Later this week the
House will begin debate on a resolution authorizing deployment of U.S.
troops to Kosovo. The House should approve the resolution but insist on
President should submit a new request for defense spending accounting
for the cost of deploying troops to Kosovo. America's armed forces are
so stretched, and President Clinton's defense "increase" proposal
is so thin, that the Kosovo operation merits a boost in the overall
is essential that NATO be clearly in charge of any deployment in Kosovo.
The failures of the UN and the EU in Bosnia earlier this decade, and
of unarmed OSCE monitors in Kosovo this autumn and winter, demonstrate
why this should be so. As the most efficacious international organization
of the last half-century, with its institutionalized American leadership
role, NATOs capacity for taking decisive action should not be
compromised by any dual-key arrangements.
only long-run source of stability for Kosovo and the surrounding region
Slobodan Milosevic to be removed from power. This should be the core
goal of U.S.-Balkan policy and, as a condition for deployment, the House
should insist that the administration begin assisting the Serb democratic
opposition and codifying existing sanctions aimed at Belgrade (preventing
any reward to Milosevic for accepting a Rambouillet peace pact). Conservatives
in Congress concerned about the lack of an "exit strategy"
should press for an anti-Milosevic strategy as the best way to assure
peace in the region and, hence, the need for NATO -- and U.S. -- troop
presence in the Balkans.
With these provisos,
Congress ought to back the insertion of NATO forces into Kosovo. Conservatives
voting against deployment will find themselves in league with Pat Buchanan
and Henry Kissinger. This alone should give conservatives with any memory
of past foreign policy debates pause. Instead, it is better to side with
Bob Dole, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Richard Perle, Vin Weber, and Caspar Weinberger,
who wrote a letter to the President on January 29, 1999, saying, "Only
a NATO ground presence can prevent the return of those [Serbian] forces,
the growth of radical Albanian nationalism and spread of war in southeastern
Europe." They are still right today.