Letter: Nato under attack

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The Independent Culture
Letter:

Nato under attack

Sir: How much longer do we have to endure Robert Fisk's Pinteresque anti- Nato rants ("What is the point of Nato?", 13 May)? He portrays Nato as a "vicious American-run organisation" led by "third-rate generals and two-bit under-secretaries", who are somehow duping "our own [European] compassionate socialist liberal leaders" into fighting a "stupid, hopeless, cowardly war".

The use of ground troops necessary to evict Milosevic's forces from Kosovo is not opposed by military people in Nato, who have made it known to the politicians that an air campaign on its own may not achieve the desired objectives. Military people also recognise and accept the inevitability of casualties in war.

Fisk goes on to argue that "until Nato is dead, there will never be a real European defence force". Maybe, but a real European defence force would require a huge increase in European defence spending. Would our "compassionate socialist liberal leaders" really be prepared to countenance this?

Even if one opposes Nato's current military action, it is absurd to dump all the blame for Kosovo on it. Kosovo is the culmination of a decade of failed and misguided diplomacy on the part of the whole international community towards the fascist thuggery of the Milosevic regime.

Probably the worst culprit has been the UN (according to Fisk "the only institution the poor and the sick and the raped and the dispossessed can rely on"), whose feeble surrender to Bosnian Serb "ethnic cleansing" (ie mass murder) was surely the greatest betrayal our continent has known since the era of Hitler and Stalin.

CHARLES KENNAUGH

Greasby, Merseyside

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