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DoD News Briefing, March 26, 1999

Presenters: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
March 27, 1999 5:20 PM EDT

Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon. Thank you for showing up for this late briefing.

I want to just take a few minutes to bring you up to date on what's happening in Kosovo and in the Balkans more generally.

Air operations began about two and a half hours ago and they are ongoing. The allied air force is large, participating in this. The American participation includes B-52 and F-117 stealth fighters, along with other aircraft in both the strike and support packages.

In addition, as most of you know by now, a cruise missile was launched from sea this morning, and landed on its target at approximately 9:23.

We are, as we explained yesterday, continuing to focus on air defenses, on the integrated air defense system throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia including in Kosovo. But as we make progress against the air defense system, and we have made progress, particularly against its command and control elements, we are gradually increasing the emphasis on attacking targets in Kosovo itself, particularly the Serb army, the so-called VJ, and the Serb special police, the so-called MUP.

We have in the last several days attacked targets that contain supplies for the troops in that area, particularly a large ammunition dump, and also a fuel supply depot for the military. We have also attacked a number of special police headquarters, MUP headquarters.

We've attacked the Third Army Command Post, slightly outside of Kosovo, but it's the Third Army that is the main VJ unit controlling Kosovo now, or attempting to control Kosovo, and we've attacked some other military targets within Kosovo as well.

As I said, as these strikes continue over the following days we will, as appropriate, increase the concentration or focus on targets within Kosovo itself.

Many of you know that there was another incident in the Balkans today, and that is American F-15C fighters shot down two Mig-29s over Bosnia. And let me just bring you up to date on that.

This happened at approximately 11:35 EST today. The two MiGs were picked up by AWACs and followed. Planes flying in the CAP called DENY FLIGHT[sic, DELIBERATE FORGE], which patrols the no-fly zone over Bosnia, were vectored toward the MiGs when it was clear that they were coming across the border into Bosnia, and they were shot down approximately five miles inside Bosnia.

There have been a series of reports about the status of the pilots. Currently we do not have the pilots. We don't know if the pilots are alive. Of course, it's night time over there. At least one of the planes crashed or came down in the Russian sector. We are, obviously, trying to get to the wreckage. We do not know what ordnance these planes were carrying, and we don't even know at this time what we used to shoot down the planes. The F-15s carry four air-to-air type weapons. They carry the AIM-7F Sparrow, the AIM-120 AMRAAM, the AIM-9L Sidewinder, and they also carry an internal 20mm gatling gun.

With that, I'll take your questions.

Q: How about other MiGs that may have been in the area? Reports of them also heading the same direction.

A: We're now in the position of trying to separate reports from rumor, and we haven't completed that job. There have been reports that there were some other Yugoslav planes flying in the area. We have not totally nailed down what was there.

Q: What does the flight of the two MiGs you shot down represent to you? Is that a potential attack on Bosnia? How does the Pentagon assess it in terms of the intentions of the Serb government?

A: Well, it's certainly a serious event, certainly a serious challenge, and so far a challenge that we've been able to repel.

We don't know why they were flying into Bosnia. We can only speculate at this stage. Obviously, one possible reason could be to attack SFOR forces in Bosnia. Although these are primarily air superiority planes, they do have a ground attack role.

As I said earlier, we don't know what ordnance they were carrying. When we learn that, we may be able to deduce more about their mission.

A second possibility is that they were involved in some sort of a Serb scheme to shoot down one of our planes -- either by luring one of our planes into Yugoslav airspace or close to Yugoslav airspace. Obviously, if this was the scheme, it backfired egregiously on the Yugoslavs.

A third possibility, and I don't put much stake in this, but it's conceivable -- the pilots were trying to defect. But given the fact that their air force has absorbed considerable losses in the last few days, I don't put much stock in that, but we're in the realm of speculation here because we have no idea what was in their minds at this stage. That's one of the things that...

