Letter: Troops no answer
Tuesday 25 May 1999
Troops no answer
Sir: I regard any involvement of American ground troops in Kosovo with considerable trepidation.
American military tactics, from the Second World War onwards, have been marked by an inordinate use of heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, which has not only resulted in enormous civilian casualties and destruction on the enemy's side, but has also frequently occasioned considerable casualties on their own, as well to any forces fighting alongside them.
Furthermore their sledge-hammer-to-a-nut tactics hinder their manoeuvrability and pose enormous logistical problems in the supply of munitions.
Whilst not denying the gallantry of individual soldiers, American troops en masse have exhibited a tendency towards panic when under attack, and towards an undisciplined trigger-happiness when on the offensive.
You have here all the ingredients of, at best, a pyrrhic victory on a par with Korea, or at worst a mini-Vietnam.
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