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1999 Topical Symposium 

AFTER KOSOVO:  IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. STRATEGY & COALITION WARFARE

 Sponsored by the National Defense University
Institute for National Strategic Studies
Fort McNair, Washington, DC 

November 16-17, 1999 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Purpose:  To examine the implications of Kosovo on existing and future security structures and defense strategies. 

Objectives: 

  1. To understand how the Kosovo experience will impact the future of NATO.

  2. To analyze the defense planning process at the coalition level and at the U.S. national level, and suggest planning and strategy improvements for future small-scale contingencies.

  3. To objectively analyze the relationships between goals, force structure, and constraints in strategy development.

  4.  To understand the role and mandates and intervention options in conflict resolution.

  5. To identify issues and suggest alternatives for future United States and Coalition defense planning and strategy development efforts. 

Overview of the Symposium: The Conference began with a keynote speaker who challenged the participants to address key issues and questions in several areas.  These issues were addressed by five panel discussions and four additional addresses by individual contributors throughout the two-day symposium.  The panel discussions addressed:  Kosovo strategy; effective engagement, matching ends and means; managing conflict and post-conflict objectives; implications for U.S. forces; and implications for coalition operations.  Additional areas addressed included U.S. and European relations, de-Balkanizing the Balkans; lessons of Kosovo; and Kosovo from a Russian perspective, and are included under General Observations, and/or under the panel discussions summaries, since they complemented the panel discussions so closely. 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

The Executive Summary captures the several themes suggested by panel members, individual presenters, and the audience through their questions and comments.  The themes were suggested by both the symposium objectives and in the key issues posed in the keynote speech.  The full report, which follows the Executive Summary, follows the sequence of panel presentations, and incorporates additional comments made by individual presenters during luncheon and dinner presentations, as well as those brought out through audience participation.  

Challenges to Participants 

Participants were challenged to seek answers to issues in five areas:  political objectives, intervention success or failure, post-settlement planning and implementation, whether any precedents were set by Kosovo, and what impact the Kosovo intervention had on U.S. and European relations, and other bilateral and multilateral relations. 

Political objectives.  What political objectives were sought?  Were they or not realistic, and to what degree were they achieved?  Were there unexpected political consequences, positive or negative?  What was the effect on NATO cohesion, and future out-of-area operations?  What were the effects on Russia, China, the Balkans, and the United States?  Were the political objectives thought through during the decision-making process, and what were their effects?  

Successful intervention.  Was the intervention a success?  Was it conducted effectively from the perspective of a military operation, and from a civil-military response to a humanitarian crisis? 

Post-settlement.  Was the civil-military planning and intervention following the settlement effectively coordinated by NATO, the UN, the international NGO/PVO community, and the local constituencies? 

Precedents.  Were any precedents set by Kosovo?  Is there an evolving doctrine for civil-military humanitarian intervention, particularly inside sovereign states?  What other precedents, if any, were set in the areas of coalition building and maintenance, limiting friendly casualties and collateral damage, or in air power versus grand power? 

U.S.-European and other international relations.  What effect did Kosovo have on evolving political and military independence of Europe from the United States?  Where will current efforts on NATO’s Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI), and the European Union’s European Security and Defense Identify (ESDI) lead to in the future?  How will Kosovo affect NATO’s relationships with the UN, with European non-NATO members in the Balkans and elsewhere? 

GENERAL THEMES AND OBSERVATIONS 

Lack of Comprehensive Objectives, Strategy, Planning, and Preparation 

Threats of force, compellance, or coercive diplomacy against determined adversaries rarely succeed. 

NATO planned a 3 to 5-day air campaign, believing Milosevic would capitulate at that point.  NATO had no back-up plan.  Political guidance to planners, from Washington and from other European capitals, was not to do comprehensive planning, because of concern about negative public reactions to a ground campaign. 

However, we weren’t prepared to invade Serbia.  We weren’t prepared to assassinate Milosevic, and we weren’t prepared to put a sustained ground campaign into Kosovo, and risk large numbers of Allied lives.  The keys to victory were that the Alliance stood together, thus isolating Belgrade in Europe, and the Russians sided with the Alliance in the end.  Milosevic ran out of options and finally capitulated. 

The campaign failed to avert the humanitarian disaster, which it was aimed to avert.  By March 20th just prior to the start of the air campaign, there were already 400,000 people displaced, and the number grew to 825,000 by April 4th, just a week later.  During the conflict there were 1.4 million people displaced; about 900,000 were Kosovar Albanians. 

The decision to avoid Allied casualties by keeping most aircraft sorties above 15,000 feet, and by foregoing the ground invasion, not only limited the campaign’s ability to limit Serb aggression against the Kosovars, but resulted in increased collateral damage on civilians.  It may have prolonged the campaign, and perversely magnified the suffering of the people it was designed to protect, and implicitly accepted civilian casualties to prevent military ones. 

U.S. led from the rear, especially on the ground option.  The ground option should have been on the table from the very start, as an option, with a credible force on the ground.  NATO limited its means rather than its objectives.  We claimed to be preventing genocide and ethnic cleansing, but the means we committed couldn’t do that. 

There was a disconnect between military objectives versus the public’s understanding of a humanitarian crisis.  While the dichotomy is legitimate, it would likely have led to  decreased public support by NATO members, had the campaign lasted much longer.  

NATO delegated operational decisions to the Secretary General and SACEUR.  Its principal role thereafter was to maintain its own solidarity.  The strategy shifted over time, absent routine consultation with NATO, and has implications in the future for managing prolonged crises. 

We’re not in a post-conflict environment today.  We’re still mitigating conflict. 

We now have clear political objectives in the Balkans, and are pushing for democratic movements in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo.  However, the fragile peace in Kosovo has done nothing to resolve the long-term issue of Kosovo status, leaving both the Serb aim of Yugoslav sovereignty and the Kosovo Liberation Army’s aim for independence of the territory legitimized.  Today, NATO and the KLA are on collision course, with their objectives diametrically opposed.  An independent Kosovo is likely to lead to movement for a “Greater Albania.”, uniting Kosovo, and Albania, and parts of Macedonia, which would further destabilize the entire Balkan region. 

Political Control/Military Operations 

U.S. and NATO Intervention in Kosovo was brought on by fear the conflict would spread to other areas in the Balkans and beyond.  American leadership in NATO would have been thrown into question, had not the U.S. participated. 

Some suggested that this was a war that didn’t have to be fought.  NATO is primarily a security/defense Alliance, and lacks a structure for conducting diplomacy.  NATO itself was excluded from the Rambouillet negotiations.  And the G8, including Russia, was the key to achieving a settlement, and to getting the UN Security Council resolution leading to the deployment of KFOR.  While coercive diplomacy did not work against Milosevic, perhaps better integration of NATO’s security/defense role with diplomacy is warranted.  

Rambouillet was a big mistake in several respects:  the Albanians didn’t sign right away; an ultimatum was issued, without a backup strike option if it failed.  It was unacceptable to Milosevic because it would have put NATO forces on the ground in Kosovo, and he also objected to a referendum in Kosovo after three years.  When Rambouillet fell apart  Milosevic thought he had carried the day.  However, it put NATO’s credibility at stake and NATO had to respond. 

Constraints to Coalition Planning and Operations  

Crisis management in NATO tends to be incremental, an iterative process, and often needs a push from the outside before it will act, e.g., the Contact Group, or the G8.  Non-Article V crisis intervention, particularly for out-of-area operations will be ad hoc. 

NATO plans and operations are governed by consensus.  It takes a lot of work to reach consensus, and the consensus is often the lowest common denominator.  On the strength side, it also takes consensus to undo a decision, and once it decides on a course of action, it tends to stay with it. 

National (parochial) decisions constrained Allied Operations.  The constraints imposed on the planning process were the inhibitions of those nations doing the planning.  Restrictions on use of ground forces, by U.S., and other individual Allied nations, led to an unwillingness to plan for a broad range of contingencies.   

Several Allies were uncomfortable that they were acting with insufficient authority, e.g. lack of a UN Security Resolution.  Many European allies won’t do that again.  

NATO Alliance Relationships 

The most significant American lesson from Kosovo was that the Alliance worked.  The primary European lesson was that Europe shouldn’t be so dependent upon U.S. leadership and military prowess. 

NATO will always be a regional alliance, Kosovo was not a bridge too far, but it was the farthest bridge. 

