Also participating in today’s briefing is Major General Chuck Wald, J-5
Related briefing slides
Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.
Let me start with a brief announcement that is not directly related to Kosovo.
As you know, for the last year or two, the Pentagon has been working aggressively on ways to make its computer systems more secure. As part of that continuing effort, there will probably be a brief interruption to the Pentagon's connection to the Internet, probably today, while we install new Internet access that provides more firewalls, that is more barriers against intrusive entry by others who might want to come in and mess around with our systems.
As you have probably read, there have been a number of cases throughout the government over the last couple of weeks where people have come in and defaced Web pages, home pages, etc., and one of the things we want to do is make that much more difficult. So in line with that, we will have a brief interruption, probably this afternoon -- it could be after the close of business -- then we'll be up and running again.
Q: Are the firewalls a direct result of the hacks, or was this always intended to happen?
Mr. Bacon: This is part of a plan that's been going on for some time. We obviously have been watching what's been happening in other government agencies, and we are responding to that, but it's also part of something that we've been developing for some time. There's a comprehensive plan that will be going on, and this is just one aspect of it.
Q: ...DefenseLINK, is that what you're doing?
Mr. Bacon: It will be DefenseLINK; it will be all the Internet access from the Defense Department.
Q: How long will it be down?
Mr. Bacon: It will be very short. It will basically be changing from one entry point to another through the DISA, which is Defense Information Security Agency. It could all be done in an hour, as I understand it. Now, I'm not an expert on this, so I can only tell you what I've been told. I can't explain this firsthand.
Q: ...successful hacks have there been that have defaced DoD Web pages?
Mr. Bacon: I don't know the answer to that question, but we'll try to get it. It has not been a major problem. This is much more protective than reactive. It's looking to the future to prevent the types of problems as other agencies [have had].
Q: ...also had some, because of the problems in the Energy Department; it's also related to that, I would presume?
Mr. Bacon: Well, it's relating to the same problem that the Energy Department's been dealing with. It's been trying to protect our Web sites from having the same types of interference that other government Web sites have had.
Q: Is that it?
Mr. Bacon: Sure.
Q: A couple of things. Number one, has the Military Committee set a total for KFOR yet, and has the United States decided how many troops are going to...
Mr. Bacon: The Military Committee began the process today of the Force Generation Conference. It usually takes a couple of days. It isn't complete yet. Our government will have something say about U.S. participation soon, but not today.
Q: So you haven't decided yet.
Do you still stand by the 14-15 percent?
Mr. Bacon: It will be in that range, it will be about 15 percent of the total.
Q: You said for 7,000, do you think it might be still 7,000 or smaller or perhaps larger than that?
Mr. Bacon: I think the government will have more to say about this very soon, and it will become clearer then, but I wouldn't drive you away from about the 15 percent range.
Q: One other thing. Can I ask what country the Secretary's in today?
Mr. Bacon: He's here, Charlie. In fact he was in Woodbridge, Virginia, earlier today and covered by many of your colleagues out there.
Q: You know, we covered this on Saturday. We protested about it on Saturday. Why didn't you tell us that the SecDef had gone to Britain on Thursday? And if not on Thursday when he left, why not late Thursday or on Friday, and give us a rundown of what he'd done.
Mr. Bacon: I read the transcript of the Saturday briefing, and I thought Captain Doubleday handled it very well, and I really have nothing to add.
Q: Well, you know Captain Doubleday said it was part of the ongoing consultations with the allies --
Mr. Bacon: That's correct.
Q: -- consultations with the allies in NATO, so you're not announcing -- you tell us if he has telephone conversations with the allies. You generally tell us that at a briefing. Why not if he travels...
Mr. Bacon: I don't. I frequently don't tell you. He has telephone conversations almost daily with his colleagues, and I mention them in a generic term, that he's in frequent contact with his colleagues. But I don't tell you every day that he's spoken to Minister Richard or Minister Scharping, Minister Scognamiglio or any other Defense Ministers, Minister Haekkerup, for instance. So we don't mention those on a daily basis.
Q: It seems only reasonable, Ken, that people who cover the Secretary every day would be interested in knowing if he's out of the country in another country.
Mr. Bacon: He has meetings every day with people that we don't announce.
Q: ...but traveling to another country.
Mr. Bacon: I understand that you were surprised by this, but he does from time to time go visit other people and does not always announce his trips.
Q: There seems to be a trend here, Ken. The Secretary, for instance, meets foreign leaders now, he meets defense ministers regularly, and there's no longer press availabilities after he meets them. Why is that?
Mr. Bacon: It's situational more than anything else, but...
Q: It's almost -- I mean it happens all the time.
Mr. Bacon: I wouldn't say it happens all the time.
Q: No, unless he has some people ask if we can have a press conference down here, we don't have any press availabilities up in his office now when he meets...
Mr. Bacon: He doesn't do them in his office as his predecessor did. He does them sometimes in his dining room, and I just don't think it's fair to say that he never has press conferences unless he has something to announce. I'd be glad to sit down and go through the record with you. I think there have been a number of times when he's gone out there and made a brief statement about the meeting that he's had with his colleague and then answered questions.
Q: Why just when he has something to announce? Why can't we...
