Now that the impeachment battle’s over, Bill Clinton is unfortunately
to greenlight Kosovo without being accused of another “Wag The Dog.”
Clinton says he just made the decision to go. Funny that. I’ve known
which Marine and Army troops were tasked for the invasion of Serbia for
more than two weeks. But of course our commander in chief would never
lie to us.
So hang on for another Clinton misadventure — with no relationship
national security — that will further clobber our forces already
from doing too much with too little.
And make no mistake that this military solution will be anything but
nightmare. Kosovo promises to make our four-year no-exit-in-sight
occupation of Bosnia look like an R and R on Waikiki Beach.
For openers, bear in mind that the NATO forces cranked up for the
slaughterhouse aren’t strong enough to keep the fanatics at bay. They’ll
have to be doubled and then probably doubled again.
At least this time, the French and the Brits who condemned the United
for fighting in Southeast Asia and supported our communist enemy with
and intelligence will be bleeding alongside our own kids in the same
But unlike Vietnam and the congressional Tonkin Gulf Resolution, the
American people have had no vote on this upcoming blood bath. Perhaps
citizens are protesting our involvement this time around because our
Were our forces made up of all draftees, I suspect their parents
already be beating down the doors of our lawmakers demanding they stop
madness and screaming: “Why are we going? Our dog is not in that
Despite the silence, our Congress should clear its head of any Bill
and Monica hangover and ask: “Why Kosovo? And who’ll be calling the
shots down on the ground? Will it be an American or Brit or French
Bet your boots he won’t be an American. Oh, we’ll be told that the
foreign NATO general in charge will report to American Adm. John Ellis,
who in turn will report to the American NATO commander, Clinton’s
buddy, Gen. Wesley Clark.
But when it comes to a crunch down where the slugs sing, where people
and decisions must be made instantly, our mud soldiers will be under
foreign command on a complicated battlefield. Stuck right in the center
a civil war.
I am opposed to American troops ever being placed under foreign
Fifty-three years ago, as a young soldier, I got my first bitter taste
that Yanks don’t fare well under other than the U.S. military when my
Infantry Regiment was placed under the Brits only a few hundred miles
Kosovo. We were fighting the same serial killers, not over Kosovo, but a
similarly ethnically divided Territory of Trieste.
It also didn’t work in the dozens of other debacles I’ve waded
a soldier or a reporter since then.
Take Somalia as an example. There, on Oct. 3, 1993, our Ranger Task
Force got into trouble executing a dumb Clinton order to snatch Mohammed
Aidid in the civil war-shattered streets of Mogadishu. Our Special
Operations soldiers were surrounded by Aidid’s rebels and in deep
They’d taken casualties but couldn’t get them out.
U.S. tanks were needed to bust through Aidid’s lines, but Clinton and
his inner circle failed to have them available. Then, when American
Gen. Thomas Montgomery went to his commander, a Turkish general, and
asked for U.N. tanks, it took six hours to saddle them up and six more
them to bust into the Ranger’s position. Phone calls to foreign capitals
had to be made; orders — sometimes given at gun point — had to be
translated from English to Malaysian and Pakistani tank crews.
While all this jabbering was going on, Ranger James Smith, Bravo
3/75th Ranger Regiment, bled to death from a leg wound. An American
skipper would have had that armor into Smith’s position, and he and the
other wounded Rangers would have been in the hospital within an hour.
Clinton should remember Ranger Smith and the 17 other American
warriors who died following his orders on that fateful day in Mogadishu,
and think out the consequences of his Kosovo call before it’s too late.