strategic Impact and Military Effectiveness of the Air and Missile Campaign
83
MORE THAN AIR POWER LED TO NATOS VICTORY
84
ROB PETER TO PRAISE PAUL?
86
LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE?
88
SHOCK AND AWE OR LIMITS AND RESTRAINT
90
The Problem of Perfect and Bloodless War
95
THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING NO OR MINIMAL CASUALTIES
98
Casualties and Staving at Medium to High Altitudes
99
Overall Sensitivity to Casualties
100
THE PROBLEM OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE
101
The Chinese Embassy Bombing
103
The RealWorld Problems in Targeting in Wartime
104
The Results of the US Investigation into the Bombing
108
The CIA Accepts the Blame
115
The Imperfect Mature of Perfect War
119
Hiding the Truth with a Liars Contest
120
The Worthless Character of Serbian Claims
121
The Human Rights Watch and OSCE Reports
122
Lessons for the Future
124
Economic Aftermaths and Environmental Effects
125
THE PROBLEM OF TARGETING
127
National versus NATO Targeting
129
Changes in the Targeting Effort over Time
130
Precision Targeting Precision Engagement and Precision Intelligence
134
Dynamic Battle Control
135
THE NEW CONDITIONS OF WAR
136
NATO Reporting on the Effectiveness of the Air and Missile Campaign
139
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NATO AIRPOWER FROM DAY 20 TO DAY 24
144
DAY 25 TO DAY 50
151
DAY 50 TO THE END
155
BATTLE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT THE FOG OF WAR AND THE FOG OF SELFDECEPTION
157
The Barry and Thomas Critique of the Pentagon Report
159
The Fog of War Surgical Bombing and the Revolution in Military Affairs
161
Strategic Bombing
163
THE US POSTACTION ASSESSMENT OF THE STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN
164
KOSOVO NATO AND STRATEGIC BOMBING
166
EVOLVING A COMMAND STRUCTURE IN MIDCRISIS
167
THE ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL BASE THAT NATO ATTACKED
168
The Vulnerabilities of Serbias Economy and Infrastructure
169
Unrealistic NATO Claims versus Unrealistic Serbian Claims
170
FUEL PETROLEUM OIL AND LUBRICANTS POL1 TARGET GROUPS
171
Wartime Gamesmanship with Damage Assessment
172
Guessing at the Impact from a Postwar Perspective
175
Strikes Against Industry Support and Infrastructure Target Groups
177
Strikes Against Electric Power Facilities
181
COMMAND AND CONTROL TARGET GROUPS
186
The Air and Missile War and Serbian Air and Land Force Targets
191
INTEGRATED AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM IADS TARGET GROUPS
192
NATO Attacks on the Serbian Air Force During the Campaign
193
NATO Claims at the End of the Campaign and Possible Lessons
195
The Yugoslavian LandBased Air Defense System
197
NATOs Wartime Claims
198
Damage Assessments from May to the End of the Conflict
200
Damage Assessment after the War and the Impact of Serbian Air Defenses in Forcing NATO to Fly at Higher Altitudes
201
Suppression versus Destruction
204
The Problem of Survivability
206
SERBIAN ARMY AND SPECIAL POLICE TARGET GROUPS
207
The Size and Capability of Serbian Land Forces
208
NATO Attacks on Serbian Forces and Major Weapons
210
The FRYSerbian BuildUp in 1999
235
The Serbian Buildup During the War
236
Serbian Use of Human Shields and Manipulation of the Media
239
Lessons from the Serbian BuildUp
240
The Ground Option The Possible Impact of NATO Planning for an Invasion
243
PUTTING ALL THE OPTIONS ON THE TABLE
244
The Ground Option The Role of the KLA
249
SYNERGY? GUESSING AT THE IMPACT OF AIRPOWER ON THE KLA GROUND OPTION AND VICE VERSA
254
LESSONS FROM THE KLA GROUND OPTION
255
Detailed Lessons and Issues of the Air and Missile Campaign
257
AIR SUPERIORITY
258
THE AH64
259
Readiness and Training Problems and Detailed Technical Issues
260
Command Problems and Failure to Prepare for Independent Operations
261
Mobility and Deployability
262
Politics versus Technical and Tactical Problems
263
ASYMMETRIC WEAPONS AND WARFARE
265
AV8B HARRIER
266
THE B2 B1 AND B52 AND GLOBAL FORCE INTEGRATION
267
Global Force Integration
268
Global Attack
269
Levels of Bomber Action
270
Lessons or Air Force Propaganda
271
CLUSTER BOMBS AND MINES
272
COALITIONNATO TECHNOLOGY AND INTEROPERABILITY
273
European Views on the Lessons for Force Upgrades and Interoperability
274
Secretary Cohens Summary Comments on Interoperability
275
NATOs Defense Capabilities Initiative
276
NATO and European Action or Inaction?