There were a range of opinions expressed on whether Kosovo will strengthen or weaken the Alliance.  There was general agreement however, that under current circumstances the U.S. needs Europe, and Europe needs the U.S., and we both need the NATO Alliance. There was also agreement that the U.S. will continue to fight its wars in coalitions, that we will need coalitions politically, militarily, and economically.  Burden sharing is needed across the   spectrum of conflict, and it will need NATO and other coalitions.  We must stay actively engaged in helping Europeans develop their own and complementary military capabilities.   

NATO has been recreated since end of Cold War.  America’s engagement in Europe is preventing re-nationalization of defenses; war has been abolished as an instrument of European relationships with one another; it is brining peoples of the former Soviet countries into the modern western world; and it is trying to bring Russia out of its self-imposed isolation. 

The U.S. wants,  “No duplication, no decoupling, and no discrimination.”  In the pursuit of a European defense identity, it doesn’t want Europe to wreck the NATO Alliance.   

Kosovo demonstrated that Europe is even more dependent upon U.S. than before, and it’s less likely that Europe will develop a separate defense capability from NATO, than it was before. 

ESDI will be a long-time coming; it’s fundamentally in our interest, and we need to help it along.  Pursuing the development of military capabilities in accordance with the NATO Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI) is critical.  We need to do more to promote trans-Atlantic cooperation and competition in building complementary weapons systems. Licensing of high technology has to go faster, we have to buy some serious European systems, and we have to transfer some technology.  

Many Europeans believe we’re over-reacting, that the main motivation behind the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) is not for the Europeans to create a sort of counter-weight to the United States, that it has always been to create a Europe whole, peaceful, and free.  European integration is not defined negatively by its relation to the United States.  And many in Europe believe that it is not possible to build a long-term security and stability on the continent without the United States. 

The Berlin Agreement in 1996 recognized and promoted a European defense identity within the NATO Alliance framework.  The Intent of the “Saint Malo declaration” of December 1998, is for Europe to be able act through its own defense institutions, either within NATO or outside of NATO.  The EU Summit in Cologne, June 1999 again suggested an all- European institution.  And the EU Summit in Helsinki in December 1999 may further indicate where Europe is headed. 

The worst scenario would be for Europeans to develop a European caucus which excludes the U.S., and for European rhetoric to get too far ahead of its capabilities for effective operations, disrupt NATO cohesion, and then be unable to operate without the U.S. when it needed our assistance. 

The Partnership for Peace is paying significant dividends in developing understanding and cooperation between NATO and non-NATO countries in Europe.  The strengthening of military relationships is also strengthening political relationships, as well. 

American hegemony.  The United States is a “hyper power”, creating an imbalance of power, which bothers Europeans.  On the other hand, one speaker spoke about the “paradox of military supremacy”, that is, we’re very reluctant to use it. 

The National missile defense debates are potential political dynamite, and threaten to interrupt our relationships with NATO and Europe.  We need to undertake some serious dialogue with Europeans. 

Relations beyond NATO 

Europe now owns the Balkans, and NATO is committed to its security and stability.  Europe must work to integrate Southeast Europe into Europe.  Europe itself cannot have long-term peace and prosperity and stability in a divided Europe, one without its southeastern portion.  The countries in Southeastern Europe are for the most part new and fragile democracies, with severe economic, social, and political problems.  They want to join NATO and the European Union, and believe they’re “”owed” membership for their cooperation with NATO during the Kosovo conflict.  And many of them have been led to believe that they will be invited to do so.  

The Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe is a major institutional response to economic problems in Southeastern Europe.  It is basically an umbrella organization with lots of structure, committees, and appointments, but doing little.  It has 3 Working Tables.  OSCE has the lead on Democratization and Human Rights, the World Bank and the IMF have the lead on Economic Reconstruction and Development, and there is a Working Table on Security, which is less developed.   

Bulgaria, Romania, and Macedonia all had significant trade losses during and since the conflict, but all three supported NATO, despite domestic opposition.  Macedonia, is a reasonably successful multi-ethnic society, but has an active Serb community that was responsible for attacking the U.S. embassy in Skopje.  Albania is a failed state, and not economically viable.  Slovenia considers itself to be Central European, and was the first to provide NATO with air rights and ground transit.  

The cost of rebuilding Southeastern Europe is estimated to be between $30 billion and $100 billion.  However, the costs of not helping them may be fragile democracies deteriorating further, and leading to more destabilization in the region. 

The Membership Action Plan is a military-to-military exercise to assist individual countries to access NATO by providing for inter-operability, joint planning, and so forth. 

There is a “conundrum of NATO enlargement.”  Fighting by committee is hard enough with 19 countries, with the problems of complementarity of weapons systems, communications, command and control, etc.  Russia is also dead set against NATO’s further enlargement into Central Europe, and the Baltic States, in particular. 

The Russians didn’t expect NATO to begin bombing following the failure of negotiations at Rambouillet, and felt there was more room to search for political solutions. 

Russia felt left out in the planning for Kosovo, although there was consultation by the U.S. with Russia early on.  The role of the Russian forces was minimized, and its deployment of a rapid reaction force to the Pristina Airport was an effort to get NATO’s attention, and to get a more substantive role for the Russian forces in KFOR. 

The Russians are unhappy in Kosovo on several counts: the Serb population is fleeing; there’s a high potential for Albanian autonomy over time; they’re unhappy with Milosevic who saw the Russian participation in the political solution as a guarantee to keep Kosovo within Serbia; and they’re losing clout with their former allies. 

Kosovo impacted on military-to-military contacts in Washington and Moscow, and has impacted ABM negotiations, OSCE talks, the test ban treaty, and the START talks.  They are worried that they’ll be shown up by our development of a national missile defense system.  And they worry about our political “interference” in Chechnya. 

The Russians are claiming a price for bringing home the agreement with Milosevic at the G8 meeting in Cologne.  They want to be a major part of any permanent joint, combined task force launched by NATO in the future; they’ve cautioned NATO against thinking about doing another Kosovo, without inviting them in at the beginning; and they don’t want to hear a whisper about NATO expansion into another former Soviet country. 

Strains in U.S. - Russian relations are believed to be primarily at the political level, and are much better on a mil-to-mil basis.  The two Militaries may be a vehicle to get the politicians and diplomats to work better together. 

U.S. and Russian militaries in Bosnia have great relationship, and good in Kosovo, as well.  Russia anticipates a 2-3 year commitment in Kosovo, and would be willing to provide more forces, if necessary. 

Russia and China are united in their opposition to further eastward expansion of NATO, and to Alliance’s actions in Kosovo.  They see it as part of American efforts at world domination.  The Chinese in particular, see the U.S. expanding eastward via NATO, and westward through close defense with Japan.  And see action in Kosovo, as threatening their own power vis-à-vis Tibet.  Russian and China will resist further weakening of the tradition of non-intervention in nations’ internal affairs. 

Chinese hardliners apparently believe NATO enlargement intends to expand to the Chinese border, and choose not to understand that NATO is run by consensus.  They think it’s like the Warsaw Pact, where the Allies take their orders from Washington. 

Force Planning and Structure

There was considerable debate about Kosovo’s lessons vis-à-vis force planning and structure.  Some felt strongly that small scale contingencies (SSCs) require specially organized, recruited, trained and equipped forces.  Others felt just as strongly that the current force structure, albeit designed for the conduct of two simultaneous major theater wars, was proving to do a fine job with SSCs, particularly if they had been exposed to some short period specialized training.  Everyone agreed that there are some serious deficiencies in doing long-range planning for sustained commitments in SSCs, however. 

Americans style of war was characterized by the 4 ”Bs”:  “Big” - overwhelming force and massive firepower; “Brief” - sudden, violent, and aggressive, and then leave.  We haven’t thought enough about the long-term follow-up mission that an engagement entails.  “Broad” - we like coalitions, and we defer more to them than in the past.  “Benign” - for us, not others.  The first mission has become force protection, which is bizarre.   

We haven’t paid enough attention to speed of response and rapid deployment of usable military power to places like Kosovo.  To impact a fast moving political and humanitarian crisis, we need to be able to move forces quickly, and the importance of a ground element is critical.  We’re too dependent on deep-water ports, and need more, smaller roll-on/roll-off sealift. 

Our force planning and strategic thinking don’t take into account the need for follow-through.  Despite the fact that everybody says it’s not what we want to do, in most of these cases we intervene in for the long haul.  There is a certain level of disingenuousness about the nature of the long-term commitments one accepts when one intervenes militarily in this way, and it has to be thought through. 

Small-scale contingencies are supposed to be a lesser-included case of theater wars, but they’re not.  SSCs involve “imperial policing,” and is different from fighting a conventional war.  It’s different from the kind of conflicts envisaged in planning guidance, which talk about two major theater wars or major regional contingencies.  It requires a different kind of approach to what military organizations do, and it requires some difficult choices.  In spite of claims to the contrary, “we do windows.”  We do peacekeeping, and the trends in international politics will ensure that we continue to do it. 

