Scattering Chaff: Canadian Air Power and Censorship During the Kosovo War

Scattering Chaff: Canadian Air Power and Censorship During the Kosovo War

by Bob Bergen


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Most Canadians know little, if anything at all, about the role of the Canadian Air Force in the 1999 Kosovo Air War. Yet lives were at put at stake as mission dedication and military skill were pushed to the limit. Some of Canada's most prominent journalists attempted to report on the war, but came away virtually empty handed. Daily briefings given at the National Defence Headquarters provided so little information most Ottawa journalists simply stopped going. The decision of the military to choke Canada's news media was deliberate and based on a tactical and strategic rationale. Scattering Chaff explores the role of the Canadian Air Force in the bombing campaigns of the Kosovo Air War while examining the military's interference with the news media attempting to report to the Canadian public. It explores the ways in which the military has come to manage the media as an element of operational security, mission focus, and of popular opinion. Drawing on in-depth interviews with the war's Canadian participants and a treasure-trove of unpublished documents and photographs, this book is an unprecedented investigation of a little-known conflict and the forces that prevented it from being better known.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781773850306
Publisher: Longleaf Services on Behalf of Gov of the Univ Cal
Publication date: 02/28/2019
Series: Beyond Boundaries , #9
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 2.36(w) x 3.54(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Bob Bergen is an adjunct assistant professor at the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He was a staff journalist at The Albertan from 1976-1980 and the Calgary Herald from 1980-2000. He is the author of Censorship, The Canadian News Media, and Afghanistan.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Nomenclature

Introduction—Kosovo: Canada’s Unknown Air War

Chapter 1. A Fearsome Aerial Ballet

Chapter 2. Planning for War

Chapter 3. I Cringed Every Time it Rained

Chapter 4. Don’t Go to War Without It

Chapter 5. The Fog of War

Chapter 6. Prelude to Censorship: Media, Body Bags, and the Persian Gulf War

Chapter 7. Like an Overnight International Courier

Chapter 8. A Blanket of Secrecy

Chapter 9. Fiction and Iron Will

Chapter 10. On Body Bags and the News Media

Chapter 11. Canada Missed a Good News Story

Chapter 12. Homecomings

Chapter 13. Context-less Facts, Ambiguity, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies



What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Finally, the full story of the Canadian contribution to the Kosovo Air Campaign of 1999. Bergen tells the story of the people involved and the missions. Fascinating stuff that fills a major gap in our understanding of an important Canadian Armed Forces NATO operation.
- David J. Bercuson, Director, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary

Bob Bergen has written an extraordinary and compelling account of Canada's participation in the Kosovo Air War. The book is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in what it was like to be in the thick of war, the nature of media coverage and the politics of Canadian involvement. Scattering Chaff is well crafted, deeply researched and a superb read.

—David Taras, professor and Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies, Mount Royal University

A well-researched and accurate capture of the war we fought. It is the only book of its kind and has significant historical value.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Kirk Soroka, Retired

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