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DoD News Briefing, Saturday, May 8, 1999 11:05 a.m.

Presenters: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
May 08, 1999 11:05 AM EDT

Also Participating: Major General Chuck Wald, J-5

Related briefing slides

Assistant Secretary Bacon: Good morning. Let me just start with a brief statement before I take your questions.

[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/May1999/g990508-J-0000M.html]

The events in Belgrade last night illustrate why NATO, the Contact Group and Russia worked so hard to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Kosovo, why we worked so hard last year and early this year to head off the use of force -- first by Yugoslavs against the Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo -- and find a diplomatic alternative to the use of force by NATO. There's no such thing as clean combat. We have the best pilots; we have the best weapons in the world; we have the best planned missions; we have the best trained forces. But there is no way to avoid collateral damage or unintended consequences when weapons are employed to solve what might have been solved diplomatically. As NATO has said, we deeply regret the loss of life at the Chinese embassy last night in Belgrade. We did not target that building. The bombing was in error. It is currently under review by NATO, and when that review is complete, NATO will have more to say about what happened. I can't go beyond what NATO said except to restress that this was a mistake. We deeply regret it, and we express our condolences to the Chinese for the diplomats who died and were injured in the attack.

I think also it's worth stressing that this was not a fight that NATO sought. It was a fight that could have been avoided, but Mr. Milosevic decided not to avoid it. And now that we're in this conflict, it will continue until we achieve the political goals that the military campaign is designed to bring about. And those goals have been stated many times: that the killing must stop in Kosovo; the Serb troops must come out; an international peacekeeping force with NATO at its core must go in; the refugees must return, and then they must be allowed to set up some sort of autonomous government. These are the five conditions that we've stated from the beginning. They remain the conditions that NATO is seeking to achieve.

[Charts - Ethnic Terror in Kosovo from May 7]

Let me talk a little bit about what did happen, aside from the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, last night. It was a very active night of attacks in downtown Belgrade against several significant new targets. Gen. Wald will show you some footage of one of those -- we'll show you an image of one of those targets later on. One of the targets was the Hotel Yugoslavia, which as you know is the headquarters for a group that's known as Arkan's Tigers. It could be more accurately be called Arkan's Thugs. It's a paramilitary group that was established in the early part of this decade by the interior police, the so-called MUP. And this group -- Arkan himself and his group have been active in ethnic cleansing in Croatia and Bosnia. In fact, he's been indicted by the war crimes tribunal for ethnic cleansing in Croatia. He's on the list -- Interpol's list of most wanted criminals in the world. He has a long record of criminality. And we have reports that his group of thugs has been active in Kosovo where -- and probably involved in some of the ethnic cleansing or executions that we detailed here yesterday. His group was associated with running a so-called rape hotel that forced Muslim women into prostitution in Brcko during the Bosnia conflict. And it's also been associated with the rape hotel in Pec in Kosovo, which we have talked about earlier. The Hotel Yugoslavia, which is in downtown Belgrade, is the headquarters for his group. And it's also a facility where the MUP works. It's a barracks for his paramilitary group and for the MUP. Even Yugoslav authorities including President Milosevic have blamed some of the atrocities in Kosovo on paramilitary groups. So there is no doubt that paramilitary groups, whether or not they were initially founded and sponsored by the state internal security operation or whether they were founded on their own, have played a key role in some of the atrocities that have occurred in Kosovo. This was a key target because it is the command and control facility, the brains and nerve center of this paramilitary group, which has so long been associated atrocities in the Balkans.

NATO is determined to keep hitting at such targets. We are attacking simultaneously strategic targets in Belgrade -- those targets that are at the heart of the military command and control system -- as well as the paramilitary terrorist groups. And at the same time, NATO will continue to attack tactical targets on the ground in Kosovo, the types of troops that are responsible for the mass executions and the depopulation that this map illustrates.

With that, I'll take your questions. Charlie.

Q: What country dropped those bombs? Was it U.S. planes?

A: They were NATO aircraft -- NATO weapons, I will say, not aircraft. They were NATO weapons. And that's all we're going to say right now.

