Killing for Credibility: A Look Back at the 1999 NATO Air War on Serbia

Wilkins, Brett
Date Written:  2019-03-23
Year Published:  2019
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23563

A detailed look back at NATO's 1999 war on Yugoslavia.



This month marks the 20th anniversary of Operation Allied Force, NATO’s 78-day air war against Yugoslavia. It was a war waged as much against Serbian civilians – hundreds of whom perished – as it was against Slobodan Miloševic’s forces, and it was a campaign of breathtaking hypocrisy and selective outrage. More than anything, it was a war that by President Bill Clinton’s own admission was fought for the sake of NATO’s credibility....

The popular narrative posits that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network, Washington's former mujahideen allies, turned on the West after the US stationed hundreds of thousands of infidel troops in Saudi Arabia – home to two out of three of Sunni Islam's holiest sites – during Operation Desert Shield in 1990. Since then, the story goes, the relationship between the jihadists and their former benefactors has been one of enmity, characterized by sporadic terror attacks and fierce US retribution. The real story, however, is something altogether different.

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