Mr. Bacon: Frequently he doesn't. I mean he always makes a brief statement about the tenor of the meeting and what they discussed when he does that.
Mr. Bacon: No. No. When he does the press availabilities and then answers questions.
Q: Can I ask why the change? We always, as you know, on a regular basis, we used to be able to go up and ask a couple of questions at a photo op. Why the change?
Mr. Bacon: A lot of it has to do with his schedule and timing generally.
Q: Those are very brief photo opportunities, Ken. I don't think that's a valid reason for...
Mr. Bacon: I think it's certainly a valid reason.
Q: Would you ask the SecDef if he could have these more often, these availabilities?
Mr. Bacon: Sure. He hasn't been visited by a lot of defense ministers recently. I think he will be visited sometime soon, and in that case we'll try to arrange something.
Q: For instance tomorrow when the Kuwaiti defense minister visits, could we have a --
Mr. Bacon: I think it would be very reasonable to do something with the Kuwaiti defense minister.
Q: Two things. Obviously, you can sleep well tonight because you're protected by a (inaudible).
Any word on the humanitarian airdrops? Have they begun? If not, any idea when they will begin?
Mr. Bacon: The International Rescue Committee has announced that it will begin airdrops on June 3rd, and my understanding is that they plan to drop some leaflets tomorrow informing people that the food drops will be coming, and talking to them about the procedures for these drops, and announcing some basic safety procedures such as getting out of the way of the airdrops.
Q: Can you give us some idea of the magnitude of the drops? You said last week up to, enough HRDs to feed I think 15,000 people a day. But how many planes, how many flights? Are you talking just within Kosovo proper? What can you tell us?
Mr. Bacon: I think the best agency to answer these questions would be the International Rescue Committee in New York. I'd be glad to give you their contact because these are being done by non-government organizations, not by the United States or by NATO. They have coordinated with NATO, and they will coordinate, but NATO will continue its air campaign. On the days that these airdrops are made, we will do our best to deconflict NATO air operations with the airdrops. But in terms of where the food will be dropped, how much will be dropped, when it will be dropped, I really think you should talk to the International Rescue Committee. The contact point in New York is Ed Bligh, and his number is (212) 551-3114. I'm sure that he will be able to answer your questions. I know that they are going to have a photo opportunity when the planes are loaded, when they take off, and I'm sure they'll be glad to answer questions about the amount of food they're dropping.
Q: One last follow-up. Is there any change in the NATO position about flying CAP or cover or any other protection for them?
Mr. Bacon: There is not. There is no change.
Q: Given the possibility of some diplomatic movements, how quickly could NATO have peacekeeping forces ready to move? How much time are we talking about here?
Mr. Bacon: Well, there are already about 10,000 NATO troops in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia -- 12,000, excuse me, there. There are about 10,000 NATO troops now in Albania. So there are a number in the area, plus the United States does have the Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 26th MEU, in the area. We also have the Southeastern European Task Force in Italy that could move pretty quickly.
So if there were a need to move quickly, I think NATO would be able to do so. We hope, of course, there will be a peace agreement any minute, any hour. That’s really up to Milosevic. The NATO demands are very clear, and as soon as he meets those five standards, we could begin helping the refugees get home.
Q: ...you've just laid out here, about how many troops total would that be? The 10,000, the 12,000 and the other two U.S. forces.
Mr. Bacon: That's 22,000. It would be about 26,000 probably in total. But I'm not predicting that all those would move in. It would depend a lot on what the challenge is.
I think, for instance, there's going to be a huge demining challenge initially. We know that bridges and roads have been mined into Kosovo from Macedonia and Albania, some of them at any rate, so there's going to have to be attention paid to that.
Clearly, we would probably want to move in some heavy forces initially to create a protective phalanx for the rest of the forces coming in. All this is what's being worked out now in NATO, and it will take a couple of days for NATO to finish that work.
Q: A quick follow-up on the airdrop question, then another subject I just want to pursue briefly.
But on the airdrops, is the United States assisting in any way, such as for instance, with intelligence, to show where perhaps the neediest displaced people are located in Kosovo? Any sort of assistance at all to this non-governmental entity?
Mr. Bacon: Lieutenant General McDuffie talked about this at some length. This is a private operation that is being done without help or support from NATO, but in a way that will deconflict the private airdrops with the NATO operations, and I don't think I can say anything more about that right now.
Q: You're talking about this as strictly a private thing, but isn't the International Rescue Committee getting, I think it's some [US] AID money or...
Mr. Bacon: They are getting some AID money, but they are the ones who are doing this themselves.
Q: Ken, my other subject is about Secretary Cohen's trip last week. Was there something specific that required his presence with the other ministers? A new issue or anything? What was the purpose of his consultations?
Mr. Bacon: I think it's the difference between interviewing someone over the phone and interviewing them in person. Although he talks to his colleagues very frequently by phone, there's nothing that substitutes for eye-to-eye contact.
Four of his colleagues were meeting in Europe in preparation for a WEU Defense Ministerial. They invited him to come over and sit down and talk with them, and he did it.
Q: Did Secretary Cohen press at these meetings for planning for a possible invasion option for NATO?
Mr. Bacon: We gave a very full account of what happened at the meeting on Friday, and Captain Doubleday repeated that account on Saturday, and nothing has changed between the times we've laid out the agenda of that meeting.
