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German troops 'hid like rabbits' in Kosovo riots
The Sunday Telegraph UK ^ | 09/05/2004

Posted on 05/08/2004 8:37:45 PM PDT by elfman2

German troops serving with the Kfor international peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo have been accused of hiding in barracks "like frightened rabbits" during the inter-ethnic rioting that erupted in the province in March.

A hard-hitting German police report sent to the Berlin government last week criticises the troops for cowardice and for their failure to quell the rioting in which 19 people died and about 900 others were injured.

The charges - the most serious made against the German army since the Second World War - have been levelled by police officers serving with Unmik, the United Nations civil administration in Kosovo.

During the two-day riots between Albanian and Serbs, an Albanian mob burnt and looted 29 Serb churches and monasteries in the southern city of Prizren, and caused several thousand Serbs to flee their homes.

Leaked excerpts from the report on the conduct of the 3,600-strong German contingent based in Prizren disclose that Unmik police were left to fend for themselves at the height of the rioting.

"Despite continuous appeals for help from Kfor, nobody from the military appeared to back up the police," the report said. "Kfor proved to be incapable of carrying out the duties to which it has been assigned."

Further damning evidence, based on interviews with Unmik officers, Serb church leaders and unnamed UN officials in Prizren, was published in Der Spiegel magazine.

The magazine concluded: "The German soldiers ran away and hid like frightened rabbits in their barracks. They only reappeared in armoured vehicles after the Albanian mob had wreaked its havoc and left a trail of destruction."

Col Dieter Hintelmann, who heads the German Kfor contingent in Prizren, insisted that his men had simply obeyed Kfor rules of engagement. They prohibit troops from protecting buildings and allow the use of firearms only in self-defence. "We were acting exactly according to the rules," he said.

However, the Unmik officers claim that the Kfor troops had breached their rules of engagement because they failed to protect them even though they were legally bound to do so.

The allegations have come as a severe embarrassment to Gerhard Schroder's government, which in the past has gone out of its way to praise the German Kfor contingent for the role it played in the troubled province through its excellent contacts with local people.

After the rioting, Serb Orthodox church leaders in Kosovo described the German deployment in the region as a mistake, and demanded the troops withdraw.

So far, the German government has refused to acknowledge publicly the complaints made in the police report. However, the defence ministry is believed to be recommending that the law be changed, allowing soldiers to use tear gas grenades for riot control.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany
KEYWORDS: balkans; germantroops; kfor
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To: elfman2
Col Dieter Hintelmann, who heads the German Kfor contingent in Prizren, insisted that his men had simply obeyed Kfor rules of engagement. They prohibit troops from protecting buildings and allow the use of firearms only in self-defence. "We were acting exactly according to the rules," he said.

Kfor rules or german rules? I can not belive that the Kfor is prohibited from acting in such a situation - if so, then their presence in Kosovo is a waste of time and money.

51 posted on 05/09/2004 6:00:08 AM PDT by An.American.Expatriate (A vote for JF'nK is a vote for Peace in our Time!)
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To: Destro
Interesting. It seems that Hoplite has gone silent. Could it be post #40 that did it?
52 posted on 05/09/2004 6:07:23 AM PDT by macrahanish #1
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To: An.American.Expatriate
"...insisted that his men had simply obeyed Kfor rules of engagement"

There are no special "german" KFOR rules.

...and there`s lot you won`t believe.

Hun
53 posted on 05/09/2004 6:32:56 AM PDT by Hun in the sun
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To: Hun in the sun
Care to enlighten me then?
54 posted on 05/09/2004 7:24:00 AM PDT by An.American.Expatriate (A vote for JF'nK is a vote for Peace in our Time!)
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To: elfman2
It sure ain't the Wermacht your grand daddy fought...
55 posted on 05/09/2004 7:28:55 AM PDT by IGOTMINE ("By God, I pity those poor bastards we're going up against. By God I do.")
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To: macrahanish #1
It seems he forgot or that I forgot about that "escape" see his #39.
56 posted on 05/09/2004 10:09:27 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
We didn't let Florim Ejupi walk out, Destro. He escaped.