Q: Could I just ask, were you -- were there planes from several countries involved in the attack on Belgrade or was it just --

A: NATO is an alliance of 19 nations, and there are planes from many nations flying at any given time.

Martha.

Q: I'm sorry. When you said before when this type of thing has happened -- you said American planes involved in the strike on the train -- why not now? You said before --

A: The entire incident is under review, and I have nothing to say beyond that now.

Martha.

Q: Will there be any sort of a pause in Belgrade to figure out what went wrong? Might you target other areas because the buildings are so close together in Belgrade and this could obviously happen again?

A: I don't anticipate there will be a pause. We are determined to continue with this campaign. We have said from the beginning that there are risks in any military campaign. One of those risks is obviously collateral damage. Another risk is that there's a possibility of mistakes. And this fell into the latter category of a mistake, which we deeply regret. But the fact of the matter is that Milosevic had a choice of avoiding this in the first place. He chose not to avoid it. NATO is determined to continue this campaign and to intensify the campaign. I think last night illustrated tangibly the type of intensification that's taking place -- new targets, going back at the electrical system while expanding to new targets that are close to the nerve center of the military command and control system that is responsible for what's happening in Kosovo. I don't anticipate that there will be a pause. In fact, I see that there will be broadening attacks as NATO continues to work toward its goals.

Q: But Ken, if they target the wrong building, is that correct, then --

A: The building was hit in error. We did not target the Chinese embassy.

Q: But you thought it was something else. You actually aimed --

A: All of this is under review, and at the appropriate time when the review is complete, NATO will give an explanation.

Q: Were these laser-guided bombs as opposed to satellite-guided bombs? Laser-guided bombs might thrown off by smoke or --

A: As NATO said, these were precision munitions.

Yes.

Q: NATO also said this morning that the Directorate of Supply, I believe, and Procurement may have been the intended target; is that correct?

A: That was the intended target, yes.

Q: Where is that in relation to this building?

A: That's what NATO thought it was attacking.

Q: Where is that building in relation to this one?

A: We'll get into those details when the review is complete.

Q: What you're saying is the pilot hit what he aimed at; he just aimed at the wrong thing.

A: What happened will come out when the review is complete.

Q: But there's no -- implied that the weapons, there was a problem with the weapons or the guidance or anything like that.

A: I would not challenge your summary of what happened.

Q: Several bombs hit the embassy; is that right?

A: All of this will come out when the review is complete.

Q: What's the damage assessment on the Hotel Yugoslavia.

A: It was damaged. It is not completely destroyed. I think [you] can see that on television that the building is not completely destroyed. It's actually -- it's a rather large building, and it has a casino attached to it and a sports club. And the building itself is a large hotel.

Q: Do you know the effect on the paramilitary group?

A: Arkan has appeared on TV. So there's part of the paramilitary group that's around. We don't have -- it's very difficult to judge what happens inside buildings when they're hit. It's very difficult to judge how many people are in the building and exactly what they're doing in the building when they're hit. Some of this may emerge later, but we don't have a good picture of that now.

Yes.

Q: Same with the command and control bunker under the presidential palace or mansion or whatever it was, can you assess at this point how much damage was done there?

A: It's difficult to assess what happens to an underground facility. There was -- as you know, we did hit a presidential residence slightly to the north and west of Belgrade. And underneath that residence, we believe, is a large command and control complex and a bunker. There again, it's difficult to evaluate, particularly immediately, the impact that a munition can have on an underground facility.

Yes, Elizabeth.

Q: Does this at all lead you to begin notification to buildings that may be in the same proximity of your targets? I believe (inaudible) an advance warning. Couldn't you now give embassies that they are going to be in the general target range 30 -- an hour's advance notice if you've been discussing that?

