Letter to Congressional Leaders on Peacekeeping Operations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Six months ago I provided you with my initial report on the deployment of a U.S. peacekeeping contingent as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I am now providing this followup report, consistent with the War Powers Resolution, to ensure that the Congress is kept informed about this important U.S. contribution in support of multilateral efforts in the region.
As a significant part of U.N. efforts to prevent the Balkan conflict from spreading and to contribute to stability in the region, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 795 (1992) authorizing the presence of UNPROFOR for peacekeeping purposes in Macedonia. In early 1993, a Nordic battalion was deployed to Macedonia with the mission of monitoring and reporting developments along the northern border that could signify a threat to the territory of Macedonia. Consistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 842 (1993), the United States augmented the UNPROFOR Macedonia peacekeeping force with a combat-equipped
U.S. Army contingent. The U.N. Security Council extended the UNPROFOR mandate in Resolution 871 (1993). Our U.S. Armed Forces personnel have served with distinction in Macedonia continuously since their arrival in early July 1993.
The peacekeeping operations in Macedonia have been conducted safely and effectively, and I am certain that you share my pride in and appreciation for the superb efforts of the Americans who are contributing so much to the UNPROFOR Macedonia mission. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Army personnel received high praise from the U.N. Commander, Danish Brigadier General Thomsen, for their outstanding professionalism and capabilities, which enabled them quickly to assume an integral role in the force. Upon receiving orientation and training on the mission at UNPROFOR headquarters in Skopje, the U.S. unit began conducting observation and monitoring operations along the northeastern section of the Macedonian border with Serbia. The U.S. contribution has thus enhanced UNPROFOR's coverage and effectiveness in preventing a spillover of the conflict, and has underscored the U.S. commitment to the achievement of important multilateral goals in the region.
As always, the safety of U.S. personnel is of paramount concern. U.S. forces assigned to UNPROFOR Macedonia have encountered no hostilities, and there have been no U.S. casualties since the deployment began. The mission has the support of the government and the local population. Our forces will remain fully prepared not only to fulfill their peacekeeping mission but to defend themselves if necessary.
On December 14, 1993, elements of the U.S. Army Berlin Brigade's reinforced company team (RCT) assigned to UNPROFOR Macedonia began redeploying to Germany as part of the normal rotation of U.S. forces. Lead elements of a similarly equipped and sized RCT began arriving in Macedonia on December 27, 1993. The approximately 300-person replacement unit—Task Force 1-6, from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized), Vilseck, Germany—assumed the mission on January 6, 1994.
The U.S. contribution to the UNPROFOR Macedonia peacekeeping mission is but one part of a much larger, continuing commitment towards resolution of the extremely difficult situation in the former Yugoslavia. I am not able to indicate at this time how long our deployment to Macedonia will be necessary. I have continued the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces for these purposes in accordance with section 7 of the United Nations Participation Act and pursuant to my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
I am grateful for the continuing support of the Congress for U.S. efforts, including the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces to Macedonia, towards peace and stability in the former Yugoslavia. I remain committed to consulting closely with the Congress on our foreign policy, and I look forward to continued cooperation as we move forward toward attainment of our goals in the region.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
NOTE: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Robert C. Byrd, President pro tempore of the Senate. This letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 10.
William J. Clinton, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Peacekeeping Operations in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/218744