B52 Strikes Plagued by Controversy
The Norwegian government has strongly
criticized a devastating bombardment by U.S. B52 bombers in the vicinity
They expressed gratitude for NATO's
efforts in repelling the Russian invasion force, including the armored
vehicles destroyed in this attack, but protested the considerable damage
caused to their own infrastructure.
One Norwegian politician declared there
was "no way they (NATO) are going to bomb us back to the stone age,
especially since it's unlikely the Russians will be able to hold onto
the territory they've seized". He went on to demand the U.S.
should pay reparations to Norway for damage inflicted by such strikes
after the conflict has ended
The infrastructure damage
wasn't the only issue raised about the attack. The uproar was joined by
even more moderate officials once it was learned that the munitions
dropped by the bombers were cluster bombs. The possibility of civilian
deaths from unexploded ordnance, especially involving children, has
generated a demand that NATO get approval for all future strikes of this
magnitude from the Norwegian government.
In addition to this controversy, it was
also learned that a U.S. B-52 bomber squadron was downed while returning
from the Bardufoss strike. (read more)
Although this development tempered the
Norwegian outrage over property damage, it raised questions about using
the 50-plus year old bombers in a modern conflict. Others are
wondering what, if any, fighter escort was used to protect the squadron
and why it was apparently unsuccessful in protecting the vulnerable
a report near Bardufoss provided live via satellite...