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U.S. Department of State
95/11/27 Interview: CNN "Larry King Live"
Office of the Spokesman 
 
 
 
                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                         Office of the Spokesman 
___________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                             November 27, 1995 
 
 
 
                              INTERVIEW OF 
                  SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                                   ON 
                         CNN - "LARRY KING LIVE" 
 
                             Washington, DC 
                            November 27, 1995 
 
 
MR. LARRY KING:  We're going to spend the opening moments of our show 
with the Secretary of State Warren Christopher who will be testifying 
before Senate and House Committees.  Right? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Correct, Larry. 
 
MR. KING:  Based on the President's speech tonight? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Correct. 
 
MR. KING:  Asking them for . . .? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Asking them for their support for the 
President's decision that American troops must be part of this 
peacekeeping endeavor if it's to succeed. 
 
MR. KING:  This will be a vote yea or nay? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We really don't know exactly how it will come up 
in the Congress.  That really depends upon some discussions between the 
President and the leadership tomorrow. 
 
What the President is saying is, "I want to have the support of Congress 
as I go into this very difficult endeavor." 
 
MR. KING:  But if I don't get it, I'm going anyway? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We think that the Congress will end up 
supporting the President.  The President took a long step  
 
in that direction tonight.  It's a compelling case, and I thought he 
made it in a very compelling way, Larry. 
 
MR. KING:  Did you have input into the speech? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Sure. 
 
MR. KING:  What part did they ask you about? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  They always send the speeches around and we 
comment on them.  I think the President was very sound in emphasizing 
American leadership, American interests, and American values.  The 
speech was built around those three themes.  I think he demonstrated 
that there is a very strong and compelling case. 
 
I tried to put myself in the position of a Congressman or some American 
sitting outside of Washington.  How did this speech come over?  As far 
as I can be objective about it, I think the President made a very 
compelling case. 
 
MR. KING:  Senator Dole said tonight -- and I'm just paraphrasing -- 
"that we need to find a way to arm and train Bosnians.  This should be a 
peacekeeping, not peace-enforcing."  Is that correct? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  It should be a peacekeeping.  The thing that's 
different about the situation in Bosnia now is that the three Presidents 
of the countries involved have decided that they want peace, and we're 
going there to help them get it.  We're going there to help them have 
the confidence to carry out what they agreed to in Dayton, Ohio. 
 
As far as arming the Bosnians, that takes a little more explanation.  
What we want to do is to make sure that when United States and NATO 
forces leave, there will be a rough equilibrium of forces between the 
various nations involved so that one is not easily picked on by the 
other, so it has enough deterrent power. 
 
We will try to do that by arms control mechanisms and by building down 
the existing forces.  But if it's necessary, I think the international 
community will want to make sure that the Bosnian Government is not left 
without sufficient deterrent power. 
 
MR. KING:  Nothing is guaranteed, but I know you know these people and 
you were in Dayton.  Do you think they're going to stand by it? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Yes, I think they are, Larry.  The three 
Presidents came there.  They're very tough negotiators; they're very 
complex people. 
 
But what impressed me is, they came.  The two key ones stayed all 21 
days.  President Tudjman went and came back -- went and came back -- 
which was very impressive.  So they stuck to it, which meant to me that 
they wanted to achieve peace despite the fact that there is a long 
history of violence between them. 
 
MR. KING:  What about elements they can't control -- extremists? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  The United States does not expect any organized 
resistance.  There may be some rogue units that would want to cause some 
trouble, but I thought the President hit that point very hard tonight.  
NATO is going in heavy.  They'll be well armed; they're well trained.  
They're the best fighting force in the world, and they will fight fire 
with fire and more so. 
 
MR. KING:  Is it safe to say we should expect some casualties in this?  
It's going to be a year. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I don't think you can ever conduct a military 
operation of that kind without having to envision some casualties.  
We're going to do every single thing we can.  Our Pentagon is heavily 
involved in this to avoid casualties, and they're very good at that. 
 
