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U.S. Department of State
96/07/31 Testimony on Foreign Policy Accomplishments
Office of the Spokesman
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
House International Relations Committee
July 31, 1996
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee: I am pleased to have this
opportunity to testify before you once again.
We are now in this Administration's fourth year in office -- the fourth
year of a challenging and, I believe, an unusually productive period in
American foreign policy. I thought that this would be an appropriate
time and place to look at what we have accomplished over the last three
and a half years and where we need to go.
At my confirmation hearing in January 1993, I said that our
Administration has the responsibility for maintaining U.S. leadership in
the post-Cold War era. I do not claim that we have achieved every one
of our goals. But I believe that we have passed what I then called the
"ultimate test" of our leadership: whether it delivers concrete
benefits to the American people; whether the American people are more
secure and more prosperous; and whether our nation is in a better
position to advance our enduring interests and ideals.
At my confirmation, I also said that the changes we have seen since the
end of the Cold War have largely worked in America's favor. I remain an
optimist about America's future. As we enter a new century, our foreign
policy is on the right track. As long as we continue to lead and to
meet our commitments -- and as long as we adequately fund our
international engagement -- I am confident we will be able to meet our
responsibilities to the American people.
The events of the last several years demonstrate that the need for our
leadership is as acute today as it was during the Cold War. Imagine
what the world would be like had the Uniteand that of all
emerging markets. The GATT Uruguay Round negotiations would have
failed, dashing hopes for a more open global economy. As the President
has said, in many of these cases, "there was substantial opinion"
against the course the President decided to follow. But because we
stayed the course, America is better off.
Most Americans continue to support a principled and purposeful role for
the United States in the world. The President, with help from members
of both parties, is winning the domestic debate for international
engagement and against isolationism.
Mr. Chairman, let me review with you today four areas where our
leadership remains indispensable to protecting the interests of the
American people. First, we must effectively manage our relations with
the world's great powers, both allies and former adversaries. Second,
we must continuing promoting peace and stability in regions of vital
interest. Third, we must sustain the remarkable momentum we have
achieved in creating jobs at home by opening markets abroad. Finally,
we must intensify our efforts to confront an array of global challenges
that no one nation can meet on its own.
Alliances and Great Powers
Two years ago, I observed that a important benefit of the post-Cold War
world is the absence of conflict and the extent of constructive
cooperation among the great powers -- the United States, our European
allies, Japan, Russia and China. Today, Russian missiles are no longer
targetted on our cities. China helped us turn back back the threat
posed by North Korea's nuclear program. In these and so many other
ways, the American people have benefitted from our effective diplomacy.
Maintaining this unique historical situation among the great powers is
in our overwhelming interest, especially at a time when Russia and China
are undergoing vast and uncertain transitions. It has been a central
concern for the President and for me.
For the past half century, there has been bipartisan agreement on the
importance of strengthening and broadening our partnership with Europe.
Last December, President Clinton launched a New Transatlantic Agenda
with the leaders of the European Union to expand our economic ties and
intensify our cooperation on political and security challenges around
the world. President Clinton has also pursued a comprehensive strategy
to prevent future conflicts in an integrated Europe. That strategy has
made great strides since the President defined its key elements at the
NATO Summit in Brussels in January, 1994. Since then, NATO's
Partnership for Peace has enabled the nations of central and eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union to plan, exercise, and train with
NATO forces. It laid the groundwork for the NATO-led coalition in
Bosnia -- the largest mission in NATO's history. And in June, NATO
agreed to American initiatives that will enable it to respond rapidly to
out-of-area crises and give our European allies a greater share of
NATO enlargement has also come far since the Brussels Summit. I know
this issue has been of great interest to the Congress, so let me repeat
here what I said last March in Prague: NATO enlargement is on track and
it will happen. Right now, we are intensively consulting with
interested countries to determine what they must do, and what NATO must
do, to prepare for their accession. NATO will take the next steps in
this process in December.
NATO enlargement, to be done right, must continue along the deliberate
path the President has laid out. Enlargement involves the most solemn
commitments that one nation can make to another. It will require new
members to transform the structure, doctrine and equipment of their
armed forces. We are committed to airing it fully in the Congress and
with the American people. When the first new members are admitted, we
must also ensure that the door stays open to others.
With Japan, after much hard work, our relationship is on a sounder basis
than it was when we took office. In April, President Clinton and Prime
Minister Hashimoto signed a Security Declaration that will enable our
alliance to meet the challenges of the next century. We have reached 21
market opening agreements with Japan -- and American exports to Japan
are now rising 5 times as fast as imports. And we are pursuing an
ambitious Common Agenda to address global issues such as the
environment, population, crime and drugs.
