Letter: Kosovo stalemate

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Sir: I agree that the only solution to stop the killing of civilians in Kosovo is for "negotiations to be forced by a stalemate" (leading article, 20 January).

However, your idea of a stalemate being imposed by ground troops "securing the separation of combatants" is unlikely to materialise ; in both Bosnia and Iraq, no country was willing to contribute such troops.

A stalemate in Kosovo may instead be achieved by balancing the military forces of the combatants. This can be done by pursuing a "degrade and diminish" policy similar to the one applied against Iraq last month.

An unrelenting campaign, via Western air power, against the Serbs' military machine, ammunition depots and weapons industry can degrade Milosevic's capacity for razing villages and perpetrating further massacres.