Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Analysis: The limits of air power
More than 30,000 sorties flown against Yugoslavia
By Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus
Nato's air campaign appears to have achieved a historic victory, at least in military terms.
But this was not a victory for air power alone.
From the outset of this campaign even many of Nato's principal commanders worried that their political masters had given them an impossible task.
They were confident that alliance air power could inflict terrible damage on Yugoslav forces in Kosovo and against Yugoslavia's strategic infrastructure.
But they were sceptical that air power alone could force the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from the province.
Pressure for ground troops
Nato's campaign against strategic targets in Yugoslavia proved highly effective, although a small number of weapons inevitably went astray killing civilians, a factor that strained the alliance's cohesion.
But Nato also claims to have done serious damage to Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, especially during the last week.
Here of course air power found itself operating, if not in concert, then at least in parallel with units on the ground.
For it was the Kosovo Liberation Army's offensive that forced Yugoslav troops out of their hiding places.
And as they organised themselves to combat the KLA they became easy targets for Nato warplanes.
This provided the backdrop giving the European and Russian envoys' diplomatic efforts added weight.
Nato may have been increasingly war weary, but it showed no sign of relenting. And the indictment of the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic as a suspected war criminal may have turned the balance in favour of a deal.
For this indictment probably ruled out any chance of a murky compromise being reached between Nato and Belgrade.