Military Operations


Kosovo (Operation Allied Force)

Click for additional materials on the intelligence aspects of the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia to April 1999 and from May 1999. See also reportage on spies in NATO providing the Serbs with the details of allied bombing raids.

Bacevich, Andrew J., and Eliot A. Cohen, eds. War Over Kosovo. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

For a discussion of some of the items in this edited work, see Biddle, FA 81.3 (May-Jun. 2002).

Barnett, Gary G. "MI Tactical HUMINT Team Operations in Kosovo." Military Intelligence 27 (Jan.-Sep. 2001): 20-22.

Biddle, Stephen. "The New Way of War? Debating the Kosovo Model." Foreign Affairs 81, no. 3 (May-Jun. 2002): 138-144.

In this "Review Essay" on works by Bacevich and Cohen, Lambeth, and Hosmer, Biddle raises questions whether the Kosovo strategy of war on the cheap continues to make sense in the post-9/11 environment.

Clark, Wesley K. Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat. New York: Public Affairs, 2001.

The author was NATO Supreme Commander during the air war over Kosovo. See Richard K. Betts, "Compromised Command: Inside NATO's First War," Foreign Affairs 80.4 (Jul.-Aug. 2001): 126-132, for a thorough review of General Clark's book.

Dees, Jennifer L. "Joint STARS in Kosovo: Can the Army and the Air Force Blend Their Operational Differences?" Military Intelligence, 25, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1999): 16-18.

Differing views of JSTARS by the Army and Air Force caused some conflict in Kosovo in theater collection strategy.

Devries, Donald C. "Reserve Intelligence Support for Operation Allied Force." Joint Forces Quarterly (Spring 2000): 81-86.

Drake, Jessica. "NRO Worries that Techniques in Yugoslavia May Have Been Exposed." Aerospace Daily, 9 Jul. 1999.

NRO Director Keith Hall said on 8 July 1999 that the NRO "debuted several important capabilities during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia, but is concerned that some of its techniques may have been exposed to potential adversaries."

Gentile, Keith. "U-2s Look Deep and Accurate." Airman 44, no. 6 (Jun. 2000): 44-45.

Periodical Abstracts: "The 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron's involvement in Operation Allied Force [against Yugoslavia] included intelligence surveillance work over enemy territory, where the U-2 pilots located missile sites and aircraft."

Hosmer, Stephen T. Why Milosevic Decided to Settle When He Did. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2001.

This work is discussed in Biddle, FA 81.3 (May-Jun. 2002).

Lambeth, Benjamin S. NATO's Air War for Kosovo. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2001.

This work is discussed in Biddle, FA 81.3 (May-Jun. 2002).

Military Intelligence. "KFOR: Operations in Kosovo." 27, no. 1 (Jan.-Sep. 2001): Entire issue.

Newman, Richard J. "Scoping Serbian Targets from an Air Force Surveillance Jet." U.S. News & World Report, 3 May 1999, 38.

Two of the Air Force's four E-8C JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) airplanes are now flying in the Kosovo theater of operations. Serbian tactics of intermixing military and civilian vehicles and the rugged terrain have reduced the effectiveness of the JSTARS' cloud-penetrating radar.

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "U.S. Data Aiding Macedonia." Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2001, A1. []

According to Macedonian officials on 20 March 2001, "U.S. forces in Kosovo are providing aerial photos and other military intelligence to Macedonian army officers.... At the Pentagon, Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, a senior spokesman,... said, 'I am not aware of any unilateral U.S.-to-Macedonian exchanges.' But he said it is possible that the Macedonians had received information from a U.S. officer seconded to a NATO unit, and so working outside the U.S. chain of command."

Starr, Barbara. "High-Tech Eyes in the Sky Verify Kosovo Agreement: Snooping on the Serbs.", 28 Oct. 1998. []

"[N]ow that [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic has largely complied with NATO's demands to pull his troops out of Kosovo, the alliance is relying on a variety of high-tech satellites, spy planes and unmanned drones to make sure the Serbs don't slip back into the violence-wracked province....

"Topping the list of U.S. 'assets' is the venerable U-2.... The U-2's sensors provide a range of images including still pictures, video and infrared imagery.... The U-2 also carries rarely-discussed sensors that gather 'signals' intelligence. These sensors ... can gather data from Serb radars and eavesdrop on Serb military and police communications networks. Data gathered by the U-2 can be transmitted via satellite link to intelligence analysts in as little as four minutes.

"Also flying reconnaissance missions is ... the RC-135 Rivet Joint. This aircraft typically flies at some distance from Kosovo, cruising out over the Adriatic Sea to detect any electronic messages or activity from the Serbs. The Rivet Joint ... is armed with an array of sensors to eavesdrop on radio conversations or pick up signals from radars the Serbs may illegally activate. This would allow the Rivet Joint to send NATO aircraft immediate warnings about the location of threatening forces....

"The Predator Medium Altitude Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses a number of sensors that allow it to fly over Kosovo and gather detailed information about tanks, vehicles and troops.... The drone's electro-optic sensors provide high- resolution images. An infrared sensor allows NATO to determine if tanks and other vehicles are actually running, and a high-tech synthetic aperture radar can penetrate night or bad weather. The Predator can also take and transmit live video to ground stations in Europe....

"The U.S. Air Force [also] relies on commercial [satellite] imagery from the French SPOT satellite, the Canadian RADARSAT and the U.S. Landsat.... U.S. forces can also avail themselves of a number of highly classified satellites.... The Mercury-Advanced Vortex is a 'signals intelligence' satellite capable of intercepting transmissions from radios, radars and other electronic networks. U.S. forces also rely on the KH-12 Lacrosse photographic intelligence satellite to gather pictures....

"The U.S. Navy is participating in the mission as well, with its P-3C Orion aircraft ... flying over Kosovo on a daily basis.... With the ability to stay aloft for 10 to 12 hours without refueling, the Orions will provide a continuing presence to supplement the other aircraft. The Orion is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar and an electro-optic camera system for both live video and radar images of the ground situation in Kosovo. The Orion can operate in all weather, day or night. A downlink to ground stations provides instant access to the intelligence gathered during a mission."

Return to MI Ops 1990s Table of Contents

Return to Post-WWII 1990s Table of Contents