"If there was ever any doubt what is at stake in Kosovo, Mr Milosevic is certainly
erasing it by his actions."
US President Bill Clinton, speaking as refugees flooded out of Kosovo.
going to systematically and progressively attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately, unless President Milosevic complies
with the demands of the international community, we're going to destroy his forces and their facilities and support"
Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Wesley Clark, speaking as the campaign began.
Nato carried out its threat to bomb
Serbia over Kosovo on 24 March 1999, attacking a sovereign European country for the first time in the alliance's history.
The first images of the Nato action were the pictures of cruise missiles launched from ships in the Adriatic into the night
towards Yugoslavia. By the following morning, reports and pictures of the damage began to emerge, with Serbian television
showing pictures of the targets hit, in what was to become a familiar daily pattern.
Installations in the Kosovo provincial
capital Pristina were among the first to be hit in the opening days of the Nato campaign. Journalists who later visited the
city reported damaged buildings and deserted streets.
Bombs do not choose.
They will hit everything.
In the Spring of 1999, NATO launched an
air war against Yugoslavia to stop Serbs from terrorizing Albanians. The ethnic cleansing of Kosovo expanded and intensified
despite military intervention by the international community. The U.S. State Department reported on ten broad categories of
human rights violations in Kosovo: forced expulsions, looting, burning, detentions, use of human shields, summary executions,
exhumation of mass graves, systematic and organized rape, violations of medical neutrality, and a new type of ethnic cleansing,
identity cleansing. At the end of the 20th century, war waged between armed soldiers dressed up in uniform fighting only against
each other is extremely rare. The trend now is that 90 percent of war-associated casualties occur in the civilian population.
In Hague, the UN has assembled the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia which is investigating the
genocide in Kosovo. The War Crimes Tribunal will test the reach of international law and the will of governments to bring
high officials to justice.
K-For troops arrived in Kosovo after a week of delays
in getting Belgrade's agreement to the "military technical agreement" - the withdrawal of Yugoslav and Serb forces. Kosovo
Albanians who had spent weeks in hiding rushed onto the streets of cities, towns and villages as the 19-nation strong peacekeeping
force arrived, cheering the soldiers that they saw as their liberators. Over 10 days K-For led by the UK, Germany, France,
Italy and US soldiers quickly took control of the province and prepared the way home for the refugees.
The battle for hearts and minds was
a prominent part of the Kosovo conflict. Nato's daily briefings included a strong political message along with the daily operational
progress reports. The alliance also made a point of attacking the Serbian media, not just verbally, but with with bombs and
missiles aimed at transmitters, relay stations and, controversially, the headquarters of Serbian Television in the centre
of Belgrade. For their part, the Serbian authorities kept up a steady media barrage condemning and ridiculing western leaders,
while focusing on the damage caused by air strikes rather than the exodus of Kosovo refugees.
"(Serbian TV) is a source
of propaganda that is prolonging this war and causing untold new suffering to the people of Kosovo"
UK International Development
Secretary Clare Short
Within days of the first Nato strikes, hundreds of
thousands of Kosovo Albanians were on the move away from their homes, amid reports of atrocities by Serb forces and forced
evictions at gunpoint. Neighbouring countries had to cope with a sudden mass influx of thousands of refugees across their
borders. TV screens around the world were filled with images of weary and desperate people leaving their homeland
For 78 days in the spring of
1999, some 1,000 NATO aircraft flew more than 38,000 sorties in an effort to force Serbian forces out of Kosovo
Burying their dead was one of the tasks awaiting many Kosovo Albanians who returned home. Hundreds
of people took part in this mass funeral for 46 Kosovo Albanians killed during the conflict. Their relatives now have to pick
up the remaining pieces of their lives.
A team of 30,000 Nato-led peacekeeping troops, known as K-For,
was given the task of policing the province. Their greatest challenge has been stemming the tide of ethnic hatred between
the two communities.For the international peacekeepers, the main challenge is to get Albanians and
Serbs to live with each other again.
United Nations investigators have begun
the grisly task of unearthing the thousands of dead bodies buried in mass graves. By November - after excavating about a third
of the 529 grave sites identified by the International Criminal Tribunal - they had exhumed more than 2,000 bodies. The actual
fatality figure is likely to be much higher.
Valmir Deljiaj, an eighteen-month-old
infant girl, was found dead at the Donje Obrinje massacre site in Kosovo. She is partially covered by the body of her mother,
Mejhare Deljaij, aged twenty-seven, who died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The bodies of Gentiona and Donietta Deliaj,
seven and five-years old, being removed from the site of the massacre in the forest near Donje Obrinje, Kosovo. Eighteen members
of the Deliaj family were killed in the attack.
