Clinton Plans To Weaken
Milosevic With Computer Hackers?
WASHINGTON - A Newseek magazine report says U.S. President Bill Clinton has approved a top-secret plan to destabilize Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic.
Washington is planning to use computer hackers to attack his foreign bank accounts as part of a sabotage campaign to erode public support for Milosevic.
According to the report, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency would train ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo in the art of sabotage to tap into Milosevic accounts and cut off telephone lines.
The latest news comes as the NATO air war against Yugoslavia enters its third month. As bombing continues, the alliance is admitting that Belgrade, far from withdrawing forces from Kosovo as the West has demanded, is sending in fresh troops.
Although U.S. and NATO leaders say the campaign is wearing down Milosevic, the alliance continues to be divided over whether to send in ground forces to finish the job.
NATO ambassadors will meet this week to talk about nearly doubling the number of troops in the Balkans. The British government says the alliance is considering putting 40,000 to 50,000 troops on standby. They would be sent on a peacekeeping mission to help refugees return home once the war has ended.
"We need to be ready to go in and take the refuges home as soon as the military tell us it is appropriate and safe to do so," says British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.
But Yugoslavia rejected the idea again Sunday, saying it will accept only a UN peacekeeping force.
The latest plan comes from Washington. Clinton wants to add to the ground troops already in Macedonia, increasing their number to 50,000. But sending in ground troops is proving to be a hard sell in Washington. The Republicans say they do not support the idea. So on Sunday, Clinton wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times defending a NATO-led peacekeeping force.
Taking advantage of better weather, NATO warplanes struck hard at Yugoslav power plants over the weekend. Belgrade was plunged into darkness, and millions of people are trying to cope without heat and electricity in Serbia.