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Statement on the Nomination of Gen. Joseph J. Ralston To Be Supreme Allied Commander Europe

October 14, 1999

I am pleased to announce that I have nominated Gen. Joseph J. Ralston, United States Air Force, to succeed Gen. Wesley K. Clark, United States Army, as Supreme Allied Commander Europe. This nomination is subject to the approval of the North Atlantic Council's Defense Planning Committee. Upon Defense Planning Committee approval of his nomination as Supreme Allied Commander Europe, I intend to send forward to Congress General Ralston's nomination to serve as Commander in Chief, United States European Command.

General Ralston's distinguished career spans three decades, with significant operational and policy experience. He established impeccable credentials as a military commander while commanding the 68th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the 56th Tactical Training Wing, the U.S. Alaskan Command, the 11th Air Force, and the Air Combat Command. He has served with great distinction as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the past 3 1/2 years, providing excellent advice and support for two Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen and two Secretaries of Defense.

This is a time of significant change within the North Atlantic Alliance, as NATO continues the work of building a secure and undivided Europe. General Clark is doing an extraordinary job as Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He led Allied forces to a brilliant victory in Operation Allied Force and is demonstrating similarly impressive leadership as KFOR provides the security necessary to build a lasting and just peace in Kosovo. I know he will continue his dynamic leadership of NATO forces in Europe during the remainder of his tour. I have utmost confidence that General Ralston will be a worthy successor.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Nomination of Gen. Joseph J. Ralston To Be Supreme Allied Commander Europe Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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