News Release

Was This War Necessary?

While many are claiming the peace agreement shows that Milosevic backed down, some analysts are suggesting that essentially the same agreement could have been achieved without bombing. They point to U.S. demands at Rambouillet in February that are absent from the current agreement. While some elements of the new accords remain unclear, apparent major differences between the Rambouillet text and the current agreement include:

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WHAT MILOSEVIC GAVE UP

Can keep only a few hundred, not a few thousand, troops in Kosovo

WHAT NATO GAVE UP

The international force can be deployed only in Kosovo, not throughout Yugoslavia

International force under UN — not NATO — auspices, with Russian component

UNHCR, not NATO, supervises return of refugees

No referendum on Kosovo independence

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Author of Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s UN and a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis said: “This agreement might have been achievable months earlier, without the devastation of Yugoslavia and the escalation of the anti-Albanian ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Kosovo wrought by NATO’s bombing campaign.”
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MARJORIE COHN
Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Cohn said: “At Rambouillet, NATO presented Milosevic with an ultimatum impossible for him to accept. NATO has now diluted its demands but, to justify two months of bombing, claims Milosevic capitulated…”

STEPHEN ZUNES
An associate professor of politics and chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, Zunes said: “Most crucially, the insistence at Rambouillet that NATO troops have ‘unimpeded access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’ has been dropped, limiting their role only to Kosovo…”

SETH ACKERMAN
A media analyst with Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Ackerman said: “Last week’s Serb agreement was falsely reported as a total NATO victory. Then, when military talks broke down, it was claimed that the Serbs were reneging. In fact, those military talks were largely a NATO ploy — unsuccessful — to totally bypass the UN.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167