Yugo: the Russian dimension

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at umich.edu
Wed Sep 13 10:06:00 MDT 1995


Much as I hate to tangle with Chris, I've obviously been reading
different sources than he has.  So:
	Re: the balance of forces in the Russian Republic - my reports and
contact tell me that Zhirinovsky has not really modified his stance or
support over the past year.  Yeltsin is a bit mor epopular, mostly for
foreign policy reasons (a mind-boggling fact for us Americans!), like
shaming CLinton over Iran and this week's tough stance.
	Re: thatstance - keep in mind that, whenever this war ends, Russia
is now placed to be first into the rump Yugoslav market.  Britain will
maintain its capital investments, but be otherwise hampered by the NATO
involvement.  So every blow against NATO from Boris is another market
share for Russian business.  And more popularity for our favorite alky,
see above.
	Re: the airstrikes - according to NATO and UN documents, NATO is
avoiding targeting two categories or Options, as they call them.  1)
weapons being used against Muslims and Croats; 2) national war
infrastructure, such as war factories, large bridges for military and
civilian use, major highways ditto - neither of these are under assault.
What is up is what they call Option2 targets: warmaking sites that are
not immediately involved in hitting the enemy.  So artillery is out, but
ammo dumps behind lines are alright.  SAMs are safe, but their computer
guidance nexus centers are up for bombing.  You can all see the problems
with this strategy - like, there are relatively few targets to hit; like,
the Serbs can survive this with ease.  Their command structure is quite
flexible and can do without major HQs for some time; they can carry
supplies in vehicles; most of their weapons can do some damage and
certainly defend themselves.  So around Mostar, the Serb guns keep
pounding the Muslim ghetto, but the air defense sites not being depressed
to serve as artillery are knocked out.  The Serbs guns near Sarajevo are
peachy, but the far-back ammo depots they often rely on have ceased to
exist.  And so on.





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