They came away from the meeting convinced that the air campaign is working and it should be intensified and that it will be intensified. They discussed such topics as expanding the list of targets that the allied forces can strike; they talked about expanding the assets available for the strikes; then they also talked about the preparation of the peace implementation force, KFOR, to get it into place so it will be ready should there be some sort of a peace agreement or compliance with NATO's five conditions quickly. That's exactly what NATO's doing.
Q: Just generally, not tied to this meeting, but just generally, does the United States favor more detailed planning for a possible invasion option, more detailed than the updated assessment that's gong on now, so if there is discussion of this option in the future that there is better estimates on which to base...
Mr. Bacon: That's exactly what the assessment is doing. The assessment will be more detailed than the previous guesstimates that were produced by NATO back in the summer or early fall. But I think that Secretary Cohen and President Clinton have been very clear that there is a consensus right now for an air campaign. The air campaign is working. It's having increasingly a greater impact, both strategically and tactically, that [is] strategically on the Yugoslav ability to support its military and tactically on its ability to move or use its military in Kosovo. I think that General Wald, who will be here in one minute, will be able to lay out for you once again the increasing damage that this campaign is imposing on Yugoslavia both in Kosovo and throughout the entire country, with the exception of Montenegro, of course.
So that's what they talked about. I think it's very important to realize that this campaign, now in its 70th day, 10th week, has had the complete support and unity of NATO to this point, and the campaign has gotten systematically and progressively tougher, systematically and progressively more damaging, from the very first days. That's exactly what Secretary Cohen, what President Clinton, what General Clark, [and] General Shelton have predicted would happen in this campaign. It's followed that script.
The agreement that they ratified at the meeting in Bonn last week on Thursday was to just continue this. We believe it's working, and we believe the evidence clearer and clearer every day that it's working.
Q: If one of the airdrop planes goes down, will NATO provide CSAR?
Mr. Bacon: No.
Q: Ken, last Friday Secretary Cohen said that General Clark was "exploring other opportunities" for the Apaches in Albania. Those were his words: "exploring other opportunities." Do you know what he meant by that?
Mr. Bacon: General Clark is always exploring ways to use additional assets. There have always been a number of possible ways to use the Apaches.
Q: What are some of those options?
Mr. Bacon: I don't think we'll announce how we're going to use new weapons, when we're going to use them or how we're going to use them or even if we're going to use them before we use them. Milosevic will know when the Apaches come into the fight.
Q: Has Milosevic shown any action that would demonstrate his sincerity to follow the five conditions of NATO? Is he doing anything at all with his troops that indicate that he really wants peace?
Mr. Bacon: The best I can tell, President Milosevic has an infinite capacity to talk and no capacity to act in this regard. But with every day of airstrikes we believe he will get closer and closer to realizing that he has no choice but to meet NATO's five conditions in order to end this fighting.
[Charts are available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#SLIDES]
Major General Wald: Thank you.
[Chart – Weather Conditions]
As we talked about last week just before we took a break, the weather was supposed to be bad over the last 24 hours, as it was yesterday afternoon and this morning. You'll see the cycle now repeat itself where we have some afternoon thunderstorms and maybe a little bit of a front move through every couple of days. It will make some of the flying a little more difficult, but this should repeat itself for the next several months.
[Chart – Level of Effort – Day 67, 68, 69]
The last few days we've had a lot of success, as Mr. Bacon mentioned. Over 232 different targets attacked, plus 108 forces down here. I'll just mention in this -- we didn't have enough room to put them all on there -- so there's 108 of these fielded forces, targets, in that box. On the ground, over 169-plus. You see the tanks, artillery, APCs, armored vehicles, a lot of those over the last few days, dozens. Many of them in the southwest portion of Kosovo. We continue to hammer the command and control as well as sustainment. Their air defense. We continue. I'll show some film of a couple of those today. We continue to hit their lines of communication and their bridges up here in a big way. So over the last few days, very, very successful.
This afternoon, I'll show you in a minute, the weather has cleared up, and they continue to do the same type of work. As Mr. Bacon said -- his sustainment of his army over a period of time here -- it's very doubtful whether he'll have a very effective army long term. He continues to try to fight in the southwest portion of Kosovo, and we'll continue to hit him hard there.
Q: What does the 169 mean, the forces on the ground?
Major General Wald: That means in the Kosovo area here, there are targets that aren't necessarily fixed. What we would do is go out and find a target of some sort. Charlie, that wasn't a pre-planned target, that tank and artillery piece. As well, it could be some of their ammunition storage areas, some of their bunkers. Those would be the fielded forces on the ground. Then the rest of these would be more of a strategic area where it's long-term sustainment, POL production, lines of communication, things like that.
Q: That's included in the 232?
Major General Wald: Yeah, these are all included. The total of all these targets were 232, 169 of them fielded forces, of which in just this one box here there are 108 of those, 169. I just showed you, it's mainly in the southwest sector of Kosovo where a lot of the activity's going on.
[Chart – Operation SUSTAIN HOPE – Last 24 Hours]
Q: On the humanitarian side, the movement of refugees out of Kosovo has slowed down significantly, although still 1,500 into Macedonia over the last 48 hours. Camp Eagle, the second site, as I mentioned earlier, just to the southwest of Fier, they broke ground on that. That will have the capacity of 10,000 refugees, and then site preparation started, as I said yesterday.