Last week, Secretary Perry and I travelled to Sydney for the intensive
talks we hold each year with Australia, for half a century the strong
southern anchor of our Pacific alliances. The Security Declaration we
issued reflects our intention to reinforce our alliance to meet the
challenges of the next century. Our two nations will benefit from the
military training facilities we agreed to expand in Australia, along
with our robust schedule of joint exercises.
With Russia, President Clinton has understood our critical stake in the
success of that country's efforts to become democratic, stable and
prosperous. The President has been unwavering in his determination to
engage with Russia to advance the interests that we share. As a result,
Americans are more secure. We have achieved massive reductions in
nuclear arsenals, and we are working to keep nuclear materials from
terrorists and rogue states. Our troops are serving together in Bosnia.
In our meeting last week in Jakarta, Foreign Minister Primakov announced
that Russia will join us to support the current text of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, helping to meet our goal of opening the
treaty for signature by September.
We have had no illusions that Russia's transformation would be easy or
quick. But this month, Russia passed a historic milestone. The
election showed that the Russian people are determined to preserve the
new freedoms they have gained and continue to pursue the path of reform,
despite the hardships they still endure. That means we can move forward
with the cooperative agenda that has already done so much to advance our
We will continue our critical work together on arms control and non-
proliferation, as well as our discussions on Russia's developing
relationship with NATO. We will redouble our efforts to promote U.S.
investment in Russia and to encourage the conditions in which investment
can thrive -- a top priority of the commission chaired by Vice President
Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin. We will encourage Russia to meet
its IMF commitments. And we will continue to speak clearly and
forcefully when we disagree with Russian policies, as we do on the
continuing war in Chechnya.
We have restored positive momentum to our relations with China, a nation
that will have a growing impact on the security and prosperity of the
world. As Secretary of State, I have the responsibility to develop our
relationship in ways that benefit the United States. After a period of
difficulty, we have made significant progress in recent months. We have
reached an important new understanding on nuclear exports, concluded an
agreement on intellectual property rights and moved forward with our
bilateral security dialogue.
Now we have a chance to build on these developments and deepen our
cooperation. China is critical to ensuring a non-nuclear Korean
Peninsula and to completing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We hope
to expand our cooperation on a growing range of common challenges, from
fighting narcotics to protecting the environment and strengthening the
global trading system. In this connection, we continue to support
China's accession to the World Trade Organization on commercially
The United States also has an interest in the peaceful resolution of
issues between the PRC and Taiwan. We have made clear, through our
words and actions, that a resort to force will have grave consequences.
The United States remains committed to our "one China" policy and the
three joint communiqus, and urges a resumption of cross strait
dialogue. We also have a strong interest in a smooth transition in Hong
Kong, and preservation of its open political and economic system. Of
course, the United States and China continue to face areas of important
difference, such as human rights. While we will press our concerns, we
will manage this and other differences constructively.
In order to pursue all our interests, we need to have regular high-level
contacts with China. Last week in Jakarta, I met with Chinese Foreign
Minister Qian for the 14th time and I laid out a series of high-level
visits. I accepted an invitation to visit Beijing in November. We are
also planning a series of cabinet-level exchanges in the months ahead.
We will continue to encourage China to pursue its modernization in ways
that contribute to the overall security and prosperity of the region and
Building Peace in Regions of Vital Interest
A second fundamental priority for this Administration has been to
prevent and resolve conflicts in regions of vital importance to the
United States. Our efforts prevent local conflicts from becoming wider
wars that could threaten our allies or embroil American troops. They
safeguard stability in regions with key shipping lanes and economic
resources. And in the best tradition of our nation and people, they
help to avert humanitarian crises and save lives.
Last year in Europe, American diplomacy backed by force ended the worst
conflict that continent had seen since the Second World War. Now eight
months have passed since the signing of the Dayton Agreement ended the
killing in Bosnia. Our troops have completed their most important task:
assuring the disengagement and demobilization of the warring armies.
Our program to train and equip the Bosnian army has begun. All over the
country, mines are being cleared, roads and schools are being reopened,
economic activity is returning, and families are being reunited.
I will not minimize the considerable challenges we still face. But real
peace can only be built one small step at a time. And every step Bosnia
takes toward peace makes it less likely that violence will resume. That
is why we are determined to stick with this process.