His three suspected accomplices were let go due to the lack of evidence against them after Ejupi's escape.

Words mean distinct things, Destro, and you have a habit of misrepresenting the facts when you attempt to use them.

Hey what happened to that Albanian terrorist that the Americans let walk out of Camp BondSteel?

Gibberish.

Capisce?

57 posted on 05/09/2004 10:19:31 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite; macrahanish #1
The terrorist escaped from Camp Bondsteel? Is the American military that incompetant? Why was no one court martialed? macrahanish #1 laughs at you as do I.

"My opinion is he did not escape," said Detective Stu Kellock, former head of the United Nations Kosovo Mission´s regional serious crime squad. "I thought a prisoner could not just walk away from Bondsteel. In my opinion he was taken elsewhere for questioning or something and I still do not understand why we, the police in the investigation who held jurisdiction, were not involved."

UN sources believe the suspect, Florim Ejupi, who was wearing a bright orange prison uniform when he vanished and was said to have cut his way through four sets of barbed wire fences with a simple tool, had been working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His trial would have been a serious embarrassment, they claim.

58 posted on 05/09/2004 10:31:46 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Sh*t happens, Destro, and not everything needs a conspiracy theory to have a valid explanation.

"suspect" & "believe" may be good enough for you, especially if it involves trashing the US military or other government agencies, but then that's just another reason for you to free yourself of the onerous burden of having such an incompetent set of federal employees and trading up to the Serbian models, isn't it?

59 posted on 05/09/2004 10:57:22 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Not my theory - Detective Stu Kellock, former head of the United Nations Kosovo Mission´s regional serious crime squad's theory!!!!

C.S.I. M*th*rF*ck*r!!!

60 posted on 05/09/2004 11:02:04 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Opinion, theory, whatever.

So long as it trashes America in the Balkans, it's Destro's gospel.

Serbia awaits you.

61 posted on 05/09/2004 11:12:59 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Those damn detectives and their detecting!!
62 posted on 05/09/2004 11:20:30 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Guillermo
If it were not for the US white christians in serbia would not fear for their lives from the muslim horde who burn their churches, rape their women, murder their families and policemen, etc, etc.
This alone proves President Bush is not serious about the war on terrorism and leaves me very disappointed in the man.
63 posted on 05/09/2004 11:21:28 AM PDT by winodog
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To: Hoplite
Golden Jubilee: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Detective Stu Kellock (Chair), former head of the United Nations Kosovo Mission´s regional serious crime squad.

64 posted on 05/09/2004 11:23:58 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
These damn anti-American posters and their anti-American cheerleading.

Serbia awaits them.

65 posted on 05/09/2004 11:30:02 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
That was bill clintons and halfbrights war. It was started to keep bills tresonous acts off the front page. There was no good reason to go there and murder christian women and children by dropping bombs on the infrastructure when we realized we could not beat their armed forces.
I was ashamed to be american for the first time in my life. We condone the muslim terrorists by staying there while they are at war against us. It is pitiful.
66 posted on 05/09/2004 11:36:42 AM PDT by winodog
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To: Hoplite
A very dirty little war

At the site of the explosion on the day the bomb went off, Detective Stu Kellock, the squad's Canadian chief, had asked that UNMIK put a dedicated task force together to work on the investigation, as would have been done in any western country. That request and subsequent ones were ignored.

"It was obvious right from the start that there were other agendas going on that the police didn't know about," Kellock says. "Technically we were in charge of the investigation but it never seemed that way. Intelligence about the suspects was denied to us. Information was withheld by Kfor. We were always the last to be told what was going on. From the word go, I got a very sinister feeling about the whole thing."

The police claim that as soon as the four suspects were transferred to UNMIK detention centres in Kosovo, some 12 hours after their initial arrest by the British, a UN order restricted police interviews of the men. Indeed, Kellock never personally managed to get access to a single interview with the prisoners.

