FRICTION AND OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS. Although NATO’s use of air power in Allied Force must, in the end, be adjudged a success, some troubling questions arose well before the air war’s favorable
Although NATO’s use of air power in Allied Force must, in the end, be adjudged a success, some troubling questions arose well before the air war’s favorable outcome over a number of unexpected and disconcerting problems encountered along the way. Some of those problems, most notably in the area of what air planners came to call “flex” targeting of elusive VJ troops on the move in Kosovo, were arguably as much a predictable result of prior strategy choices as a reflection of any inherent deficiencies in the air weapon itself.Of more serious concern were identified shortcomings that indicated needed fixes in the realm of tactics, techniques and procedures, and, in some cases, equipment. Beyond the problem of locating, identifying, and engaging dispersed and hidden light infantry targets, the shortcomings arousing the greatest consternation included assessed deficiencies in SEAD, excessively lengthy information and intelligence cycle time, inadvertent civilian casualties, and some serious deficiencies in alliance interoperability. Also of special concern were the many problems spotlighted by the U.S. Army’s plagued deployment of its AH‑64 Apache helicopters to Albania and the full extent of U.S. global military overcommitment that the Allied Force experience brought to light.
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