[IWAR] BOSNIA US troops likely to stay

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Sun Dec 07 1997 - 10:00:40 PST

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                          U.S. troops likely to stay in Bosnia
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 The Associated Press
       WASHINGTON (December 6, 1997 7:06 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- The
       Clinton administration is near to concluding that U.S. troops must stay
       in Bosnia beyond its self-imposed June deadline for withdrawing them, a
       top administration official said Saturday.
       "Within the administration, there's what I would call an emerging
       consensus that a continued American leadership role and a continued
       military strategy will be necessary to implement the Dayton accords,"
       said Matthew Daley, the No. 2 official in charge of implementing the
       1995 agreement that stopped ethnic warfare in former Yugoslavia.
       "We're not going to walk away," Daley said in an interview. "I'm
       confident of that."
       Daley said debate continues over what the troops' role will be, pointing
       to efforts to return refugees and establish democratic institutions.
       Asked if troops will be needed to implement the goals, Daley said again:
       "That's part of what I would call an emerging consensus."
       Daley commented after he spoke at a conference to mark the second
       anniversary of conclusion of the Dayton pact, which set rules for the
       belligerents to follow in Bosnia and sent in NATO-led forces to enforce
       Last month, Robert Gelbard, the top U.S. official handling Bosnia,
       testified to Congress about the need for a prolonged mission in Bosnia.
       He underscored the importance of a U.S. role, but stopped short of
       saying a new mission should include U.S. ground troops.
       On Saturday, Daley repeated Gelbard's assertion that the United States
       is looking for European allies to "share a greater part of the burden."
       Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a member of the Armed Services Committee, said
       he has no doubt that the administration already has decided to keep
       forces in Bosnia.
       "I think the only people who don't know are the American people and the
       Congress," said Roberts, who drafted a legislative compromise this fall
       that requires Clinton to justify an extension of the deadline but did
       not cut off funding for the mission.
       Roberts agreed that war is likely to break out again if U.S. and NATO
       forces leave Bosnia. But he said the American troops have no clear
       mission and no certainty of how long it will take to achieve.
       "What's the end goal?" he asked.
       The length of the Bosnia mission has been at issue since U.S. forces
       arrived there two years ago. Originally billed as a one-year mission, it
       was extended until June 1998 despite congressional misgivings.
       Speaking at Saturday's forum, Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, said genuine
       discontent about the cost, now estimated at $7.4 billion, and the
       mission will combine with politics in 1998, an election year.
       Glenn emphasized that a decision must be made by March 1 to give the
       military time to pull out by June if necessary.
       "To exit right now would be a tragedy," he said. "I'm not sure that view
       will prevail on Capitol Hill."
       By LAURA MECKLER, The Associated Press

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