A: Well, we have issued a general warning to the press and others, of course, that Belgrade is a dangerous area and that we cannot guarantee the safety of anybody. I think it sounds perhaps ironic to say this now, but anybody who has watched these attacks on television has seen the impact of the attacks on television and has also watched much of the gun camera footage that's been shown here and at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Anybody who's watched that can't help but be amazed at the precision of many of these weapons, the fact that they can hit a building and leave buildings relatively nearby seemingly unhurt. There may, of course, by vibrations and other distractions, but we've worked extremely hard to go after very specific targets in the most precise way. As I said at the very beginning, though, it's impossible in combat like this with weapons of the power that we're using, despite their precision -- it's impossible to avoid mistakes or collateral damage from time to time.

Q: So there's no discussion of an advance notification change at all --

A: No.

Q: Can you tell us if the defense secretary has been in touch with his counterparts in Russia or China over this? And whether or not -- I know it's not this building -- anyone else in the Clinton administration has been in touch with --

A: Certainly, Ambassador Sasser has talked with officials in Beijing. I'm not aware of other contacts that have occurred at this time. Obviously, there was a U.N. Security Council meeting last night in New York. And because both [the] United States and China sit on the Security Council, there was some contact there, I assume, but I don't know anything specifically about that.

Yes.

Q: (Inaudible) Yugoslavia?

A: Sorry.

Q: Why you back off (inaudible) to Yugoslavia.

A: Well, I don't think that's an accurate description of what's happened. NATO continues to look at the visit and search regime, and there's a plan that's supposed to go to the NATO Military Committee next week and then to the NAC for approval. So this still remains under consideration by NATO, and I think it's premature to characterize it that way now.

Q: (Inaudible) pipeline of Hungary and ships in the Adriatic Sea that refuse to comply with the oil embargo.

A: I'm sorry, could you repeat that again?

Q: Why Gen. Clark insists to strike the pipeline of Hungary and ships in the Adriatic Sea that refuse to comply with oil embargo.

A: Well, without getting into any specifics, I think it's very clear that NATO has established as one of its goals the interruption of petroleum supplies to the Yugoslav army and special police forces. And we have done that in a variety ways. One is by attacking refinery capacity in Yugoslavia. Another is by attacking storage areas. And a third is by attacking routes or interdicting supply routes into Yugoslavia. We've done that aggressively over the last six weeks, and we will continue to work on those targets.

Q: Ken, a follow-on to the embargo. There's a report that Yugoslav navy ships are actually blockading that port. Is that an accurate report, making life a little easier for NATO personnel?

A: There is a Yugoslav blockade. I think it's semi-permeable. It has some judgment elements in it on the part of the Yugoslav navy. But there is a semi- permeable Yugoslav blockade of Bar.

Q: When you say you can get through it, permeable areas are which ships bringing oil or --

A: We're not aware that there's a ship that has brought oil to Bar for the last week or so. The oil flow or attempted oil flow has slowed to a trickle from what it used to be. I don't have numbers unfortunately, but there is very, very little traffic in and out of Bar now, I think, for obvious reasons. Shippers all have insurance, and their rates rise with the threat of conflict and in dangerous areas and there is sort of a self-policing element here even before you get to the fact that the European Union has imposed an embargo, and the U.S. has also tightened its regulations, its export regulations.

Yeah, Tom.

Q: Can you say anything more about the hospital that was struck by the NATO bombs? NATO said this morning it could have been a technical malfunction. Do you have anything more on that?

A: We believe it was a weapons malfunction, but we don't know the full details.

Yes.

Q: How do you comment on the reports in Europe that Gen. Clark succeeded for your air force to hit the full (inaudible) into the Bulgarian airfields against Serbia during his recent visit to Sofia?

A: Well, the Bulgarian parliament has voted to open its air space to NATO aircraft.

Q: I mean (inaudible) Bulgarian airfields, not the air space. Bulgarian airfields.

A: I'm not aware of anything beyond the Bulgarian parliament's decision to allow NATO's use of Bulgarian air space, which is different from airfields.

Q: What was exactly the mission of your 24 F-15 planes deployed in Hungary against Serbia?

A: I don't believe we have 24 F-15 planes deployed in Hungary. What Hungary has said is that they're willing to take F-18s, and the F-18s aren't there yet. When the F-18s get there, we'll discuss their mission.

Yes, David.

Q: No ships have called at Bar, no ships have off-loaded oil at Bar in about a week. What about other Adriatic ports?