Military operations do involve some risks.  Even when there's not 
combat, even when they're just training here in the United States, they 
have some casualties. 
 
MR. KING:  Downside, Mr. Secretary.  What happens if they turn you down 
-- the Senate and the House -- and we don't go? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I don't think they'll turn us down. 
 
MR. KING:  Let's just say, "what if?" 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  If we don't go, I think war breaks out again.  
The bloodletting resumes.  There's now a cease-fire there.  I think the 
worse scenario -- the thing that haunts all of us -- is that we will 
have lost the opportunity to prevent this war from spreading.  We'll 
have lost the opportunity to ensure that it does not involve the rest of 
Europe, which would then bring us over there. 
 
MR. KING:  But if they're sincere, why do they need our troops? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Larry, they've been at each other for a long 
time.  This has been a four-year long war.  I think they need the 
confidence that somebody is there separating the forces.  It's easy to -
- 
 
MR. KING:  If we can't control ourselves, do it for us? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's right.  They want us to come.  They say 
we need a period of time.  That's why our military feels fairly 
confident in saying this job can be done in a year.  This is, as the 
President said tonight, "a limited commitment" -- limited in time and 
scope. 
 
You can understand when you see the three Presidents and hear about 
their countries and hear about the long period of fighting.  They need a 
neutral force there to give them the confidence to carry it out. 
 
MR. KING:  What's the time process?  The Paris signing is when? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  It will be sometime the middle of this month.  
We haven't fixed it because -- 
 
MR. KING:  The middle of December, you mean? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Middle of December, yes.  Sorry.  It needs to be 
related very closely to the Congressional calendar, but it will be 
sometime in the middle of December.  Then, thereafter, there will be the 
deployments. 
 
MR. KING:  We sign before Congressional approval? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Larry, we initialed. 
 
MR. KING:  We initialed already? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's right.  We witnessed the agreement that 
the other people initialed.  But they understood that we needed to go to 
Congress to seek their support.  They recognize what the process is 
here. 
 
I think that at the end of the day Congress will see that this is a case 
where the President's leadership should be supported. 
 
MR. KING:  A couple of other things.  We have a political year coming.  
That's a reality.  What do you think this is politically for the 
President? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Larry, politics is not my business.  I've been 
now working closely with the President for almost four years -- three 
years in office and one year before then.  This is a very tough decision 
for him.  Committing American troops into a situation of some risk is 
the hardest decision for a President. 
 
I think the President made this decision feeling he had to do it in the 
national interest, and politics was not upper most in his mind.  If you 
were just looking at the political aspect of this, the President might 
well have done something else. 
 
MR. KING:  Where are these troops now? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Most of them are in Germany.  The President will 
stop and see some of them when he visits Germany this next weekend.  
They've been training.  They're superb troops, and they've been training 
for this mission for some time. 
 
When we went into Haiti, we were so well prepared.  We were able to do 
that operation because they'd been preparing for a long time.  The same 
thing is true with the troops in Europe. 
 
I think the American people need to know that only one-third of the 
troops will be American; two-thirds will be from other countries.  More 
than 20 other countries have asked to participate in this endeavor along 
with us.  But, fundamentally, if we don't go, the rest of them won't. 
 
MR. KING:  Would you say that you're confident, that the Senate and 
House will approve that we will go and it will go well?  I don't want to 
put words in your mouth.  How would you describe it? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I have very great reason to be hopeful and 
confident that Congress will see the compelling nature of this case.  I 
think our troops will do it very well, and we'll give those countries a 
chance for peace that they've never had in recent times.  I hope that 
will be successful. 
 
But it depends upon their will, to some extent, Larry.  We're going not 
to guarantee it, but to give them a chance for peace. 
 
MR. KING:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Thanks for coming over. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Nice to see you again. 
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