Budget Request Reflects Lessons Learned
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2000, Feb. 8, 2000 Based experiences in Kosovo, DoD is asking Congress for more money for precision strike munitions, electronic warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
DoD has linked lessons learned in Operation Allied Force to the fiscal 2001 budget request, DoD's top civilian and military leaders told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee here Feb. 8.
During a Pentagon briefing a day before appearing on Capitol Hill, Cohen said the budget request includes $260 million for new Joint Surveillance and Target Acquisition Radar System aircraft and $390 million for the speedy acquisition and early deployment of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle.
"We have added a [Navy expeditionary] squadron and upgrades to the EA-6B electronic jamming aircraft at $500 million," Cohen said. "We have increased our purchase of Tomahawk cruise missiles by some 624 missiles at a cost of $400 million, and we have accelerated the procurement of the Joint Direct Attack Munitions for about $178 million."
DoD officials released the department's unclassified portion of its Kosovo after action report to Congress Feb. 7. The 194-page document provides detailed information on the mission that Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and U.S. Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have hailed as "the most effective air operation in history."
Kosovo/Operation Allied Force After-Action Report, dated Jan. 31, is available on the Internet at www.defenselink.mil/pubs/kaar02072000.pdf.
In the report's opening message, Cohen and Shelton say the NATO-led air campaign was launched to ensure the stability of Eastern Europe, thwart ethnic cleansing and ensure NATO's credibility. U.S. military men and women excelled in the 78-day operation that delivered "a decisive response to Serbian aggression," they said.
The Pentagon leaders attributed the operation's success to the thousands of active duty and reserve component airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers whose courage and dedication allowed them to overcome countless challenges.
They also lauded the NATO allies for contributing airspace, infrastructure, military bases and airfields. The report also commends the allies for contributing aircraft and ground forces to stabilize neighboring nations and conduct humanitarian relief operations.
Kosovo operations pointed out the need to improve the allies' military capabilities. NATO's Defense Capabilities Initiative, announced at the Washington Summit in April last year, is aimed at achieving this goal.
It includes improving deficiencies in command and control, information systems, secure communications, precision strike capability, air operations support and mobility systems. As a result of the allies' shortcomings in these areas, the United States bore a disproportionate burden of the responsibility for combat operations, the report said.
In his testimony, Cohen stressed the need to impress upon European allies "that they cannot continue to rely upon the United States to carry the heaviest load."
He said the United States provided about two-thirds of the support for the air campaign and flew more than half of the combat sorties. Cohen said he has advised European allies not to expect the American people to continue to maintain U.S. forces as the most modern and capable, if they see European defense budgets reduced.
"[The Europeans] can't spend any less; they should spend more," he said. "They have to spend it more wisely. They have to put more money into procurement and less in operations and maintenance. They have to reform the way in which they shape their forces."