The path we’re on now is one that is probably not sustainable for a number of reasons, in terms of the impact on readiness of the warfighting force, including the atrophy of some of the warfighting skills of large parts of the regular force, which are doing peacekeeping kinds of missions.  That is unacceptable.  It’s also unacceptable to pretend that we’re not going to be in this business.   

We do need smaller, more flexible forces.  Today’s large divisional structure means you have to pull personnel and equipment out of other units to get units up to 100% strength for deployment.  The result is more units become under-strength, and non-deployable. 

We’re going to have to look at alternatives to the two MTWs as the primary force-sizing criterion. 

We need to increase our high-demand, low-density units and assets. 

Information superiority will be a key to future conflicts. 

Joint Task Forces are still being put together on an ad hoc basis.  We need to develop better doctrine and procedures for JTF operations.  

Strategy versus Tactics 

There were differences in the priority assigned to tactical targets in Kosovo, and strategic targets in Belgrade and Serbia proper.  Since then there has been considerable debate in Air Force circles on other ways of prioritizing targets.     

Some advocate effects-based targeting, focusing on end-results, such as denying the adversary’s command and control of their forces, other things directly related to the ability of the adversary to carry out offensive operations.  However, carried to the extreme, effects-based targeting would turn over control of targeting decisions to military planners and removing it from political oversight. 

Parallel warfare exploits the different dimensions of time, space and levels of warfare. It’s an attempt to conduct war simultaneously through the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war.  Parallel warfare is a decisive use of force that outpaces the adversary’s tempo of operations, and his ability to respond.

Evolving Doctrine:  Sovereignty versus human rights 

Some would say that Kosovo was not a precedent, East Timor is not a precedent, and other interventions are not a precedent.  However in cases where there is a consensus to act, and allies to share the burden, politically, militarily, and economically, and/or there are other international institutions involved, we’re more likely to intervene. 

There is evolving case law on humanitarian intervention in sovereign countries to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing, etc.  There is growing concern in the United Nations about the Charter’s prohibition against intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. 

There is an evolving sense of community in the world.  In the U.S. today, a crisis abroad, is a crisis at home for someone.  We’re a pluralistic and heterogeneous society, and every ethnic group and every cause abroad has a constituency in the U.S.  In the U.S. our business is global, our investments and interests are global, we’re also a value-based society, and we will respond to human rights issues and causes. 

Kosovo’s value as precedent is limited.  In the future, three conditions will have to be met before U.S. intervenes:  a clear moral justification for using force, the area must be of strategic importance, and the operation must be mountable without exacting a heavy price. Reasonable cost, risk, and timeframe are considerations.  For a humanitarian intervention it has to be seen as a threat to our interests, as well. 

Information Operations 

Under the UN Charter, we censure a nation under Article 40, we bomb it under Article 42, and under Article 41, we implement economic sanctions and embargoes.  The fine print says that the UN, upon a vote of the Security Council can interrupt radio, rail, sea, air, telegraphic, telephonic, and other means of communication, and therefore authorizes  information warfare (IW).  We should use IW before we resort to absolutely lethal force. 

Milosevic controlled virtually all of the Serb media.  Rather than attack TV production facilities, however, we should have attempted to access the Serb audience with a UAV-based dissemination system. 

Milosevic used TV for political solidarity, and stayed on the air throughout the war.  He used the downing of the F-117 stealth fighter to good advantage, and had reporters on the scene while it was still burning.  He also used the accidental NATO shooting of a passenger train to good advantage. 

We needed 24-hour, real-time or near real-time coverage of Serbs killing civilians.  Our Special Forces in Kosovo could have taken the footage, and beamed it to satellites. 

We need an active soft-war operations campaign now to keep Kosovars, Serbs, and refugees informed about what NATO and international community doing, and what their local government is doing.  We can begin to build trust in the future now. 

Summary and Areas for Follow-up 

The objectives for the conference were met; issues posed in the keynote were addressed in some detail; however, discussion of post-settlement planning and intervention by NATO, the UN, and international NGO/PVO community was limited to acknowledging weaknesses in long-term comprehensive civil-military planning, the Inter-Agency process, and changes in process to Presidential Decision Directives PDD-25 and PDD-56.   

Consensus is both NATO’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness.  The consensus building process forces open debate in national capitals; decision-making is incremental and iterative, and tends to result in non-decisive engagement in the early going.  On the other hand, once committed, NATO operates as a formidable coalition.  The solution lies in strong leadership and comprehensive, up-front planning.  Several saw a deficiency in NATO’s planning to be a lack of an effective interface between its military and security planning with political-diplomatic efforts by other players, and merits further study. 

U.S. and European relationships were strengthened from the perspective that NATO proved to be an effective fighting force, and acknowledgement that Europe and the U.S. both need one another.  They were weakened by exposing the differences in U.S. and European capabilities and acknowledged European dependence upon U.S. technology.  The answer lies in increasing trans-Atlantic cooperation in weapons systems development and burden sharing, redirection of defense spending to improve mobility, sustainability, logistics, and role specialization.   

There was considerable debate about force structure and training priorities, and whether small-scale contingencies constituted lesser-included cases of major theater wars, or were different enough that they deserved significant changes in shaping and design.  There was acknowledgement that our foes on future battlefields will have learned some lessons from recent conflicts.  They will be more sophisticated in employment of their own offensive and defensive weapons systems, will try to limit our power projection capabilities, will be more lethal, and will have improved imagery, and improved information systems.  Force structure, roles and missions clearly merits further study.  Conferees were not in agreement on whether new structures were needed to address SSCs.  However, they were in agreement that efforts were needed to address high-demand, low-density units and skills, improvements to Joint Task Force preparations and operations, and improved integration of planning for the war fight with coalition partners, and with Inter-Agency and non-government players for conflict prevention, mitigation, and post-conflict resolution.

GENERAL PANEL OBSERVATIONS

Panel One – Kosovo Strategy Development and Adoption - (Panel Highlights)

NATO decision-making is crisis management decision-making.  NATO stands ready, on a case-by-case basis, and by consensus, to contribute to effective conflict prevention, and to engage actively in crisis management, including crisis response operations.  Crisis management in NATO is an incremental approach, to meet certain specific objectives, to reduce tensions, to prevent them from becoming crises, to prevent crises from becoming conflicts, and in a conflict to control the hostilities, and to settle back to a negotiating situation.  Crisis management also applies to the entire conflict spectrum

In the case of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, crisis management is a well-structured process in which long-range detailed planning provides the actions deemed necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. 

Non Article V crisis management tends to be an ad hoc arrangement of potential Alliance actions which are intended to avoid adverse consequences of instabilities that might arise from serious economic, social, or political difficulties, including ethnic rivalries and territorial disputes that may affect the Alliance.  By implication, such non-Article V crises would be outside, but on the periphery of the NATO area. 

Alliance actions to achieve crisis management objectives, must be achieved by consensus, based on extensive consultation with nations, through their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Defense, and military advisors.  In reality the crisis management decisions are first taken by each national capital, and then harmonized at NATO headquarters, through the North Atlantic Council (NAC), before becoming Alliance decisions. 

The final NAC decision, however, once achieved, provides the strength and solidarity of 19 nations demonstrating their collective will.  At times the real disadvantage in NATO is the inherent weakness resulting from the lowest common denominator being the only agreed solution.  However, it also requires consensus to undo any one of those decisions.  So, if any one nation wanted to hold out, the decision stands until there is a consensus to undo it.

NATO first became involved in the planning process for Kosovo, as early as April, 1998, when Strobe Talbot, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, briefed NATO on the Kosovo situation and proposed a two-phased approach: to first defuse the immediate crisis, and then, to follow with substantive negotiations to reach a diplomatic settlement.  At that point, Washington had already ruled out unilateral military strikes, and if anything were done it would be done in concert with NATO. 

Two key decisions were taken during the planning for Kosovo.  In October 1998, in response to the introduction of significant Serb military and paramilitary forces into Kosovo, the NAC agreed that SACEUR could issue an activation order for a limited air response option, to move air forces into the region.  The second major decision followed the Rackac massacre in January 1999, when the NAC delegated to the NATO Secretary General the authority to implement a limited air campaign, which he did on March 23rd.  

NATO needs outside influence to act, e.g., the Contact Group, and was concerned about its legal authority and desire to be even-handed.  However, the Alliance was prepared to back-up diplomacy with force, but seriously misread Milosevic’s determination.  NATO had difficulty in convincing itself to use force, and Milosevic, as well.  