Another Canadian serious crimes officer, Joe McAllister, recalls: "We were told, 'These are the suspects - question them'. Yet we had no information upon which to base our questioning, nor any direction, and anyway we couldn't get proper access to the prisoners." By early May the suspects were no longer in UNMIK custody, and the conspiracy theories were about to become legend.

Apparently haunted by the possibility of the suspects' escaping, the UN ordered their transfer to the most secure detention area in the province: the jail inside the American base at Camp Bondsteel. The camp was home to more than 5,000 US soldiers; in its detention facility, suspects languished in Guantanamo Bay-style fluorescent orange suits, surrounded by concertina rolls of razor wire, floodlights and watchtowers.

The suspects were transferred to Bondsteel on May 3. But a year ago, on the night of May 14, Florim Ejupi, the most unsophisticated suspect and the one man against whom physical evidence existed, "disappeared" from the camp.

ACCORDING to Cele Gashi, the four suspects had been kept together in a central holding area in Bondsteel - a move that allowed the prisoners free association and itself stymied evidence procedures. Late in the evening of May 14, Gashi, Behluli and Veliu drifted off to sleep while Ejupi remained awake, listening to a radio. The next thing Gashi says he remembers is American soldiers bursting into the compound shortly after 4am. Ejupi was gone, and his transistor radio lay on his empty bed.

The Americans later said that he had escaped using a pair of wire cutters hidden in a spinach pie sent to the prison by his family. They say crucial floodlights were faulty, and there are claims that an inexperienced National Guard unit had left a stretch of perimeter wire unobserved for 100 minutes.

Soon, though, outraged UNMIK police officers were offering a different story. They claim that from the moment the four suspects were transferred to camp Bondsteel, interview access, already difficult, was further obstructed by the Americans.

Some officers go on to claim that Ejupi had been a source for US intelligence. They believe that Ejupi was released from Bondsteel either because US intelligence agencies did not wish to be implicated by association in the bombing of the Nis Express, or because they wanted to establish the identities of the men who authorised the bomb attack to use for their own ends. Both escape and conspiracy theories challenge belief. "It's not clear cut either way," one senior UNMIK official admits. "We really don't know what happened with Ejupi. It is possible that he was released, but if that was the case then it was the act of an agency operating without State Department or Pentagon approval. In the big picture the Americans had far more to lose than to gain from the 'disappearance', however it happened."

WHATEVER the real truth, news of Ejupi's flight further crushed morale among the police investigators. Kellock says: "I would use the word 'devastating'. It called into question the whole reason why we were in Kosovo, and any questions we had concerning Ejupi's escape remain to this day unanswered. From that moment on, the writing was on the wall for our investigation."

Though three suspects, Gashi, Behluli and Veliu, remained in custody, this was of scant consolation to the police. They say that they had no wiretaps or covert surveillance to monitor associates of the prisoners. Witnesses were afraid to come forward from a society that has traditionally been impenetrable for law enforcers. Nato continued to withold its intelligence. And human rights groups in the UN and OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) ensured that the suspects' rights were so rigorously upheld that the few police interviews conducted were heavily restricted.

The investigation was already being scaled down. In the absence of a dedicated taskforce, the 18-strong serious crimes squad was having to divert its resources to other crimes. By midsummer there were only three detectives still involved with the case. And a high turnover of UN personnel meant that few of the original investigators remained.

McAllister took over the job of lead investigator in June, but was removed from the post by the UN in August for speaking to a journalist about his frustrations. After his departure the file on the Nis Express became the responsibility of a single detective, and the investigation all but ceased.

Paradoxically, this was the one time when the UN should have poured resources into spreading the scope of the investigation. The presence of the remaining three suspects in custody was becoming a legal embarrassment.

Their continued detention was the result of an Executive Hold order by Hans Haekkerup, the senior UN administrator in Kosovo; this was a special circumstances option that allowed for an extra-judicial detention, but was increasingly coming under criticism by human rights groups.

In the autumn, UNMIK created a Detention Review Commission of three international judges to examine the case, validate (if appropriate) Haekkerup's Executive Hold order and return the suspects' detention to a judicial framework.

