by Eyder Peralta
August 27, 2013
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who was the NATO commander during the 1999 Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, tells All Things Considered that the situation the United States is facing in Syria is best compared to the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1993.
Clark told NPR’s Melissa Block that the only similarity between what’s going on in Syria, today, and what happened during the Allied intervention in Kosovo, is Russia’s unwillingness to support a United Nations resolution supporting a strike.
“[The Kosovo] campaign, first of all, it wasn’t just the bombing that drove the Serbs out. It was the fact that they were engaged with NATO that the Serbs knew that if they didn’t accede to pull their forces out and let the Albanians return home that NATO had the capability and was starting to do the planning to put a ground invasion in,” Clark said.
The Obama administration has said that regime change would not be the point of any mission in Syria.
“I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said during a briefing. “They are about responding to a clear violation of international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.”
Kosovo would serve as a precedent, said Clark, “if there’s a potential to go further.”