A: There may have been a delivery at a port that I think is Lipci, also in Montenegro, but I'm not certain about that. If there was, it happened within the last day or two, and it was very small.

Q: Ken, these bombing errors seem to be increasing in frequency as the bombing campaign intensifies. You said that it will continue to intensify, so is it reasonable to expect that this sort of incident is going to occur with greater frequency in the days to come?

A: I don't think you can predict random events. I think if there's a pattern here, the pattern is very clear. Of thousands and thousands of bombs that have been dropped, very few have created collateral damage problems. It's a minuscule percentage. Unfortunately, every misdirected bomb, for whatever reason, is regrettable. And we wish every single munition hit its target. That would be much more efficient in terms of fighting the battle, and it would give us 100% compliance with our goal of avoiding unanticipated collateral damage or civilian casualties. But life is not 100%, and combat certainly is not 100%. This is a difficult situation. Pilots are flying through an air defense system, over an air defense system, through tricky weather and not every single piece of mechanical equipment operates 100%, 100% of the time. And that's what we're dealing with. I think that actually as tragic as these mistakes are, the number of misperfoming munitions has been remarkably small considering the amount that's been dropped and the conditions under which they've been dropped. I know for a fact that no news organization ever reports on the 50,000 commuters who make it to work safely every day. You report on the one accident. I understand that, everybody understands that. And we will never be in a position in life where we avoid the one accident out of no matter how many successful attacks.

Yes.

Q: If this does not lead to a pause in the bombing, doesn't lead to a change in notification, in fact, encourages you to broaden your target list, does this in any way change the way NATO is going to be behaving -- the targeting or any way in the air campaign over the next few days?

A: I think you're focusing on the very few mistakes rather than on the general success of the campaign, which we believe is working both at the strategic end of the target spectrum and at the tactical end of the target spectrum. And we will continue to fly missions and to launch weapons in a way that advance both our goals, strategic and tactical.

Q: Ken, this seems different than the other mistakes in the air campaign, the other mistakes, I believe, where errant bombs went off target. This, you said you didn't argue with Carl's analysis of this. This seems you were targeting the wrong building. You thought you were targeting one thing, and in fact, you were targeting this. Is that the case? This seems different, and it would seem more appropriate to examine the targeting practices.

A: As I said, there will be a review of this accident. NATO has announced that; the Secretary General has announced that. And when the review is complete, the results will be made known.

Yes.

Q: Are you confident that at this point, NATO can tell it apart tonight and know which building it intends to hit?

A: I think that we have an extremely good record of hitting the right targets, and I expect that to continue.

Why don't I turn this over to Gen. Wald now.

[Chart - Weather Conditions]

Gen. Wald: Good morning. The weather over the last 24 hours has been up and down. This morning, it was pretty bad, and then as I came in just a few minutes ago, they said the weather had cleared, and they were starting to fly even more sorties today. Yesterday, in spite of the weather, they flew about 540 or so sorties, of which about half of those were strike, and today, they're in the 550 to 600 range, and they'll continue to do that over the next few days. And even though it looks a little bad here in the next couple of days, the prediction is it may start clearing up, and that will give us a better chance to fly an even higher OPSTEMPO.

[Chart - Level of Effort Day 45]

In spite of the weather, struck 21 fixed targets and six fielded forces. The weather in the Kosovo area was a little worse. A lot of attention on command and control, some sustainment, air defense, a few of the early warning radars were attacked, and then some of the fielded forces were attacked. Primarily, there were command and control and some outpost areas and some field forces.

We go into the cockpit imagery.

[Begin Video]

I have several films from yesterday. All of these are from yesterday. Get the lights please. First one is a communications tower at Novi Sad, which is north of Belgrade, with an F-15E, LGB. Once again, as we go through this -- Mr. Bacon alluded to [it] a moment ago -- we continue to hit strategic targets as well as tactical targets. We'll do that at a pace -- depends on how the commander wants to employ that pace -- but basically [it] is somewhat dependent on weather and somewhat dependent on just how he wants to hit the targets.