The three judges were given access to the Nato intelligence that lay behind the arrests. In September, 2001, they decided that the intelligence was compelling enough to allow for the suspects' continued detention of 90 days before the case went to Kosovo's Supreme Court.

The onus, therefore, was on the police to produce more evidence to put before the Supreme Court. Yet their investigation was already dead in the water and no attempt was made to revive it. The 90 days expired and, on December 18 last year, the case went before the Supreme Court. This body was not given access to Nato's intelligence files, and in the absence of any fresh evidence, it recommended the immediate release of the three suspects.

ANY remaining trust held by Kosovo's Serbs in UNMIK, Kfor or justice in the province disintegrated after the men were set free. The trio, still terrorist suspects in an unclosed case, were given local heroes' welcomes after they left jail. Cele Gashi and Jusuf Veliu were embraced publicly by senior TMK officers. In January, Gashi returned to his position as a TMK colonel in Pristina; Veliu was reinstated as a TMK captain. Nato officials in Kosovo denied that this move had been officially sanctioned. Yet six weeks later both men were in barracks and in uniform.

In UNMIK there is confusion as to whether Gashi and Veliu were ever even suspended from the TMK in the first place, some officials even suggesting that the suspects were being paid out of a UN-regulated budget during their time in custody.

As for Florim Ejupi, he remains "missing"; after a year, the mystery surrounding his escape remains undiminished.

What the acronyms mean

KLA: Kosovo Liberation Army. Albanian resistance organisation, now undergoing demilitarisation.

TMK: Kosovo Protection Corps, created in 1999 under the aegis of Nato and the UN after Serb withdrawl from Kosovo. Its 5,000 members are all former KLA fighters.

Kfor: The Nato-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

UNMIK: United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo: a civilian law enforcement unit.

67 posted on 05/09/2004 11:36:42 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: elfman2
[ A hard-hitting German police report sent to the Berlin government last week criticises the troops for cowardice and for their failure to quell the rioting in which 19 people died and about 900 others were injured. ]

Hitler must have really cleaned out the gene pool in Germany.

68 posted on 05/09/2004 11:39:05 AM PDT by hosepipe
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To: Destro
Have you ever considered excerpting?

It would make you appear that much less scatterbrained - what exactly in that article provides any proof as to your assertions?

It is as I stated - "suspect" & "believe" may be good enough for you, especially if it involves trashing the US military or other government agencies.

69 posted on 05/09/2004 11:50:59 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Especially if to comes from distinguished officers. And youknow what? If a terrorist prisoner "escapes" under maximun security conditions the US military or other government agencies deserve trashing.

70 posted on 05/09/2004 11:53:56 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: hosepipe
Hitler would approve of the military's performance - the Germans are not cowards just allies to Muslim Albanians who served with their granfathers in the SS to kill Jews and Serbs. Why would the Germans stop their Albanian allies from carrying out their "final solution" of the Serbian problem?

71 posted on 05/09/2004 11:57:21 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
And you're just the kid to do it.

Serbia awaits you.

72 posted on 05/09/2004 11:57:30 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Destro belongs at DU.
73 posted on 05/09/2004 12:03:19 PM PDT by John Lenin (FR has been invaded by the enemy)
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To: Malesherbes
C'mon. Going to war without the all-important French is like going deer hunting without the all-important accordion.

And we all know that John F. Kerry goes deer hunting--with his exquisite high-dollar accordion. Being a liberal, he doesn't consider himself entitled to a gun.

For the record, he hasn't managed to bag so much as one doe in all these years! Such has been his level of success.

(intended as satire, but probably true!)
74 posted on 05/09/2004 12:08:27 PM PDT by dufekin (John F. Kerry. Irrational, improvident, backward, seditious.)
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To: John Lenin; Hoplite
Look at what our Albanian Muslim allies have done! The FBI analysts also found indications that whoever left the fingerprint on the bag involved in the Madrid bombings had some connection to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, where international Islamic extremists have been active.

