Kosovo - Operation Roots
The origins of the KLA are a bit murky. Some say it was founded in 1993. Others put the organization's beginnings in 1996. In late 1997 and early 1998, there was a sudden shift. The KLA went through a "rapid and startling growth," according to a report in the April 25, 1998, New York Times. Foreign mercenaries, money and arms started to pour in to the KLA. The erstwhile KLA bands were quickly overwhelmed by an influx of mercenaries coming from Germany and the United States, who quickly took over command. It took a year before a representative from Kosovo could be produced to represent the KLA publicly. The new KLA began serious military operations-not only killing isolated Albanian and Serbian individuals but attacking government buildings and police stations. This open warfare could only be stopped by strong police measures. But when the government forces responded, the U.S. and NATO powers accused them of repression.
In July 1998, PBS Newshour reported that U.S. Vietnam War veterans were training KLA mercenaries in Albania. Jane's Defense Weekly reported 20 April 1999: "Special forces involvement confirmed." The report also said that that special units from Britain, the United States, France "and other NATO groups" were working undercover in Kosovo. The 18 April 1999 London Sunday Telegraph reported that SAS, a unit of the British special forces, was running two KLA training camps near Tirana, the Albanian capital. The same report said that the KLA also has contact with the Virginia-based MPRI, a corporate supplier of mercenaries set up by top US military officers. MPRI also trained the Croatian Army that carried out a vicious campaign against Serbs in 1995.
The Intelligence Newsletter reported [Intelligence Newsletter, April 18, 1999, www.indigo-net.com] shortly after the NATO bombing began on March 24, 1999: "Sources close to the German intelligence agencies say the áCIA and BND [Germany's spy organization, the Federal áInformation Service] are both working to provide support for the Kosovo Liberation Army through a series of front ácompanies located mainly in Germany. The companies are used áto pump money into accounts in Switzerland held by Albanian ásympathizers. In the field, KLA guerrillas are armed chiefly with light weapons that the CIA has drawn from stocks accumulated ácovertly in Albania."
The Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus -- Party of Democratic Socialism, was formerly the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands--SED - the ruling Communist Party of East Germany. The PDSpublished on their parliamentary website a statement concerning the Balkan war from April 7, 1999 which was said to originate from "an insider at the government's offices in Bonn, Germany." Normally Soviet disinformation initiatives would have taken a more plausible and readily deniable outlet, and this story, while amusing, was not widely picked up outside the fellow-traveler community.
It was claimed the letter was handed over to a Catholic priest by someone wishing to remain anonymous, but who holds a "confidential and high position". The author of the letter claimed that German and US military units were active on the ground in Kosovo as part of a continuing plan to destabilise Yugoslavia. "Their task is to mark targets. Furthermore NATO officers function as communication commandos for the KLA. The necessary contacts were established when the US and German officers abused their mission as OSCE observers before the NATO attacks."
The letter's author said that the German government "knew from the very beginning that no Yugoslav government could ever sign the occupation-dictate as written in articles 6, 8 and 10, annex B of the Rambouillet papers. Both understood clearly that this would mean the end of Yugoslavia as a sovereign state. Therefore war was the only outcome possible. Experts of the Justice Department doctored the lines that would give NATO the rights of a medieval knight in the whole of Yugoslavia."
The CIA was said to have been covertly preparing for such a war in an operation codenamed "Roots". Its aim was to break up Yugoslavia by "disengaging Kosovo, Montenegro and the Vojvodina". The letter's author said "Since the beginning of Clinton's presidency, the USA has worked closely together with Germany under the codename 'Roots'," the letter states. "This covert action is planned by the CIA and DIA, a joint office of the Pentagon and the CIA supported by the German secret service, in order to destabilise Yugoslavia, which is the last resisting force in the Balkans."
The objective of operation "Roots" was described as "the separation of Kosovo by means of autonomy, independence or becoming part of Albania, the separation of Montenegro as the last means of access to the Mediterranean and the separation of the Vojvodina, which is the area for the majority of Yugoslavia's food-supplies.
"This will lead to the total collapse of Yugoslavia as a viable independent state. The trigger for this action is the fear of Germany and the USA that Yugoslavia will ally itself with Russia and other former Soviet states the moment that [Russian President] Yeltsin is replaced by Communist and nationalist forces in the near future."
The CIA funded the KLA, the anonymous author wrote, in order to prevent a peaceful solution in Kosovo. "This organisation is based on the powers of the Albanian Mafia, that still controls mountain villages in the border area of Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania. Their source of income is drug trafficking, smuggling, extortion etc, and the Codex of blood-revenge still applies. "Their weaponry was obtained during the civil war in Albania. Peaceful settlement between Serbs and Albanians became difficult due to ambushes by the KLA against Yugoslav police units. The civilian population was used as a human shield.
"These actions were stepped up after a new meeting between [moderate Albanian Kosovar leader] Rugova and Milosevic in 1998... In the same period of time Montenegro received immense investments from European and American companies in the tourist industry. So-called 'pro-western' private radio stations were established and NATO-friendly politicians supported. This resulted in the present situation that about half of the population supports the NATO-friendly government.
"In the Vojvodina, the influence of the new NATO-member Hungary came into play. Anti-Serb feelings amongst minority groups like Hungarians, Romanians and Croatians were given voice by small radio stations at the border in an attempt to raise resistance against Belgrade."
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|