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U.S. Department of State 
95/12/03 Sec Interview on This Week w/David Brinkley 
Office of the Spokesman 
 
 
 
                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                           Office of the Spokesman 
                               December 3, 1995 
 
 
 
                                INTERVIEW OF 
                     SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                                      ON 
                     ABC-TV "THIS WEEK WITH DAVID BRINKLEY" 
 
                         Madrid, Spain  December 3, 1995 
 
 
MR. DAVID BRINKLEY:  In Madrid, Secretary Christopher.  Thank you for  
coming in today.  Pleased to have you. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good morning or good afternoon, David. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  It doesn't matter.  Either way.  Thanks for coming.  You  
know everybody here -- George, Sam, Cokie.  We're pleased to have you. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Tell me this.  Are you satisfied that the American troops  
will not get into a Balkan quagmire? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I'm satisfied that they're going there to keep  
the peace.  I think they go there with great strength, with strong wills  
of engagement.  I think they've got the capacity to help the parties  
achieve a peace, and that's what the parties have asked them to do,  
David. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  And they are equipped to defend themselves if need be,  
right? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  They're going in in strength and heavily  
armored.  It's important to remember, David, the distinction between  
them and the United Nations forces.  They go in with much more robust,  
much stronger rules of engagement, and they go in much more heavily  
armed. 
 
The first armored division, which is the American division going there,  
is one of the finest military forces in the world and one of the most  
heavily armored. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Some of the Serbs are still hostile, making ugly remarks  
and threats and so on.  What do you make of that?  what do you expect in  
that? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  David, we discussed that quite extensively in  
Dayton, Ohio, at the peace conference with President Milosevic.  He  
understands he has the responsibility to get them under control, and we  
expect him to carry out that responsibility. 
 
I suppose it's not surprising that in any kind of a peace settlement  
there are certain things that one side or another is unhappy about.  But  
each of the three Presidents have committed themselves to carry out this  
agreement, and we expect them to do so. 
 
MR. GEORGE WILL:  Mr. Secretary, the United States has not really been  
neutral in this conflict, particularly since we bombed the Serbs and  
really got things moving toward peace, perhaps, by doing so. 
 
The question is, can we arm the Bosnians to produce a balance of power  
in the region while disarming the Serbs and the Croats?  And is it not  
the case that Senator Dole's continued support for the President's  
initiative is contingent upon there being a credible plan for arming the  
Bosnians? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Let me just take that back a second, George.  As  
you know, the Dayton Agreement and our long-time intention has been to  
create a balance of forces in the area before we leave; that there be an  
equilibrium of forces. 
 
The arms control provisions of the Dayton Agreement are very strong.   
They provide for a build-down, but we also take into account the fact  
that the arms embargo has worked harshly against the Bosnian Government.   
We believe it will be necessary to provide additional arms to them. 
 
Part of American strategy is that that will not be done by the United  
States or will not be done by the IFOR -- the Implementation Force.  But  
we are committed to see that it gets done. 
 
We will assure that the Bosnians are not left without a deterrent  
capacity.  I think that's consistent with Senator Dole's interest in  
this.  I met last week with Senator John McCain, and let me say I very  
much admire, George, the willingness of Senator Dole and Senator McCain  
and others to put the national interest first, to support the President  
under circumstances where they may disagree to some extent, but they  
recognize that America is on the line here; and I'm very pleased, and I  
applaud them for supporting the President. 
 
MR. WILL:  Clearly, Senator Dole is taking a political risk in his  
Presidential campaign by doing so, and there are some Republicans who,  
hearing the President say that we should be done in Bosnia in about --  
and he stressed the word "about" -- a year say, "Well, maybe the  
President's the one being political here," and whether we're done there  
or not, the troops are coming home before the election day. 
 
Can you assure us and assure Republicans who are skeptical that, indeed,  
the exit will not be dictated by domestic politics? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Domestic politics has played no part in this.   
I'm not an expert on politics, George, but certainly the President's  
calculation cannot be a political one, the polls being what they are.   
If he were watching the polls, he wouldn't be doing this. 
 
I think he's doing it because he made a commitment to do it two years  
ago.  That is, if there was a peace agreement, he would help to  
implement it.  He's doing it now, and I think Senator Dole is taking the  
action because he believes it's in the best interest of the country. 
 
It is good to see American politicians take actions, which may at least  
in the short term be quite against their political interest because they  
think it's in the national interest.  President Clinton has said about a  
year from now -- in about a year from now would be December of next  
year, so that would be after the election rather than before. 
 
MR. SAM DONALDSON:  Mr. Secretary, the Bosnian Serb leaders are saying  
this weekend that the Treaty must be adjusted, particularly when it  
comes to the suburbs of Sarajevo where -- what? -- about 100,000 Serbs  
live, and they insist on that. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Sam, the Treaty or the Agreement in Dayton will  
not be changed.  It will not be modified.  The provisions were very  
carefully negotiated.  I thought it was a very important provision that  
the city of Sarajevo, which has been so long divided, will now be  
unified. 
 
President Milosevic understands he's got a problem to get under control  
and deal with, and we expect him to do so. 
 
