“Albright may be replaced for Yugoslav mistakes” Itar-Tass, 30 June 1999 

Albright may be replaced for Yugoslav mistakes 

MOSCOW, June 30 (Itar-Tass) – US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright may be dismissed already this summer for mistakes in the US policy regarding Yugoslavia, a Russian influential newspaper reported on Wednesday citing its sources in Washington.

“In Washington they are talking that a certain reshuffle will take place in the State Department leadership before this autumn. President Bill Clinton has reportedly found a worthy replacement to current Secretary of State Madeleine Albright”, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote.

It said that although officially the USA continues to attribute to itself all the successes in solving the Kosovo crisis, “a different viewpoint exists in Washington and it comes from the very top”. The daily said the first victims were CIA deputy director Jack Downing and head of the CIA Euroasian department John Bender.

The entourage of the US president “does not conceal that the beginning of combat actions in Yugoslavia was a clear mistake of the Department of State. Madeleine Albright convinced Clinton that the bombing of Yugoslavia will have no political consequences for the United States. Her forecasts about an early collapse of the Milosevic regime after the beginning of air strikes resembled the revelations of Nostradamus, rather than a sober view of an experienced politician”, the newspaper said, adding that Clinton received “one-sided” reports based on sources in the Kosovo Liberation Army and the opposition to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

“Clinton was convinced to start the military action”, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta said. However, the policy collapsed and the air strikes yielded no immediate result. The Department of State was also wrong in predicting the Russian reaction and its diplomatic retaliation, according to the daily.

“The actual collapse of the American (and in essence of personally Albright’s) scenario of the settlement of the Kosovo conflict may result in a defeat of the Democratic party at the next presidential elections”, the daily said, adding that the Republicans can take advantage of the “vulnerability of the current administration”.