Another F-15E now in a Batanjnica air field. They're still attempting to fly their aircraft. And we'll continue to take down his ability to fly those aircraft.

This is an F-15E again, a laser-guided bomb last night. Pretty good-size secondary there.

Another on the Batanjnica airfield control tower. Take down their ability to command and control their aircraft as well as their sustainment of the field. You see underneath the cursor a pretty good picture of the control tower itself. F-15E again. And that was destroyed.

Batanjnica air field again, petroleum pumping station. It's all part of the IADS. You'll take out their ability to command and control the aircraft, sustain them, to repair them, take out their ability to even taxi on the runways at times or to get to the runway, which is not the most efficient, but is useful at times. Once again, a good hit.

Another on Batanjnica airfield. This was the airfield the MiG-29 that was shot down a couple days ago was trying to land at. This is the operations building. You can see the bomb lands just a couple feet short, but it still hits the building and looks like it destroys it, and there's some pretty good-size secondary on it. Start expanding. There may have been either some type of fuel or ammunitions associated with that.

This is the Hotel Yugoslavia Mr. Bacon referred to earlier last night. Laser- guided bomb. Large complex---that's called a hotel, but Arkan and his criminals have lived in here, and it's not open to civilians for living. This was last night. Pretty good damage on the building, but [it] has not been totally destroyed.

This is the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Belgrade last night. This has been attacked earlier, about ten days ago. There's still some command and control capability in this section that we're going after. You see the weather -- a little bit of weather in there, but he's still able to track the target. And direct hit.

So the targets that we've gone after before, if they still have some ability to operate, we'll go after them.

Early warning radar in Serbia itself, continued to take down his early warning, his eyes to detect aircraft entering and departing. This is a fielded early warning site in Kosovo. The F-16 with a laser-guided bomb. Looks like it hit about maybe six feet from it, so there's probably at least fragmentation damage if not concussion damage to that.

Another early warning radar, another F-16CG last night. Once again, you'll see the bomb hit under the cursors, and this one was a direct hit, more than likely destroyed.

This is an Italian Tornado, fielded ammunition depot in Kosovo. It has done a great job in supporting not only with bases, but with aircraft as well. You can see the tough to find target under the trees. And that was a VJ MUP fielded forces assembly area.

[End Video]

I think that should be all the film for today. I'll take any questions you might have.

Charlie.

Q: General, (inaudible) assuming that you had film of the strike on the embassy, and you just decided not to show it --

A: If I had it, I would show it to you, but I do not have it. And I think, as Mr. Bacon said, when the review is complete, if there is film available, we'll get it, but I don't have it. I would have shown it today if I had it.

Q: From a pilot's perspective, how easy is it to make a mistake like that?

A: I'm not sure what the mistake was, but anybody can make mistakes. Once again, I don't know the reason for it, this mistake last night, but if you look through a scenario, there are many, many things that go into a mission. I think sometimes there's a tendency to think that we oversimplify it because we have, as Charlie kind of alluded to just a moment ago, we have a lot of success. I mean, 17,000 sorties, and I think there's in the neighborhood of seven or so collateral damage incidents that we've had. All regrettable. And nobody feels worse than the person that's involved in that. The planning process is synergistic. It goes from front to bottom whether it be targeting or the weapon or the weather or the aircraft's system itself. And that all is under review. And when the time comes, I think that will be clear to everyone.

Q: Can you give us a little more specific idea of the planning process for a target, particularly a building like that? How many people would look at it, how many people would approve it, the maps, sort of the process there?

A: Gosh, I don't even know the number of people. But it's very comprehensive. Some targets have been on the books for many years. Some come on the books later. As you know, there's some targets that may be targets of opportunity that could occur. We had a briefing yesterday from J-STARS and those type of targets are almost real-time fielded forces. But targets are reviewed routinely. There are various, different people that do review those, intelligence people as well as operators. They're reviewed early in the process. Some are archived type targets, but before they're attacked, people do review those targets. Of course, the pilots and air crews review those targets before they go as well as their local intelligence. And after 17,000 sorties, I think it's understandable that a mistake was made, as a regrettable as this is.