Q: When the President stated that the air campaign was going to begin, he said one of the basic attempts was to stop the ethnic cleansing and the genocide. General Clark said that one of the military missions was to systematically and progressively deter Milosevic's ability to wage war, yet three days into a mission we haven't campaigned against his troops, against his tanks, against his artillery. When is that going to begin? How do you deter somebody from waging war if you don't attack their ability to wage war?

A: First of all, it has begun. As I said, we have been attacking MUP headquarters and VJ command posts in and around Kosovo.

Q: But not the troops.

A: We believe we have hit some troops as well, because when you attack headquarters, headquarters tend to have barracks around them; they tend to have military people around them, and we probably have hit some military people. We don't have any good visibility on that right now.

The fact of the matter is, Ivan, we have been very clear from the beginning that our goal is, in fact, to degrade Milosevic's ability to continue his predations against the Kosovar Albanians. We are turning to that goal. But before we could get to that goal, we had to concentrate on dealing with his air defense system and we've done that. We're continuing to do that. Knocking out a sophisticated, redundant, air defense system takes time, and it's not something we can do in a couple of days. We will have to continue to work on that. But the idea, basically, is to try to make the skies as safe as possible for our pilots, so, then they can begin concentrating on the next goal, as it is.

I tried to point out that we have been following a dual path here. We've been attacking the integrated air defense system on the one hand, and we've been shifting more emphasis to dealing with forces in Kosovo, the VJ and the MUP forces in Kosovo.

Q: Is that campaign more difficult by the fact that the Yugoslav army air defenses are not turning on the radars, not targeting planes, not trying to use any of their SA-6 missile systems, and therefore making it harder for you to find them?

A: There are two ways to answer that question. In one respect, yes, it does make it more difficult if they don't turn on their radars. It is much more difficult to find these.

As I've pointed out, the SA-6s are mobile systems; they're used to moving them around, and they've been doing that. There's a great deal of dispersion going on.

On the other hand, an air defense system that's not turned on doesn't pose an actual threat to our planes. It poses a theoretical threat to our planes, but if he doesn't turn on his air defense system, it's not ready to attack planes.

He may feel that if he uses his missiles, he'll lose them. I don't know what his philosophy is. But you're absolutely right, if he turned on the radars for longer periods of time -- he does turn them on episodically -- if he were to turn them on for longer periods of time it would make his missiles much more vulnerable.

Q: Is there a theory that he may be trying to lure NATO into a false sense of security so that he can set a trap at a later time with these missiles?

A: I think that he is certainly worthy of such a tricky theory, but I can't answer that question. I can't psychoanalyze Slobodan Milosevic. He's a wily fellow. That's why we will continue to fly with great care and continue to devote a portion of our assets to dealing with his integrated air defense system.

Q: On the MiGs, were parachutes observed coming out of either MiG, firstly? And secondly, you mentioned that the Serb air force has suffered what you call considerable losses. Can you quantify those losses for us?

A: They may have lost as many as a third of their MiG-29s, the top of the line fighters.

Q: They only have 15, so they've lost five.

A: That's a third. Very good. (Laughter)

Q: Were parachutes observed...

A: There are conflicting reports on whether parachutes were observed. Some reports say yes, some say no. That's one of the things we have to find out.

I know you all believe that because this happened five and a half hours ago we should have total clarity about the event, but the fact is it happened near dusk, a long way away, in a place that we haven't gotten to yet. So it does take awhile to sort out the details, and rather than give you bum details, I'm trying to tell you that a lot of this is rumor. But we are quite certain that American planes shot down two Mig-29s.

Q: Can you clarify the two F-15s? Were they flying the no-fly mission or were they flying CAPs for ALLIED FORCE as the press release from SHAPE said?