277
COMMAND CONTROL COMMUNICATIONS AND COMPUTERS C
278
Key Lessons from the War
279
Reiterating the Need for Capability and Interoperability
281
Lessons Tor High Level and Political Decision Makers
282
Combined Air Operations Center
283
Joint Operational Architecture Network and Information Management
284
CONSCRIPTS VERSUS PROFESSIONALS WELLTRAINED RESERVES VERSUS A LARGE MOBILIZATION BASE
285
CRUISE MISSILES
286
Growing Effectiveness?
288
DECOYS
289
ELECTRONIC WARFARE AND THE EA6B
291
Lessons Regarding the EA6B
292
Lessons Regarding the Overall Need to Improve US Electronic Warfare Capabilities
294
Lessons Regarding NATO and Alliance Electronic Warfare Capahilities
295
The Role of US Strategic Lift
298
Lessons Regarding the C17
300
The Impact of US Air Refueling Capabilities
301
The Expeditionary Capability of the US Air Force
302
The Expeditionary Capability of the US Army
303
US Sealift and Logistics over the Shore
306
US Strategic Lift and Jointness
307
Requirement or Unaffordable Luxury?
308
An Alliance Approach to Strategic Lift?
309
The Humanitarian Side of Power Projection
310
EUROPEAN VERSUS NATO DEFENSE INITIATIVES
312
The European Force Improvement or NonForce Improvement Effort
314
The Right Kind of European Initiative and the Right Kind of Alliance
316
A Common Operational Vision
317
F16 AND THE JSF
318
F14 F18 AND ATARS
319
F117 JSF AND F22 AND THE FUTURE OF STEALTH
320
GLOBAL FORCE INTEGRATION
321
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT INSIDE THE BOX
322
HARM AND ANTIRADIATION MISSILE SYSTEMS AND PASSIVE TRACKING
323
Serbias Role in Information Warfare
325
Is Western Information Warfare Legal and Worth Its Costs?
326
INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE AND RECONNAISSANCE ISR AND BATTLE MANAGEMENT
327
NATO Lessons and NonLessons
331
KILL BOX SYSTEM TANK PLINKING THE EQUIPMENT COUNT AND THE REAL VALUE OF JOINTNESS
333
MAPS AND MAPPING
335
ADVANCED GPS STEALTH AND STANDOFF ALLWEATHER AIR ORDNANCE
337
The US Reaction
338
The Value of Systems Using GPS Guidance and StandOff Systems with AllWeatherCapability
339
Investments in More Advanced Precision Strike Capabilities
340
The JDAM JSOW JASSM SensorFused Weapon and BAT
343
The European View of Such Lessons
344
The Limits of GPS and StandOff Weapons
345
THE DOG THAT DIDNT BARK
346
REFUELING
347
RESTRIKES
348
TRAINING AND PERSONNEL QUALITY
350
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES UAVs
352
European UAV Programs
354
New Uses for UAVs and the Issue of Vulnerability
355
URBAN WARFARE AND MILITARY OPERATIONS IN BUILTUP AREAS MOBA HUMAN SHIELDS
356
Beyond Air and Missile Power The Ground Phase of Kosovo NationBuilding and Continuing Instability in the Balkans
357
THE PROBLEMS IN KOSOVO AND SERBIA
359
Supporting Charts and Figures
373
Notes
377
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About the author (2001)

ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and is a special consultant on military affairs for ABC News. The author of numerous books on international security issues, he has served in senior positions for the Secretary of Defense, NATO, State Department, Department of Energy, and the U.S. Senate.

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