Each crisis is unique.  NAC made a political decision to interpret the legal authority to act.  The outcome will be reflected in the will of 19 nations.  But a unique decision on a legal interpretation will be required for each crisis.

The Kosovo crisis demonstrated the flexibility of NATO crisis management.  The Alliance proved it was prepared to back-up diplomacy with force, although NATO had difficulty in convincing itself it would use force, and more trouble convincing Milosevic, which raises the issue of whether an alliance which is dependent upon a consultation process, and inevitable public debate, can really threaten force?.  

In American eyes, Kosovo was a vindication of the Alliance, the vindication of this bond between America and Europe.  The Alliance held together, admirably, better than expected.  Yet, in European eyes it had the opposite implication.  In Europe, it’s  accelerated the endeavor of Europeans to develop their own defense institutions, the EU  common foreign and security policy and to create a formal defense institution.  The lesson the Europeans drew from Kosovo was, “never again should we be so dependent upon the Americans.  That it’s time for the Europeans to have their own means to respond to such crises on their own.”  Kosovo gave a new impetus to a political trend in Europe that has enormous implications for the Alliance. 

Some Europeans see America as a hyper-power, and its power and influence, as an imbalance, and as an international problem.  The motivation is to create a counter-weight to American power, and to enhance Europe’s autonomy.  

U.S. has pushed “burden sharing” for years.  European identity has been evolving for years, beginning in the early 90’s with the creation of the EU, the European common currency, the Euro, and now it’s moving into the security and defense area.  It’s inevitable, and good.  And we in the U.S. should want it to succeed.  Hoping for the failure of this enterprise is not the right answer either, because, if the Europeans fail to give themselves some ability to act, whether it’s inside or outside the NATO framework, what we will see is the further demoralization of Europe, the continued dependence of Europe on the United States, and increasing resentment in Europe at the fact that they are still dependent upon the United States, and increasing resentments in the U.S. Congress about the Europeans continued inability to shoulder their share of the burden.  The debate is not about the desirability of European strength, or European autonomy, it is about the attempt to pursue these goals through new institutions in the EU whose relationship with the Alliance we have yet to figure out.  It needs to be done within the Alliance framework, not outside or in competition with it.  

We’re concerned, both in the U.S. and in Europe, about the evolution of the European Security and Defense Identity outside of the NATO Framework. The U.S. has articulated the “3Ds”, no duplication, no decoupling, and no discrimination, and is concerned that Europe will wreck the Alliance in search for its European identity.  

Panel Two – Effective Engagement:  Matching End and Means - (Panel Highlights)

Americans style of war, 4”Bs”: “Big”, with overwhelming force and massive firepower; “Brief”, we want to be sudden, violent, and aggressive.  And we haven’t thought about the long-term follow-up mission that an engagement entails.  “Broad”, we like coalitions, and we defer more to them than in the past.  “Benign”, for us, not others.  The first mission has become force protection, which is bizarre. 

One area where we haven’t paid enough attention is speed of response, deployment of usable military power to places like Kosovo.  To impact a fast moving political and humanitarian crisis, we need to be able to move forces quickly.  The importance of a ground element is critical. 

Follow-through, preparation of follow-through.  Our force planning and strategic thinking don’t take this into account. In most of these cases we intervene in for the long haul, despite the fact that everybody says that’s not what we want to do.  We’re still patrolling the skies over northern and southern Iraq; we’re still in Bosnia; and we’re probably going to be in Kosovo for a pretty long time, as well.  The way we do our force planning and strategic thinking, however, we don’t really take that into account.  

Small-scale contingencies are supposed to be a lesser-included case of theater wars, and they’re not.  There is a certain level of disingenuousness about the nature of the long-term commitments one accepts when one intervenes militarily in this way, and it has to be thought through. 

We’re doing imperial policing.  It’s very different from going around and fighting a war, certainly a war as conventionally understood, and certainly the kind of conflicts that are envisaged in planning guidance, which talk about two major theater wars or major regional contingencies.  It requires a different kind of approach to what military organizations do, and it requires some difficult choices.  In spite of claims to the contrary, “we do windows.”  We do peacekeeping, and international politics, and the evolving world will ensure that we continue to do it.

 Some parts of the force should be oriented on large scale, fairly intense combat.  Other parts of the force should be structured very differently, conceivably even recruited very differently.  It may be true that regular soldiers don’t like peacekeeping.  But there are plenty of people who do like peacekeeping.  It is entirely possible that we’ll need a somewhat different recruiting and career path to deal with it.  It’s something that we’ll have to experiment with.  The path we’re on now is one that is probably not sustainable for a number of reasons, in terms of the impact on readiness of the warfighting force, what has been described reasonably accurately I think, as the atrophy of some of the warfighting skills of large parts of the regular force, which are taken up with these essentially peacekeeping kinds of missions.  That is not acceptable.  And what is also not acceptable is to pretend that we’re not going to be in this business.  Because if there are any lessons to be drawn from these last ten years, it that we will be.  

Kosovo was not an issue of national survival, and most of our future engagements won’t be either, resulting in limited campaign objectives.  We will continue to try to minimize casualties, and collateral damage.  There will be pressure to bring operations to a close quickly and they will be carried out in coalitions.  

Our principal gaps in Kosovo were in support aircraft, tankers, jammers, reconnaissance, and air defense suppression.  There is a marked shift toward precision-guided munitions, and they were in short supply, particularly from our European partners.  We need to shorten the air tasking process, and develop inter-operable secure voice communications.  

Our strategy is selective engagement, selective because our resources are limited, and engagement because we can’t turn our backs on the rest of the world when what happens there might affect our interests.  Our strategy was first articulated in PDD-25 in 1994, and contained many factors.  Our intervention is dependent, not on an absolute determinant, but on the cumulative weight of many factors.  It’s evolved somewhat since then.  We no longer have an exit deadline.  There are some emerging principles.  The Secretary General raised the issue of the conflict in sovereignty and human rights, and the UN Charter says that you can’t intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.  When a country requests it, or it’s a matter of self-defense, it’s easier.  More difficult are those that can threaten international peace and security either because they can destabilize a region, or because of refugee flows, insurgencies or humanitarian demands.  

Non-military interventions are the first choice, prefer collective rather than unilateral action. UN Security Council authorization is helpful; requests from neighboring states;

urgency and severity; impact on international peace and security; nature and extent of consensus to do something; feasibility (reasonable cost, reasonable risk, and within a reasonable timeframe).  For humanitarian intervention it has to be seen as threat to interests and values.  In Kosovo, it was a threat to the Balkans, to its neighbors in Southeast Europe, and to Europe as a whole.  

PDD-56 has advanced planning for complex contingency operations.  We are creating a, standing committee of the NSC to make recommendations on when to start the PDD-56 planning process, and CINCs now required to include an annex V, a political-military plan, in their theater engagement plans.

We need build up United Nation’s capability for crisis intervention.  Give it a functioning crisis center, and also build up regional organizations to respond.  

We need to create the civilian equivalent of Military Police, perhaps under UN auspices.  And we need more Department of State, and the inter-Agency involvement earlier.  

We lost the information war in Kosovo.  We need to employ “soft war” techniques, the  hostile use of television to shape another nation’s will, by changing its view of reality.  

Rather than attack TV production facilities, we should have attempted to access the Serb audience.  

Milosevic used TV for political solidarity, and stayed on the air throughout the war.  He used the downing of the F-117 stealth fighter to good advantage, and had reporters on the scene while it was still burning.  He also used the accidental NATO shooting of the passenger train to good advantage.  

We need a UAV-based dissemination system, and demographic analysis system in place to find what people are looking at, and what messages are affective. 

And we needed 24-hour, real-time or near real-time coverage of Serbs killing civilians.  Special Forces in Kosovo could have been used to get the footage, and beam it to satellites.  

We need an active soft-war operations campaign now, keeping Kosovars, and refugees informed about what NATO and international community doing, what their local government is doing; to keep problems from cropping up; try to change belief system while NATO still there.  

Milosevic controlled the entire Yugoslavia television system.  The Head of Studio B testified before Congress, and said, “If David Duke took over every single television in your country, you would have a civil war in 4 years too.  

Panel Three – Managing Conflict and Post Conflict Objectives - (Panel Highlights)

The effort to stop Milosevic’s campaign was initially an exercise in coercive diplomacy, or compellance, which didn’t work.  

