Kosovo Syndrome

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Kosovo syndrome is the name for illnesses contracted by NATO troops after the 1999 Balkans bombing campaign. Ten tons of uranium-tipped NATO and U.S. weapons litter the landscape in Kosovo and Serbia, leaking radiation that’s being blamed for a growing number of cancer deaths among European peacekeepers. It sounds like Gulf War syndrome, the mysterious affliction American veterans say they picked up during Desert Storm ten years ago.

As in the Gulf War case, the U.S. government denies the link between exposure to weapons in the field and the lingering illnesses that soldiers are reporting now. And the U.S. media have been kissing off the story that’s page one all over Europe. “No body bags” has been the political promise of U.S. high-tech warfare. The score of NATO combat deaths in Kosovo was supposed to have been zero. But war can still be hell, even months after its over. The Kosovo syndrome is on this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Sylvia Poggioli, NPR European correspondent

Scott Peterson, writer

Barry Posen, Professor of Political Science at MIT