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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release July 26, 2000
                  TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
             TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
              AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE

July 25, 2000

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

In my report to the Congress of January 25, 2000, I provided further information on the deployment of combat-equipped U.S. Armed Forces to Bosnia and Herzegovina and other states in the region in order to participate in and support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led Stabilization Force (SFOR), which began its mission and assumed authority from the NATO-led Implementation Force on December 20, 1996. I am providing this supplemental report, consistent with the War Powers Resolution, to help ensure that the Congress is kept fully informed on continued U.S. contributions in support of peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia.

In Resolution 1305 of June 21, 2000, the U.N. Security Council authorized member states to continue SFOR for a period of 12 months. The mission of SFOR is to provide a continued military presence in order to deter hostilities, stabilize and consolidate the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, contribute to a secure environment and provide, within its means and capabilities, selective support to key areas and key civil implementation organizations.

The U.S. force contribution to SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been reduced from approximately 6,200 to 4,600 personnel since my last report. United States personnel comprise 19 percent of the total SFOR force. In the first half of 2000, 18 NATO nations and 16 others, including Russia and Ukraine, have provided military personnel or other support to SFOR. Most U.S. forces are assigned to Multinational Division, North, centered around the city of Tuzla. In addition, U.S. military personnel are deployed to other countries in the region in support of those efforts. Specifically, approximately 1,000 U.S. military personnel are presently deployed to Hungary, Croatia, and Italy in order to provide logistical and other support to SFOR. The U.S. forces continue to support SFOR efforts to apprehend persons indicted for war crimes. In the last 6 months, U.S. forces have sustained no combat-related fatalities.

I have directed the participation of U.S. Armed Forces in these operations pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive, and in accordance with various statutory authorities.

I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress fully informed about developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other states in the region. I will continue to consult closely with the Congress regarding our efforts to foster peace and stability in the former Yugoslavia.

Sincerely,

WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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