siol nan Gaidheal

More on the KLA

16 April 2001

In a conflict, good guys and bad guys aren't always clearly defined. For those interested in knowing how the Balkans got that way - Bosnia and Kosovo - a rare, three part TV documentary concludes tomorrow evening on the History Channel. 'Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War' is a product of New York's Frontier Theatre and Film Inc., co-produced by George Bogdanovich and German TV producer Martin Lettmayer. Four years in the making, the documentary has been amended as events unfolded, including the Kosovo war and its effects, and was judged the Best Social Documentary at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

There is a minimum of editorialising or unsubstantiated comment in the documentary - unusual for a topic as volatile, controversial and emotional as the Balkans. The segment on Kosovo is of special interest to Canadians, since we joined the war because the U.S. wanted a united front, not because we had a clue what was going on, or why. Canada's former ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, argued against the war, and history is proving him right. Truth in Kosovo - the Balkans - is cloaked in half-truths and propaganda.

The documentary shows Madeleine Albright, first as UN ambassador and later as U.S. Secretary of State, not only opposing Serbs, but mindlessly endorsing Bosnia and eager for war in Kosovo. She hand-picked Canada's Louise Arbour to be war crimes prosecutor, who had no experience with the Balkans and tended to believe every atrocity claimed by the Muslims. Vidoe evidence shows Albright rejecting evidence that Bosnians bombed or mortared their own people, then blaming the Serbs in order to persuade NATO to attack the Serbs - a ploy as ancient as warfare itself, and repeatedly proven both in Bosnia and Kosovo. The supposed massacre at Racak, in Kosovo, which lit the fuse for the 78-day air war, has been shown to be a hoax- dead KLA fighters (since given military funerals) were arranged in a gully to appear as if massacred, complete with mutilations and torture - proclaimed by both Albright and Clinton. President George Bush was also captive of anti-Serb mania, perhaps because the Bosnian and Kosovo sides hired New York public relations firm Ruder-Fenn. Serbs were too dumb to do likewise. Retired U.S. generals were actively involved in advising and guiding both Bosnians and Croats against Serbs of Krajina, massacring and "ethnically cleansing" some 300,000 of them in Operation Storm - mindful of Desert Storm (the same planners). To his credit, Canada's General Alain Forand defied orders in efforts to save Serb refugees in Knin from massacre.

In conflicts, we - the allies - like good guys and bad guys to be clearly defined. Who is right, who is wrong; who are victims, who villains. White hats versus black hats.
The Balkans don't work that way. The tragedy of the Serbs (apart from having Milosevic as president) is that their public relations was so inept that they were effectively demonised. From the start, Croatia got clandestine help and weaponry from the U.S. and Germany, despite reviving Nazi symbols (checkerboard flag) of the Ustashe. The West conveniently forgot (and wasn't reminded) that the Serbs were the first to fight the Nazis in Yugoslavia and at enormous risk saved downed Allied airmen in the Second World War. In Kosovo, after the Second World War, 80% of the Serb population was pushed out by Albanians. Post-war Albania was the world's most paranoid country - too recalcitrant for even the Red Chinese. KLA atrocities to incite reprisals by Yugoslav security forces in turn incited anti-Serb reaction from the U.S. - overriding European reluctance to get involved. The U.S. pushed NATO from being a defensive alliance into an aggressive one.

Interviewed in the documentary are the likes of Lord Carrington, Lord Owen, the New York Times' wise David Binder (with laser-like insight about the Balkans), Generals Lew MacKenzie and Britain's General Sir Michael Rose (whose proof that Muslim atrocities against Muslims in order to blame Serbs was ignored.