Q: Are you talking in terms -- you make it sound like (inaudible) misassignment of targets. This wasn't a misassignment of target, was it? The wrong target -- the Chinese embassy wasn't ever assigned as a target. The arrow was --

A: First of all, I think as Mr. Bacon said, it would be unfair for me to even tell you what I think happened until the review is complete. But certainly, we're not attacking embassies intentionally. And the review will come out, and when that comes out, we'll --

Q: That's my point. You sat down, you talk about going through the planning process. The planning process never included that embassy as a target.

A: Once again, I can tell you this. The Chinese embassy was not a target. Anybody that would sit down and look at this and say this is a Chinese embassy would have said forget it, that's not a target. So there was never any intention to attack the Chinese embassy, and it's regrettable it happened.

Q: You knew where the Chinese embassy was on the planning data, so when you briefed that out, someone would know not to brief that as a target, right? A mistake.

A: Let me just put in perspective, not in this particular target, but a generic target. When you look at a target, and it says what that target is on the sheet, that's what you think you're attacking. There's no reason to question that. If it were to say it's a target you shouldn't hit, you wouldn't even get that target. So, obviously, a pilot or air crew would not attack something intentionally they shouldn't. We've gone through that before. So I think the best thing to do -- there's all types of speculation you could make, what-ifs. And until the facts come out, we would let NATO speak to that. And I think that's the best way to go right now.

Q: Would they know what was next to the target? Would the pilot know here is my target, I have no idea what's around it or who are in these buildings?

A: The way targeting works, particularly high value targets or a target area that you're going to go in that has a high threat -- the higher the threat, the more value the target, the more time you would study it. The more time you have to study it, the better. Of course, you would study all the terrain around it, anything else that would be included in that target area, of course -- you'd want to avoid collateral damage. My feeling would be in an area like Belgrade that's probably the most highly defended area that U.S. forces and NATO forces have flown in, similar to Baghdad in the last decade at least, that in an area like that, you're going to do a lot of study. You're going to study not only the target, but you're going to study the threat; you're going to study all the different things that may occur on that mission. I would suspect -- I don't know -- that a lot of study was put into that target. You would expect that, particularly in high value. So to answer your question, I don't know what happened. I frankly don't. And when the review comes out, I think everybody will find that out.

Q: In a similar vein, once or twice you've showed us pictures of a pilot thinking twice about something and deciding not to drop (inaudible) what the target was or if it was the right one (inaudible), however you want to characterize it. Was there that kind of fall back position here from your understanding? Could the pilot have said, "it doesn't look right?"

A: I don't know that. I will say this, that in certain areas under certain conditions, there are no back-up targets. So you don't out there in a case like this in Belgrade in an area that's highly defended and have a why don't you drive around until you find a target you like and drop it. So what happens is you study the target; you know what it is; you've studied the appearance of that target. And when you go strike that target, unless you're sure what you're attacking is the target, you don't do it. Now, once again, as Mr. Bacon in a very clear way made the analogy that mistakes happen. So I don't know why a mistake occurred, but I would suspect -- just like I've said before, I know the discipline and the professionalism of the pilots and I've flown with many of the NATO pilots. And I've never seen once in my years of flying, and I've had ten years in Europe, one pilot drop a bomb on anything he thought he shouldn't have intentionally.

Q: General, Mr. Bacon mentioned some of the things that could go wrong with a laser-guided bomb. What are some of the other things that could effect the accuracy of a laser-guided bomb?

A: Well, I mean, I could probably give you several possible things that could happen. Some a little more likely than others, but once again, I think the most important thing is to understand that the reliability of these weapons is very good. But once again, anything can happen. It's the -- kind of the one in a million kind of theory. It could have been a slight mechanical problem with a fin. It could have been something on an aircraft. It could have been many things, but once again, it may not have been a mechanical problem with the weapon at all. It may have been a number of things. So once that review comes out, I think it will be clear.

Q: General, is the Department of Defense (inaudible)?

A: I have nothing to do with the targeting process.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: I beg your pardon?

