NATO’s war – Boomerang against the West (Part A)

By Jan Oberg

TFF PressInfo 65 – April 30, 1999

Originally published here.

Serbo-Croatian version here.

 

“NATO’s war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is not comparable with the Vietnam war, with bombing Iraq or throwing cruise missiles on Sudan or Afghanistan. In a more fundamental way, it threatens major Western institutions, economies and Western leadership. With that much at stake, Western governments have long forgotten what the original problem was. Perhaps this is the reason why NATO now defines itself as a player that does not negotiate and thus has only the hammer left in its toolbox. That’s the opposite of statesmanship,” says TFF director Jan Oberg.

“Whether or not we support NATO’s bombing, we must be aware of the risks and potential costs to the West itself. Our politicians seem not to be aware of how big they could be. Therefore, I believe it’s time to show some civil courage and engage in solid damage-limitation both for the Balkans and for ourselves, otherwise this could go madly wrong,” Oberg warns. “The critical ‘boomerang’ effects I mention in this PressInfo and PressInfo # 66 do not have to happen, but they are probable enough to merit serious consideration – and more so with a ground war approaching.”

1. NATO’s credibility seriously impaired
After March 24, there must be serious doubts about NATO’s identity as a defensive alliance, as an organization for peace and stability. – Instead of seeing military targets, the Western audience sees bridges, schools, villages, media stations, factories, government houses etc. being destroyed. – NATO has handled its information dissemination in a way that makes even convinced pro-NATO people and media skeptical. – The successive calling in of more planes, helicopters and forces indicates a lack of advance planning, and there is no unity in the alliance about what to do after bombing. – The alliance created the humanitarian catastrophe it aimed to prevent, it ignored warnings that NATO bombs would make Serbs expel every Albanian they could find. – Europe, if not the entire international system, is indisputably less stable after March 24 than before.  [Read more…]