A: My understanding is that they were flying a CAP over Bosnia as part of DENY FLIGHT [sic, DELIBERATE FORCE]. For one thing, we did not have, the ALLIED FORCE did not have planes in the air at the moment that this took place. So my belief is that this was part of the air CAP that we conduct regularly, and have for years over Bosnia.

Q: You can look at the flight of the MiGs into Bosnia as an escalation on his part. Air defenses, shooting air defenses at allied planes is a defensive move. You've now moved into taking offensive moves.

Is there anything that NATO's done in response to his offensive moves against U.S. troops?

A: First of all, I think that our response to this shows that we have been prepared for such an attack. If it's an escalation, we were prepared for it. But we've been prepared for some time, because we have been flying a CAP over Bosnia for years.

We have taken, American troops certainly have taken some measures to improve their security in Bosnia. One is that our troops have now returned to wearing body armor all the time. As you know we did that for the first couple of years, then the policy was relaxed. Now it's back. There have been a whole series of other measures that commanders have taken that involve patrols and other things. I don't think I'll get into them, but yes, we have been aware for some time of the possibility that our troops could be attacked.

Q: ...the things that you mentioned are still defensive in nature. I guess I'm asking in a simpler way, is NATO going to retaliate for the fact that they have now stepped up or entered a new phase by taking offensive action themselves?

A: I think every day we're making it clear -- I don't know how much clearer we can make it -- we're making it clear with missiles and bombs that every day we are working to degrade and diminish his military capability. Whether it's air defenses, whether it's air force -- offensive air force or defensive air force -- whether its his ground troops, we are working to suppress them, to whittle them back, to shrink them down, to make them less potent, and we are having some impact, but it's going to take time, and we are prepared to continue.

Q: Following up on that, before you have said when Yugoslav crosses the border there would be grave consequences for that action.

A: Yes, we've said that.

Q: It would be a serious mistake. So what would be the grave consequences now that they've crossed the border?

A: Well, we're not going to telegraph our intentions, but one thing they've learned is that crossing the border is just as dangerous as putting up their planes over Yugoslavia.

Q: ...shoot them down.

A: No, I didn't say that. Well, we did shoot them down, and we will continue to shoot down planes that we think pose a threat to us, either over Yugoslavia or elsewhere. I don't think I'll telegraph what we're going to do, but clearly, we are prepared to take action.

Q: You mentioned that tonight's attacks included a large NATO force. Can you give us some more details on the American participation? For example, the number of B-52s and other types of aircraft...

A: No, I'm not going to get into details.

Q: ...the one, the single one? Were there more than that?

A: Not that I anticipate at this time.

Q: What were they targeting?

A: The target was a target of opportunity.

Q: Can you tell us what's going on on the ground in Kosovo as far as Serb troop movements, fighting?

A: Yes, as best I can, which isn't too well. You appreciate that with the KVM out, the Kosovo Verification Mission out -- those were the 1,400 OSCE people there -- with many non-government organization representatives out and with diplomats out of Kosovo, we do not have the same visibility we used to have in that area.

We have received reports -- and the press also, I must say, is out -- so we're not receiving the types of reports we got on television and in the newspapers and radio.

But we are receiving very disturbing reports of continued brutality by the Serb forces, the Yugoslav army, the VJ and the special police, the MUP.

We don't have verification for a lot of these reports, but we are receiving these reports. And there does seem to be, some executions have been reported in a number of towns, some destruction of villages has been reported in several towns. We've heard reports of a village being surrounded by the VJ and pummeled. But I want to point out that this type of outrageously brutal activity was taking place before the NATO air action began. The difference is that we don't have people on the ground to report on it the way we did several -- before we did about a week ago.

Q: Have there been more troops, armor moving in?

A: I don't believe that much more has moved in recently.

Q: You made the point earlier that you were making progress against the air defense system, especially the command and control centers. Can you elaborate a little bit about measures of progress?

A: I don't think I'll get into the grading business at this stage.

