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I don't know how you can "oust" a battalion of 200 men without threatening to fire on them.

Foreign Affairs - Compromised Command

In the immediate aftermath of the war, Clark responded to the Russians' seizure of the Pristina airfield by seeking to oust them. After his subordinate on the ground, British General Michael Jackson, told him, "I'm not starting World War III for you," London ordered Jackson not to comply with Clark's order to block the airfield's runways. The British action averted any potential crisis, something about which Clark was apparently not concerned. His attitude toward containing the Russian role was consistent with the general confidence about NATO's hegemony in Europe and America's hegemony in NATO that was implicit in the whole enterprise.

But even though Clark's prose reveals a sharp sensibility about most things, he has a tin ear for Russian interests. He reports how Russian General Viktor Barynkin told him during the Dayton negotiations, "We know what you Americans are up to. ... You are coming into Bosnia because it's in our part of Europe and you want to be there. And you say you will be gone in a year, but you won't be; you will stay." Clark reflected that the Russians "saw the peace plan in Cold War terms ... to establish spheres of influence," as if the Russians were hidebound reactionaries. Yet nothing that has happened in the six years since proves Barynkin wrong. What are the Balkans now if not an expanded sphere of influence for NATO -- one nudging Russia's front door?

The New Yorker's / Slate

Being "sure" of oneself is not quite the same as a compulsive snap judger who does things by whim, as when he threatened to open fire on Russian positions during one close call in the NATO campaign over Kosovo. Fred Kaplan

by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 03:07:23 AM EST
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