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Myths of the Air War over Serbia: Some "Lessons" Not to Learn

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This article is a sequel to my earlier piece Myths of the Gulf War Some Lessons Not to Learn Airpower Journal, Fall 1998, which caused some consternation and discomfited many, for it seemed that I was criticizing airpower. I was not. I was criticizing those who do not understand its strengths and its limitations and who ask it to substitute for strategy. This article takes largely the same myths and tests those propositions against the backdrop of the air war over Serbia and the 78-day bombing campaign that the United States and its NATO allies engaged in, regarding the fate of Kosovar Albanians and the province of Kosovo. A representative dictionary definition of myth is a traditional story of unknown authorship, ostensibly with a historical basis, but serving usually to explain some phenomenon of nature, the origin of man, or the customs, institutions or religious rites, etc. of a people. The headings in this article constitute imaginary beliefs about the air war over Serbia It Was a War Its Over We Won We Accomplished Our Objectives Technology PGMs Won the War The Vietnam Syndrome Is Over U.S. Military Might and Prestige Are Restored We Can Do It Again If Necessary Others Paid for the Cost of the War Unlike Our Past Wars, the Air War over Serbia Represents an Almost Unblemished Record of Success, Superior Military Performance, and Accomplishment The Promise of Airpower Was Finally Fulfilled and The United States and NATO Accomplished Their Strategic Purpose through the Use of Military Force.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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