High Tech vs. the Orb WAS Re: the honing of Vlad

Fri Jan 20 11:00:48 PST 2006

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com wrote:

>Military action, at some fundamental point, involves an infantry unit that 
>stands on a given spot and says "This is mine unless you can come take it 
>away from me."
>Until this happens, the war isn't ever really won.
And *that* argument has been made for Verra knows how long as well.

>An interesting thing happened in 1998 in Kosovo, when the US airforce 
>forced a surrender without any ground troops being involved. This is, to 
>my knowledge, the first and to date *only* time this has ever happened, 
>but the surrender was still essentially meaningless until the ground 
>forces moved in to occupy the country. The logistics of this ground forces 
>takeover was basically an unprecedented situation.
Not quite, although I'm sure it appeared that way at the time.  What 
actually happened is that the Serbian army had dispersed--more or less 
successfully--to avoid attrition & destruction from the air during the 
bombing campaign.  NATO made it clear that ground troops would be 
unlikely to follow on any time soon, so this was a viable strategy to 
use while playing for time & fraying the very thin sensibilities of  the 
Western world; no penalty would befall a Serbian army thus spread out.  
But when the Albanian guerilla forces--recovered from previous rough 
handling at the hands of the Serbs--began to move out and engage the 
Serbs & when they began to coordinate with NATO air activity, it became 
immediately clear to the Serbs that this was a losing strategy, and one 
that would lose in days, not months & perhaps not even weeks.  So they 
sued for peace.  I agree, the turnabout was very rapid & did not involve 
formed units of conventional troops invading Kosovo.  But it came about 
only from the imminent & actual pressure of ground troops, combined with 
a few forward observers who could call in air strikes.