Kosovo: Another Vietnam, Demonstrating the Truth of the Powell Doctrine

So said John McCain in 1999:

Nearly two weeks of NATO bombing has failed to stop the Yugoslav Army’s brutal removal of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, and starkly revealed the limitations of an air-only campaign in trying to break President Slobodan Milosevic’s will to wage war. The capture of three American soldiers along the Macedonia border only made matters worse.

Suddenly, General Powell’s principles are looking a lot more attractive. ”This only affirms the Powell Doctrine,” said Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, who joined the growing chorus of those clamoring to send ground troops into Kosovo. ”This is more reminiscent of the gradual escalation and bombing pauses that characterized the Vietnam War.”

Even General Powell broke his usually self-imposed silence on continuing military operations last week, offering remarks that carried a distinctly I-told-you-so ring. ”The challenge of just using air power is that you leave it in the hands of your adversary to decide when he’s been punished enough,” General Powell told reporters before a speech in Blacksburg, Va. ”So the initiative will remain with President Milosevic.”

Thanks for sticking to your guns in the Bush era, guys.  Real profiles in courage, the both of you.

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