Q: ...like Iraq's air defense system? They have centers, sector centers that provide instructions to all the units, and if you lop off the brain, the arms aren't going to be able to move sort of thing?

A: We have certainly degraded the nervous system of the air defense system.

Q: Can you comment on one report that Yugoslav military aircraft attacked Albanian strongholds in Kosovo?

A: Say that again.

Q: Yugoslav aircraft -- apparently, there was one report that they had attacked some KLA strongholds within Kosovo.

A: I have not seen anything about that. We'll check it, but I don't have anything on that.

Q: When the Srebrenica massacre happened in Bosnia, the U.S. government had some sort of satellite imagery or something like that, I think. Can you tell me, is there not that capability any longer over Kosovo? Is there some diminished technical means that you are facing now? We keep asking these questions because we're assuming that you do have means to look down and see what is happening in Kosovo. You did it before.

A: You're straining my creaky memory, but it is my impression that in Srebrenica there were reports that weren't entirely accurate of what we knew and didn't know while it was going on. But to answer your question, we are attempting to improve our ability to find out what's going on in Kosovo. One obvious way to do that is with UAVs, and we're trying to do that now. But we do not have the types of pictures I think you think we might have or that we wish we did have at this stage, but we're working on trying to get them.

Q: On what scale do you think this brutality is taking place there? Srebrenica is sort of an obvious reference point, but is it overblown at this point to begin making those comparisons?

A: Yes. I believe so at this stage. But I want to point out that we're not dealing with complete information. Remember, we were able to get William Walker and OSCE people, KVM observers into Racak almost right after it happened to interview people and to make eyeball assessments of what happened. We aren't able to do that now, so we do miss a dimension, an information-gathering dimension we had before.

Q: There were reports of villages being surrounded. Do you have reason to think that a Srebrenica-like outcome is not going to occur this time?

A: Well, I don't think we know. Certainly there is reason to fear for the worst, and we do fear for the worst. That's one of the reasons we're trying as quickly as possible to increase the emphasis on degrading and stopping the forces in Kosovo.

Q: However successful the NATO strikes have been so far militarily in terms of hitting their targets, they don't seem to be doing much yet to make life any better for the Kosovar Albanians. How soon will the campaign be able to offer some relief from this brutality to the Kosovar Albanians, and generally speaking, how difficult is that to do through air power?

A: Well, air power is very potent. I think it is beginning to have an impact on the forces in Kosovo, and I believe it will have a bigger impact in the coming days.

I cannot tell you when the fighting will stop there. I can tell you that it could stop immediately if President Milosevic decided to withdraw his troops, agree to a ceasefire, and agree to a peace accord. But so far he's refused to do that. So we are left with the option we did not seek, which is using military force to roll back his violence. It's not something that's going to be easy, it's not something that's going to be quick, but it's something that we're determined to do as well as we can, as quickly as we can.

Q: Why the switch to daylight operations?

A: We have never ruled out daylight operations and we won't in the future. We reserve the right to attack at the time of our choosing and attack the targets of our choosing.

Q: Isn't it less safe for the pilots, though?

A: Remember, this was a cruise missile attack this morning, but we attack frequently in daylight hours in Iraq, and it's something that we're capable of doing.

Q: What is the KLA up to now? Are they in any way respond to... What kind of activities, engagements are they up to in Kosovo?

A: The KLA is responding, but it's basically trying to get out of the way to retreat to the hills and preserve itself. But there is some fighting going on. There is some response. And we do not have a good account of what they're doing at this stage, but there are some attacks. I must say that the bulk of the fighting is at the instigation of the Yugoslav forces.

Q: What of the air force have you destroyed on the ground? And is there a reason why the runways aren't being attacked so they can't take off?

A: The runways are being attacked, but runways are very easy to repair. We've learned that in Iraq; we've learned it elsewhere. So we will continue to attack runways, but they will continue to repair them.

