NATO and Kosovo

The writer accuses Christopher Layne and Benjamin Schwarz of blaming the victims and exonerating the perpetrators in Kosovo.  The authors respond.

Issue: Winter 1999-2000

During the early weeks of the Kosovo war, critics of the Clinton administration were appalled by NATO's lack of planning. NATO, after all, had gone to war for the ostensible purpose of protecting the Kosovar Albanians, only to see 1.5 million of them being forced from their homes. With the benefit of hindsight, however, it ought to be evident to these critics that their conclusions about the administration's fallibility were premature. While the diplomatic and military strategies hardly proved optimal, there can be little doubt that NATO won the war. Having myself been one of the critics, I have no compunction admitting that this is the case. Not so Christopher Layne and Benjamin Schwarz, who recently argued in these pages that the Clinton administration bears primary responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo ("For the Record", Fall 1999).

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