March 26, 1999

MEMORANDUM TO: OPINION LEADERS

FROM: GARY SCHMITT

SUBJECT: Kosovo

I want to draw your attention to the following Weekly Standard editorial ("Kosovo and the Republican Future"), written by Project directors William Kristol and Robert Kagan. As they point out, Republicans are right to want to make foreign policy an issue in the 2000 campaign. Clinton's presidency has left a lengthy trail of failed policies and dangerous precedents that the next president will be hard pressed to repair. But, by attacking the use of U.S.-led NATO forces in Kosovo, many in the GOP have made arguments that make the party sound more like the party of Pat Buchanan than Ronald Reagan — hardly the platform from which to challenge the administration's squandering of U.S. power and America’s role as leader of the world's democratic powers.

Instead of dismissing the crisis in the Balkans as none of our business, Republicans ought to be insisting on nothing less than a total victory: removal of all Serb forces from Kosovo, the return of Kosovar self-rule, and the destruction of the Milosevic's military machine. The U.S. is now at war and the president has put at risk the lives of U.S. military men and women. Republicans should not let him trivialize that fact by cutting a deal with Milosevic that rewards him in any fashion. The danger Republicans should be worried about is not the use of American military power but its strategically-indecisive use by this president.