Answer to Macedonia's problems
Sunday, 23 March 2008

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Macedonia oficially doesn't have an Army since early 1992, when YNA i.e. Serbia took all military equipment, including the hardwood floors and door knobs from Macedonia's Army facilities.

17 years went by, Macedonia's Government has refused to purchase aircraft, tanks, helicopters, even guns for its Army. The only purchase was made from Ukraine in the middle of 2001 conflict. Russia and the US wouldn't sell weapons to Macedonia, due to efforts by the Albanian lobby in the US. The lesson being "you don't buy weapons in middle of a conflict". It is no surprise that Macedonia's neighbours have lack (if any) respect towards Macedonia. Macedonia is the "Israel of the Balkans" as a friend of mine in the Army dubbed it a decade ago. The only difference between Israel and Macedonia is that Israel has a Government that deeply cares for its country. 

It is believed (I could be wrong) Macedonia to still have two Sukhoi fighter planes, who could very well have saved Macedonia in 2001 at the Radusa battle. 500-600 UCK fighters attacked from Kosovo (Debelde region) and surrounded around 45 Macedonian reservists. The two Sukhoi were sent as a last resort who swooped and wiped out most of the UCK.  If Radusa was lost, Kodra Fura would have been taken, seen by domestic and international military analyst as the single most strategic spot in the Balkans. The two Sukhois saved the day, literally. A year later, the Macedonian Government decides to, "Scrap the Sukhoi, we don't need them." Yes you do. Yes you do. Who controls the sky, controls the land. Military rule #1. Even the Tamil fighters in Sri Lanka have an Air Force.

Kodra Fura. Kosovo parlaiment passed a resolution, in 2001, claiming Kodra Fura as their own. If Macedonia looked for a sign, there is one. 

Janes Defense, in 2002 claimed that if Macedonia had significant arms, it would have never been atacked. No Weapons = frequent border attacks = blackmail. Were Macedonia to spend 1 billion Euros, money that it has, and will be approved overwhelmingly by its population, Macedonia will get  a piece of mind, and the respect they deserve.

I strongly suggest Macedonia to purchase military aircraft, tanks, rockets, howitzers (I believe Macedonia manufactures howitzers and ammunition in Samokow ?)

Below is a list of Macedonia Military Purchases, for its own survival. NATO and or EU does not guarantee, in any way or form Macedonia sovereignty. In NATO statute says "will protect other NATO countries", it also say "countries can choose own name". When Turkey took over half of Cyprus, did NATO step in to defend the Greek population?  Catch my drift?


 AIRFIELD Purpose # of AirCraft
Skopje Defend NW Macedonia from Albania/Kosovo  45
Stip Strategic position to defend NE Macedonia, as well as NW Macedonia  20
Bitola Combat & Reconnaissance Squadron  25
Ohrid Combat & Reconnaissance Squadron  25

Military aircraft recommended: F16, Sukhoi, Mig29

Helicopters
# of helicopters
Skopje Combat Squadron
50 Mi-24, 15 Mi-17
Tetovo
20 Mi-24, 5 Mi-17
Stip
30 Mi-24, 10 Mi-17
Ohrid 20 Mi-24, 15 Mi-17

Air Force
Air Personnel
Skopje 400
Tetovo
200
Stip
200
Ohrid 200

  

 TANKS Purpose # of Tanks
T-80U positioned in NW Macedonia near Kosovo/Albania border
120
T-90
 positioned in NW Macedonia near Kosovo/Albania border 55
T-90
 positioned in S Macedonia near Greece border40
T-70
 positioned in Stip, deployed as needed
250
 
SAM Missiles
Quantity
Arrow 2 400
MIM-104 200
MIM-23 250
MIM-72 200

 

Army personnel
Quantity
Skopje 7000
Tetovo
2000
Stip
2000
Ohrid 1000
Debar 1500
Bitola
1000
*Independent elite units
4000

* Because of its perfect terrain, Macedonia does not require many soldiers. From Macedonia's mountain peaks, Kosovo and as far as Thessaloniki are shown at the palms of your hands. It can not be any more strategic than this. Because of the mountains, Macedonia can deploy dozens very mobile elite units (up to 150 soldiers), always backed by Air Force. Because of these mountain peaks the enemy would not be able to reach Macedonia, as their movement would be spotted as soon as it started. How on earth Macedonia allowed to be attacked from Kosovo, is a mistery to me, and on few occasions, the Janes Defense Journal.

For its ground forces, I believe Macedonia has good amount of 200mm howitzers and rpg's as well as light weaponry and ammunition. However, for Macedonia to have any credibility with its arch enemies, it must be armed with real weapons. I can not stress this enough, it is absurd, unacceptable that in 17 years, Macedonia has done nothing. If, Macedonia fails to follow up on the above comments, which I consider to be a minimal arming for a country, Macedonia would continue to be blackmailed from the Albanians until Western Macedonia defacto secedes and joins Albania.

Slovenia, is in NATO, bordered by friendly countries, yet it purchased its piece of mind, an additional 12 F-16. The claims put together by former Macedonia Defense Minister Bukowski, that its land is too small for fighter aircraft, is an insult to anyone with functioning brain. Slovenia and Israel are smaller than Macedonia. Slovenia has 30 fighter jets, while Israel has 1000. Macedonia is in much worse shape than Slovenia, as each of Macedonia's neighbours has a claim on it. If it wants to survive and stop living a fairy tale it must arm itself. if it  indeed plans to give up its territory, it can simply continue on its present path and do nothing.

Lastly, below is an image of Anti Aircraft gunner in the Swiss Alps.  Yes, in Switzerland, a country that has not seen war in 1000 years, yet they don't like surprises and are prepared for it.

Anti aircraft barn 

Author: Patrick Anderson,  patrolling Macedonia's border with Kosovo from 2000-2002.

 



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