In a perfect world, what the U.S. and NATO did in the Balkans might constitute a war crime. But the International Tribunal in the Hague is winners against losers; a conspiracy of silence among 19 NATO belligerents guarantees protection. What's done is done, but have lessons been learned? Doubtful. So far, some 2,100 bodies have been recovered in Kosovo (no mass graves), while the Red Cross lists 3,368 missing among all ethnic groups - a far cry from the 100,000 dead initially announced by U.S./NATO. Canada's former ambassador Bissett put it succinctly and sadly; "There's no question that Kosovo was an unnecessary war... an attempt to bomb Yugoslavia into submission that should be of concern to all people... We have the United States as a very powerful military force that no longer sees diplomacy and negotiation as worth their while." In retrospect, if Yugoslavia had been left alone, the Balkan people would have worked things out with fewer casualties, less misery and more hope for the future. The U.S. blew it - as it often does when it dabbles in areas it knows nothing about.

Rakak Massacre
Serbia War Crime

March 26 2001

Two years ago, on March 24, NATO unleashed a round-the-clock aerial assault that pulverized Yugoslavia for 78 days. U.S. military forces, in coordination with its NATO partners, flew 11,000 strike sorties and dropped 20,000 tons of munitions, killing at least two thousand civilians and injuring many more. The stated purpose of the bombing campaign was to prevent ethnic cleansing and liberate Albanians in Kosovo, a Yugoslav province, from Serbian oppression.
Ironically the U.S.-led blitzkrieg employed high-tech weapons such as "Apache" helicopters and "Tomahawk" missiles, an Orwellian twist that prompted a journalist from Le Monde Diplomatique to ask: "Is it cynicism? Amnesia? Or have the Americans just not stopped to reflect that the arms they use to attack the Serb regime with its odious ethnic cleansing are named after the Indians exterminated last century?"
The devastating consequences of NATO's "humanitarian" war continue to reverberate throughout the region, as Macedonia, Kosovo's neighbor, teeters on the verge of a bloodbath.

THE TIMES, Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Nato prepares to reap the Balkan whirlwind


A strange transformation is overtaking Tony Blair's great Balkan crusade. The opportunistic Anglo-Albanian alliance of 1999 is crumbling fast, to be replaced by its bizarre successor, a new Anglo-Serbian alliance. This bond promises to be longer-lasting, but if I were a Balkan politician I would not hold my breath. Put not your faith in Nato princes. Their whim is as chaff in a storm.

Take our erstwhile friend, Shefket Musliu, a freedom fighter for the army for the liberation of the Albanian population of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (the UCPMB). His territory had been designated by Nato the Charlie East buffer zone of southern Serbia and thus a no-go area for Serbs. A year ago Mr Musliu would have counted Mr Blair a buddy and been toasted by every hostess across Manhattan. Nato's Secretary-General, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, would have called him a Byronic hero and offered to lend him an Apache gunship or two. Bombers and troop carriers would have been at his disposal to crush the hated Serb, as they were for his KLA compatriot, Hashim Thaci, inside Kosovo.

So why, Mr Musliu is asking, has Nato suddenly allowed the Serb Army to return to Presevo, under the triumphant banner of General Nebojsa Pavkovic, the notorious ethnic cleanser of Pristina? Why have Serb forces been allowed back into the three-mile-wide northern buffer zone? Why has his war-lordship suddenly turned against the KLA's surrogates, the National Liberation Army, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? Whose side is he on? It would be idle these days to seek consistency in Nato's policy in the Balkans. It lurches from photo opportunity to photo opportunity, depending on who is in town. Mr Blair and the former US President, Bill Clinton, could at least argue that they had other things on their minds. Lord Robertson has less excuse. He is in charge. During the 1999 war, he was the most fanatical supporter of Mr Thaci in ousting the Serbs from Kosovo and letting him seize the initiative from the moderate leaders in the Kosovan capital of Pristina.

Since then the Nato powers have poured money, which means weapons, into the KLA's ever deeper and more corrupt pockets, enabling it to carry the struggle for Greater Albania into neighbouring Serbia and Macedonia. Nato's cackhanded aim, declared privately, was to counterbalance any possibility of Serb revanchism.

