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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 15, 1998
                           President Clinton 
           Meets with Top Military Leadership at Ft. McNair
                           September 15, 1998

The President meets this afternoon at the National Defense University with Secretary Cohen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the senior operational commanders (CINCs) to discuss military readiness and other defense issues.

Military readiness has been, and continues to be, one of the President's top priorities. The President meets with the military leadership at least once a year to discuss the full range of readiness-related issues, to include operations tempo, personnel staffing, recruiting, retention and modernization. Budgetary issues are a natural element of these discussions, and the President is looking forward to hearing the views of the Secretary and the senior uniformed leadership.

The most urgent readiness need is for Congress to approve the approximately $1.9 billion needed for Bosnia operations as non-offset emergency funding in the FY99 Appropriations Bill that is currently in conference.

The President last met with the Service chiefs and CINCs on January 29, 1998.

Attendees include:

William Cohen, Secretary of Defense
John Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense

General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Ralston, Vice Chairman of the JCS General Dennis Reimer, Chief of Staff of the Army General Charles Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps Admiral Jay Johnson, Chief of Naval Operations General Michael Ryan, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Admiral James Loy, Commandant of the Coast Guard

General John Tilelli, USA, U.S. Forces Korea Admiral Joseph Prueher, USN, Pacific Command General Wesley Clark, USA, European Command Admiral Harold Gehman, USN, Atlantic Command General Anthony Zinni, USMC, Central Command General Richard Myers, USAF, Space Command General Charles Wilhelm, USMC, Southern Command General Peter Schoomaker, USA, Special Operations Command Admiral Richard Mies, USN, Strategic Command General Charles Robertson, USAF, Transportation Command Admiral Charles Abbot, USN, Deputy CINC Europe Lieutenant General Mike Byron, USMC, U.S. NATO Military Rep Lieutenant General Robert Foglesong, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Samuel R. Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Leon Fuerth, National Security Advisor for the Vice President James B. Steinberg, Deputy Assistant to the President National Security Affairs
MG Don Kerrick, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Robert G. Bell, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Counselor
Jacob J. Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget Robert Kyle, Assoc. Director for National Security and International Affairs, Office of Management and Budget Doug Sosnik, Counselor to President