25 MARCH 2000, Page 34

From Major General Ken Perkins Sir: Jamie Shea (Diary, 18

March) claims that, during its intervention in Kosovo, Nato 'took maximum steps to avoid civilian casualties, even at the risk of a loss in mili- tary effectiveness'. It did nothing of the sort. What Nato actually did was to avoid military casualties by deciding not to strike from below 15,000 ft. These tactics resulted in a dramatic loss of military effectiveness, leaving Serb forces free to continue ethnic cleansing, and led to horrifying casualties among civilian convoys.

It was a shameful use of air power.

Ken Perkins CB, MBE, DFC 4 Bedwyn Common,

Marlborough, Wiltshire