Nato must now reap this whirlwind. On Monday Lord Robertson called the National Liberation Army that is stirring pro-Albanian civil war in Macedonia a bunch of "localised extremists". Nato would take any military measures necessary to curb them. A unit of British troops, outside the UN or Nato mandate, is even proposed to "advise the Macedonian Government" on countering the Albanian threat. The unit will be just 20- strong but, like all British deployments of this sort, it will go weighed down with ministerial mission creep.

Lord Robertson is clearly serious. Every student of the Blairite lexicon knows that its two most contemptuous words are local and extremist. Yesterday's Albanian freedom fighters are today's localised mischief-makers. Yesterday's bulwarks against Hitlerian aggression are today's bloody nuisance. Last year Nato backing for Greater Albania was "crucial to Balkan stability on Europe's doorstep". This year it is no longer crucial, indeed it is possibly catastrophic.

To Nato, civil war meddling is foreign policy for slow learners. Lord Robertson was Britain's gung-ho Defence Secretary during the Kosovan adventure. His objective in bombing Serbia, he said, was to halt ethnic cleansing, install multi-ethnic democracy in Kosovo and restore stability to the region. He did not halt ethnic cleansing. He did not install multi-ethnic democracy. Now his third objective has also failed. The region faces unprecedented instability, possibly sucking in Greece and Bulgaria as well as Macedonia. This is precisely what Britain's interventions in Bosnia and then Kosovo were supposed to forestall.

In Montenegro, a Serbia weakened by Nato may yet be unable to resist local separatism. A bloodbath here would be truly awful. Will Nato, which has done so much to encourage Montenegran separatism from Belgrade, now intervene to stop it? In western Bosnia, the Croats are cutting loose from Sarajevo and running to join Greater Croatia. This will leave Bosnia as a mostly Muslim statelet, under an army of occupation of thousands of UN personnel. Will Lord Robertson regard these Croats as "localized extremists"? Will he threaten to bomb Zagreb if it continues to encourage territorial expansionism? Most serious of all is the looming civil war in Macedonia, hard not to regard as a direct consequence of Nato support for Albanian nationalism in Kosovo. Despite reverses in recent elections, the KLA has been allowed to become an arrogant regional bully-boy, bloated with Western aid and from trafficking in drugs and asylum-seekers. The organisation, with its roots in separatist terrorism, has long been the vanguard of Greater Albania. This land is intended to embrace not just Albania and Kosovo but bordering areas of Serbia, such as the Presevo Valley, and of Macedonia. A third of the Macedonian population claims Albanian descent. If regional stability was truly Nato's concern, backing these Albanians against their Slav neighbours was always stupid.

Of course Macedonia is not like Kosovo. Lord Robertson will protest that in Kosovo Nato sought to re-establish the rights of the local Albanian majority, which were being monstrously abused by the central Government of Yugoslavia. In Macedonia, the Albanian majority is not being abused, at least not in Lord Robertson's view. So it was OK to bomb Belgrade in 1999, but not the Macedonian capital of Skopje in 2001. Kosovo has good Albanians, Macedonia has bad ones. That is the joy of dabbling in other people's conflicts. You can treat right and wrong as black and white. One gets a million dollars, the other gets cluster bombs.

Nato is now playing with fire. These Albanians know from experience how to win friends in the West. They terrorise the ruling power and provoke it into retaliatory suppression and atrocity. They raise the tempo of this atrocity until it is noticed by the Western media, which is the catalyst to panicking politicians into "something must be done". Then they sit tight and await the bombs and aid. Already the Albanian publicity machine in Macedonia's Tetovo is depicting the local Albanians as victims of a Fascist Slav regime. Albanian class sizes are 50, they cry, as against 30 for native Macedonians. Give us arms. We must kill them.