What they've been doing is dispersing their aircraft. Some of them have been along highways. It's like having MiGs parked along the Beltway. That's what they've done. So it makes it more difficult to get them enmasse, but we will continue to work on it.

Q: You mentioned UAVs. The Air Force has confirmed that they put up a Predator, the UAV that's been over Bosnia for a number of years. What capability will that give the coalition that they don't have now?

A: It gives us a real time monitoring capability with a series of several image collectors. So that will improve our ability. It can be, of course, directed over certain areas. It sends back real time pictures or infrared.

Q: ...and sense heat also?

A: Infrared can do that, yes.

Q: Are you protecting it? Because it's pretty -- it's medium altitude. It's pretty vulnerable.

A: We don't fly fighter CAPs over UAVs; it would sort of defeat the purpose.

Q: Isn't it pretty vulnerable?

A: It's small and zippy, but has some stealth characteristics.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: I don't believe any is right now, but they should be soon.

Q: Why was it necessary for NATO to strike targets in Macedonia?

A: NATO to strike targets in Macedonia?

Q: I'm sorry, in Montenegro, which is part of Yugoslavia.

A: I think that's the point. We are attacking targets in Yugoslavia. We have to attack the air defense system where it is. If you look at the map and you figure out how you're going to fly in to Yugoslavia, one of the routes is over Montenegro, and there happen to be a lot of elements of the integrated air defense in Montenegro.

We have nothing against the people of Yugoslavia and certainly nothing against the people or government of Montenegro. Quite the contrary. But we do have to suppress the air defense system and attack other military targets, and we are focusing very precisely on military targets.

Q: Have you seen a report out of Montenegro that a jet liner was almost hit by a cruise missile in Montenegro?

A: I have not seen that report. What kind of jet liner?

Q: It was a civilian carrying 70 people, as I recall. It was, I believe it was landing, and it was almost hit by one. This was on Wednesday, not recently.

A: I haven't seen that report, but I can check the clips and see if it's there.

Q: Can you tell us if any moves are being made to reinforce the troops which are currently in Macedonia?

A: The troops in Macedonia?

Q: The NATO contingent which is...

A: I'm not aware that there are efforts underway to reinforce that at this time. There are about 10,000 NATO troops there. There are very few Americans, 350 Americans. As you know there's the French-led extraction force and the British-led rapid reaction corps there. I think they have tanks; they have Chieftain tanks and armored personnel carriers. They have some artillery. I think it's a pretty robust force at this time.

Q: Has the campaign been accelerated at all to deal with developments in Kosovo on the ground? Is there a sense of urgency about getting to this issue, to this problem?

A: There's a sense of thoroughness, and the thoroughness begins with the air defense system and then moves as quickly as it can to the Yugoslav forces on the ground in Kosovo. Yes, we would like to get to them as soon as possible, but we want to make sure we do it in a way that does not expose our allied pilots to unnecessary risk.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: The targets are being recalibrated all the time. The target packages are being recalibrated all the time, and we're trying to respond to events when possible. We have done some of that. But I don't want to mislead you into thinking that we're going to abandon our efforts to suppress the air defense system in order to move, to focus everything on the MUP and VJ targets. We're doing that. And every day the emphasis has been greater. The proportion of targets in Kosovo has been greater every single day so far. But...

Q: Can you tell us what the gradation is?

A: It's about double.

Q: ...recalibration in order to respond to events. Was this a target that struck at the MUP or VJ forces?

A: I'm not going to get into specifics.

Q: This morning at his briefing Jamie Shea said that the Secretary General had not yet given General Clark the go-ahead to move to phase two of the operation. I wonder if you can clarify for us what is the political approval required to do that and to what extent. For example, does the NAC have to approve it?