There was a lot of obfuscation on what targets were actually being hit.  Morality dictates that targets should be counter-force, that is directed at enemy forces.  Counter-value targets impose acute discomfort on the other side.  And while NATO claimed to be hitting Serb military and paramilitary forces, the target set was dual purpose.  Desert Storm was counter force.  

Importance of managing or winning the peace, is more important than the victory itself.  

The U.S. is feared as a hegemon, but it’s more hype than reality.  Islamic radicals claim that we’re anti-Moslem, but will admit privately that we’re doing a lot in the Balkans to protect Moslems.  

The purposes of the campaign evolved over time.  Secretary Cohen set out the military objective as degrade and damage the military and the security structure of President Milosevic, the structure he used to depopulate and destroy the Albanian majority in Kosovo.  General Shelton stated the military objectives as to suppress the Serb defense systems, isolate the military and police forces in Kosovo, degrade the VJ combat capabilities, compel the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia leaders to withdraw their forces from Kosovo, and to cease hostilities.  And finally General Clarke laid out the three main axes of the air campaign:  Isolate the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, provide humanitarian relief, and finally an end to ethnic cleansing campaign.  

In terms of assets, this had become the equivalent of a major theater war in terms of level of effort.  By the end of the campaign, the combination of more aircraft, better weather and a ground offensive by KLA of forcing Serbs into open contributed greatly to effectiveness of air campaign  

General Short favored strategic targets in Serbia, in Belgrade; General Clarke favored fielded forces, in Kosovo, but disagreement in degree, not kind.  In the end both strategic and tactical targets were seriously hit.  

Also, General Clarke had been lobbying hard for ground forces, and by May 18th President Clinton backed away from his original rejection of the ground option..  On May 23rd President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair agreed to give Secretary General Solana approval to draft plans for a ground invasion.  On May 27th Secretary Cohen went to Europe to discuss the ground option, and his trip was purposefully leaked to the NY Times.  Also, around this time the Russian envoy, Victor Chernomyrdin, told Milosevic that Russia would not stand in the way of a ground invasion.  

In Air Force circles, some are advocating effects-based targeting., focusing on end-results, such as,  denying the adversary’s command and control of their forces, and other things directly related to the ability of the adversary to carry out offensive operations.  However, the upshot of what many in the Air Force are proposing in terms of effects-based targeting, would turn over control of targeting decisions to military planners.  And of course, that’s very much of a concern.  Realistically, you can’t expect military planning to be free of political oversight.  And perhaps removing the political oversight is not altogether a good thing.  

Parallel warfare exploits the different dimensions of warfare, namely the dimensions of time, space, and levels of war.  It’s an attempt to conduct war simultaneously through the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war.  Parallel warfare is a very decisive use of force in which it outpaces the adversary’s tempo of operations, and his ability to respond.  

Powell doctrine is alive and well, well-defined objectives and decisive use of force.  

There are three types of intervention.  One is conflict prevention, which includes preventive diplomacy and preventive engagement, for which we don’t seem to have time or resources.  We’re too busy.  Two is mitigating conflict, which is what we’re doing in Kosovo, and the third is resolving conflict.  

Mitigating conflict is a military responsibility; others do the preventing and resolving. 

The air campaign cost approximately 1% of DoD’s FY 99 budget; and supporting KFOR in the FY 00 budget will be about 1%.  Doing the other things will cost 4.5% of the Foreign Operations account.  It’s less money, but a higher percentage of that account.  DoD ends up paying a larger share of the total cost.  

By March 20th, just prior to the start of Operation Allied Force, there were already 400,000 people displaced or in refugee status in Serbia, Kosovo, and Montenegro.  That number grew to 825,000 between the 24th of March, the day before the campaign, and the 4th of April, just a week later.  So, as we looked at an ongoing conflict, we looked at literally hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. 

The question is if we’re looking at how we come up with a political-military plan for operating a campaign with the military objectives that were laid out, How does that translate to the situation on the ground where we have a Serb offensive already underway, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced?  During the conflict there were about 1.4 million people who were displaced.  About 900,000 of those were Kosovar Albanians. 

One-third of the housing stock in Kosovo was destroyed.  And today we are able to support the rebuilding of only about 90,000 of the homes in Kosovo. 

We have 17 NATO nations, and 13 others who are participating, contributing a little more than 47,000 troops to KFOR, 7,000 of those are U.S. 

Looking at how we manage the post-conflict environment, what are those KFOR forces doing?  They are doing many things, but roughly, 50% of the operational forces who are involved in Kosovo right now, are performing the mission of protecting minority populations, predominantly the Serb population, but also Romas, some Bosniacs, and others who are in the region. 

There are many constituencies and audiences to be managed in an intervention of this nature.  Today, those audiences include Kosovar Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, Milosevic and cronies in Belgrade, the surrounding states in Southeastern Europe, our Allies in NATO, Russia, China, our 535 Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Defense in Congress, and the publics in America and Europe.  

We’re prematurely talking about a post-conflict environment, we’re still mitigating conflict, and very much in the conflict phase of this operation.  

Panel Four –Implications for U.S. Forces - (Panel Highlights)

What are the implications of sustained U.S. participation in smaller scale contingencies for our forces over time?  Over the past decade, the U.S. has participated in multiple overlapping SSCs, many have lasted years rather than months.  We are now seeing the impact of these operations in terms of OPTEMPO, PERSTEMPO, wear and tear on material, and also impacts on Warfighting readiness.  So, if we project a similar level of involvement in the future, how can we reduce or better manage some of these impacts?  

How should we begin to size and shape our general purpose forces for SSCs, as well MTWs?  What would this mean in practice, what are the benefits, what are the risks?  

What types of capabilities will be in greatest demand for SSCs in the future?  DoD’s “Quick Look” exercise recently completed, highlighted a number of peace keeping capabilities, command, communications, preferred munitions, tankers, information operations, more flexible logistics, etc.  Is this the right list?  Are there others?  Can we afford what we need in these areas?  

What type of forces do we need in the future?  Is the programmed mix of forces the right mix?  Are there shifts in resource allocation that we should consider, either within services or between services, given what we’ve learned from Kosovo and other SSCs?  

What are the implications of SSCs for how the Services manage their forces in peacetime?  

How should these types of operations figure in the ongoing revision of JV2010, and into our future military doctrine, training and organization? 

Emphasis on humanitarian interventions is not a fad.  There will be continued pressure from our populations to “do something” when they see large-scale atrocities being perpetuated on civilians.  There is a changing and evolving conception of “community.”  The view of who is our neighbor is widening.  

Some suggest that the public is more comfortable with casualties than is the military.  You have to have a plausible theory of victory.  There is an enduring constraint here, the enduring dilemma is this need for proportionality between costs and risks on the one hand, and interests at stake on the other.  And more and more, whether we like it or not, our forces are being employed in the interest of rather amorphous interests.  And this is particularly challenging in comparison to the interests of the people we tend to intervene against.  At some level Milosevic’s survival was at stake in the Kosovo crisis, if not his personal survival, at least his political survival.  Under those circumstances he’s going to be willing to risk a lot in order to secure that objective.  We, on the other hand, had trouble articulating our objective.  At some level we were fighting for a minimum standard of world order.  We were fighting for the credibility of the NATO Alliance.  We were fighting for humanitarian impulses.  None of those went to the heart of our national life, our national survival, or anything like that. 

If our threat, implicit or explicit, to intervene in these matters are going to be credible, we have to have at our disposal the means to intervene in such a way that our costs and risks are far far lower than those our enemies are willing to run. 

So this enduring asymmetry of stakes drives us inexorably toward a strategy that demands the ability to execute military operations with minimal risk of casualties.  Now, add to this the fact that we are normally going to be fighting as part of coalitions, that we need to also execute military operations in ways that minimize civilian casualties, that we are generally fighting far from our own shores, that our adversaries are going to have the initiative, and choose the time and place of attack, and that all adds up to a very demanding strategy of power projection for the United States military. 

No one wants to execute a one-dimensional military operation.  By definition, it gives your adversary opportunities for tactical and operational counter measures that he wouldn’t otherwise have.  On the other hand, ground operations are going to put you within range of enemy’s direct fire systems.

What do we need in the future?  One, “overwatch”, knowing the capabilities, activities and intentions of adversary, maps, databases, and targeting information on dirty dozen in world.  Two, rapid deployment and sustainment of high tempo operations, including prepositioning, air refueling, airlift, and sealift. Three, a sensor-controller-shooter link.  The controller is the key, he needs to collect the available data, decide on which weapons systems are best employed on particular targets, and then issue the orders.  Four, interoperability.  The U.S. needs partners, politically and militarily.  We need them for legitimacy, for risk-sharing, and for burden-sharing. 