This has proved too crude even for Lord Robertson. He is finally doing what was inevitable from the moment he first went to the Balkans. He has had to acknowledge the reality of Serb power. He has allowed the Yugoslav Army back into the border regions round Kosovo and Macedonia. He will eventually have to permit Yugoslav troops to do what he has failed to do, which is defend Serb enclaves and historic sites within Kosovo. Meanwhile, having supported the KLA to the hilt, he now feels he must support the (pro-Serb) Skopje Government against the KLA's proxies in northern Macedonia.

This madcap adventure thus approaches its denouement. Nato's intervention will have partitioned the whole of former Yugoslavia on ethnic lines. It will have left a patchwork of insecure statelets as mafia fiefdoms or UN colonies (or both). Not content with this, the most powerful military force in the world will find itself having supported every side in a series of petty civil wars, which seem destined to roll everlastingly round the Balkans. Slobodan Milosevic was not the destabiliser of this region. That title belongs to Nato.

Rather than leave local civil conflicts to burn themselves out, Nato and its cheerleaders on the British Left are still pouring guns, money and threats of "decisive action" into this theatre. I sometimes think that Lord Robertson will not stop until the Balkans are ablaze from the Adriatic to Istanbul. The only hope is that President Bush has more sense. His Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said last week: "We went in together and we will come out together."

Tomorrow, please.

West struggles to contain monster of its own making
Underestimated ethnic Albanian nationalism raises fears of new war
Rory Carroll in Pristina
Guardian Monday March 12, 2001
High above Kosovo's broken cities, mules laden with rocket launchers, mines and machine guns clank through forests of oak, led by men in black. The snow is melting and the knee-high mud will soon harden, heralding the traditional fighting season on the mountainous border with Macedonia. The National Liberation Army did not feel like waiting. Its automatic weapons chatter nightly and mortars crump in reply. Refugees flee by day, their tractors churning into the valleys pulling trailers of wide-eyed infants. The shepherds from the village of Debelde, a collection of ramshackle houses, have stayed with their flocks. They gaze in awe as gleaming A-64 Apache helicopters descend and they offer tea to the US soldiers who emerge.

The guerrillas who attack Macedonian troops slip back into Kosovo to change from black uniforms into civilian clothes. They know Debelde well. To the Americans' dismay, the people of Debelde affect to know them not at all. "It is a mystery to me. I do not know who these men are. I never set eyes on them," says Misin Ferrati, 55. Of the more than 1,000 refugees who fled last week, not one is known to have helped identify the guerrillas. Here, ethnic Albanian nationalism runs deep. In just two weeks and with fewer than 300 men, the self-styled National Liberation Army has wrought havoc. Its mine- layers and snipers have killed four Macedonian soldiers, ambushed convoys, threatened the American military and pinned down government ministers.

Twenty miles east, on Kosovo's border with Serbia, another group of ethnic Albanian guerrillas have been attacking Serb forces in the Presevo valley for the past year. These are two fronts in an ultra-nationalist attempt to destabilise the Balkans, with the apparent aim of extending Kosovo's territory. The fuse that has been lit may yet ignite a conflagration. The fault lines of imperfect peace deals are already showing, as ethnic groups rediscover their dissatisfaction with the existing borders. The west is stunned. Balkan nightmares were supposed to have ended with the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav president's quest for a greater Serbia in ashes after four failed wars. He lost the last in 1999 after Nato intervened to defend Kosovo's ethnic Albanians: a triumph for which they wept in gratitude. Now comes the twist: Albanian nationalist militants are stirring ethnic rivalries in a quest for a greater Kosovo. The liberated victims have become the villains.

"Betrayal does not come close. They have spat in our faces," said a German officer with K-For, Nato's peacekeeping force. In Washington and London, and in the offices of Nato and the UN in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, one question predominates: Have we created a monster? Something went very wrong and we are trying very hard to figure out where. There is a feeling that we incubated this thing," says one American UN official. Many agree that the west fundamentally misunderstood the threat of Albanian nationalism. A series of errors, tactical and strategic, are blamed for allowing a small minority of Kosovans to seize the agenda. A recent press conference descended into slapstick when the UN spokesman, Sunil Narula, staggered from one contradiction to another trying to explain who was doing what to contain the insurgencies.

