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Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Continued Operations of United States Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina

January 21, 2003

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

In my report to the Congress of July 22, 2002, I provided 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). The SFOR began its mission and assumed authority from the NATO-led Implementation Force on December 20, 1996. I am providing this supplemental report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), to help ensure that the Congress is kept fully informed on continued U.S. contributions in support of peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia.

The U.N. Security Council authorized Member States to continue SFOR for a period of 12 months in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1423 of July 12, 2002. The mission of SFOR is to provide a focused 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 is approximately 1,800 personnel. United States personnel comprise approximately 15 percent of the total SFOR force of approximately 12,000 personnel. During the second half of 2002, 18 NATO nations and 17 others, including Russia, provided military personnel or other support to SFOR. Most U.S. forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina are assigned to Multinational Brigade, North, headquartered in the city of Tuzla. Additionally, U.S. military personnel are deployed to other countries in the region in support of SFOR. These deployments include approximately 80 U.S. military personnel deployed to Hungary and Croatia to provide logistical and other support. The U.S. forces continue to support SFOR efforts to apprehend persons indicted for war crimes and to conduct counter-terrorism operations. In the last 6 months, U.S. forces have not sustained any 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.

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.



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Ted Stevens, President pro tempore of the Senate. This letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 22.

George W. Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Continued Operations of United States Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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