Nato seeks strikes with no warning in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
New York - Nato officials are expected at United Nations headquarters today to discuss radical changes to Nato's mandate in Bosnia, including the right to launch air strikes against several targets at once, without warning the party being attacked, writes Peter Pringle.

Nato commanders, particularly the Americans, have been seeking more 'robust and effective' strikes after a 'pin-prick' attack last month hit an empty Serbian tank. Its crew had been been given ample warning. Under the 'dual key' rules, UN commanders call in Nato air strikes and choose the targets. In keeping with the doctrine of their peace-keeping role, the UN tries to clear the target area of civilians and UN forces. UN senior officials said yesterday that they did not object to a 'more effective use of air power', nor would they object to several targets being hit at once. But, they said that warning the offending party was 'part of the ethos of peace-keeping'.