Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette, 04-08-1999

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Kosovo operation opposed

To the editor:

The front page of the April 2 Journal-Gazette carried an article stating that ground troops may have to be inserted into Kosovo. The article would have been better served for the day before, as an "April fools" joke. "Hey, I know I said we would not send ground troops. April fools!"

Clinton has said repeatedly that he does not intend to send ground troops into Kosovo. But it is a military reality that air power cannot win a war. Air strikes can do some things but at then end of the day ground troops decide victory or defeat. President Clinton knew this from the beginning of the operation. For him to say that ground troops would not be used is either an outright deception or evidence of a complete lack of skill in military policy.

We have no business being involved in Kosovo. Stopping a civil war, no matter how distasteful that war is, is not in our national interest. Some may argue that we have a "moral obligation" to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. I would agree that humanitarian aid and help in finding a diplomatic solution is good, but no "moral obligation" can justify getting American soldiers killed without a clear national security interest.

The bombing of Serbia has only served to make the situation in Kosovo worse. The Serbs have retaliated to our bombing campaign by stepping up ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, which has served to destabilize the region by creating a worse refugee problem and actually making the likelihood of a wider war more, not less, likely.

If only we had a President who understood what the military is meant for. Perhaps in 2000, we can elect just such a President, but that won't happen if we elect Al Gore.