A: Well, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization does have authority now to begin to move into the next stage of the operation. He has to consult with the allies before he does that. This is analogous to what he had to do before the operation began. He's been given the key to turn on the operation on January 30th with the proviso that he consult with the allies. He did that, and then the operation began. Now he'll do the same thing. The NAC is meeting virtually every day -- the North Atlantic Council, that is, is meeting virtually every day. It met today. It's going to meet tomorrow. And I think that consultation can come very quickly when necessary.

Q: But the phase -- we're already hitting targets all over the expanse of Serbia. But... I thought the NAC decision on Sunday, judging by the communique, actually telescoped the two phases and gave Solana permission to (inaudible) wider attack.

A: I think that's the -- you put your finger on exactly the right point. You've made it brilliantly. We have designed a broad, seamless air campaign that should not be seen in terms of phases. It should be seen as one air campaign that will move through a series of targets and goals.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: I'm trying not to get into the phased area, but at various points there are checks built into the system. I don't mean our new allies, the Czechs, [laughter] but at various points there are opportunities to take stock. I think NATO has been very clear that it supports a broad, seamless air campaign.

Q: The British Defense Ministry this morning released a targeting video from the cockpit of British planes. Will you be releasing any American video?

A: As I've said, those decisions are up to General Clark. He has the authority to release gun camera video. He is very aware of your interest in this, and I'm sure at the appropriate time will respond to it.

Q: ...about the video that was released this morning by NATO. It appeared to be from an American plane.

A: I think that would not be the case, but I don't know that.

Q: I just wanted to clarify on the MiG incident over Bosnia. If it does prove to have been, once you've sorted out the rumors and the reports.

A: If we do. We may not.

Q: If you do determine that this was an attempt to make an attack in Bosnia, just to make sure, there will be some specific retaliation that would make it clear there would be grave consequences?

A: I don't want to get into talking about escalation or new threats. We have reserved the right from the very beginning, and we clearly have the ability to inflict grave damage on Yugoslavia. I think that's clear to everybody from the way the campaign, the ALLIED FORCE is proceeding so far. I don't want to get into the business of making other threats.

What I said yesterday was if there were attacks against some place like Macedonia there would be grave consequences.

Q: ...more than 50 Russian cargo planes had landed on an airfield which about to mangle, south of Minsk, it's called Macthuliz [sp]? The intel folks tell me there's concern that these are weapons that are headed on their way into Belgrade. Have you guys been briefed about that? Do you have anything to say?

A: There are conflicting reports on this. The bottom line is we don't know. Some reports say this is the normal type of traffic in and out of that airport, it's nothing unusual. Others speculate that it could be an effort to try to bring weapons into Bosnia. The Russian Foreign Minister has said they have no intention of breaking the arms embargo. We are watching it very closely.

Q: You may have covered this while I was out, so I apologize; I had to go file. But the timeline is a bit problematical. We have been told by eyewitnesses earlier that the B-52s left England much earlier today, and some of the planes took off from Aviano much earlier, implying that there were actually raids, manned plane raids that began in daylight hours.

You talked about the one missile. Can you kind of clarify that for us?

A: You so startled me, Ivan, I spilled my water all over the computerized control of this fancy podium. (Laughter)

There were some air activities during the daylight hours, yes. I'm sorry, I misspoke before. There were air activities during the daylight hours. [Note: There were no manned aircraft operating over Yugoslavia during daylight hours on March 26.]

Q: Has the A-10 fighter been flown yet?

A: I don't believe so, but I don't rightly know, actually.

Q: Any plans to fly it?

A: We have -- the A-10s are available, and I just haven't focused on what's in every package, so I can't answer the question.

Q: The British Defense Minister and his air component commanders were giving fairly detailed briefings about what British airplanes were doing, to the extent of showing us how Harriers were buddy-lasing targets. We haven't had that level of detail here at all. Is that going to be coming any time soon?

A: As I explained earlier, that's really a question for General Clark to decide. So far, I think we're comfortable with the way the operation is going and the amount of information that's coming out about it.

