Friday, June 11, 1999 Published at 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Ground troops 'may have shortened war'
Sir Charles Guthrie: Air campaign was a success
The earlier consideration of a ground option could have brought the Kosovo crisis to a swifter end, the UK's top soldier tells the BBC.
But he the air campaign had been a significant success.
"I personally think it probably might have made things quicker, I'm not sure, but I do know that this air campaign has worked."
Sir Charles admitted that he had forseen Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic giving in to military pressure earlier than he did - but was ready for a draw-out campaign.
He said: "(Milosovic) hoped that the alliance, given time, would crack. It didn't.
"My politicians were very realistic indeed. They felt, and I told them right at the begining, this is going to be a bumpy ride, it's going to be a long haul."
The general defended the Nato campaign against what he saw as unfair charges that it had committed too many "blunders" and fought too defensively.
Sir Charles said Nato errors had been concentrated on to the exclusion of successes.
He told the BBC: "Less than a quarter of one per cent was what the media liked to call a Nato blunder.
"Mistakes do get made like this. Pictures people see on their screens, of course they are horrific, but it is a tiny thing.
"It is out of proportion to the whole thing."