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Fatal Flaws in NAto mission

Satish Nambiar (Retd.)

(First Force Commander and Head of Mission of the United Nations Forces
deployed in the former Yugoslavia 03 Mar92 to 02 Mar 93. Former Deputy
Chief of Staff, Indian Army. Currently, Director of the United Services
Institution of India.)

My year long experience as the Force Commander and Head of Mission of the
United Nations Forces deployed in the former Yugoslavia has given me an
understanding of the fatal flaws of US/NATO policies in the troubled
region. It was obvious to most people following events in the Balkans
the beginning of the decade, and particularly after the fighting that
resulted in the emergence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, that Kosovo was a 'powder keg'
waiting to explode. The West appears to have learnt all the wrong lessons
from the previous wars and applied it to Kosovo.

(3) It is ironic that the Dayton Agreement on Bosnia was not fundamentally
different from the Lisbon Plan drawn up by Portuguese Foreign Minister
Cuteliero and British representative Lord Carrington to which all three
sides had agreed before any killings had taken place, or even the
Vance-Owen Plan which Karadzic was willing to sign. One of the main
problems was that there was an unwillingness on the part of the American
administration to concede that Serbs had legitimate grievances and rights.
I recall State Department official George Kenny turning up like all other
American officials, spewing condemnations of the Serbs for aggression and
genocide. I offered to give him an escort and to go see for himself that
none of what he proclaimed was true. He accepted my offer and thereafter
made a radical turnaround.. Other Americans continued to see and hear what
they wanted to see and hear from one side, while ignoring the other side.
Such behaviour does not produce peace but more conflict.

(4) I felt that Yugoslavia was a media-generated tragedy. The Western
sees international crises in black and white, sensationalizing incidents
for public consumption. From what I can see now, all Serbs have been
out of Croatia and the Muslim-Croat Federation, I believe almost 850,000

Ultimatums were issued to Yugoslavia that unless the terms of an agreement
drawn up at Rambouillet were signed, NATO would undertake bombing.
Ultimatums do not constitute diplomacy. They are acts of war. The
of Kosovo who want independence, were coaxed and cajoled into putting
signatures to a document motivated with the hope of NATO bombing of Serbs
and independence later. With this signature, NATO assumed all the legal
moral authority to undertake military operations against a country that
had, at worst, been harsh on its own people. On 24th March 1999, NATO
launched attacks with cruise missiles and bombs, on Yugoslavia, a
state, a founding member of the United Nations and the Non Aligned
Movement; and against a people who were at the forefront of the fight
against Nazi Germany and other fascist forces during World War Two. I
consider these current actions unbecoming of great powers.

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