Tell me again who belongs at DU? I or someone like you who supports Clinton's Kosovo mission - Kosovo - a land of al-Qaeda that NATO does nothing about - that NATO helped root there.

75 posted on 05/09/2004 2:16:36 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Find one post by me where I supported the Kosovo mission ? You are losing it pal.
76 posted on 05/09/2004 2:20:41 PM PDT by John Lenin (FR has been invaded by the enemy)
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To: John Lenin
So how am I a DU guy then? What have I said that would make you think that? Because I said the US military sided with al-Qaeda Muslims in Kosovo and looks the other way when the Albanians still kill Serbs? Prove me wrong! Explain to me how a Muslim terrorist walked out of Camp Bondsteel? Why the US hindered investigations against Muslims? Prove me wrong.
77 posted on 05/09/2004 2:23:08 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: AuntB
you might like this.
78 posted on 05/09/2004 2:24:39 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: hosepipe
"Hitler must have really cleaned out the gene pool in Germany."

Learn to read a book and links,
Indian killer... /sarcastic/

There are shades of grey between black and white.

Hun
79 posted on 05/09/2004 2:47:13 PM PDT by Hun in the sun
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To: Hun in the sun
[ Learn to read a book and links, Indian killer... /sarcastic/ There are shades of grey between black and white. ]

Huh Hun...

80 posted on 05/09/2004 2:53:51 PM PDT by hosepipe
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To: COEXERJ145
Somewhere Otto von Bismarck is turning in his grave.


I'm sure he's spinning, albeit for other reasons:

"The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier."
Otto v. Bismarck, 1876
81 posted on 05/09/2004 3:22:46 PM PDT by qwertz
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To: Destro
What exactly have they done?

There was a plastic shopping bag, with fingerprints on it, containing 7 detonators and an Islamic tape, in Arabic.

Perhaps the shopping bag was from Rexhep's Pristina Quickie Mart?

Here are the suspects. Perhaps one or more of them were in Kosovo at some time - who knows?

None of them are Kosovar Albanians, but it will still be interesting to see what the connection is once it is explained.

82 posted on 05/09/2004 3:29:56 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: IGOTMINE
It sure ain't the Wermacht your grand daddy fought...
Actually it is.

These present day Germans did the same as their grandfathers.

Stood by as the local Albanians or Croats did their dirty work.

83 posted on 05/09/2004 5:30:23 PM PDT by Right Brigade (I don't have a dog in this hunt)
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To: Hoplite
The FBI analysts also found indications that whoever left the fingerprint on the bag involved in the Madrid bombings had some connection to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, where international Islamic extremists have been active.

For authorities to link finger prints to Kosovo means a record existed of said prints in relation to Kosovo-unless they fingerprint baggers in Kosovo supermarkets. Just like the UN's ICTY had files on a jihadist or two who carried out 9/11 - ICTY files that existed before 9/11.

COuld it be those Muslims "tourists" arrested and released in Kosovo (Algerians? Morrocans?) in the aftermath of 9/11 - you know the ones that hung outside NATO military bases snapping "tourist" pictures.

84 posted on 05/09/2004 11:29:43 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Hoppy just upset because he knows the US will correct the errors made by Kaiser Willie in Kosovo and the KLA will last about 10 minutes after the Serb Army returns.
85 posted on 05/10/2004 7:51:12 AM PDT by FormerLib (Feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm.)
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To: Destro
You are free to speculate, as is your wont.
86 posted on 05/10/2004 10:53:00 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Destro
Serbia awaits you.

I don't notice him sending postcards from Tirana.

87 posted on 05/10/2004 12:51:01 PM PDT by FormerLib (Feja e shqiptarit eshte terorizm.)
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To: Michael81Dus
The Kosovo peacekeeping operation....not a perfect story
88 posted on 05/11/2004 3:49:37 AM PDT by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: MEG33
The last paragraph says that the Defense Ministry wants the ROE to be changed. It all depends on the da-ned ROE!!
89 posted on 05/11/2004 3:54:46 AM PDT by Michael81Dus
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