K-For intelligence officers say they face a Frankenstein-like movement, composed of different parts; it is powerful but not very bright. The guerrillas in Macedonia are mostly locals who served in the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army. Its Albanian acronym UCK, is the same as the National Liberation Army. They are said to want to annex the north and west of Macedonia, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians. By provoking a Macedonian over-reaction - which has yet to happen - the rebels hope to radicalise the ethnic Albanians, who form almost a third of the former Yugoslav republic's 2m population but complain of suffering discrimination at the hands of the Slav majority. However, in recent statements the guerrillas said they wanted only equal rights in a reformed Macedonia. Talk of annexation, they said, was humbug perpetuated by Skopje to distract from its record on civil rights.

To the east, in the Presevo valley, its sister organisation, the UCPMB, has up to 2,000 fighters in the three-mile buffer zone set up between Kosovo and Serbia after the 1999 war. They have mined, shot and mortared Serb forces, killing 34. This group wants the boundary changed so that 70,000 ethnic Albanians in Serbia are included in Kosovo. Nato's decision to allow the Yugoslav army back into the zone has, as the extremists expected, outraged Kosovans. "You hear generals talking about giving the extremists a wake-up call, but really it's the other way round," a British officer said. Kosovo's constitutional limbo - it is technically part of Serbia but is a K-For protectorate - has created a vacuum in which frustration flourishes. It is dawning on the rebels that they may have wider support than first realised.

Eric Torch, an aid worker, believes a key mistake made by the west was failing to appreciate the power of ethnic Albanian nationalism. "Albanians trace their lineage to the Illyrans who controlled the territory in the 11th century BC. Underground schools during Milosevic's rule inculcated ethnic hatred into generations," he says. Lirak Celaj smiles when asked if the genie is out of the bottle. An actor who studied in Britain and the director of Pristina's main theatre, he is also an ex-KLA fighter and spokesman. "We will be a problem. We will remain a threat to stability because for us the status quo is unfair," he says. He believes that oppression in Macedonia and southern Serbia requires a violent response because peaceful means have failed.

Until the break up of Yugoslavia 10 years ago the region's ethnic Albanians were in one state. Mr Celaj's family is from Montenegro, his wife is from Macedonia. But unlike Serb nationalists who wanted to reconquer all their historical territory, Mr Celaj rules out unification with Albania, because the state is too backward. For now he will settle for those areas where ethnic Albanians are in a majority today. He cannot believe that the US and Britain have switched allegiance to Belgrade. "I think some European countries may be against us because now we are losing the propaganda battle, but not London and Washington," he says. Moderate Kosovan leaders such as Ibrahim Rugova have condemned the guerrillas for damaging the quest for independence. Mr Celaj is unconcerned, believes independence is inevitable, probably within five years. But despite their thumping endorsement in the municipal elections last October, it is not the moderates who hold the balance of power.

Since the day it arrived K-For has failed to control Kosovo. Its failure to disarm the KLA, protect the Serb minority and build a multi-ethnic society has created a climate in which extremists flourish. For almost a year it ignored intellectuals who urged a crackdown on KLA members who seized assets and set up criminal networks. "Now it's too late, the moderates won the election, but those who smuggle and run the rackets have the real power," one officer serving there admits. Yesterday's Observer reported that the CIA encouraged rebellion in southern Serbia to undermine Milosevic but lost control after his fall. Many Kosovans accuse the UN police force of incompetence and corruption. It has failed to establish the rule of law, allowing gangsters and militants to intimidate at will. A journalist from Koha Dittore, one of the few newspapers to resist such pressure, said freedom of speech was evaporating because of threats and assassinations.

