Clear Skies Have NATO Talking Tough

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BELGRADE: With clearer skies over Belgrade at last affording NATO bombers a better view of the ground below, officials are stepping up their campaign against President Milosevic on both the military and public-relations fronts. Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon announced Sunday that the U.S. is sending 24 Apache combat helicopters and 2,000 support troops to Albania to aid NATO's air war against Serb forces in Kosovo. And as the allies' military continued to strike at the Serbs' infrastructure and supply lines in Belgrade (accidentally destroying a civilian heating plant in the process), their p.r. arm insisted that yes, Virginia, this war can be won from above.

Milosevic's forces "are increasingly isolated in the field and running short of fuel and ammunition," said Britain's Armed Forces Minister Doug Henderson on Sunday. British air commodore David Wilby, NATO's military spokesman, predicted that "given another couple days, I think you will see a very real and marked input in the whole result of this conflict." But Wilby also noted that the Yugoslav army in Kosovo, moving westward, was close to cornering the last remnants of the KLA guerrillas -- one more sign that if and when Milosevic finally relents and returns to the negotiating table, he may well arrive having accomplished all he set out to do.

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