The system isn’t broken, and doesn’t need radical fixes.  We’re also operating under severe budget constraints.

We won because we attacked strategic targets in Belgrade and Serbia, tactical targets in Kosovo, and had a ground invasion threat.  None of the three would have been sufficient by themselves.  Milosevic probably though the ground campaign was more imminent than it was.  The Alliance’s solidarity and Russia’s telling Milosevic they weren’t going to bail him out, also contributed.   The KLA effort at the end also complemented the tactical campaign. 

Kosovo proves that we can’t clearly delineate two points of the Warfighting spectrum.  We needed lots of assets in Kosovo, and they were the traditional military combat capabilities.  

There are several force structure lessons.  Need to think hard about our dependence on deep water ports..  We should buy more and smaller roll-on, roll-off sealift.  We’ll confront mining diesel submarines, and anti-ship cruise missiles.  Two, we need an armored gun system in the Army’s inventory, something less than a tank.  Three, we need more jamming aircraft.  Four, we need smaller divisional structures, so that we don’t have to break multiple units to bring those deploying up to strength.  Some don’t buy the “excessive OPTEMPO.”  

SSCs are going to exist for the foreseeable future, and the military is going to have to respond to those things,  

One fundamental assumption is that we’re not going to build a separate force for SSCs  

JV 2015 is looking at information superiority, joint command and control, and full spectrum dominance.  

Information superiority is more than just building a grid (which also becomes an adversary’s target), it includes integrating imagery and human intelligence, disinformation, sharing information with Inter-Agency, Allies, and private sector, as appropriate, across the conflict spectrum, and having procedures and protocols in place to do so.  Information superiority also leads to superior decision superiority, and command and control.  

Our command and control needs help.  Task Forces are still being put together on ad hoc basis.  In Kosovo we finally began planning for a ground option, and found we didn’t have the right people or tools in place to do so.

Control.  Shared situational awareness.  How do you coordinate your partners?  

Command.  Today’s Major will be the 06/07 JTF Commander in 2015.  Command and control will have to make four operational concepts work together:  precision engagement, dominant maneuver, full logistics, and full dimensional protection. 

Full spectrum dominance.  We need to think about Peace operations and SSCs, as well as the major theater wars.  At the low end, precision engagement means employing PSYOPS Civil Affairs, and public information to best advantage.  

Full dimensional protection means protecting forces in their CONUS staging and departure locations, as well as in the theater. 

Risk management, not risk avoidance.  If the commander has a zero casualty mark on his wall, he can’t do his job.  Bunkering in detracts from mission effectiveness.  

We do have low-density high-demand units and assets, and that should inform our thinking about force mix on the next QDR.  We probably need to increase the density of those assets.  

We’re going to have to look at alternatives to the two MTWs as the primary force sizing criteria.  

We will face more formidable enemies in our future who will target our information technology, do more to deny us access, making it more difficult for us to project power.  They’ll also have access to satellite imagery, commercially available, as well as their own, which will make it easier for them to find us.  So are we going to be able to operate from large massed bases forward, within range of other nations that possess satellite capability and medium range ballistic missile capability?  Probably not, so we probably ought to figure out how to disperse, and we probably ought to figure out how to conceal some things, and we probably ought to think about how we mass from longer distances.  

Need to take advantage of assets in private sector.  Example, Microsoft was able to field, test, and put in place a system for making ID cards for refugees in Albania, at request of UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 10 days.  

Our forces are in the Balkans primarily to deter war.  We have a well-disciplined, well- trained force, and our principle job is violence.  Building of societies are others’ jobs.  

Regarding our relationships with Europe, we need to stop blaming the Allies for the way we fought earlier.  This was a strategy invented in the United States, and it’s not good for the strength of the Alliance for us to beat up on the Allies for something that’s not their fault.  The tone of the relationship matters, not just the capabilities.  Secondly, the number one problem with the Europeans is not their defense budgets.  They do need to stop the slide in their budgets.  We don’t take a lot of advice from European politicians on about how much to spend on defense.  Chances are they aren’t going to listen to us either.  The real question is how they spend their money, and it has to do with buying fewer platforms, more precision guided munitions,, more sealift, more airlift, more organic logistics, and smaller forces that are more useful.  The Europeans have 2.5 million people under arms, and they can deploy one-tenth of what we can deploy with 1.5 million people under arms.  So they waste way too much money on the size of their force structure and on platforms. 

U.S. and NATO are spending a lot of time and effort on working with the newly independent states.  Do we want to buy force structure to do that, or is that force structure there to deploy elsewhere?  

Regarding no separate force structure for SSCs, we have a tradition of creating different forces for different kinds of wars, e.g., nuclear deterrent force during the Cold War?  Aren’t the abilities different for SSCs?  Not claiming they’re the same, but the military’s core competency is managing violence.  We train our forces prior to their deployment to Bosnia, at the Joint Readiness Training Center, and other places to respond to typical situations, and they learn to deal with them.  

Some are suggesting that peace operations are fundamentally different, and require different skills.  Several panel representatives insist that these skills can be learned and done effectively by the current force.  One admitted that we need to do more training in working with JTFs, at an earlier stage.  Joint Forces Command, and Joint Experimentation Program are seen as the answer to providing higher level, operational level, joint practice.  One panelist suggested that there’s a small core of people, portions of the military, who need specific training on working at the Inter-Agency and with NGOs, etc.,. 

Panel Five – Implications for Coalition Operations - (Panel Highlights)

Does a coalition have the aptitude to conduct coercive diplomacy, or what are the conditions for coalitions of states, such as we had in NATO, for being successful in coercive diplomacy?  How do you design for credibility, when in fact the will to make threats and to act on them, depends on reaching consensus among 19 sovereign governments?  

How do you plan for contingencies?  How do you assure you have the adaptability and adroitness to shift to plan “b” or plan “c”, when your plan “a” is proving to be unproductive?  There is a related set of questions, specifically regarding the United States, and the United States’ ability to adapt its diplomacy, and its conduct of military operations, as well, to the coalition circumstances that we saw during the Kosovo crisis?  

What needs to be done in redressing of the current imbalance in capabilities between the United States and the European Allies.  If substantial progress is made in enhancing European capabilities, this would be desirable in a number of respects, in producing a more balanced Alliance, relieving the United States of certain burdens, which we prefer to share for a variety of political and diplomatic and operational reasons, and of course, it would enable the Europeans, to undertake missions of their own. 

One is a possible discrepancy in a rapid rate of progress in developing security and defense policy, and the rather slower pace of acquiring the capabilities, and if a gap opens between expectations and capabilities, what might be the implications for the conduct of future collective efforts at diplomacy, which has a coercive element built into it?  

On what principles would we build a division of labor?  And a more difficult question, how in fact, you would operationalize those principles when facing circumstances in which mistakes might be ambiguous, and the participants might be somewhat ambivalent to commit to it?  

What would be the nature of the political authority to sort of bridge diplomatic action and military action?  That is an issue we sort of faced in Kosovo, and it seems like an issue which is likely to become more complicated than simplified if a new locus of decision-making begins to appear at the other end of Brussels? 

NATO is not ideally suited to the task of coercive diplomacy.  Because of its Article V responsibilities for defending the territory and interests of its members, we will seldom risk the institution.  We’re not going to commit it early in the course of a crisis, because NATO member states are going to be concerned about the credibility of the institution, and so they are going to be hesitant to get the institution of NATO engaged early. 

NATO also doesn’t have the full range of political and economic tools, obviously, because it is a defense alliance.  

The time required to reach consensus in NATO; it’s currently at 19.  If you want consensus of everybody who is likely to commit forces to an operation, then you’re up to 35 or 36 in Kosovo, or in Bosnia?  So the time required to reach consensus makes NATO a poor choice, because it’s never going to be able to intervene early, and people are always going to want to delay those difficult choices, beyond the point at which engagement is cheap and easy. 

NATO is also not particularly good at keeping secrets.  In part, because all of us have responsibilities for healthy domestic political debate, and if you can’t make the case on its merits, and share information with your own public, you’re not likely to get the kind of political support that’s going to make government commitments inside NATO valuable.  Finally, our public debates send mixed signals. 

NATO’s really good at building consensus.  That NATO allies held in consensus says a lot, and a lot of of the reasons they held in consensus, was about maintaining consensus.  Greece didn’t want to be considered a Balkan state, it wanted to be considered a European state, and therefore made a set of choices in which the government was acting very differently than its population might have chosen. 

NATO’s good in a way that no other multi-national institution is good at planning and conducting military operations.  It’s difficult to do with one nation.  It’s really difficult with 19 or more. 