Q: Why then Holbrooke is taking place in the targeting process (inaudible) with the Department of Defense?

A: I have not heard one bit of Mr. Holbrooke taking part in any targeting conference whatsoever. I'd be surprised if that were the case.

Q: Can you say if NATO is going after the intended target, that military [supply] building? And can you give us any idea about the location of that to where the Chinese embassy was?

A: All I can say is that if NATO was intending to go against a supply depot, I know from a pilot's perspective, that's what they were going after. Now, once again, I think we've said several times until NATO finishes a review, it would be inappropriate to say anything more than that, because we could go down a road that would be wrong, and then people would think we're trying to say something that's try to be a cover-up or something. We'll just wait till NATO says --

Q: Are they still continuing to go after that intended building?

A: If it's still a target, NATO will go after it. You bet.

Q: Just as a matter of geography, where is the Directorate of Supply and Procurement in relation to the Chinese embassy?

A: I've seen a map, and I'm not sure if that's the right term for that target or not. Once again, I think if there was a supply building like that or that is the supply building, it probably is in close proximity, but I can't tell you for sure, David.

Q: General, would you have any objection to a change in NATO policy to notify people in Belgrade now that you have intensified the targeting area there?

A: Did you say would I have a problem with that?

Q: Would the United States Air Force have any problem with notifying the embassies or whomever who are in a general target area?

A: I don't speak for the U.S. Air Force; I speak for the Joint staff. But let me just say this. I've seen so much on TV about what's happening in Kosovo, on European TV, on U.S. television, on all different types of media. If it's a surprise to anybody that we're attacking Belgrade at this time, I'd be very surprised. So we'll continue to attack any target that has military value.

Q: Do the intel people when they show the maps to pilots or brief on particular maps or photographs, are there any special markings on the maps that say, "this is a school; this is an orphanage; this is the Russian embassy?"

A: The targeting I've seen in the past, and I haven't seen -- I don't look at the targeting folders for this. But the targeting folders I've seen in the past that I've used have specific areas that are marked for collateral damage. They will tell you specifically if there's a hospital there. I've seen areas where churches are marked; anything that has to do with collateral damage will be marked.

Q: What about embassies? Have you ever seen an embassy marked on a map or photo?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: Can you say which ones?

A: I've seen so many target folders in 27 years -- lots.

Q: I'm saying recently.

A: No, I haven't seen any recently. I haven't looked -- I don't look at the target folders. That's for the CINC and the operators in the field to take care of.

Q: General, the attack on the Milosevic residence (inaudible) complex underneath, was that a bunker busting-bomb that was used, one of those 5,000- pounders?

A: I think there's probably clarification for a lot of weapons that need to be made. All types of weapons could be, quote, a "bunker buster." And it has to do with the fusing and the type of bomb it is. So a 500-pound bomb with the right kind of fusing against the right bunker could be a bunker buster. So I think what you're referring to is that a 5,000-pound bomb. Against that building, I believe it wasn't. I believe it was a different type of bomb.

Q: The cluster bomb that mis-landed and hit the hospital yesterday, does that raise any question about using that particular weapon?

A: After every attack and particularly after there's a, in this case, a bomb that landed where we didn't intend it to, there's a review that's completed. Very, very comprehensive. Takes a lot of time. And I've seen in the past when air crew, in my case, come back after that, you spend the rest of your evening going through the review. So generally, you can't fly the next day, because you haven't rested. So I speculate -- I'm not going to speculate, I know. They've probably gone through the whole mission to make sure they understand why that happened, whether it would be a system error, whether it be a mechanical error, whether it be human error. And they will then do whatever they can to correct it, and they will get the word out to everybody else that flies in that mission. And they will change the way they deliver things, if they have to. I've seen things changed in mid-course. I've seen modifications to aircraft be made in mid-course in operations just because we found out something. Or individual aircraft that may have had a problem. So everything that can be done will be done and it's very comprehensive. Takes a lot of effort. So if anything can be changed to make it better that we won't have a problem like that in the future, that will be taken into consideration. On the other hand, we'll continue to fly missions.

So I think I got time for one more. Charlie?

Thank you.

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