This is a NATO operation. It's called ALLIED FORCE. The main briefing on this operation occurs every day in Brussels, at NATO headquarters, and that's appropriate for an allied operation.

Q: These were London briefings with the British Defense Minister. He's giving quite a bit of detail -- on American planes.

A: I understand that. And as I said...

Q: Can we pass a message to General Clark, though, just to point out to him that the briefings being done in Brussels are being done at 9:00 a.m. on the previous night's activities, and that by the time 5:00 p.m. rolls around in the United States, there may not necessarily be a scheduled briefing.

If per chance we could get a request in to him to consider a briefing in the United States.

A: You know Thelma, that's a very legitimate comment, but the fact of the matter is that in the last three days the action has taken place at night time in Bosnia, and we do not...

Q: Yes, and it's very apropos to have a briefing right now. It's the perfect time to have a briefing.

A: That's why I'm giving the briefing. (Laughter)

But you'll notice that there's no way that I could possibly give you any report on the impact of the military action while the briefings are in progress.

Q: ...given us some indication...

A: The MiGs were really a separate issue. And although they may well be related to what's going on in Yugoslavia, that was an attack against the air CAP that operates on a regular basis over Bosnia.

Q: Just to reinforce the point to General Clark, that it would be a nice idea for the reporters in the United States at the end of the day in the United States to have an update rather than depend upon a briefing at 9:00 a.m.

A: I understand what you're saying, and we'll send him the transcript.

Q: President Milosevic has said in the past that given five to seven days his forces could roll up the KLA. Does that threat, which seems to be a serious one, does that change your sense of thoroughness, your sense of urgency about aiding the Kosovars?

A: We are trying to aid them as well and as quickly as we can, given the threats we face.

He has been trying to so-call wrap up the KLA for, since last fall, and really time before that. Remember, the Bush Administration was concerned about Yugoslav attacks against the Kosovar Albanians. So this is not a new problem. This is a problem that's been going on for years.

What's different is that after a concerted effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to this problem, the NATO allies have been driven to use military force because President Milosevic refused to settle this peacefully. And we will move as quickly as we prudently can to deal with the problem in Kosovo.

Q: ...the daylight flying activity today. Could you quantify that or characterize it in any other way for us? Was it simply cruise missile strikes, or did it involve overflights of territory by...

A: I don't think -- if they haven't figured out what happened to them during the day, I don't think I want to explain it to them.

Q: You said about 20 percent of the effort the previous night had been devoted to targets associated with the forces in Kosovo and immediately around it.

A: Right.

Q: You said today was roughly double. Forty percent, is that...

A: Good work. This is a whole audience of mathematicians calculating fractions at a rapid clip. (Laughter)

Q: Given what did, might have taken place over Bosnia today, is there any thought going to be given to additional force protection? It's my understanding that those troops do not have Patriot missiles. They have the standard division anti-aircraft weapons, that's all, one. And two, the Yugoslav air force appears to be not bottled up. Is there anything further on the Yugoslav navy which was warned to stay in port?

A: I have nothing further on the Yugoslav navy. In terms of Patriots, you are right. They do have an air defense protection package. The 1st Cavalry Division troops are over there now. I don't know about Patriots. We're always looking at force protection, and we obviously will, in light of what's happened, review the current posture.

Q: Do you have an updated number for us on number of sorties and rough number of targets?

A: No.

Q: Do you have some idea how long it will be from the time that the bases to support the troops that are in Kosovo, the supply stuff, the stuff in the rear operating areas -- how long will it be between the time that stuff is struck and the time it begins to have some effect on the operating pace of the troops there? Do you believe it's rather quick? Do you believe they're well supplied forward or what?

A: That's a good question. We believe certainly hitting their supplies, their fuel and ammo supplies, will have a demoralizing impact as well as a debilitating impact on their ability to operate. But I can't give you a firm estimate of how long it will take them to -- their sources to dry up.

Press: Thank you, Ken.

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