CBSN

Why Don't Strikes Go Downtown?

Military observers around the world, especially those with experience in aerial bombardment, are asking...

Why hasn't the U.S. led air campaign against Serbian dictator Milosevic gone downtown?

In basketball, "downtown" is a shot from faraway, as in "Jordan has hit four in a row from downtown."

In language of warplane aviators, "downtown" is the heart, the central core, of the enemy -- usually a city, most especially a capital city. Why hasn't the U.S. hit those things most important to Milosovic, in and around his homeground, his capital, Belgrade?

Some bombs have hit around Belgrade, but there have been no assaults on Belgrade itself. In the Gulf War, the U.S. lit up Baghdad, repeatedly. In the air campaign against the Serbian dictatorship, Belgrade has not been lit up.

No one is talking about deliberately hitting civilian populations, as was done during World War II.

So, if President Clinton should decide to go downtown against Milosevic, what would be hit?

Well, for example: We could hit Milosevic's military headquarters, his palace, his several homes, the banks that are his chief means of support. Or we could turn the lights out in Belgrade -- hit the city's powergrids. We could turn off the state's chief propaganda arms, the TV and radio stations of Belgrade.

This is not to suggest that these things be done. It is to ask the question publicly that military people, not all of them American, are asking: Against Milosevic and his genocide, why are we not going downtown?