NATO is good at ensuring American participation, and nothing else gets Europe that.  We finally feared that NATO was at risk, and so intervened in Bosnia..  If you have NATO, you have American military power, you have American leadership, and American willingness to help solve the problem.  

When a military engagement is serious, Europe and America want to work together.  We were serious about our business there, when we finally got serious.   

Clearly we had inadequate strategic planning at the highest political levels.  The fact that NATO didn’t have a back-up plan if 3 to 5 days of air strikes wasn’t going to do it, was not because NATO’s military isn’t smart enough to get outside that box, it’s because our political leaders were unwilling to face the fact that they may have to pay more than they wanted to, to get the effects that they wanted to on Milosevic in Kosovo.  That was a political choice, not a military one, and it was a bad one.  That NATO’s political leadership spent an inordinate amount of time choosing targets and much too little time choosing outcomes.  The United States is as guilty of this as anyone else.  Certainly there was too much politicization of the planning process.  That the kind of micro-management of tactical operations by political leaders in the U.S. and in the other NATO countries is not helpful, either to crisis management, or to achieving our political objectives. 

We are going to have to have more discipline in the political leadership doing the jobs that are its rights and responsibilities, choosing the objectives, choosing how much its willing to pay for the objectives, providing the kind of guidance and boundaries for the military planning process, and the military has to take responsibility for its piece of the problem, which is responsible military planning within those objectives, and for making the case to political leaders when the means don’t match the objectives.  It’s astonishing that NATO political leaders didn’t free up the planning process.  What happens if Milosevic doesn’t do what we think he’s going to do?  What is the magnitude of the crisis that could result?  What are the numbers of refugees?  What will be the expectations and impact on surrounding countries?  Not the least of which ought to be what kind of ground operations would you need, if you were going into Kosovo? 

The means employed in Kosovo, were insufficient to achieve the objectives that NATO political leaders were talking about.  Secretary General Solana said that our objective was to halt the violence, and to stop further humanitarian catastrophe.  Those are broad, meaningful, and important political objectives.  But a limited air campaign, that was constrained to keeping ourselves out of harms way, as we dd it, can’t get you there. 

You don’t prevent genocide by limited air campaigns.  In a situation in which time is your major constraint, we chose a strategy that required a lot of time to be able to be effective.  And that’s a poor matching of means to objectives.  That means that the political leadership has to be willing to scale back its objectives, if it’s not willing to commit the military means to achieve them.  And the military needs to be much more frank about the extent to which the means the political leadership is willing to commit, is actually going to achieve the goals that we set out for it.  This is not only important for the specific case, but also for the general problem of our credibility.

SACEUR’s job is to translate between the political leadership and the operational commanders.  That it’s his job to make sure that the political leadership understands what they are going to get, and not get, for the means that they are committing, and to be an interface between the political expectations and the political negotiations, and what the operational commanders are dong on the ground. 

It would have been useful for the SACEUR to be a lot more vocal, and a lot more public if he had concerns about that interface, and to leave the operational commanders more latitude. 

Our unwillingness to consider a ground campaign.  It’s not only about strategy, it’s about leadership.  We are the ones who ought to be setting the good example of discipline, and not micro-managing tactical choices, in not choosing targets, in ensuring that a broad range of contingency planning gets done.  The NATO planning process prejudice is in favor of action.  There are lots of steps along the way.  The first stage is the only one at which you deal with first principles.  After that, it’s resolving objections that arise.  But  you never go back to first principles.  And I think several Allies found the process difficult to derail, once they had made the initial decision to let the planning process go.  And then were surprised as operational orders began coming down, and there was peer pressure not to disagree.  W must do a better job on first principles, or that Allies will be unwilling to get the planning process rolling because they fear that the momentum will drag them along, even though they have concerns. 

The Europeans could have done Kosovo without the United States.  It would have looked very different.  It would have taken longer.  It probably would have taken more European casualties.  It probably would have been a messier endeavor.  High tech, stand-off weaponry gives you a cleaner, less casualty cost to the people who have it.  I think that will be a real problem for the Europeans as they move toward a greater independent capability, that they need to accept, that if you are not going to put the money into building a force that looks as spiffy as ours, that means you have to take higher casualties probably, and you need to think about the war in different ways, and it’s probably going to be more politically costly to do.  Our militaries are diverging in important ways that are changing not only American weaponry, but in the way we think about engaging in these kinds of conflicts. 

To improve NATO’s performance we need stronger U.S. leadership.  The Europeans want for us to come over, having done our homework as to some clear strategic thinking about what the course of action is, and want Allied participation.  But, also care enough to be willing to do it with, or without them, if they are not going to come along.  Otherwise, we shouldn’t be asking them to risk their money and their soldiers.

The U.S. has got to take responsibility for our own mistakes.  General Clarke talking about NATO being compelled to sacrifice the basic logic of warfare to maintain the political cohesion of the Alliance, gives European Allies a bad rap.  The U.S. was just as guilty on all those sets of choices.  And Secretary Cohen and General Shelton blaming the Europeans for this is so damaging to the Alliance, we need to stand up and be counted when we’ve made mistakes.  And we made mistakes here.

Effect of diverging U.S. and European forces on coalition operations in the future?  What Kosovo had taught us about future implications of coalition Warfighting, and also how NATO will conduct coalition warfare in the future? 

It’s essential that we all face up to the potential risk that is out there in terms of de-coupling between the United States and its European Allies, if the Europeans do not face up to this question, and consider how best we can minimize or reduce the capability gap that has emerged, and is still there.

Britain has begun to address the problem through a strategic defense review conducted last year.  The focus of that review was on the British forces being restructured to enable them to be able to participate more effectively alongside the United States and other Allies in coalition operations of the kind we’ve seen in this decade by NATO, but also operations of the kind we saw in Iraq.  Hence the emphasis in the review on improving mobility, deployability, flexibility, and sustainability.  The British have set for themselves a number of priorities in key areas, such as strategic lift and logistics, which they regard as essential if they’re going to be able to perform better in the future.  They’ve also sought to project these ideas and these needs more widely within NATO amongst our European Allies.  And they’ve worked closely with the United States Administration on the Defense Capabilities Initiative. 

The UK has also sought to harness what is clearly a growing European enthusiasm for the European Security and Defense Identity or Defense Policy.  By seeking to instill a sense “Euro-pride” into this whole debate of capabilities, in the hopes that they will thereby encourage a more serious effort on the part of their European partners and allies, to enhance their capabilities in these key areas, and thereby to minimize the scope of U.S.-European divergence.  Britain has found a ready ally in this enterprise in France.    Britain and France should both want to improve their own effectiveness, but also encourage other Europeans who are perhaps not doing as much as we are, to follow suit.    They had a bilateral summit in Saint Malo last year, where the emphasis was on the need for Europe to acquire credible military forces.  This set the ball rolling as far as reviving ESDI was concerned, and the bilateral initiative was reinforced, first at the Washington NATO Summit in April, and then more recently at the European Summit in Cologne, in June. 

Of course, Kosovo has brought the issue very much more starkly into relief, and it has in turn, revived the whole burden sharing question on both sides of the Atlantic.  That made it clear that Europe needs to face up to some realities.  It’s dangerous for the European Allies to assume that the United States will always feel either able or willing to take part in the kind of coalition operations that we saw in Kosovo, either in or around the periphery of Europe.  And it would be wrong also, for Europe to allow its over-dependence upon the United States for key military capabilities, which are needed to undertake these kinds of operations.  So in the wake of the Kosovo crisis, the British have intensified the pressure amongst our European Allies for action to redress the capabilities gap.  And they expect there to be further developments in this area at the next EU Summit in Helsinki next month. 

Britain regards NATO as the natural instrument of choice for coalition operations of the kind we saw in Kosovo, and the natural choice for any kind of high intensity operation.  Britain would always want NATO to be the instrument of choice when the United States wants to be engaged militarily.  And would still want NATO to be the instrument of choice in other cases, wherever possible.  In other words, it’s only in cases where NATO decides not to act, that the European Union might decide to act itself.  And, in those circumstances, their preference would be, as far as possible, to make maximum use of assets and capabilities which NATO possesses, provided that all the members of the Alliance, including those who are not members of the European Union, are prepared to make those assets and capabilities available.

Capabilities. That’s where the focus has to be.  The goal that being sought at Helsinki next month has to be a goal that will challenge Europeans to be better in the capabilities area, and not applaud what we are already doing.  The EU will need an implementing mechanism, a peer review at the political level, at least twice a year, which would be similar to the NATO force planning process. 