A child in front of his destroyed home in Plocica, Kosovo.
Yugoslav forces are alleged to have destroyed thousands of homes, forcing approximately 250,000 people to flee throughout
Burning villages in the Drenica region, Kosovo, as viewed from the village of Plocica, September 27, 1998. Many
of the homes in the foreground had already burned. Heavy artillery could be heard in the background as the bombardment by
Yugoslav forces of abandoned villages continued.
An elderly villager weeping at the site of the Donje Obrinje, Kosovo massacre.
Eighteen members of the Deliaj family were killed in the attack.
An ethnic Serbian man surveys his destroyed home in Jelovac, near
Klina. There were twelve Serbian and twenty Albanian homes in the village until June 1998, when the KLA kidnapped one Serbian
man and expelled the Serbs of the village.
An elderly Kosovar Albanian woman looks out through
the fence of the Kukes 1 refugee camp in northern Albania, near the border with Kosovo. April 1999
Serb police brutally beat this man before
he escaped Kosovo to northern Albania. April 1999
Nato may have won the war, but the peace has
yet to be secured for the people of Kosovo.
In 1989 forces of the United States invaded the Central American
nation of Panama. This came after the Noriega regime in Panama openly engaged in drug trafficking, and a continued campaign
of harrassment against U.S. servicemen and dependants. Election results in Panama were voided as Noreiga's Dignity Battalions
(DIGBATs) beat opposition leaders. In October 1988 the Panama Defense Force (PDF) staged an unsuccessful coup against Noreiga.
On December 15, 1988 the National Assembly of Panama declared that a state of war existed with the United States. This escalated
tensions in the country with a U.S. Marine Lieutenant being killed shortly thereafter.
Contingency plans having been
drawn up earlier in 1988 the NCA gave the orders to initiate Plan 90-2 which became Operation Just Cause. The objectives of
this operation were:
Protect U.S. lives, key sites and
Capture and deliver Noriega to
Neutralize PDF forces
Neutralize PDF command and control
Support establishment of a U.S.-recognizd
government in Panama
Restructure the PDF
Just after midnight, the morning
of Wednesday, December 20, 1989, United States military forces launched a massive land, sea, air invasion of Panama. "Operation
Just Cause" was the first major military operation since the invasion of Grenada six years earlier, and the biggest since
Vietnam. According to George Bush's December 20, nationally televised speech, the reasons for the invasion were to protect
American lives, defend the canal, restore democracy to Panama, stop drug trafficking, and bring Panama's leader, General Manuel
Noriega, to justice. The invasion, Bush made clear, was against the leader of Panama, not it's people. Nevertheless, Operation
Just Cause was roundly condemned internationally by the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
1989: US forces oust General Noriega
American troops have invaded Panama
in a bid to oust dictator Manuel Noriega.
Around 200 civilians, 19 US soldiers
and 59 Panamanian troops are believed to have died in the fighting after President George Bush sent forces into the Central
American country at 0100 local time (0600 BST). Bush ordered five task forces into the area, all of which encountered heavy
resistance. Up to 9,500 US troops joined more than 12,000 soldiers already based in Panama for the mission, entitled Operation
Just Cause. They destroyed General Noriega's headquarters but failed to capture the dictator. There are unconfirmed reports
that Noriega's forces have also taken several Americans hostage. The US government is offering a $1m (£600,000) reward for
information leading to the general's capture. President Bush wants him to stand trial in America on charges of drug trafficking.
He ordered the invasion after a series of recent attacks which culminated in the murder of an American soldier.
President Bush wants him
to stand trial in America on charges of drug trafficking. He ordered the invasion after a series of recent attacks which culminated
in the murder of an American soldier. General Noriega's reckless threats and attacks upon Americans in Panama created an imminent
danger to the 35,000 American citizens in Panama. As President, I have no higher obligation than to safeguard the lives of
American citizens," President Bush added. And that is why I directed our armed forces .. to bring General Noriega to justice
in the United States. I contacted the bipartisan leadership of Congress last night and informed them of this decision
General Noriega was caught within
a week after he was tracked down by US troops at a Vatican embassy. He was brought to trial in Florida the following month
where he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. This was later reduced to 30 years by a US judge. He has failed twice in attempts
to secure an early release. His most recent parole attempt was turned down back in 2000 after concerns were raised over the
security risk his release could pose to the former US President, George Bush. General Noriega is still wanted in Panama on
charges of executing army officers in 1989.
"Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security do not deserve