Kel Britvec [letters, Aug. 9] takes William Lind to task for claiming that during the Kosovo war "the military information coming out of Belgrade was generally more accurate than that coming from [NATO]" [letters, July 24]. He defies Mr. Lind "to find the more than 50 planes that Belgrade claimed NATO lost."

It's interesting that The Post reported on June 17 the little-known fact that U.S. forces lost at least nine unmanned aerial vehicles in Kosovo. Better known is that NATO lost five manned aircraft in battle and accidents, for a total of at least 14 losses. Thus, Belgrade's claims of 76 losses represent only about a five-fold exaggeration.

By contrast, NATO reported on June 10 that it had destroyed 122 tanks, 222 armored personnel carriers and 454 artillery and mortar pieces. Subsequent on-site inspection revealed, according to the July 12 U.S. News and World Report, that "NATO jets may have destroyed fewer than 20 Serbian tanks, a similar number of artillery pieces, and fewer than 10 armored personnel carriers." Thus, NATO's original claims represent up to a twenty-fold exaggeration.

While Belgrade clearly lied about its brutality in Kosovo, Mr. Lind's characterization of the relative accuracy of its reporting appears to hold up.

ALAN J. KUPERMAN

Research Fellow

Brookings Institution

Washington