Major Concern Over
WWWIII Threat In Kosovo


NATO has been accused of a 'cavalier' approach to the Kosovo crisis after it emerged that Britain's Lt-General, Mike Jackson, defied a NATO command because he 'didn't want to start World War III".
Jackson refused to lead an air assault team into Pristina airport to block the Russians at the end of the Kosovo war.
"I'm not going to a start Third World War for you," General Jackson apparently told US commander General Wesley Clark, according to Newsweek magazine.
Clark had allegedly ordered British and French troops to act after the Russians unexpectedly moved in but Jackson rejected the plan.
The row revealed the "perilous" risks of a world war being sparked over Kosovo, according to MPs in Britain.
Alice Mahon, who chairs the Committee for Peace and Stability in the Balkans, claimed it demonstrated how close the conflict came to leading to all-out war with Russia.
The Halifax MP accused allied leaders of treating Russia in a "cavalier" manner over the conflict and said: "There is a macho element within Nato which really frightens me."
She added: "We should never forget Russia has an enormous stockpile of nuclear weapons, the country is not as stable as it should be and they are desperately, desperately worried about their borders."
Shadow defence secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the row added relevance to Conservative calls for an investigation into the Kosovo conflict.
He said: "We already know that Nato's claims of success throughout the conflict were exaggerated, and we're still waiting for the promised report into the actual amount of Serbian heavy equipment destroyed.
"We know that the Serbian army has regrouped in Macedonia, meaning it must still be considered a threat in the Balkans, and now it seems that during the conflict the military top brass couldn't even agree on what direction to take."
According to the magazine, the trouble flared between the two men as soon as the air strikes ended and Gen Jackson became commander on the ground in Kosovo.
Once Jackson refused the order, the American is claimed to have then asked the head of NATO,s southern command, Admiral James Ellis, to place helicopters on the runways to stop Russian transport planes arriving.
However, Admiral Ellis also said no, saying Gen Jackson would not like it, Newsweek reported.
The planes were only prevented from landing after Hungary was persuaded by US officials to refuse them permission to overfly the country.
Both generals turned to their political leaders for backing, but while the British Government backed Gen Jackson, Clark received no support. This essentially meant his command was overruled.
When the American arrived in Kosovo on June 24, he complained to Gen Jackson that his orders were not being followed only to receive an answer which included the comment about the risk of a world war.
News of the rift came just days after US officials announced that Clark, who oversaw the air campaign which achieved its ends without a single casualty, would be stepping down early from his NATO post.