Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Analysis: Nato's military options
Massacres of ethnic Albanians raised tensions
By Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus
The mood within the Atlantic Alliance has hardened in the wake of the news of indiscriminate killings of civilians, attributed to the Yugoslav government forces.
Nato knows it cannot keep threatening without taking action.
Mr Milosevic understands the Alliance's reluctance to act and has called their bluff.
What is far from clear is whether he understands the detailed dynamics within the western coalition which may make air action by Nato inevitable if the Serbian offensive in Kosovo is not halted.
Emotions play their part
The latest killings of unarmed civilians have given a renewed emotional element to the crisis in Kosovo, which Nato governments may not be able to ignore.
If there is no let-up in the fighting, Nato may act swiftly.
Long lines of tanks have been filmed returning to barracks. Nato is watching these developments on a day-to-day basis but Nato insiders fear that while some troops are being withdrawn, others are moving in to take their place.
If the Alliance was forced to act, what would it do?
Air action - possibly backed up by cruise missile strikes - would be the preferred option. Several countries have indicated their willingness to contribute aircraft for such a mission.
What's the target?
Defining the pilots' exact task is no easy matter.
It knows from bitter experience in Bosnia pin-prick attacks are next to worthless and missiles cannot tell a war criminal from an innocent infantryman or a civilian.
It must pitch the level of force at just the right amount needed to warn off Mr Milosevic's forces.
Command centres, supply dumps, even armoured formations might be hit but any attacks would have to be preceded by an onslaught against the Serbian forces' ground-to-air missile systems.
Doing anything may require a significant number of warplanes.
This is the most difficult question facing the alliance. The goal is not to punish Mr Milosevic, but to bring about a swift ceasefire to enable thousands of refugees to return to their homes before the onset of the worst of the winter weather.
How bombing will achieve this is by no means clear.