Pristina remains broken: there are powercuts, building facades gape open, and rubbish lies uncollected. Day and night gangs of unemployed young men patrol the main Mother Theresa Street. Those with cash drink in Skifterat, a dingy basement bar where the bouncers are ex-KLA fighters in black berets and combat boots. At a rickety table three friends, Sabit, Besin and Bardh, all in their early 20s, discuss politics. "If the Albanians in Macedonia all rose up tomorrow I'd go down to fight, but until then no way," Sabit says. His friends nod. In fact the guerrillas, e intensely clan-based, are unlikely to trust such outsiders, but Kosovo is a vital supply depot and base. The drinkers here, unusually for Pristina, do not speak English. "No need. We won't need to leave our land again," says Emrush, 31, a chemist. On a napkin he draws a perfect map of his land: A greater Kosovo encompassing chunks of Macedonia and Serbia.

Gen. Westmoreland already answered similar questions, 20 years and one Memorial later. Hopefully, it will not happen this time.

" Let's not start lying to our soldiers and citizens again while playing both sides of the street. Remember, these guys are TERRORISTS and our troops are going over there as PEACEKEEPERS!"

The Reagan Information Interchange, June 1999

David H. Hackworth
June 7, 1999
Some of the same Whiz Kids who helped put our country into the Serbian frying pan are continuing to spin out harebrained schemes, trying to improve on their burnt offering. Sources say these Ivy college airheads are now chewing on the idea that the United States should quietly train, arm and equip the Kosovo Liberation Army. Arming the KLA would be like providing Special Forces demolition training to any remaining members of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh's terrorist gang. In February 1998, Robert Gelbard, Clinton's envoy for Kosovo, said that the KLA "is, without any questions, a terrorist group." Intelligence folks say Gelbard's assessment is dead on the money. The KLA's leadership and ranks are filled with radicals, Islamic crazies and heavy haters who are as responsible as Milosevic's worst thugs for thecatastrophe visited on the tormented people of Yugoslavia.

International cops say the KLA includes global drug dealers and arms smugglers who've been in bed with the Albanian Mafia for years. The lawmen report that profits from these shady deals armed the KLA and financed their guerrilla attacks on the Serbian police, military and the residents of Kosovo - terrorist assaults that along with Serbian brutality certainly helped trigger the shootout in Yugoslavia in the first place. Intelligence reports that some KLA members were trained by international bomber Osama bin Laden's outfit and that radical members of the KLA, which is now trying to pose as a legitimate army, have sworn they'll go down shooting rather than give up their guns.

Recently Croatian General Agim Ceku became the head of the KLA. While with the Croatian Army, his killing skills were spiffed up by the U.S. mercenary group Military Professional Resources Inc. - a rent-an-American-soldier enterprise led by a cash-starved retired U.S. Army four-star general. In 1995, Gen. Ceku was a player in Operation Storm, a covert Clinton-backed and MPRI-trained Croatian military operation that ethnically cleansed 200,000 Serbs from their homes in Croatia, killing thousands of civilians. Since taking over the KLA, Ceku has purged all of its moderates. If a KLA member was a supporter of Ibrahim Rugova, the exiled "president" of Kosovo who for the past decade has pursued a Gandhi-like nonviolence policy in the troubled province, he was toast. Rugova's peaceful approach is not welcomed by a KLA that's into violently overthrowing the Serbia regime in Kosovo.

