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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 9, 1996


Training and Equipping the Bosnian Federation

The stabilization of the military balance at the lowest level of forces is a central element in the U.S. effort to bring peace and stability to Bosnia. As a complement to arms control and confidence-building provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords, the U.S. has launched an initiative to train and equip (T&E) Bosnian Federation armed forces.

The purpose of T&E is to assist Bosnia in self-defense, thereby promoting security and stability in the region.

T&E also will help ensure, upon IFOR's departure, that a military balance exists among the former antagonists, such that none of them are encouraged to resume hostilities.

The U.S. contribution to T&E of $100 million in defense articles and services -- authorized by Congress in FY 96 legislation -- includes the following items: 46,100 rifles, 1,000 machine guns, 6,592 radios and tactical telephones, 45 tanks, 80 armored personnel carriers, 840 light anti-tank weapons, and 15 utility helicopters. All equipment will be fully mission capable and will include related ammunition, spares, and support equipment.

Another key aspect of T&E is the training effort provided by MPRI, a civilian firm under contact to the Federation. The training program, as well as the purchase of additional military equipment, will be funded from $140 million pledged by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Malaysia, and Brunei.

The T&E program serves multiple, reinforcing purposes, including:

Establishing a single, Federation Defense Ministry and Joint Command;
Orienting Federation forces on a Western model; Integrating donated equipment into the Federation force structure;
Reducing destabilizing foreign influences in the Federation;
Providing leverage for continued compliance with Dayton; and
Enabling the withdrawal of IFOR on a timely basis.

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