Ground Troops in Kosovo

June 8, 1999

Although talk of peace is in the air, there are still many military observers who believe we still need to deploy ground troops. That's why the recent article by Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis is so important. Working with the Military Readiness Project of the Family Research Council, he makes a strong case for not deploying ground troops in Kosovo.

Maginnis cites many reasons why we should not stumble into a Balkan ground war. First, the Serbs will fight. In World War II, the Serbs learned to decentralize command and control. They built massive underground facilities for troops and supplies. The Serbian army would use delaying tactics while 300,000 guerillas took to the hills.

Second, there would be many NATO casualties. This would not be a 100-hour war like Desert Storm. Guerrilla wars happen in fits and starts and slowly bleed the occupation force. The German army learned this in World War II. NATO would learn this same lesson the hard way.

Third, an invasion and occupation of Serbia could require a force at least as large as that sent to the Persian gulf. Maginnis believes the administration has grossly underestimated the number of troops needed. Fourth, a massive logistical network must be built before a ground campaign could be launched. Fifth, NATO lacks a launch pad for a ground attack. No neighboring country has offered territory from which to stage the attack.

Finally, the American military is spread too thin across a range of legitimate national security interests. Since 1987, the U.S. military has been reduced by more than 800,000 personnel while forces have been deployed more than ever.

Maginnis has even more arguments, but I'm out of time. All in all these are good reasons why we shouldn't send ground troops to Kosovo.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.