On the Kosovo battlefield, the KLA has been clobbered by the more heavily armed Serbs in every major fight - even though NATO functioned as its dedicated air force. During the latter phase of the war, the KLA's operations have been reduced to small teams operating as snipers, conducting ambushes and spotting for NATO bombers. These fumbling greenhorns aren't capable of more complex tasks because the KLA is more of a mob than a trained fighting unit. While they have a lot of warm bodies, perhaps as many as 17,000, they have few savvy leaders and their ranks are filled mainly with recruits. Untrained recruits augmented with cutthroats don't make an army. Only well-led, well- trained, well-equipped and well-disciplined soldiers can be molded into effective fighting teams. And this is not done with a wave of a magic wand. It takes about ten years of sweat and hard work to organize, train and field an effective Army from the get-go. Contrary to the Whiz Kids' schemes and dreams, there's no such thing as an instant army. Short-term solutions frequently backfire. U.S. Marines and U.S. Army soldiers who'll walk the dangerous peacekeeping beat in Kosovo shouldn't have American-trained-and-armed terrorists attacking them from the shadows.

Once again, as with the 1990s Afghanistan War, we may find ourselves relearning the hard lesson that yesterday's freedom fighters can easily become tomorrow's terrorists. America has a long history of training and arming the Manuel Noriegas and Saddam Husseins only to have their soldiers kill ours when they're no longer our favorite thugs. So the civilian lap top commandos must stop playing Oliver North and give up on the wrongheaded idea of supporting the KLA on the sly. Secret armies composed of wild-eyed thugs and idealistic kids don't work. The KLA must be disarmed, or American peacekeepers will pay a price in the minefields of Kosovo.

Danger - KLA in the USA
"Backing the KLA is simply insane," Levine protests. Levine, a highly decorated former undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told THE NEW AMERICAN,"My contacts within the DEA are quite frankly terrified, but there's not much they can say without risking their jobs. These guys [the KLA] have a network that's active on the streets of this country... They're the worst elements of society that you can imagine, and now, according to my sources in drug enforcement, THEY'RE POLITICALLY PROTECTED." W.M.Grigg, May 24, 1999

"Many reports in the past have mentioned the covert forces involved with the KLA. For example, on July 15, 1998, PBS Newshour reported that U.S. Vietnam War veterans were training KLA mercenaries in Albania."

" MPRI sub-contracted some of the training programme to two British private security companies, ensuring that between 1998 and June 1999 the KLA was being armed, trained and assisted in Italy, Turkey, Kosovo and Germany by the Americans, the German external intelligence service and former and serving members of Britain's 22 SAS Regiment. "
Private US firm training both sides in Balkans

"AMERICAN intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army before Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia. The disclosure angered some European diplomats, who said this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians. Central Intelligence Agency officers were cease-fire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police."

Tom Walker and Aidan Laverty,'Sunday Times', London Dec 03, 2000

Defenselink, September 1995
Memorandum for correspondents September 5, 1995
Approximately 150 U.S. and 150 Albanian soldiers will participate in a combined peacekeeping exercise September 11-21, 1995, near Durres, Albania. The U.S. 82nd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, headquartered in Bamberg, Germany, and the Albanian Shijaku Division, headquartered in Shijaku, Albania, will conduct the 10-day exercise called Peaceful Eagle 95. The bilateral exercise is being conducted in the spirit of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. The units will work toward improving peacekeeping operations in a cooperative U.S.-Albanian effort. They will conduct realistic individual and small unit training in peacekeeping-related tasks, while seeking a better understanding of the challenges in performing multinational operations.

Peaceful Eagle 95 is designed to foster cooperation between the U.S. and Albania. Soldiers will train in a variety of peacekeeping tasks, including escorting humanitarian convoys, establishing and operating a checkpoint, establishing and operating observation posts, route security, establishing and operating a combined mobile checkpoint, and securing a fixed site. Albanian soldiers will also act as role players for various exercise scenarios. U.S. and Albanian soldiers will train side-by-side during most of the operations.

U.S. and Albanian translators will be used during the exercise. Since August 1994, U.S. and Albanian soldiers met regularly to plan the exercise. U.S. Army Colonel M. Stephen Rhoades and Albanian Army Colonel Spiro Proko will jointly command the exercise. For more information, contact the U.S. Army Europe public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-6647

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