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This report examines the reasons Slobodan Milosevic, the then president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, decided on June 3, 1999, to accept NATO's conditions for terminating the conflict over Kosovo. Drawing in part upon the testimony of Milosevic and other senior Serb and foreign officials who directly interacted with Milosevic, the report analyzes (1) the assumptions and other calculations that underlay Milosevic's initial decision to defy NATO's demands with regard to Kosovo, and (2) the political, economic, and military developments and pressures, and the resulting expectations and concerns that most importantly influenced his subsequent decision to come to terms. While several interrelated factors, including Moscow's eventual endorsement of NATO's terms, helped shape Milosevic's decision to yield, it was the cumulative effect of NATO air power that proved most decisive. The allied bombing of Serbia's infrastructure targets, as it intensified, stimulated a growing interest among both the Serbian public and Belgrade officials to end the conflict. Milosevic's belief that the bombing that would follow a rejection of NATO's June 2 peace terms would be massively destructive and threatening to his continued rule made a settlement seem imperative. Also examined are some implications for future U.S. and allied military capabilities and operations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Part I

    Why Milosevic Didn't Settle Earlier

    • Chapter Two

      He Assumed Accepting Rambouillet Terms Would Endanger His Rule

    • Chapter Three

      He Assumed He Could Force NATO to Offer Better Terms

  • Part II

    Why Milosevic Decided to Settle on June 3

    • Chapter Four

      He Realized That His Hoped-For Leverage on NATO Had Evaporated

    • Chapter Five

      Bombing Produced a Popular Climate Conducive to Concessions

    • Chapter Six

      Damage to "Dual-Use" Infrastructure Generated Growing Pressure

    • Chapter Seven

      Damage to Military Forces and KLA "Resurgence" Generated Little Pressure

    • Chapter Eight

      He Expected Unconstrained Bombing If NATO's Terms Were Rejected

    • Chapter Nine

      He Probably Also Worried About Threat of Future Invasion

    • Chapter Ten

      He Believed NATO's Terms Provided Him with Some Political Cover

  • Part III

    Concluding Observations

    • Chapter Eleven

      Concluding Observations

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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