They're also planning -- Fort Dix, if it fills up to the 4,200 capacity -- a possibility of moving some refugees as they wait for moving to private residences at Fort A.P. Hill, which is south of here, near Williamsburg. You're probably familiar with that.
Major General Wald: I think they would probably fly into the same area at Fort Dix, possibly, but I'm not sure. They haven't made the final determination. This is contingency planning for now.
Then the International Red Cross, as Mr. Bacon said, continue[s] to test their airdrop procedures.
[Chart – Temp Refugee Location Commitments]
Several nations are still taking in refugees. Over the last few days it's been moving quite a bit -- 72,000 out of the 160,000 pledged have moved. You see some of the countries have actually taken more than they've pledged -- Belgium and Canada, for example. They will continue to take refugees out of, most of those out of Macedonia and some out of Albania.
[Chart – PROVIDE REFUGE – Refugee Status]
Fort Dix itself, we've had 5,340 come into the United States, many of those into JFK direct to families and then to Fort Dix. Right now it's 3,748. They're processing these folks and making sure they go to the proper neighborhoods, etc., where there would be some support structure for those families that move out into the different states of the United States There are several missions planned over the next few days.
[Chart – Level of Effort]
The food and shelter and medical continues to be able to support the numbers I show here. Nearly 800,000 people have food for about two months, but they continue to need food, and that's being provided through the international community. The shelter's almost up to 900,000 now.
[Chart – Refugees]
No change in the total refugees or the number of camps, although I just told you that Camp Eagle will start up, and some of the other countries are starting to build some more camps, too, so that will continue to increase.
[Photo – are available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/Operations/AlliedForce/][link no longer available]
[Photo – Ponikve Airfield, Serbia – Post Strike]
Some photos over the last 24-48 hours. Ponikve airfield. One of their major -- they have seven major airfields counting Podgorica in Montenegro. This one continues to be shut down. As they try to repair it, we continue to hit it. This is one end of the runway. You can see it's non-usable. This is a B-52 strike, a couple of them here.
[Photo – Ponikve Airfield, Serbia – Post Strike]
This is the other end of the runway. That's closed as well. Some of the HAS areas here have been hit real hard. Where they would have hardened aircraft shelters in some of these areas you can see as well. That runway's pretty much shut.
[Photo – Ostruznica Highway Bridge, Serbia – Post Strike]
A bridge in Serbia itself. You can see the span here was taken down. That's closed. That's one of their major highway bridges over the Sava. There are six of them. This one's down. There's another bridge down here on the next photo I'll show you that was also attacked.
[Photo – Ostruznica Railroad Bridge, Serbia – Post Strike]
There's a railroad bridge, at the same area this span's been taken down, this one's been taken down, and this one right here is taken down so that bridge is shut.
[Photo – Nis Transformer Station 2, Serbia – Post Strike]
One of the transformers of Nis itself. You can see some of the blackened areas here where this transformer switching yard has been taken down. Their electricity is, a lot of it's still out in the full of Serbia as well as -- not in Kosovo, but mainly Serbia.
[Photo – Belgrade Transformer Station, Serbia – Post Strike]
The Belgrade transformer area, you can see a few of the areas that were hit here. Pretty selectively, but that's also shut down.
[Photo – Novi Sad Radio Relay & TV-FM Broadcast Station, Serbia – Pre & Post Strike]
This is the Novi Sad radio relay FM building I showed you last week where we hit it. This is -- the actually photo's inverted here -- but this is a former building that is right here. That's gone. You can see this major radio/TV-FM broadcast station is now -- it's basically destroyed.
[Photo – Nis Army Garrison, Serbia – Post Strike]
The Nis army garrison. This was one of the major VJ army headquarters, administration areas, and this was all destroyed right here, and that's taken down.
[Photo – Pozega Petroleum Products Storage W, Serbia – Post Strike]
We continue to go after their petroleum storage. It's well over 50 percent of all of their storage has been destroyed. This is Pozega petroleum production in western Serbia. You can see all the tanks have been hit, and this petroleum production area here is -- not production, but storage -- is all destroyed and the petroleum inside is gone as well.
The weather as of 0100 this morning Eastern time, there were some high clouds covering quite a bit of the area all the way through the Belgrade area and all the way down through Pristina with some lower clouds below it. It wasn't looking good for flying early.
This will be the projected weather through 2400-Z tomorrow. You can see the same weather we had earlier, kind of moving into the area there. There is kind of a band of clouds that moved through earlier today. This is as of 1300-Z which is early this morning Washington time. As you can see, it cleared out, and the area's back to outstanding flying weather again. They're flying hard again. So you can see the type of weather they've got today is excellent.
Talk about their lines of communication, which would be bridges and railroad bridges and highway bridges. This is the Bare highway bridge in western Kosovo night before last with an F-16 with an LGB. You can see the bridge had been hit before in several spots, some damage. This particular bomb, you can see a pretty good chunk out here. This bomb will hit the abutment area here and actually drop that. That bridge is now closed.
The Donje Trnjane highway bridge in central Serbia, another F-16 with an LGB. This is actually the forward air controller, so you'll see his cursor moving around. He's not the one dropping the bombs. He's just talking. The other one's into it. The bombs hit this bridge on both ends. Those are 2,000-pound bombs.
This is Popovac highway bridge, southeast Serbia. Another F-16CG with LGBs. You can see another bomb drop over to the left here. It looks like it may have missed, but he'll expand that out, and it looks like they all hit the bridge.
For sustainment, petroleum storage tank in central Kosovo. We continue to take down his ability to store fuel. This is another fuel tank here in the middle of Kosovo itself. There was some fuel in that. It was destroyed.
This electrical switching station in Nis, southwest Serbia. F-15E with an LGB. You can see a previous strike just above. You'll see this one hit in this area here. That's one of those switching areas I was talking about in the photo a minute ago.
These will take down their electricity for this particular facility for probably several days to a week.
Gnjilane ammunition depot, eastern Kosovo, continue to take down sustainment of the strategic target here for sustainment. You can see it's bunkered. F-16 again. There was probably quite a bit of ammo in that. There's a large secondary from it.
Another ammo storage in Belgrade. This is the ammo storage depot in Belgrade itself on the outskirts. It's a hardened bunker. I showed you a picture of what happens when a bomb penetrates. You'll actually see some explosion coming out of the front of this, so there was probably something in that as well. Whatever it was is not there anymore.
Integrated air defense. They continue to fire SAMs. I think last night they may have fired over a dozen surface-to-air missiles, not counting hand-held. This is an SA-6 transport erector launcher underneath the cursor.
It looks like it may have landed about two to three feet long, which probably destroyed whatever was there.
The next is a Straight Flush radar that goes with -- this is the SA-6 radar. It's a very important strategic radar for the Serbs.
This is an AGM-130 off an F-15E, electric optical bomb, 2,000-pound bomb. You see, as it gets in close, you see the vehicle with the radar.
They're working hard to have decoys out there, but we'll hit them when they look like that.
The VJ staging tunnel, another very difficult target. First of all, to find, and number two, to hit. You'll see it better as the film runs. You can see the entrance here as you get to the angle. You can see there's a large kind of a stone wall along here. You can actually see the tunnel very well here. It's a tough shot. The bomb will be coming in from the right and goes right into the tunnel. That tunnel's shut.
Towed artillery, we've had a lot of success with artillery over the last few days along the southwest border of Kosovo primarily. You can see the actual supports on the artillery here from the back, the tube sticking out. Minus one artillery piece.
Armored vehicle, Kosovo engagement zone, again this is one of those 169 targets, Charlie.
A lot of activity around this area.
Direct hit. You can see some pieces of it flying off over here.
This is another tank in the Kosovo engagement zone. This is not the picture of the actual tank, but it's about what it would look like. It's next to a building here. There's no activity other than military activity in that area. This bomb drops -- it looks like just a foot or two short, probably at least damaged the tank, if not destroyed it.
We showed another one of these last week. This was the same night. There were two helicopters hit the same night. This is a different Hip, if you remember the previous film. The same type of helicopter, generally the same vicinity, but not exactly. That's another destroyed Hip.
[End of Video]
Q: You're getting him out in the open.
Mr. Bacon: Well, what they'll do is, we catch them out there sometimes, Ivan, when they've been moving around, and the air crew are becoming -- plus the other ways of finding these things -- they are becoming more and more familiar with the area, and when they see change, it becomes more apparent. So it's getting more difficult for him to hide.
Q: Do pilots actually see if there are any troops running around or running away from a missile? When they make their reports, do they ever report they think they killed two soldiers, or they think they killed 60 people?
Major General Wald: It's kind of rare to actually see it, but if they do, they'll report if there were troops on the ground, if they actually saw them through their infrared.
Q: Do you have any numbers in terms of what has been reported by pilots?
Major General Wald: No I don't, to tell you the truth. I haven't seen very many reports of actual -- it's more difficult to see the actual people on the ground. I've seen some through Predator, not being attacked necessarily, but it's rare that you actually see the people on the ground moving around. If they're in a tank, you wouldn't see it. But it does happen sometimes, but I don't have the number for you.
Q: General, you continually make sort of general statements that Milosevic is not going to have much military left, that at this rate very soon there's not going to be much of a military. But can you give us any idea -- what's your estimate -- or how long do you think he can take this kind of punishment on a daily basis from NATO?
Major General Wald: I don't think I said very soon. I said eventually. It could be very soon. I don't know what his number is. I don't know how long he can take it. If he wants to wait until he has very, very little military left, it's a very difficult thing for me to estimate for him. But if you look at all the amount of damage that's been done and the targets that have been attacked and the type of targets that have been attacked and his sustainment, I think it would be very difficult for him to replace his ammunition, to replace his petroleum storage, and, of course, his capacity to produce petroleum is gone. His lines of communication, there have been dozens and dozens of bridges destroyed. If you look at his artillery today alone in tanks and artillery, it's very hard to replace all of that. His SAM systems, to replace all of those would be very difficult. It would be hard to find somebody that would have that many left that he could buy them from. His integrated air defenses, command and control, all his radio relay sites, those are gone forever. So at some point he's going to have to decide, I think, how much military he thinks he has to have to defend his country, basically.
Q: Still, at one point it looks like from the daily briefings that it's still pretty much a target-rich environment. You aren't running out of targets. How long can that go on? How long before all the obvious targets have been hit?
Major General Wald: I really don't have an estimate of that. Once again, it sounds like a trite answer, but you have to ask Milosevic. We'll continue to hit his military targets until there aren't any remaining, if that's what he wants.
Q: General, can you discuss whether you have indications that the Serbs are successfully finding a way to replace some of their SA-7s and maybe SA-16s?
Major General Wald: I have not heard if they've found a way to do that.
Major General Wald: I have not heard that. I know people are watching to see if they have found that way, and I don't know if they have. I have not heard if they have.
Q: No reports of this?
Major General Wald: I have not heard of any. There may have been. I have not read any. I know he would probably like to.
I think what he had is an estimated 2,000 hand-held SAMs. He had over 2,000 strategic SAMs. I think he has fired probably nearly 600 of the strategic SAMs that we know about. We probably don't know every one. He's probably fired the same amount of hand-held. You don't see every one of those. So he probably has quite a few SAMs left. The problem is he isn't firing his SAMs in the sophisticated way he probably was at the beginning of this campaign. When he uses his radars, it's very difficult for him, because when he turns his radars on, we find them. Then when we find them, we go destroy them. So he has to work around. So I don't think he's short of SAMs, per se. He fires a lot of those ballistically. I think he'll have enough SAMs to fire ballistically for awhile.
Q: Just to follow up, you haven't had reports about any particular country supplying them SA-7s?
Major General Wald: I have not read any of those reports.
Q: General, we have some reports of bombs being dropped or positions being attacked inside Albania near the Kosovo border. What exactly was going on there?
Major General Wald: As I showed in the briefing, and probably everybody knows, the VJ/MUP are mostly in Kosovo, a lot of them in the southwest corner of Kosovo, and they're trying to stop a UCK attempt to open up some lines of communication. There are a lot of VJ/MUP type targets in that area, some along the border. When we find those tanks in this case, or artillery pieces, we'll go ahead and attack those, if they're right next to the border.
Q: Even inside Albania?
Major General Wald: We don't plan to attack inside Albania, but that border is very ill-defined out there. We know what coordinates we're attacking. I've heard some indication on the TV today, I think, where they mentioned there may have been bombs dropped into Albania. If that were the case, it would have been right on the border, possibly, but I don't know of any targets that we're attacking in Albania intentionally. If the VJ are along that border with their artillery or tanks and we find them, that's good, because they are easier to find then. We'll attack them.
Q: The KLA is drawing this equipment of the Serbs into positions where they can be seen and targeted. Is that correct?
Major General Wald: I'm not sure if that's their intention, but if the VJ or MUP come out in the open and we find them, we'll attack them wherever it is.
Q: General, you referred a couple of times to the Kosovo engagement zone. What is that exactly?
Major General Wald: Basically, if you look at Kosovo itself, the whole province itself, it's sometimes broken up into sections. It could change on a day-to-day basis. It's where a concentration of our effort might be involved. So it would be a place where a forward air controller -- there may be different sections of that Kosovo engagement zone that are broken up into other sectors -- where a forward air controller would go out, and that would be his area of responsibility for that day, so he would know where to work pretty much. Also, many times, I'm not sure they're doing this now, but it's been done in the past. It's a smart idea. You send the same forward air controller generally to about the same area, so he's very familiar with it, and over time he sees things change. So that's basically just a terminology they use, mainly from an operational perspective to say where they're operating.
Q: One of the pictures, I think one of the pictures, or one of the pieces of film that he's labeled that way, you alluded to the fact that there was a lot of activity and you could see tracks of what might have been armored vehicles all over the screen. Do you know what had been happening there before the bombs were dropped?
Major General Wald: No, I don't. I imagine they were moving equipment of some sort. Whether they be towing artillery or driving tanks or whatever, but it looks like heavy equipment that wouldn't be like farming equipment. It would be more of a military-type equipment.
Q: ...the engagement zone is a target-rich area.
Major General Wald: That's right. As a matter of fact, all of Kosovo, all of the FRY is basically an engagement zone. But the Kosovo engagement zone, as I said earlier, is broken up into sectors operationally. I won't tell you exactly where they are, but the forward air controllers would be sent out to those engagement zones, and that's where he would work for that particular day.
Q: To what extent at this point is the air campaign specifically aiding and helping the KLA? And does intensification of the air campaign also carry with it an estimate or an assessment that collateral damage is going to increase?
Major General Wald: As far as helping the UCK it's, as I said earlier, totally consequential and coincidence, really. That is not our primary objective. Our objective is to destroy the VJ/MUP army and we'll continue to do that. If that benefits the UCK, then it's consequential. Frankly, the fact that the UCK is becoming stronger -- it appears, or at least they're fighting back -- is a consequential benefit as well. And as far as the collateral damage, we don't plan for any increase in collateral damage. We never plan for -- it would be crazy for us to even put that into planning.
The fact of the matter is since the beginning of the operation, we've said there would be risk involved -- both on the ground and in the air. There's continuous risk in the air to the pilots. There will be risk on the ground that damage could occur around a target area, but the NATO pilots in their planning factors are working extremely hard to ensure the targets they hit are exactly the targets they want, and they hit it where they should. But once again, as you increase your sorties, the likelihood, not in the percentage factor, but overall, could increase. If you increase sorties and you increase bombing, it will be probably relative terms to that, maybe an increase. But I think the fact of the matter is, when you look at the fact that they've flown 30,000 sorties now, they've dropped nearly 20,000 bombs, and they've had a handful of incidents where those incidents you talked about have occurred, it's probably way beyond what anybody could have ever expected [it] to be from the standpoint of success.
Q: Can I follow up on the question of the KLA? Just one other thing about that picture, the tank tracks or whatever they were, seem to be going in all different directions. To a layman, it looked like that was a battlefield, that there had been a battle there. It wasn't like a bunch of trucks moving in straight lines some place and all leaving the same...
Major General Wald: I don't have any indication that was a battle, or there had been any contact in the MisRep from that particular target. We didn't see that they had witnessed contact, if that's what you're getting at.
Q: General, could you incorporate again in your daily briefing the number of sorties and the number of strike sorties? It's helpful to us if you can get your hands on it.
Major General Wald: Sure. I'll give you an update tomorrow.
Q: General, you said any bombing that's been taking place, the help to the KLA is consequential. Are they in contact in any way with our people when they're on the attack or they suddenly run into a large force in relaying that information back to us...
Major General Wald: You mean through the CAOC or some...
Q: Uh huh.
Major General Wald: No, not that I know of.
Q: Could you explain why politically or militarily you don't want to coordinate with them? It seems like it will boost NATO's effectiveness and get...
Major General Wald: You run into this with an objective, and I think it's been lost many, many times. The objective for the NATO airstrikes, as simple as it sounds, is very important. That's to degrade the MUP/VJ army. Period.
Q: ... or by coordinating with KLA why, why not do that. Can you explain that?
Major General Wald: Because that's not our mission. Our mission is to degrade the VJ/MUP military. As simple as it sounds and as hard as it is to understand, that's really the fact.
If the UCK becomes stronger and they are taking out VJ/MUP military, that's a consequence that's beneficial to us, I believe.
Q: Oh, I'm not suggesting that that would be why you would coordinate with them, to help the KLA. But if it helps NATO, why not? It seems very -- "All's fair in love and war," -- why not coordinate with them? There's got to be a military reason...
Major General Wald: I think the military's learning lessons over time.
Major General Wald: First of all, we do what we're told. (Laughter) Our job is to do the mission, and we're glad to do it. In this case, the mission very simply is to degrade the military. That's very hard for a lot of people to come to grips with, because there's the same story that people say you're always fighting the old war, you're always fighting the last war. This is not the last war. This is different. This is a circumstance that people haven't seen before, and I think the way that General Clark had his people are executing this mission is outstanding. And I think after all's said and done, this will be looked at as a success. But it's a different circumstance that most people aren't used to. Many people in the military aren't used to this type of thing. But I think exactly what the mission is, we're executing it in an outstanding way.
Q: General, up until a moment ago from that podium, ever since you've been there you have talked about the objective has been to degrade. A couple of minutes ago you used the word "destroy." Was that a slip of...
Major General Wald: No, I meant that intentionally. By degrading his military, we're going to destroy his equipment. It's almost a euphemism, if you want, for the same words.
Q: General Wald, (unintelligible) now after one week of congressional report on the Chinese estimate. How much damage had been done to the United States military, and how much (unintelligible) including the neutron technology, neutron bomb technology? And several members of Congress are calling [for] several resignations, including Mr. Sandy Berger and Attorney General.
Major General Wald: This is clearly a question for Mr. Bacon. (Laughter)
Q: Well I was asking, actually, if you have seen in your 30 years of military service anything like this?
Major General Wald: Twenty-seven years. No.
Q: Twenty-seven years.
Major General Wald: No.
Mr. Bacon: The CIA did an assessment back in April -- I think it was released on April 21st -- that analyzed the impact that the espionage had had on the Chinese forces and said that it had not been able to detect deployments that had sprung directly from the espionage that was studied by the Cox Commission. Obviously, the government is still looking into this, but that's the definitive ruling from our government so far on this.
I think that many people have spoken on this -- Secretary Richardson is now looking into the question of whether there should be disciplines of people within his department, and that study by Secretary Richardson is ongoing.
Q: Just following, if you can clarify, now after 60 days of India and Pakistan conflict on the Kashmir border, if Secretary Cohen has spoken from the Pentagon with your point with either of the prime ministers or defense ministers on his concerns, if the Pentagon is worried about this. Because one of the spokesmen in Pakistan said if there's a war between India and Pakistan, Pakistan will use any weapon, any weapon available. That means they have nuclear weapons now in Pakistan now.
Mr. Bacon: The United States government through the State Department has been in contact with both India and Pakistan and appealed to them to show restraint in the Jammu and Kashmir area. This is not a new position on the part of the government. We've been appealing to both India and Pakistan for years, decades really, to try to resolve this problem and to find a solution that stops short of the type of combat that's been going on over the last several days and weeks.