MR. DONALDSON:  If, however, the Serbs begin fighting again, between now  
and the time that American troops land on the ground, will we still go  
in, saying we're going to enforce the Agreement, or will that be  
something that keeps us out? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We don't expect that to happen.  President  
Milosevic has carried out his intentions up to this point.  We expect  
that our troops will be deployed on schedule, and that they will handle  
the situation very well.  We do not expect any large resistance. 
 
MR. DONALDSON:  Well, sir -- 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  If there is occasional -- 
 
MR. DONALDSON:  You do not expect it, I understand, but what if it  
happens?  Will we go in and try to suppress it? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We're planning to go in, and we do not expect  
that problem, Sam.  In this situation, I think it's important that  
everybody on the ground understands that the American forces, along with  
the other forces of the Implementation Force, are prepared to go in.   
They're prepared to carry out the peace agreement, and we don't expect  
any organized opposition. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Cokie, come in, please. 
 
MS. COKIE ROBERTS:  Mr. Secretary, Sam's asking about the circumstances  
under which we'd go in.  Many members of Congress are asking about the  
circumstances under which we come out. 
 
If in fact elections have not been held in Bosnia, if in fact there is  
not a police force that is operative, if in fact the Bosnian Muslims  
have not been armed up to the same degree that the Serbs and Croatians  
have built down to -- if those things have not happened in about a year,  
do we stay, and do we stay until those things happen? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Not at all, Cokie.  This is not a guarantee.   
It's an opportunity for the people of Bosnia to carry out those  
functions.  There's a commitment under the agreement that they will have  
elections within six to nine months.  There are many other commitments  
under the agreement.  We expect those to be carried out.  I was talking  
-- 
 
MS. ROBERTS:  What if they don't?  What if they aren't?  What are the  
sanctions if they are not carried out? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  There are various kinds of sanctions.  For  
example, if the Serbs don't carry out their part of the bargain, the  
sanctions which have been suspended will be automatically reimposed.   
That's a very, very harsh sanction. 
 
The agreement is built to ensure that the parties carry it out.  There  
are many provisions that take into account that possibility and try to  
dissuade the parties from doing so. 
 
But I want to emphasize again that this is not a permanent commitment.   
This is approximately a one-year commitment.  This is not a guarantee;  
it's an opportunity.  But there are very strong incentives of the  
parties to carry out that agreement from Dayton. 
 
MS. ROBERTS:  Mr. Secretary, the other question, though, is that you and  
the Administration have all said that if we don't do this, the war would  
start up again and then it could spread and that would be against our  
national interest.  If, in fact, the parties just sit back for a year  
and then we leave and they start fighting again, is that still against  
our national interest, particularly if the conflict spreads?  And then  
what do we do? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We will have given them a major opportunity to  
carry these matters out.  If it can't be done in a year, perhaps it  
can't be done in a longer period of time. 
 
Our military people basically were the ones who set the period of time.   
They think the military provisions can be carried out in that year.  The  
parties think that elections can be held within the one-year period.   
Reconstruction can start.  I think that's the important thing. 
 
The one year gives the parties a real opportunity for peace.  Prime  
Minister Silajdzic of Bosnia told me the other day that we're just one  
inch away from peace.  So he asks that UNPROFOR give them that  
opportunity to achieve peace, and that's what the President is trying to  
do. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  George, Sam, we have a little time left.  George, go and  
then Sam. 
 
MR. WILL:  Mr. Secretary, Peter Rodman, a former National Security  
official, writing in National Review, charges as follows.  He says,  
"Both Russian and American sources tell him that in order to get Russian  
support for the Dayton agreement, assurances have been given Russia by  
the United States that the enlargement of NATO has been put on the back  
burner for the foreseeable future."  Is that correct? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  That's absolutely nonsense, George.  You'll see  
when we meet in Brussels the middle of next week -- and I'm staying here  
a day or two to meet with them there -- we'll continue on a steady  
course for the enlargement of NATO.  No surprises.  We'll continue down  
the path of trying to determine who should become a member and on what  
schedule. 
 
I would expect consultations to go forward in 1996 just as planned.  I  
couldn't emphasize strongly enough that there's been no arrangement of  
the kind that's charged there -- not any implicit or explicit  
arrangement. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Sam. 
 
MR. DONALDSON:  Mr. Secretary, you say that you're looking forward to  
Congressional support.  But, in fact, the President has already signed  
an order for the first support troops to go into Bosnia.  You simply  
assume that Congress is going to go along; it's a done deal?  Or is that  
simply a reaffirmation of the President's position, that he has the  
power to do it whether Congress agrees or not? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  These are preparatory troops.  It would be  
really irresponsible to think of sending in our IFOR troops without  
these preparations.  Basically, these are communication preparations  
being made. 
 
I think at the end of the day Congress will support -- certainly,  
Senator Dole and Senator McCain's action looks very much in that  
direction.  I believe the President has the power to do this, and his  
going to do it. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for coming in.  Please  
to have you with us. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you very much.  Nice to hear you, David. 
 
MR. BRINKLEY:  Good luck to you. 
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