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October 25, 2003


The Kid

Don't know if you saw the Newster's review in the WSJ, wherein Clark gets hoist by his own petard. Here's the link: http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110004189

In spring 2001, a few years after his stint as commander of NATO forces in Kosovo, Gen. Clark brought out "Waging Modern War," in which he outlined the frustrations of trying to serve every other country in the NATO alliance and his own. He wrote about not getting permission to fight a ground campaign, about not managing to persuade the U.S. Army to use Apache helicopters, about working through constant flak from Allied officers and, not least, from Washington and Brussels.

It was, apparently, a maddening assignment, a product of the kind of coalition and alliance warfare that, for some reason, Candidate Clark feels the need to recommend in his new book, "Winning Modern Wars" (PublicAffairs, 200 pages, $25). You could make the argument that the Bush administration, in Afghanistan and Iraq, remembered the frustrations of Gen. Clark much better than Candidate Clark does.

But we needn't rely on Gen. Clark alone for the contrast. In "Winning Ugly," a 2000 Brookings Institution study, Ivo Daalder and Michael O'Hanlon starkly outlined the failures of the Kosovo campaign: "The United States and its allies succeeded only after much suffering on the ground by ethnic Albanian people. They prevailed only after committing a number of major mistakes, which future interventions must seek to avoid. In fact, NATO's mistakes were so serious that its victory was anything but preordained."

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