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Press Statement: For Immediate Release

NATO’s ‘Other’ Yugoslavia Losses and POWs Still Not Acknowledged

Alexandria, Virginia: May 4, 1999

NATO forces, including the United States, have lost numerous aircraft
and have already suffered significant loss-of-life among ground troops
in the Yugoslavia conflict, according to a report published today by the
journal which in 1994 predicted the Kosovo war.

“Strategic Policy”, the monthly journal of the “Defense & Foreign
Affairs” division of the worldwide International Strategic Studies
Association (ISSA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) for senior
national security officials from some 165 countries, said that NATO
forces may have lost, up until April 20, as many as 38 fixed-wing
aircraft and six helicopters in the Kosovo conflict. As well, it said,
as many as 50 NATO ground troops - officially not acknowledged even to
be in the conflict - may have lost their lives.

The journal, in December 1992, said that (then) President-elect Bill
Clinton “will be tempted to take fast, populist decisions on the Balkans
crisis, and these could be fatal for any chances for peace there.”

In the February-March 1994 edition of “Strategic Policy”, staff writer
T. W. (Bill) Carr wrote: “Other areas, perhaps with even greater
potential for ethnic conflict [than northern Serbia], are Kosovo and the
Sanjak region of Yugoslavia. Here the problem is an explosive mixture of
religion and nationalism with roots reaching back in remote history and
the Tito era. Adjacent to Kosovo is Muslim Albania from whence came 95
percent of the present day population of Kosovo.”

ISSA in April this year put together the fact-finding mission which took
US Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ) to Belgrade.

The journal, which has been covering the Balkan wars and the Kosovo
Liberation Army (KLA) in detail since the early 1990s, said in today’s
report, written by ISSA President Gregory Copley, who is editor of the
journal: “It is clear from the amount and quality of intelligence
received by this journal from a variety of highly-reputable sources that
NATO forces have already suffered significant losses of men, women and
materiel. Neither NATO, nor the US, UK or other member governments, have
admitted to these losses, other than the single USAF F-117A Stealth
fighter which was shown, crashed and burning inside Serbia.”

“The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had denied, about a month
into the bombing, that the US had suffered the additional losses
reported to Defense & Foreign Affairs.”

“By April 20, 1999, NATO losses stood at approximately the following:
38 fixed-wing combat aircraft;
Six helicopters;
Seven unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs);
‘Many’ Cruise Missiles (lost to AAA or SAM fire).”

“Several other NATO aircraft were reported down after that date,
including at least one of which there was Serbian television coverage.
The aircraft reportedly include three F-117A Stealth strike aircraft,
including the one already known. One of the remaining two was shot down
in an air-to-air engagement with a Yugoslav Air Force MiG-29 fighter;
the other was lost to AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) or SAM
(surface-to-air missile) fire. Given the recovery by the Yugoslavs of
F-117A technology, and the fact that the type has proven less than
invincible, the mystique of the aircraft - a valuable deterrent tool
until now for the US - has been lost.”

“At least one USAF F-15 Eagle fighter has been lost, with the pilot,
reportedly an African-American major, alive and in custody as a POW.”

“At least one German pilot (some sources say two men, implying perhaps a
Luftwaffe crew from a Tornado) has been captured.”

“There is also a report that at least one US female pilot has been

“In one instance in the first week of the fighting, an aircraft was
downed near Podgorica. A NATO helicopter then picked up the downed
pilot, but the helicopter itself was then shot down, according to a
number of reports.”

“Losses of US and other NATO ground force personnel, inside Serbia, have
also been extensive.”

“A Yugoslav Army unit ambushed a squad climbing a ravine south of
Pristina, killing 20 men. When the black tape was taken from their
dog-tags it was found that 12 were US Green Berets; eight were British
special forces (presumably Special Air Service/SAS). This incident
apparently occurred within a week or so of the bombing campaign launch.”

“It is known that other US and other NATO casualties have, on some
occasions, been retrieved by NATO forces after being hit inside
Yugoslavia. At least 30 bodies of US servicemen have been processed
through Athens, after being transported from the combat zone.”

“At least two of the helicopters downed by the Yugoslavs were carrying
troops, and in these two a total of 50 men were believed to have been
killed, most of them (but not all) of US origin.”

“Certainly, the US has lost to ground fire and malfunction a number of
Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. At least some of these have been retrieved
more or less intact, and the technology has been immediately reviewed by
Yugoslav engineers. More than one told this writer that the technology
was now readily able to be replicated in Yugoslavia.”

The journal’s 17-page report also details the extent of the drug-money
financing of the KLA and the impact of the Cox Committee report –
detailing White House links to Chinese intelligence funding - on the
Clinton Administration’s decision to continue the war against

As well, the report outlined the dangers to the West of a protracted
conflict in Yugoslavia, not only from the war there, but also because of
the chance that it would trigger other conflicts, including a Chinese
invasion of Taiwan and a North Korean invasion of South Korea. The
report said that the drawdown on US standoff weapons and other military
assets heightened the risk of opportunistic attacks being undertaken by
countries which felt that the US could no longer deter their action.

The report also said that the loss of US and NATO prestige as a result
of the Yugoslav adventure would also make future global stability more
difficult to sustain.


For further information, and complete text of the article, please visit
the website of the Association at:, or call the
Washington DC area office of ISSA at 703-548-1070.

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