Letter: Nato on trial
Saturday 15 May 1999
Sir: Anne McElvoy (Comment, 12 May) seeks to clear the Prime Minister of blame for the lapses of judgement which have dogged the Nato campaign in Kosovo.
Mr Blair may have shifted his stance on ground intervention rather more nimbly than other Nato leaders, but this should not obscure the fact that he got it all wrong in the first place. He, no less than President Clinton, bought into the idea that an air assault would produce rapid results. He, too, was quick to tell the world that a ground intervention was neither a necessary nor a realistic option for Nato.
A negotiation, particularly with a psychotic bully, requires the ruthless skills of the poker player. It is all about what the other party believes you might do, not about what you actually intend to do. Ernest Bevin, in his dealings with Molotov and Stalin after the Second World War, displayed these qualities in abundance.
Clearly, Fettes, Oxford and the Bar have not equipped Mr Blair to follow that example. Giving up the only real ace in our hand (the threat of ground- based interven-tion) from day one, was a monumental error.
We should not let politicians and commentators who have only recently woken up to these truths reinvent history .
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith embodies the young singer perfectly
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke