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DoD News Briefing, Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 4:05 p.m.

Presenter: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
June 10, 1999 4:05 PM EDT

Related briefing slides

Also Participating: General Shelton, CJCS, and Major General Chuck Wald, J-5

Secretary Cohen: When I announced the first NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia I stated a clear military goal -- to degrade and diminish the Serb military.

Over the past 11 weeks NATO pursued that goal with patience, with persistence, and with great precision. As a result, Serb forces are leaving Kosovo and NATO troops are poised to ensure peace and stability in Kosovo so that more than one million refugees and displaced persons can begin to return to safety and start rebuilding their lives.

Three months ago Yugoslavia was a heavily armed country with a significant air defense system. We reduced that defense system threat by destroying over 80 percent of Yugoslavia's modern aircraft fighters and strategic surface-to-air missiles. NATO destroyed a significant share of the infrastructure Yugoslavia used to supports its military with, we reduced his capacity to make ammunition by two-thirds, and we eliminated all of its oil refining capacity and more than 40 percent of its military fuel supplies. Most important, we severely crippled the military forces in Kosovo by destroying more than 50 percent of the artillery and more than one-third of the armored vehicles.

As a result of the magnificent job that our pilots did suppressing the air defenses and other activities, we flew for 78 straight days with no fatalities and only two planes lost. This reflects the talent, the training of our pilots, the power of our technology, the readiness and repair of our equipment, and the skill of all those who planned and supported these sorties.

All Americans should be very proud of this team, which was so ably led by General Shelton, General Ralston, General Clark, and so many others.

We achieved our goals with the most precise application of air power in history. In the early days, more than 90 percent of the bombs and missiles used were precision-guided munitions. By contrast, eight percent of the bombs and missiles used in the Gulf War were precision guided.

Over the course of the 78 day campaign, 35 percent of the total bombs and missiles used were precision guided and the balance were precisely dropped into small areas such as oil refineries, ammunition storage sites, and troop staging areas.

As a result, NATO forces were able to hold civilian casualties to a very low level while concentrating on the military targets. Of more than 23,000 bombs and missiles used, we have confirmed that just 20 incidents of weapons going astray from their targets to cause collateral damage.

NATO's clear sense of purpose, its unified approach, its steady application of air power provides the basis to achieve the five goals announced by President Clinton -- a ceasefire, a withdrawal of all Serb forces, the entrance of an international peacekeeping force with NATO at the core, a return of refugees, and a creation of Kosovar autonomy within Yugoslavia.

For the next minute or so I'm going to show a film from a U.S. Predator -- an unmanned aerial vehicle -- that shows Serb troops leaving Kosovo. General Wald, perhaps you can just comment and tell those who are here what is taking place in the course of this brief video.

[Video Begins]

General Wald: As the Secretary said, this is a film from this morning of an unmanned aerial vehicle, Predator, over northern Kosovo. This is the first convoy at 11:20 Kosovo time. Several civilian vehicles in this one. Some of the vehicles -- this has a road grader on the back of it, I think to improve the road as they depart in the areas they need to.

These are mainly civilian vehicles. Some have mortars on the back of them. There's another road grader on this one. This truck here has a large truck behind it with a mortar on the back of that one. Other smaller vehicles and other semi-trailer-type vehicles taking supplies. There's people with them.

There's another mortar on the back of that vehicle as it just went by, and a large road grader.

This convoy started moving, about five minutes after this film was taken, north.

The next one will be of several heavy equipment transport vehicles moving south. The first one was north of Podujevo, just on the border of northern Kosovo.

The same convoy here on this one. They're starting to move, as you can see. They're starting to drive north fairly rapidly.

Q: Were you able to observe this at the Pentagon real-time?

General Wald: There's ability to observe this at various locations throughout the theater as well as in the Pentagon. General Clark was observing this himself and made a determination early on that they had started to move.

This one here is of some larger vehicles moving south into Kosovo and we believe they're from the Nis area. They have about 100 heavy equipment transport vehicles to move equipment. Their tanks don't have any rubber for their treads, so they'll have to take them out on larger vehicles. You can see them a little closer here, clearer. There were ten vehicles -- HETs from the Nis area, which is the picture I showed you yesterday that were in garrison. They've moved into Kosovo this morning.

This is about four hours later than the first film I showed you. So they're moving as many vehicles as they can into the area -- south into Kosovo. This one here -- they had to actually make a turn around a bridge. They have to do that a couple of times -- an alternate route. That would have been easily picked up had we seen that during the earlier part of the conflict.

The film that you see here is a little bit washed out because of the video. In fact what they could see from the Predator at the down-link stations is very, very clear. You could actually see the actual type of vehicles that were with them.

We had some film earlier today of a couple of tanks on the back of these vehicles that were being moved north. These vehicles here continue to move south, and they have a work-around for a bridge, as I said earlier.

This will play for just a moment.

We expect them now tonight, throughout the night, to continue to move vehicles out of the area there, which is in the north part of Kosovo. And once again, most of their tanks probably will not be driven out because of the lack of rubber tread. They'll be carried out by these vehicles.

Q: Why don't they have treads, General?

General Wald: I'm not sure why they don't have rubber treads on them. They may not have a lot of stuff right now.

Q: Why are they going south?

General Wald: These are the actual heavy vehicles that are moving south to pick up the tanks and heavy armor.

Q: Do these Predators have lasers on them?

General Wald: No. This one does not.

Secretary Cohen: Let me finish my statement and then the Chairman can make a statement to you, then we'll be open to your questions.

In the course of my commendations, I'd like to single out also General Wald for his fine professionalism in standing up here at the podium to give you daily briefings to make clear to all of you exactly what was taking place on a day-to-day basis. Thank you very much, General Wald.

The departure of these forces is an important step toward stability but it doesn't end NATO's challenges. We are going to vigilantly monitor the Serbs to make sure they live up to this agreement and [that] they are completely out of Kosovo during the next 11 days starting yesterday. As our troops move in they must be careful of mines and other threats. Force protection is going to be a very important task as NATO troops establish a safe and secure environment.

This is going to be difficult. I don't think anyone should minimize the hardship that will be involved in this particular operation, but I have every confidence that our soldiers, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen and others are going to perform just as well as our Air Force and Navy has over the last 11 weeks.

In the coming weeks people are going to draw a number of lessons from what happened in Kosovo. But in closing, I'd like to make just a couple of points.

This was a fight over values. It's a fight against ethnic and religious hatred, lack of tolerance for others, and the right to live in peace. The United States and NATO used force as a last resort and only after Milosevic refused to respond to diplomatic initiatives. When diplomacy failed, NATO used force judiciously and effectively to achieve its goals.

The United States military approaches all tasks with great courage and competence and a commitment to American values, and we are deeply indebted to the men and women who have carried this operation out so successfully.

Mr. Chairman?

General Shelton: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

It's great to be back in the briefing room again. (Laughter) Let me also add my personal thanks to General Wald for the great job he's done on a daily basis in keeping you informed.

Before I begin my presentation, let me provide some comments to place them in context.

As Secretary Cohen said, you'll see slide after slide depicting the level of success that NATO forces have achieved toward the attainment of our military objective. There is no doubt that the men and women of the United States armed forces, along with their NATO counterparts, performed superbly and inflicted severe damage to Yugoslav military and special police units under the leadership of General Wes Clark, NATO's commander for Operation ALLIED FORCE.

I just can't say enough about our pilots and our aircrews, the ground support, the tanker crews that made all of this possible. That includes every airman, every sailor, marine, soldier, active duty and reserve involved in this operation. And as the Secretary said, America can be proud of them all.

This was a very complex operation. It involved forces from many nations and all the armed services of the United States. It was a demanding military operation in a very difficult operating environment, given the very rugged terrain, the substantial Yugoslav air defense, and as importantly, the extreme challenging weather conditions that we faced in the first two months.

NATO forces had trained together for years, so we all knew that, in theory, they had the ability to fight together. Operation ALLIED FORCE turned theory into reality.

While there is no doubt that our military operation took a tremendous toll on the Serb military and special police units in Kosovo and the security infrastructure that supported their operations, the real key to success has been, as Secretary Cohen just said, the solidarity of the NATO alliance.

As I've said before from this very podium, Milosevic miscalculated badly. He did not believe that NATO would carry through on its threat to use air power, and he surely did not suspect that the alliance could sustain and increase that effort as the operation progressed over the last 79 days.

Finally, I do not believe that Milosevic ever understood the level of damage that an expertly executed air campaign could achieve, and as you'll see in a second, it has been substantial.

One final note. Many outside experts have criticized the NATO military campaign for being incremental or ruling out ground forces. And while it's true that U.S. military doctrine is geared toward hitting an adversary hard from the very start, it is also true in this instance that the strategy that NATO adopted, which was a phased air campaign, increasing the frequency and the intensity of our air operations and our airstrikes to reduce the Serb forces' capabilities, was successful. Successful first at achieving the military objective of disrupting and destroying a large number of Serb military equipment and facilities; and successful, ultimately, in setting the conditions for the achievement of the Alliance's overall policy objectives.

[Slides available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#SLIDES]

Let me show you some of the evidence. First slide.

[Slide: Allied Force Campaign]

I wanted to just briefly go over this one. You saw this back in March. It was the campaign objectives which we basically started off with setting the conditions for the campaign, isolating the Serb forces, and then finally moving into the decimation phase. As we've talked from the beginning, we started off with the integrated air defense system, part of setting and maintaining the conditions to allow us to operate in what was a very robust, multi-layered air defense system, and at the same time starting to hit the leadership and sustainment targets for the VJ and the MUP.

Then we moved up into command and control, communications, petroleum, the roads and bridges as part of starting to isolate, to reduce his capabilities to be able to move about the battlefield, to sustain himself, or to move laterally to reinforce.

Then moving into the forces in the field. These two were shown as classified the last time you saw it, I think, but then ultimately going to the power and the industry. The power that would enable us to bring down some of his command and control, to reduce his military industrial facilities at the same time, as well as the integrated air defense. Finally, the industry that could allow him to sustain himself in some of these areas. So we started to attack the military industrial complex, and I'll show you the success of that in just a second. Of course, this is the phase we were in when the operation was suspended.

We started off initially, as you know, with long-range precision - TALCM, TLAMS, and then went [to] precision weapons brought in by the bombers including the B-2 from the United States. Then as we in further reduced his ability to operate, or increased our own ability to operate effectively in this integrated air defense system, we started bringing in more of the additional traditional types of fighters to continue to take it to him in each of these areas. That was the strategy from the beginning. That was the strategy we followed.

Next.

[Slide: Indications of NATO’s Effectiveness]

There's some indications of the effectiveness -- the things we were seeing as we suspended.

We were able to operate, as the Secretary said, without losses in a very robust air defense system, a tremendous number of sorties -- I believe there were 35,000 flow in this area with no NATO personnel losses and only two aircraft that we lost in the process.

We were able to increase the numbers of armored personnel carriers -- the artillery and the tanks. I'll show you in a few minutes how that had risen almost exponentially in recent days.

The evidence of increased VJ and MUP casualties and defections were increasing almost daily. Fuel was limited. Resupply lines had been cut. The electricity I'll address in some detail. Finally, the military-related industry was crippled.

Next.

[Slide: Strike Aircraft Buildup]

As you know back in March when we talked, the numbers of strike aircraft, those that dropped the bombs, that take it to him, were 112 for the U.S. and 102 for the allies. Over a period of time, up until now, we increased those aircraft, going up to 323 for the U.S. and 212 for the allies.

At the same time we were doing that, as we knew the weather continued to get better -- we knew that when we went into the operation the weather would be a challenge -- but as we look back on the first of May, we were flying an average of 150 strike sorties per day. You can see that bad weather, as reflected across the top, came in. It dropped down some. We started back up. We also started bringing in more aircraft, arriving at this particular time because we had gotten the air defense to form it up in time when we could fly into it with some of our other aircraft, non-stealth type and go further up to the north and into the Belgrade area with these types of aircraft. So more came in. We had started to increase the sortie rate going on up to in excess of 250 until we started the negotiations in this timeframe. You can see it came down. The negotiations faltered. They started back up. Then we reached a point we could suspend them.

But the combination of increase assets along with the better weather enabled us to start really pounding the targets more than we had been able to do up until that point.

[Slide: Weather Impact on Sorties]

At the same time, he found that he was being attacked from around the clock -- 360 degrees from land and sea. We had, as you know, the TEDDY ROOSEVELT, the carrier-based air here. We increased our assets in Turkey so that we could come in from the east. We also started coming with F/A-18s, Marines, out of Turkey, hitting him from the north; as well as Spangdahlem and Aviano and all the other bases that we had been using throughout Europe. So at this point it was a 360-degree attack coming 24 hours a day.

Next.

[Slide: Effectiveness Against Serb Ground Mobile Targets in Kosovo (Cumulative)]

This is a somewhat complicated chart, so I'll spend just a few moments. You don't have to have a degree in calculus, but I will walk you through it slowly.

We'll start over here on day number 23, around the 14th of April. Across the bottom you can see in the background -- these are the numbers of sorties multiplied by ten. You can see that they start fairly low over here, [then] they build up. Bad weather comes in. The weather is reflected across the bottom. Bad weather comes in, the sorties go down, etc. But then we start building up the aircraft, which happened around the 11th of May.

At the same time, these are the fielded forces. These are the tanks, the artillery and the mortars along with the armored personnel carriers shown in the three various colors. So as you move across you can see that the numbers as we bring the air defense down, as the weather starts to get better, as the number of assets in the area increase, the numbers of kills of fielded forces start to increase also. Then when we get the really good weather, down in this area, you can see almost exponentially it starts to go up to the point that when we suspended we were up to 450 artillery and mortar pieces, approximately, about 220 armored personnel carriers, and we were up to around 120 tanks at that time.

We'll pause for just a second while they put the next set up.

[Slide: Air Defense BDA]

Looking at some of the key categories starting with the air defense weapon systems.

We ended up with 85 percent of his front-line fighters -- MiG-29s that were destroyed or severely damaged beyond use. Also in his MiG-21s about 35 percent -- 24 of those that are no longer available to him. His SA-2 battalions, he had three, we destroyed two of them. The SA-3s, he lost about 70 percent of those. The SA-6, the mobile batteries which we knew he had a total of about 22 of those starting, we took out three of those. These are able to move a lot, but whenever they move they are very hard to find. When you find them, if they move -- they're not effective while they're in the process of moving. That combined with our electronic warfare assets basically made them ineffective. So we were able to operate in spite of the fact that he still has a considerable number of the SA-6s.

[Slide: Command, Control, and Communications]

Command and control and communications -- perhaps the picture up here shows best what has happened in that system. This is his pentagon, or half of his pentagon -- not in very good shape. But as you look over here, you can see the area coverage for the -- this represents what he doesn't have, radio and television, which basically fed the propaganda machine. These are his command and control targets we hit and then communications. You can see all the way from Kosovo up to north of Belgrade, that they have been hit rather severely.

This happened to be the Mount Avala, the primary RADREL site for the Belgrade television and FM-TV which was destroyed. There are hundreds -- you can multiply these two by hundreds in terms of the amount of damage that was inflicted to the command and control system as well as the radio and television. Along with, shown over here, the Socialist party headquarters, and about 30 percent of both the military and civilian RADRELs.

Next.

{Slide: FRY Army Infrastructure]

Q: Anything left?

General Shelton: He still has some left. A very redundant system, but basically ineffective. You can see from the chart, I think, the lack of coverage in most of the area.

On the army infrastructure, starting off first of all with the Third Army that operates in Kosovo, about 60 percent of their facilities either damaged or destroyed. The Second Army which was in Montenegro -- we basically only went after those when they were, when there was something offensive in nature. You can see that was about 20 percent related primarily to the ability to reinforce within Kosovo. And up in the First Army area north of Belgrade at about 35 percent. We were starting to attack more and more of that as the increased air came in, and as we started to come in from the north.

[Slide: Lines of Communication (LoC)]

The lines of communication -- the roads, the rail systems, etc. Overall assessment, moderate damage to that throughout the country. This one happens to be one of the bridges across the Danube. As you see, this was a rather major bridge. The only thing left is the abutment in the middle. That was the result of eight JDAMs of a B-2 that came out of Whiteman.

Over here you can see another example of the type of bridge -- the center span that was dropped.

On the Danube, about 70 percent of the road and half of the rail bridges were downed. We had left the others there for the convenience of the civilian population. They, too, would have been targeted had Milosevic continued to not decide to meet the NATO demands.

Over the Danube, of course, we've got bridges like this that were dropped particularly between Belgrade and Croatia that not only interfered with his ability to resupply, bring in supplies, etc., but also interfered with his ability to use the river to transport fuel and things of this type in.

Of course in the Kosovo corridors we took out 100 percent of the rail and about 50 percent of the road capacity.

In Montenegro the main thing we were concerned about there was the ability to transport fuel from the Barr port facility into Kosovo over the rail -- the primary means of moving large quantities, so that was taken out.

Q: Will you be able to give us actual numbers rather than percentages, General, eventually?

General Shelton: We'll check.

[Slide: Defense Industry]

The overall assessment for his defense industry -- about half of his defense industry has either been damaged or destroyed. You can see by types of category here -- aviation, 70 percent; armored vehicle production, 40 [percent]; petroleum refineries, 100 percent down; explosive production, about 50 percent; and 65 percent of his ammunition. Not a tremendous amount of his military industrial complex is in good shape right now, and I think that has a lot to say about what his potential will be to reconstitute and become a threat to his neighbors in the process.

[Slide: Electrical Power]

Electrical power -- if I could have you just imagine -- so I didn't blot out all of Serbia, that what we have reflected in orange is black because if I'd shown you this about a week ago it would have been more appropriate just to show Serbia itself blacked out, which is what we had intentionally done.

However, we have been taking this down with a combination of both weapons as well as soft-kill weapons -- hard-kill and soft-kill.

For the most part, we have taken the power down to show him that in fact if he did not comply with NATO, that he in fact was getting ready to lose his power totally. We had the capability, of course, rather than take it down with a soft kill, to just take it down, and mean that it would take years to bring it back up, the entire grid, instead of being able to bring it back up in 72 hours, 96 hours, or in some cases weeks.

But as of today, what we find, let's flip this over -- you can see the code over here. For the most part Belgrade is a city that's got about probably 70 percent without power. They are able to shift it around and bring it up for two to three hours at a time, but it's an interrupted system. Not very stable at this time.

We, in Serbia, [took out] about 35 percent across the country. And of course in Kosovo we did not target a system there. We would take some of it out occasionally because it fed from some of the systems that were necessary to bring Serbia down. But for the most part that system overall is in good shape.

Again, our concern for the Serbian people, not wanting to take it down so it would be down for a long time is what led us to take it down with a soft-kill rather than a hard-kill right up front.

[Slide: Way Ahead]

In terms of the way ahead, where are we today? We've got the ceasefire -- as you know. We're continuing to verify the Serb withdrawal. The bombing campaign has been suspended, and I want to emphasis suspended, based on Milosevic and the Serbs continuing to comply with the agreement. The United Nations resolution passed, as you know. NATO has in fact, at this point now, given General Jackson the authority to enter Kosovo when he's convinced that the timing is right in terms of the safety, as well as the Serb withdrawal. And of course the next mission for us is to set the condition for the return of the refugees.

[Slide: Serb Forces Withdrawal Timetable]

In terms of the withdrawal pattern, I know General Joe Ralston covered some of this yesterday. I'll touch on it just briefly.

Upon entry into force, of course, they are to withdraw from zone three up in this area -- start withdrawing. That's what we've been verifying today as they start to pull out.

By the 15th of June they have to have withdrawn from area one, which is as outlined here.

By the 18th of June they have to be out of area two, reflected here as well as over here. By the 20th of June, complete the withdrawal of all forces out of zone three, which means entry into force, total withdrawal, by 11 days or by the 20th of June.

The KFOR operation -- the NATO KFOR that will then move into the area will be -- has two factors. One is the enabling force, the initial entry force that will go in, totaling about 23,000 of which the U.S. contribution will be 4,000, and I'll talk to you in more detail about what's in that. Then the NATO main body of 48,000 to 50,000 of which the U.S. contribution is 15 percent, or roughly 7,000.

[Slide: U.S. Forces Joining KFOR]

The U.S. forces that are currently joining KFOR that will be part of that enabling force of 4,000 are as shown here. First of all on the ground today, we have a Brigadier General John Craddock who is there to assume control of all U.S. forces and he will, in fact, be reporting to General Jackson who is the ARRC commander. Reporting in now is the Marine Expeditionary Unit that is in the process of off-loading in Greece. The initial element of that unit has already arrived in Skopje, and reporting in to General Craddock. We've got the initial elements of Task Force Hawk that have closed and reporting in to him. And also we have the main force that is trained and ready in Germany, and an initial element from their forces will also be going in to join General Craddock so that the transition between these two forces can be carried out in the highly professional manner that you'd expect.

Finally, shipping and airlift assets are assembling and in some cases being loaded as we speak.

[Slide: U.S. Initial Entry Force Deployment]

The U.S. initial entry force, I talked a little bit to this. Task Force Falcon is the command element, will be airlifted out of Germany into Skopje. We've got the initial elements of Hawk moving in. There will be a total of 2,000 soldiers out of Task Force Hawk. That's the Apache, elements of the 82nd Airborne, mechanized and armor forces that will be a part of this task force that will move in and become a part of our enabling force, along with some aviation elements -- UH-60s and the Apaches.

The MEU, the 26th MEU to Skopje, 2,000 Marines. They're off-loading now and they'll be doing a combination of road march and helicopters in.

This will form our enabling force, again under General Craddock.

[Slide: Kosovo Sector Responsibilities]

The sector responsibilities that are currently outlined is determined by the SACEUR and the international military staff. You've got sector four which is the U.S. over here. Into that we'll have four maneuver battalions -- infantry, one artillery battalion, two engineer battalions, military police, and an aviation task force. This will make up the U.S. contribution in sector four.

Then, of course, around Pristina you have the British, the ARRC headquarters, the British sector. You have the French up in this sector, the Italians, and the Germans around Prizren.

[Slide: Deployment of TF Falcon]

Finally, the deployment of Task Force Falcon out of Germany -- the 7,000 will rail into Bremerhaven and from there they will move by sea around and into Thessaloniki over here, and we'll move some of that element by air straight into Skopje itself. They'll link up in here. We anticipate their initial operational capabilities being in place in 30 to 45 days.

That concludes the briefing.

Secretary Cohen: Before your questions, there is one individual I did not single out for commendation. He perhaps is the most famous bow-tie in the world today, but Ken Bacon, who has come here day-in and day-out to participate in the briefings to you, to answer the questions from "not so friendly fire" on each and every day, deserves a lot of credit for presenting exactly what we were doing and the rationale behind it. So Ken, I want to commend you for the job that you've done here. (Applause)

Q: Mr. Secretary and Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask you both, given the success of this air-war and the fact that there's extreme political reluctance in both this country and in Europe to bloody ground troops in combat any more, are ground troops in combat -- is this going to be the way that the West fights wars in the future? Will ground combat troops become somewhat superfluous? And will Army budgets suffer to the Air Force because of this?

Secretary Cohen: Let me speak as Secretary of Defense, that we will continue to use ground forces wherever they are required in the best possible military campaign that can be devised, under the most optimum circumstances. We are not afraid to use, in any case, a ground component to a military campaign. We have ground forces that are currently deployed in South Korea. We have ground forces that are deployed in Southwest Asia. There's never any hesitancy on the part of this Department or this President to use those forces when the circumstances dictate.

As we've indicated so many times before, under this scenario, at least, we were constrained because we had to have consensus. We were not about to take unilateral action. We had to have a consensus of NATO. NATO had one consensus -- that was for the application of air-power. There was no consensus for the application of ground forces in a non-permissive environment. So ordinarily you would say you would always have a plan for both air and sea and ground. Under this particularly circumstance, the consensus was for the application of air-power as the Chairman has laid out in a phased campaign. It ultimately proved to be successful.

You saw just a few weeks ago once the element of whether ground forces would go into a non-permissive environment, you certainly saw some question of division within the alliance itself. Had that taken place at the very beginning, we would have seen Milosevic carrying out his campaign of ethnic terror and purging at the same time that NATO countries would have been still debating the issue of who would participate and who would not. So we think, under the circumstances, this was the best of a series of bad options, but this was the best option under the circumstance, and ultimately has proved successful.

Q: Mr. Secretary...

Q: ...Chairman. Will the Army suffer and the Air Force benefit from what -- smart weapons? I would ask the Chairman.

Secretary Cohen: The answer is no. The Army will not suffer as a result of this. The Army's in the process of reshaping itself, modernizing, acquiring the kind of equipment that will be necessary for the Army to function as a superior force in the 21st Century. This is not a zero-sum game. This is not a situation where the Air Force with its superb performance will result in diminishing the Army's resources. We have one military and it's fully integrated and it is joint, and where the ground force is required the ground force will go. Where the Air Force is required, it will go as well. Presumably, we'll operate for the most part fully integrated and joint. This was a unique situation.

Q: Mr. Secretary...

General Shelton: One of the great strengths of our armed forces are the complementary capabilities that are brought, that we have within the services that enable us to cover the entire spectrum of conflict. We've got the world's greatest Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard today, and we're able then to apply the forces that we need and do it in a joint environment to enable us to carry it out.

It would be a mistake to ever take any of those off the table. Depending on what you're asked to do to meet the political objectives, either of NATO or of the United States if we're acting unilaterally, requires you to have those types of capabilities if you're going to have global responsibilities, and you've got to have global power, and you've got to have the complementary capabilities of each of the services.

Q: General Shelton, two questions. First of all, is the U.S. contingent of the enabling force going to go into Kosovo "heavy"? If so, how many M1-A1s, how many Bradleys are they going to use?

Secondly, are you able now that there is a stand-down to share with us what brought down the F-117?

General Shelton: First of all, I don't think the final report has been received, I certainly have not seen it, on the 117.

We have or will have very shortly the exact makeup of the enabling force, and we'll provide that to you in a separate paper that will show you exactly.

Q: Do you believe, though, from what you've seen, that it was a SAM that brought down the F-117?

General Shelton: I'm not sure. To be very frank, we haven't spent a lot of time recently dwelling on the past. We looked initially to see if we could find any preliminary indications of something we needed to do differently. We did that pretty quickly. The great United States Air Force immediately zeroed in on that. We did not find anything there that indicated we needed to change anything that we had been doing, but they continue to go back and look to see if by chance it was brought down by the missile.

Q: General, do you believe that if the political conditions had allowed you to send in ground troops that were capable of moving in quickly, that you could have saved lives in Kosovo? That there might have been more civilians who survived this?

General Shelton: First of all, responding to a hypothetical situation will only give you a hypothetical answer. But I think all of us understand that if the decision had been made to send in ground troops, we still would have had an air campaign, and that air campaign would have lasted probably at least as long as this one has lasted, if not longer. So it's a wrong conclusion for those that would want to draw from this that we should have sent in ground troops. As we saw early on when Milosevic started his ethnic cleansing, the pundits were saying, "Well, you should have sent in ground troops." You wouldn't send in your ground troops until you'd started to pound the capabilities that he had in there to include that air defense, the weapons he would use against your ground troops. That would have been irresponsible for us to do that.

So this campaign has unfolded not in exactly the way we might have fought an air campaign had we been fighting it unilaterally, by ourselves, but has been very effective in terms of how it has been applied and has allowed us to not subject our own forces to losses while we've been reducing Milosevic's capabilities as I just described.

Q: What would you say to those who are concerned that the U.S. contingent of peacekeepers might remain in Kosovo for as long as a decade, and also worry that the U.S. military is going to be stretched thin with Kosovo and Bosnia and Iraq and Haiti? And also to the Defense Secretary, what would you say to your former Republican colleagues in Congress who chose this day to take up a measure that would cut off funds for Kosovo?

Secretary Cohen: I'll let the Chairman answer first.

General Shelton: Let me say that I think as we are just in the process now of getting ready to go in. One thing is, I think, is very clear. Unlike the Bosnia operation which was 60,000 of which we provided 20,000. In this one our European allies will be carrying a rather heavy portion of the load with the U.S. only providing 15 percent or 7,000 as I just indicated.

I think this is considerably different in terms of our ability to move in and be able to, with the civil implementation, to be able to start the process of normalizing back in Kosovo easier than we were able to do it in Bosnia. But I want to say that a very heavy load now will have to be carried by the international community, by the governmental and non-governmental organizations in the civil implementation piece of this because putting the government back together, getting the police force back in place, getting the justice system there, making this a system that operates again, we'll rely very heavily on them. In the meanwhile, our 7,000 will be part of the force that adds to the peace and stability in a secure environment that will enable them to carry out their duties.

Q: It sounds like the 7,000 U.S. will be there, well maybe not that figure, but a U.S. contingent there for a quite considerable period.

General Shelton: I don't think there's any silver bullet here to say that we could go in and anticipate we would come out very rapidly. But by the same token, with the civil implementation proceeding at a, I think at a faster pace than we've been able to make it proceed in Bosnia, if we get the civil implementation plan in place and moving that will enable us then, just like we have been able to do in recent years, the last two years in Bosnia, to bring that force down considerably. But it's too early to speculate on that.

Secretary Cohen: I might also add a footnote to that. Just this afternoon the Defense Minister from Argentina met with me and handed me a letter from President Menem pledging up to 550 Argentine military and gendarmerie. That's just an indication that there are other nations, non-NATO nations, who will be making contributions. So as we total up the numbers of those that are willing and able to participate in a peacekeeping mission, we may be able to reshape and redraw some of those numbers. Obviously, everybody will be interested in reducing the size of their commitment as soon as it's feasible to do so, but I believe you will see, as we have said before, countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, other countries who felt very strongly about this, that they were prepared to put peacekeeping forces once an agreement was reached, so I think we'll see others as well.

So there is no guarantee on any specific time frame, but I believe that under the circumstances we'll be successful in gathering non-NATO countries to make contributions that will help us to ease some of the burden.

We also hope to bring about some reductions in those other peacekeeping missions over a period of time. And we hope that with progress being made in Bosnia that at the end of the six months reevaluation which will come late this fall, that we can have even a smaller number of forces in Bosnia itself.

With respect to the other question about partisanship. Let me say, as I've said so many times before, the reason that the President asked me to serve in this capacity was that he had hoped he would send a message to the country and to the Congress, that when it comes to our national security there should be no party line, there should be no party label, there shouldn't be a Republican policy or a Democratic policy. It should be one policy for this country.

So I would hope that notwithstanding there are real divisions up on the Hill -- there were divisions during the Gulf War. You may recall, as I've pointed out on so many occasions, that given the fact that Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait, was standing there within six hours drive of Riyadh, in spite of that there was quite a bit of political disagreement, I might say. We only passed a resolution supporting the President by five votes under those circumstances. So there have been displays of partisanship perhaps on both sides.

What we need to do is to put the partisanship aside and to really be

behind a national security policy without political division.

Q: Secretary Cohen, two questions for both of you. The first one, would it be the wrong lesson to draw from this that air power alone can win wars?

Secretary Cohen: We are not trying to suggest that there's any one single lesson involved in this. Air power in this particular case has been effective and has been successful. It should not be seen as the only course of military combat in the future. Much will depend upon the situation as it demands. So as the Chairman has pointed out, this is a combined service military that we have, and they act in a complementary fashion that's fully integrated. You cannot have an Air Force operating without the Navy also in assistance. We had Navy Tomahawks flying as well. We had other components that were servicing the Air Force.

So it's all one force, even though there are multiple elements to it, and I wouldn't want to suggest to anyone that we'll have an air campaign only for the future. Air power has demonstrated some important lessons. When you can have a B-2 that can fly all the way from the middle of this country, all the way across the Atlantic, drop its bombs that will land within 20 feet of its target and return to its home base, that's quite a testament to the precision -- the technology that we have.

We have passed over something else today perhaps, and that was the successful testing of THAAD. Even though we've had a number of failures in the past, I appeared on this podium in front of you and said that we're going to have more failures, but ultimately technology is going to be successful.

So we have made tremendous strides in our technological advances even since the Gulf War. We have far more precision munitions that are produced at much lower cost. So as we undergo this revolution in military affairs, we will reshape the Army, we will reshape the Air Force in terms of its components, what is going to be required by the Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy. I wouldn't want to say you draw any lesson that this is going to be the only path to the future.

Q: Has the entry of the enabling force into Kosovo been delayed because the U.S. troops are not ready or not yet in position?

Secretary Cohen: I'll let the Chairman respond to that, but the answer from my perspective is absolutely not. We have the Marines who are ready and trained and ready to go into Kosovo. We have, as the Chairman indicated, forces coming down from Germany. There's been no delay because of the United States not being ready. We have ready and trained forces. But the Chairman can perhaps answer that more specifically.

General Shelton: Sir, you're right on the money. This will be a NATO force that's going in. As you know, Jamie, there are about 16,000 NATO forces already in Skopje itself.

Q: They appear to be ready to go in right now, and the U.S. forces are still assembling in Macedonia and don't appear to be ready at least for another day or two.

General Shelton: There was never any plan to move in instantaneously. Again, General Jackson will have to assess when he feels that it is the right time to move in. That will be when the passageways have been cleared going in, and also when the Serb forces have commenced their withdrawal. There was not a plan to start in instantaneously, although the forces are there, positioned and ready to go. And our forces will be there and ready to go at the time in which they would be required to start moving under the current plan.

Q: You hinted a bit at this, but what would have the contingency plan been if Milosevic had not signed? What was the next step in the air campaign, and how would you have expanded the target list even further and potentially hitting the civilian sector?

General Shelton: Barbara, because this is in fact an ongoing campaign, i.e. we have only suspended the campaign, not halted yet, I'd prefer not to go back to what the next step is. However, I would say that I think Milosevic has seen in recent weeks the intensity, the frequency, the types of targets that we have gone after, that it was going to become even more intense had he elected not to go to the negotiating table.

Q: But you had spoken of trying to take down -- of taking down all the electric power grid across Serbia. Would this not have put the civilian sector in the dark? And you have always said you were not trying to hurt the civilian sector.

General Shelton: One of the reasons we haven't put it down permanently is because we were taking into consideration the fact that it does impact the civilians as well. However, it also adds to all of his military capabilities. We were letting them bring it back up. The option was always there to bring it down permanently and not just continue to bring it down a few days at a time.

Q: General, soft technology -- soft-kill technology that you did use -- that allowed you to use that kind of weapons -- it for diplomacy and not destroy the whole thing -- but keep sending a message? The Secretary talked about technology. How did it play out here?

General Shelton: We've used a lot of technology. As you know, the technology of the JDAM, for example, which is...

Q: I'm talking electrical power, soft-kill.

General Shelton: I'd prefer not to talk about that particular capability right now. Just let's, suffice it to say that it will allow them to bring it back up once they've cleaned up.

Q: One of the big worries is that some of the refugees that are now outside the border, and even some of the displaced persons within, may try to return to their homes too soon, before we've done any demining. What actions are we taking in conjunction with the NGOs, the host countries, and our allies to try to dampen that enthusiasm of rushing back in before it's actually safe to do so?

General Shelton: There is a concerted effort there by NATO and specifically working with the NGOs and the other governmental organizations to make sure they understand that it is not safe yet to go back in, and that the KFOR will need time to move back in -- the Serbs, part of the agreement was to start clearing some of the minefields and some of the areas. KFOR will have a chance to go in and conduct a reconnaissance. Make sure that is in fact safe for them to go back into. If they do not follow that, then of course the potential for casualties will go up considerably.

Q: Will you be airdropping relief supplies inside Kosovo?

General Shelton: They are currently looking at that right now. The final decision has not been made.

Q: (inaudible)

General Shelton: It's a distinct possibility now that we have an agreement and the air defense system allows the transport-type aircraft to fly in. If in fact we find that is required, then we'd be prepared to assist.

Q: How long will it take for the Serbs to bring up their electrical power network? And to what extent is Western assistance in doing this hinged on Milosevic being removed from power?

General Shelton: How long it takes them to bring it up, it varies by, from position to position. They also have work-arounds in some cases. For the most part I think they'll be able to bring it back up to a reasonable level, let's say, to 80-85 percent level, that's just a swag, in a relatively short period of time. I'd say probably within the next week.

Some of the sites, the transformer sites that were hit with hard weapons may take a little while longer.

They've shown that they've been pretty good at bringing it back up when we leave it alone, so with an intense effort which they can put into it now without the possibility of it being brought right back down, I think we'll see it restored.

Q: What is the future of the KLA? They say they want to be transformed into a national guard or police force. Also, will you require them to turn in their heavy weapons?

General Shelton: The latest that we have gotten from the leadership of the UCK or the KLA is that they intend to comply with the demilitarization requirement. There's even been some discussion of them turning themselves into a political organization, vice military. And, of course, there is a requirement that they demilitarize, and that includes getting rid of heavy weapons, dropping their organizational structure, and that type of thing.

Q: They talk about themselves as an armed force in the future, either as a police force or a guard. Will that be allowed? Is that something you'll talk with them about?

General Shelton: I think that's something that would have to be looked at. I don't have any definite answers for you in terms of where the KLA goes other than the fact they will be demilitarized. That's part of the agreement they signed up to previously, and they've indicated they intend to comply with it.

Q: Does that mean turn in all their weapons?

General Shelton: It means turn in their heavy weapons. It is not a disarmament, and we have never -- that's never been part of it.

Q: What can you tell us about what you are seeing today, so far, in the breakdown, disassembling of their air defense system in and around Kosovo? Do you see the air defense system on the road? You've seen some tanks and other things. And do you have any estimate of how many thousands of their troops you expect to be out at the end of this first critical 24 hours?

General Shelton: The specifics you're looking for right now, Jack, we do not have. We know they've given orders to their air defense systems to close down, not to fire at NATO aircraft.

Q: You have seen the orders, you have heard the orders?

General Shelton: We've heard the orders. Yes. And we also have seen indications of course that they are starting to move, as you saw some of the film up here. That has gotten considerably more of that that we've seen during the day, so it's getting more and more of it starting to move and indications from various units that they're starting to assemble and asking for things like mechanics to help them repair stuff that they want to drive out, etc.

Q: Did you get indication at all prior to this agreement that Milosevic is now sitting on a shaky throne, so to speak? Did his military footprints, because of the heavy beating they were taking in the last week to ten days? What about his own party? Any intel on that at all?

Secretary Cohen: We did, as we've indicated in various presentations to you, see more and more evidence of desertions, of refusals to answer call-ups, of families of the military elite moving out of Serbia, of political elite moving their families out of Serbia. So we started to see, first as I indicated, a small stream which started to build up with the information coming through, that his military was in much tougher shape than perhaps he was even aware of. That started to surface each day that went by and he received more and more pounding in and around where he lives and conducts business.

I think the combination of what was taking place in the field, the demonstrations, political opposition starting to rise up, and the reality setting in, that that persuaded him that this is not something he should continue.

Q: Mr. Secretary, there are reports that Montenegro has offered its territory for use for some staging area for NATO peacekeepers going into Kosovo. Is there...

Secretary Cohen: I can't confirm that. I'm not aware of that.

Q: Mr. Secretary, what was the rationale behind the selection of the southeast quadrant or sector for the U.S. forces? Did the U.S. Administration have some hand in okaying it and choosing it? What was the rationale? Is there some particular task to be done there or...

Secretary Cohen: I think you'd have to ask General Clark who is working this with our allies to see what sectors would be involved.

Q: Mr. Cohen, will you need an additional supplemental to pay for U.S. participation in KFOR, or is the $15 billion enough?

Secretary Cohen: As we indicated during the course of our testimony in requesting the supplemental, the money was requested for the replenishment of munitions that we used during DESERT FOX. Let us not forget how successful we were during that mission last December. As well as replenishment of the munitions carried out during this mission, to carry us through to the end of September, as far as the air campaign was concerned.

We also pointed out that no money was included for any kind of a ground operation, nor was any money included for peacekeeping. So that would be over and above what would be required. We'd have to have in the future some supplemental to pay for any extended KFOR participation because we have not budgeted any funds in our budget for KFOR, nor have we included any funds for the peacekeeping force in the supplemental.

Q: Why can't you just move around money that you haven't spent from the supplemental, since the air-war is over?

Secretary Cohen: Let me add one other feature. We also did not include the costs of redeployment of our forces, so that will be substantial. Not only was it expensive to get the forces there in the numbers that we have, it will be substantial in terms of the cost of getting them back to their home bases. So I haven't calculated the number just yet, but there will be some room for using some of the funds for the initial phases, perhaps, of KFOR, but it will require additional funding on the part of Congress to take care of the KFOR mission, so we will have to request that in the form of a supplemental or seek to amend our future budget requests.

Q: When do you think the redeployment will start? When will we start moving forces back from...

Secretary Cohen: We will only start moving forces back when we're satisfied that there's going to be full compliance with the agreement.

Q: Is that when the withdrawal is total or before...

Secretary Cohen: It has to be total within 11 days, so we're only looking at a very short period of time. I would not recommend that we move any force until we're satisfied that either the operation of withdrawal is complete or nearly complete, and then we'll evaluate at that time.

Q: Can you tell us how much you estimated that the air-war and Task Force Hawk and all the other movements have cost the U.S.? Also, do you have an estimate of what it will cost for KFOR?

Secretary Cohen: We have some estimates in terms of what it will cost for the future, but I think they're just estimates now and I'd rather at least try to get more definitive numbers for you. But we know that Bosnia itself has been in the range of $2 billion, between $1.5 and $2 billion, and we would expect a comparable level of funding will be necessary for Kosovo itself. But I'll have to get more definitive numbers on that.

Q: Will Serb soldiers that have made their homes in Kosovo be allowed to return? I assume that they're all being pushed out even if they lived there.

Secretary Cohen: The agreement is that all Serb forces have to be removed.

Q: Will they be allowed to go home if they made their homes in Kosovo before?

Secretary Cohen: Only a few hundred soldiers will be allowed to be in Serbia.

Q: So the Serb soldiers that lived in Kosovo and whose families were in Kosovo are being pushed out?

Secretary Cohen: They are required to leave Kosovo. That is correct.

Q: Mr. Secretary, there have been reports that Serb forces may have been destroying villages on the way out or doing mining. Can you tell us anything about that?

Secretary Cohen: There are reports that they are doing that. Regrettably, that is a practice perhaps pursued by those who are intent as laying as much waste as they can while they're on the way out. It's a sad commentary on what the Serbs have done. But I must tell you, I think that once the NGOs -- once the humanitarian organizations go into Kosovo, once we see a complete picture of what Milosevic has done, he and his forces -- I think the world is going to be outraged at him and them, and that ultimately he will not find much support for his continuation given what he has done to these people. I think that you're going to see evidence of barbarity that we have not seen before. The reports that we have had on almost a daily basis, I think you'll find some evidence quickly confirm, you'll see evidence of the mass executions. I don't think that Milosevic is going to enjoy certainly international support, and he may very well find his own people will finally raise the question of what has he brought them during the past decade but four wars, thousands of people killed, his economy set back by decades, his country isolated politically, his military reduced in capability. I think they will seriously question his leadership and I hope they do so quickly.

Q: ...implementation in Bosnia was criticized for being slower than the military. Do you see a larger role for the military in rebuilding Kosovo than was the case in Bosnia? And does that bring some additional headaches with it?

Secretary Cohen: The answer would be just the opposite. Because of the experience in Bosnia, because of the slowness in getting the civil implementation into place, greater burdens were placed upon the military. We want to see just the reverse take place now. We want to see the military go in as quickly as possible to establish a safe and secure environment for the refugees to return. But it’s up to the burden and the onus upon those who will do the civil implementation as quickly as possible so that the military does not have to do that. That's one of the lessons we have learned in the past. We need to get them in as quickly as possible to do the rebuilding. That's not a function of the military.

Press: Thank you.