Ground War in Kosovo?

May 10, 1999

America seems at an impasse in Kosovo. Do we continue bombing? Do we cut our losses and get out? Or, do we deploy ground troops in order to win the war? These are the questions surfacing in talk shows as well as Pentagon briefings.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer says that the current policy is an air war on autopilot. At some point the U.S. will have to either (1) fight on the ground, or (2) retreat under some Russian-brokered deal.

Pressure is mounting for ground troops. Even people like Henry Kissinger who originally opposed the war are saying that now that we are committed, we must win. That is why the recent column by Charles Krauthammer is so significant. He is willing to count the costs before we have to pay those costs.

For most people the issue seems like an open and shut case. In the words of Senator John McCain, we should "use all necessary force to finish the job." But Krauthammer points out one very significant fact: John McCain is not running this military operation. Bill Clinton is.

Therefore he changes the question. "The real question is not, Should the U.S. (and its allies) go in on the ground? The real question facing us today is, Do you really want this foreign policy team Clinton and Albright and Cohen and Berger running a Balkan ground war?" He believes that this team "has demonstrated a jaw-dropping inability to plan ahead, to adapt to contingencies, to act forcefully."

Add to this problem the fact that such an action would probably take place under NATO. Under the current strategy every move in the air war must be approved by all 19 NATO members. Imagine a ground campaign managed by this hydra-headed body of 19 member nations. If you ask me, that's no way to fight a war.

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