How Nato force would try to police a deal

CHRISTOPHER BELLAMY

Defence Correspondent

The first Nato troops of the peace-implementation force for Bosnia would have been on their way immediately a peace agreement was reached. But it would take more than three months for the whole 60,000-strong force to arrive. The plan was for them to remain for a year, though that could have been extended.

Should a deal still be reached and the the force does go in, it would operate differently from the UN, which went into Bosnia to escort humanitarian aid and got out of the way when local parties attacked each other. Nato's role would be to keep the warring sides apart, by force if necessary. It would have more "robust" rules of engagement allowing it to fire if local parties break a ceasefire.

It is hoped there will be a two-mile wide demilitarised zone between the sides, although that would take time to establish, with Nato units deployed at key junctions and vantage points. However, the peace line would stretch 600 miles across some of the steepest and most difficult country in Europe so, unlike the UN force, the Nato troops would make extensive use of helicopters. The Nato plan divides the Bosnian pie into three roughly equal segments, cutting across the present front lines between warring factions.

In the first fortnight, the "enabling force" of about 2,000 headquarters staff from all Nato's 16 countries would arrive in Bosnia by air. It would include staff officers, signals troops, and engineers to set up the expanded headquarters needed by the force. Then the Nato corps commander, British Lieutenant General Mike Walker, would arrive in Sarajevo and take over command from the UN Protection Force.

At this time, those UN troops already in Bosnia who are being "converted" to Nato status would swap blue helmets for Nato camouflage. It would take another three months for the rest of the 60,000 to reach former Yugoslavia and deploy along either side of a four kilometre-wide demilitarised zone between the former warring factions. The Nato planners' job has been complicated because they have not known exactly how the territory would be divided between the Serbs and the Muslim-Croat federation in a peace settlement.

They have had to work on the basis of the present areas of control. Although there were expected to be exchanges of territory, it has been assumed that the areas of control would not change greatly.

Gen Walker's headquarters would be in Sarajevo, possibly at the Olympic stadium, though that would require much more work before it was ready for the 2,500-strong corps headquarters and supporting troops.

The US 1st Armoured Division, based at Grafenwohr in Germany, would move in via Hungary with two brigades of tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and a brigade of Apache attack helicopters to monitor the northern area, based at Tuzla. The French 6th Division, based at Mostar, would be responsible for the south east of the country, including Sarajevo. The headquarters of the British 3rd Division commanded by Major General Mike Jackson would be at Gornji Vakuf, an area familiar to the British from three years as UN peace-keepers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own