Doubts over British army Kosovo readiness

Monday, 3 January, 2000

Official British army documents obtained by the BBC point to serious shortcomings in command and communications arrangements within the NATO-led operation in Kosovo.

The two reports -- written by senior commanders who were among the first NATO troops to enter the province last year -- suggest that much of the communications equipment issued to British troops did not work properly.

There were also problems with some machine-guns.

Some of the most serious criticism comes from the brigadier who led the advance on the Kosovo capital, Pristina, who says that orders from the overall KFOR headquarters were often inadequate and lacked detail.

The BBC Defence correspondent says the reports raise questions about how well NATO ground troops would have fared if Serb forces had resisted their entry into Kosovo. The Ministry of Defence in London has said it's confident a land campaign in Kosovo would have been successful, if it had been necessary.

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