This whole approach, of course, needs to be closely correlated with NATO’s own defense capabilities initiative, and its normal force planning processes.  Compatibility will be crucial, and in our view, it is, in fact, the only way to ensure that the gap in capabilities decreases, and Europe achieves a greater convergence and harmony in capabilities.

The Europeans in those circumstances where it is clear that NATO is not going to act, are also going to need a greater clarity on structures and institutional arrangements, which can be used in those circumstances. 

The European Union is going to need a small military staff, which will enable it to act essentially as an intelligent customer for the planning and intelligence capabilities for which we would hope SHAPE would be the main supplier.  There also needs to be a military committee in the European Union, similar to that which exists in NATO, where we would like to see the military representatives double-hatted, in other words, those which are already members of NATO would serve as military representatives in the European Union. 

There should be a major role for Deputy SACEUR, who is a European, and who would participate among other things in this military committee.  The primary candidates for operational commander and military strategic headquarters, should be D-SACEUR and SHAPE, respectively.  There also needs to be a permanent committee, a political and security committee, within the European Union, in Brussels, which would effectively be the parallel to the North Atlantic Council, and which would be able to launch and run an operation, as well as act as the customer for NATO assets and planning services, as and when they are made available. 

And finally, there will need to be close links between the two heads of these organizations, that is Solana, as the High Representative of the European Union, and Lord Robertson, as the Secretary General of NATO. 

Europeans are already on paper supposed to be able to put together at least a corps-sized force.  Collectively the European members of NATO spend approximately $160 billion a year on defense, about two-thirds of what the United States spends.  Spending alone, therefore, is not a real problem, although there’s no questions that the Europeans cannot keep on taking a peace dividend, when the world in many ways is less peaceful than it has been for 50 years.  Data from NATO’s defense planning process, moreover, shows that European Union members alone have the necessary units to allow a large corps formation to be deployed, but the reality is very different.  The spending is clearly not being converted into anything comparable to the United States’ capability.  In particular, European forces are not at all truly deployable.  They cannot be sustained for extended periods of time away from home bases.  They are not all fully interoperable.  And they are not all suitable to meet the demands of modern peace support operations. 

It is important to note, that even assuming that all of this comes together in the next few years, we have to be clear and realistic about the limits of what we’re going to be able to achieve.  Kosovo demonstrated all too vividly, and frankly all too painfully for the European Allies, the preponderance of U.S. capabilities, especially in critical areas, such as effective engagement.  So while we are very much alive to the concerns about burden sharing and about the diverging capability gap, the Europeans will want to do nothing to discourage full United States involvement in the kind of coalition operations that we saw undertaken so successfully in Kosovo.

Diverging European and U.S. capabilities, pose potential risk of de-coupling, and need to improve mobility, deployability, flexibility and sustainability.  DCI is to address these concerns, and the UK and France are leading the effort.

NATO needs to be the instrument of choice for military action.  The EU should maximize use of NATO forces, structures, committees, and decision-making.  The EU needs a peer review committee to meet twice yearly to review progress in meeting DCI initiatives.

The EU will need a small military staff in order to be intelligent user of intelligence and planning provided by SHAPE.  D-SACEUR is to take the lead, ought to be on military committee, and take operational lead.  Solana, as the High Rep for EU, and Robertson as Secretary General for NATO, should have and are likely to have good working relationships.

Europe spends enough collectively on defense.  The problem is how it’s spent.  It should be able to develop Corps-sized force to deploy quickly and be sustained for a 2-year commitment.

Kosovo shows that a major operation outside of NATO’s borders are no longer theoretical but real.  This was a real one.  And we’re likely to face future incidents, because the world is becoming a turbulent place, and our interests are enlarging.  NATO won the Kosovo war. 

U.S. will operate in coalitions in future.  We need NATO, and other coalitions in other parts of the world.  The key is helping others develop capabilities for swift power projection and decisive operations.  And we’re talking about operations ranging from demanding peacekeeping to long distance crisis intervention, to major theater wars, and all the way to strike operations against WMD-armed opponents.  Another key consideration, while we endeavor to meet those growing requirements, including strange and new places, will be preserving the capacity for combined U.S.-European operations. 

NATO has a 50-year track record of starting slowly, dismaying everybody, gradually getting momentum in the middle and then finishing strong and powerfully, and winning decisively at the end.  That’s been its track record for 50 years; that’s what happened in the Cold War; that’s what happened in Kosovo.

Not sure we can do too much to change the way the UN works in terms of mandates, but we should have pushed the Security Council for a resolution, then gone ahead without it.  We would have been better off to have forced the issue; it might actually have given us the legitimacy we sought.  The defeat of the Russian resolution following the start of the air campaign was a reverse mandate. 

However, France, Germany, and others are against using force in the future without a UN Security Council mandate.  In some respects they see it as a vehicle for raining in the U.S., from going ahead with reckless and unilateral actions.

It’s too early for the EU to have dual-hatted military committees or political committees with NATO.  It’s too early in evolution of EU to push for that.  But they clearly need to complement one another.

There is already a lot of role specialization in European forces.  We need to exploit that, and fill in the gaps.  We don’t want to push role specialization too far, sot that countries feel that their sovereignty is threatened.  But we’ll move in that direction over time.

The division of labor in NATO management of high intensity conflicts is a two-edged sword.  One might be tempted to give Americans the high tech, combat role, and Europeans the policing role, but that wouldn’t be acceptable to anybody.  We need to build a matrix of different scenarios, in different parts of the world, and then match coalition capabilities to each.  You end up with multiple models, but it provides pretty clear indications for where changes are needed in modernizing capabilities for individual countries, and for the Alliance as a whole.

NATO did come perilously close to a humiliating failure in Kosovo, that had precious little to do with capability.  It had to do with some failures in analysis and intelligence.  It had something to do with failure of planning, the absence of contingency plans, and  errors of analysis, which were two-fold:  one in believing that the Rambouillet formula could be acceptable to both Milosevic and the Albanian representatives, and the second, the failure of analysis and judgment in believing that we could intimidate Milosevic by making the kinds of threats we did under the circumstances we did. 

The planning error was the lack of contingency planning, facing frontally what you would do if intimidation didn’t work, and another failure was in under-utilizing the military assets and capabilities we had at our disposal, particularly the A-10s and the Apaches.  Some of the explanation for these sorts of failures, lie in consensus, that unlike in Bosnia, in which NATO almost suffered a humiliating failure because of dis-accord, one could argue that we came close to failure in Kosovo because of consensus and because of accord, which somehow left obscure who was to be accountable, and also left obscure who was to do the critical job taking a searching look at the premises upon which our collective policy was predicated. 

Summary and Areas for Follow-up

The objectives for the conference were met; issues posed in the keynote were addressed in some detail; however, discussion of post-settlement planning and intervention by NATO, the UN, and international NGO/PVO community was limited to acknowledging weaknesses in long-term comprehensive civil-military planning, the Inter-Agency process, and changes in process to Presidential Decision Directives PDD-25 and PDD-56. 

Consensus is both NATO’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness.  The consensus building process forces open debate in national capitals; decision-making is incremental and iterative, and tends to result in non-decisive engagement in the early going.  On the other hand, once committed, NATO operates as a formidable coalition.  The solution lies in strong leadership and comprehensive, up-front planning.  Several saw a deficiency in NATO’s planning to be a lack of an effective interface between its military and security planning with political-diplomatic efforts by other players, and merits further study.

U.S. and European relationships were strengthened from the perspective that NATO proved to be an effective fighting force, and acknowledgement that Europe and the U.S. both need one another.  They were weakened by exposing the differences in U.S. and European capabilities and acknowledged European dependence upon U.S. technology.  The answer lies in increasing trans-Atlantic cooperation in weapons systems development and burden sharing, redirection of defense spending to improve mobility, sustainability, logistics, and role specialization. 

There was considerable debate about force structure and training priorities, and whether small-scale contingencies constituted lesser-included cases of major theater wars, or were different enough that they deserved significant changes in shaping and design.  There was acknowledgement that our foes on future battlefields will have learned some lessons from recent conflicts.  They will be more sophisticated in employment of their own offensive and defensive weapons systems, will try to limit our power projection capabilities, will be more lethal, and will have improved imagery, and improved information systems.  Force structure, roles and missions clearly merits further study.  Conferees were not in agreement on whether new structures were needed to address SSCs.  However, they were in agreement that efforts were needed to address high-demand, low-density units and skills, improvements to Joint Task Force preparations and operations, and improved integration of planning for the war fight with coalition partners, and with Inter-Agency and non-government players for conflict prevention, mitigation, and post-conflict resolution.