This is a highly volatile area. It's been made more dangerous and volatile by the fact that both countries have been testing missiles and nuclear weapons, nuclear devices, I should say, over the last year or so. It's highly serious, and we see it as serious.
The United States believes that it's up to India and Pakistan to resolve this long-festering border issue, and we have offered to provide assistance in any reasonable way we can. I think our position on that's been extremely clear. It has not changed. All that has changed is the urgency of trying to achieve a peaceful solution in light of the conflict that's sprung up recently.
Q: Ken, in light of the diplomatic efforts underway now, I noticed General Wald's chart, the weather went all the way to September. Do you have a cut-off date, a cut-off time, a rough time, June, July, somewhere in there where you have to understand that things aren't working out, and you have to start planning on winterizing troops, winterizing refugees?
Mr. Bacon: The first answer is "no." There is no cut-off. I think it's clear we've been going for ten weeks; we're prepared to go for another ten weeks and another ten weeks beyond that. There are plenty of targets still to hit, and I think we've shown that we will continue to seek out and attack those targets aggressively.
Second, in terms of winterization, there are no artificial deadlines for this campaign. General McDuffie said when he spoke here on Friday that winterization is included in the contracts for the camps that the United States is building now in Albania. It's always been part of that. We will winterize the camps as appropriate. I think that even if there were a peace agreement tomorrow or next week, it's not reasonable to assume that every refugee would return home instantly, and some may end up in Macedonia or Albania through the winter, so winterization is something that has to be done.
My assumption is that the refugees would go back as they find the environment in Kosovo safe and secure, and they'll go back when they have places to live, and that may take some time.
Q: The KLA seems to be getting stronger, and as you said, recent fighting has been to open lines of communication. How closely have we been monitoring the amount of arms that they've been getting, and what types for kind of a general disarmament, if a peace agreement ever takes place?
Mr. Bacon: We're monitoring it the best we can. Admiral Wilson spoke about this some the other day, the fact that they are gathering strength, when he was here on Thursday. They still are not acquiring in significant numbers the types of heavy weaponry they need to fight the Serb forces as effectively as they'd like to do. They are getting more and more weapons. They are getting heavier weapons, but it is still an imbalance, both in terms of people and in terms of weaponry. To the extent that NATO is successful in taking down the Serb forces, that balance is being equalized, but it's not equal at this stage. But it's being equalized quite quickly, I would say, particularly in the area of artillery. A little less rapidly in the area of tanks and APCs, but it's being equalized there as well.
Q: The KLA have been trying to open up a second line of communication. Do you know if they've been successful there?
Mr. Bacon: They have not yet been successful. There is fairly ferocious fighting going on over that second line of communication. There have been heavy casualties on both sides, and they continue to work to try to open up a second entry point into Kosovo. I think it's too early to predict how that will turn out except that they clearly are putting more assets into the fight.
Q: On India and Pakistan just for a moment, is there any evidence that the Indian fighter jet that was shot down was brought down by U.S.-made Stinger missiles?
Mr. Bacon: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: Does Pakistan have U.S. Stinger missiles, do you know?
Mr. Bacon: Yes, Pakistan does. We have not sold any Stingers to Pakistan for probably five years or more, but obviously Pakistan has left over from the war in Afghanistan quite a number of Stingers. I mean there are a number of Stingers in the area.
Q: Do you have any rough idea how may Stingers Pakistan may have in its inventory?
Mr. Bacon: I would guess several hundred, but I don't know that specifically.
Q: One last question about the Stingers. There have been some reports in the press in recent years that some of these Stingers that were introduced in Afghanistan back in the '80s may not really be operable any more because of the short life of their batteries or whatever. Do you know if that's the case? Are all these Stingers that are still out there in operating condition, or is there some reason to believe that many of them or most of them don't operate?
Mr. Bacon: I have absolutely no way to comment on that.
Q: Can you take a crack at my question? I'm really not trying to be difficult, I do want to understand why...
Mr. Bacon: You're telling me that General Wald didn't answer the question adequately?
Q: Politically, what would be so bad about coordinating with them? What's the disadvantage? Is there some fear of how NATO would be regarded after, or is there some sense you don't want to take the responsibility if the KLA gets slaughtered? What is it?
Mr. Bacon: It is clear that NATO and the KLA share a common interest, and that interest is to shatter the forces of the Serb military and special police in Kosovo. But we are pursuing those interests separately, and we will continue to pursue them separately.
Q: The "why" question is what I'm trying to get at. Why?
Mr. Bacon: The interests, as I say, can form. The KLA is very public about what it's doing; NATO is quite public about what it's doing. I think it's easy for both sides to figure out what's going on.
Q: Ken, just one last one on KFOR. Is the Military Committee going to come up strictly with a recommendation for KFOR, or is it also going to come up with a recommendation for a force? Since it's studying the issue also, come up with a recommendation of the force to be inserted under possibly a non-permissive environment, and will countries also make contingency offers for that?
Mr. Bacon: No.
Q: This is strictly KFOR?
Mr. Bacon: They are looking at KFOR. That's what's on the table. KFOR.
Q: Do you know where in fact this fairly ferocious fighting is going on between the KLA and the Serb forces?
Mr. Bacon: I'll have to look at a map, I can't remember the name of it, but I can get you the name of that.
Press: Thank you.