In the event, it took nearly 80 days of mass attack on Yugoslavia's civilian infrastructure to produce results - and then only through brokering by the Russians and the EU. The air offensive in its final form proves that air power is a clumsy means of political coercion.
Nor did I "denounce" (Macintyre's word) the eventual shoddy deal negotiated via the Russians and the EU. I was simply making the point that the deal was "shoddy" in the light of previous Blairite rhetoric about "good versus evil" and Milosevic having to capitulate unconditionally. For Nato has had to settle for far less than its demands at Rambouillet and Paris, which included giving Nato armed forces free range over the entire territory of Yugoslavia.
My view on this mess has been consistent: that Bosnia should have served as a warning to us not to get entangled over Kosovo, and that if we did get entangled, we would finish up to our necks in trouble - which we have. Apart from the current tangle in Pristina with Russian forces, and the military cost of semi-permanent occupation, there is the colossal bill for repairing all the damage - money better spent on our own Health Service, education and training, and sink housing estates.Reuse content