Our most important task now is to create the conditions in Bosnia under
which free elections can be held in September. Elections will not
resolve Bosnia's problems overnight, but they are the only sure way to
give the people of Bosnia a voice in shaping their future -- the voice
they were denied by the war. We are helping them by supervising voter
registration, setting up local electoral commissions with citizen
involvement, and inaugurating an Open Broadcast Network to give
candidates access to the media.
As you know, we have made it consistently clear that indicted war
criminals must have no role in these elections. To achieve that goal,
we have maintained steady pressure on Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs, and
two weeks ago, I asked Dick Holbrooke to return to the region. He
obtained an undertaking that Radovan Karadzic would resign from the
leadership of his political party, the SDS, and remove himself from
public life for good. As this agreement is implemented, the election
can begin to establish a new leadership for Bosnia that is committed to
a just and enduring peace. At the same time, we will not be satisfied
until indicted war criminals like Karadzic and Mladic are brought to
justice in the Hague.
When President Clinton took office, he also recognized America's
overriding strategic, economic, and moral interest in achieving a
lasting peace in the Middle East. Our deep involvement has paid rich
dividends. Israel and the Palestinians have taken historic steps
towards ending their conflict. Palestinians in Gaza and in most of the
cities of the West Bank now govern themselves, and their elected leaders
cooperate with Israel to fight terrororism. Israel has also made peace
with Jordan and forged diplomatic and economic contacts with many
countries in the Arab world. With our active help, the political
landscape of the region has begun to fundamentally change.
We are now working with the new government of Israel and our Arab
partners to preserve the gains of the last few years and to build upon
them. Since the Prime Minister's meeting with President Clinton in
Washington, we have seen positive developments. Israel completed a
round of diplomacy with Egypt, Jordan and Oman. It reaffirmed its
commitment to implement the Oslo agreements, including redeployment from
Hebron. Israeli Foreign Minister Levy met with Chairman Arafat. This
week in Washington, President Mubarak assured President Clinton and me
that Egypt will remain a strong pillar for peace. On his recent trip,
my envoy Dennis Ross found the parties dedicated to pursuing peace and
finding ways to move forward. Of course, many difficult issues lie
ahead. But the President and I are determined to stay engaged because
pursuing a comprehensive peace remains in the interest of the United
States, Israel and our Arab partners.
President Clinton has also recognized that with the end of the Cold War,
the Asia-Pacific region is more important to our interests than ever
before. We have carried out a strategy that has produced concrete
benefits for each and every American. Americans are more secure because
we have invigorated our core alliances and maintained 100,000 troops in
a region where we have fought three wars in the past half-century. We
are more prosperous because we have opened markets among the fastest-
growing economies in the world.
Across the region, American leadership remains the essential
underpinning for security and prosperity -- a view shared by the leaders
of virtually every country that took part in the ASEAN Regional Forum
that I attended last week in Jakarta. Our participation in the Forum,
now in its third year, supports our efforts to reduce tension and
promote stability in a region where we have fought three wars in the
last half century.
Last week, I was instrumental in placing the need for a political
dialogue on Burma on the Forum's agenda. Our support for the Cohen-
Feinstein-Chafee Amendment in the Senate sent another clear message on
Burma: if there is a crackdown against Aung San Suu Kyi or large scale
repression of the opposition, the United States will impose sanctions
and seek to mobilize international support to do the same.
This Administration has given the highest priority to safeguarding peace
on the Korean Peninsula, the last fault line of the Cold War. Building
on the close contacts between President Clinton and President Kim, the
United States and South Korea have reinforced our alliance and expanded
our cooperation. Thanks to the Agreed Framework we concluded in October
1994, North Korea's dangerous nuclear program is frozen and on the road
to the scrap heap. Nuclear fuel that could have been used to make
weapons is now moving into IAEA-safeguarded storage.
At our urging, our friends and allies from South Korea to the EU have
lined up to support a key element of the Framework, the Korean Peninsula
Energy Development Organization (KEDO). For the world's most powerful
nation and largest economy, our 1996 commitment of $25 million is a tiny
investment compared to the literally billions of dollars in
contributions that South Korea and Japan alone are making, or the
immeasurable costs of a conflict in Korea. I welcome the Senate's vote
last week to restore full funding for KEDO, and I urge the conference
committee to do likewise.
In this hemisphere, our leadership remains vital to sustain remarkable
progress toward peace and democracy, and to the new cooperation that
President Clinton has spearheaded through the Miami Summit process.
Over the last year, American diplomacy has played a critical role in
stemming a coup attempt in Paraguay and halting a border conflict
between Ecuador and Peru. In Nicaragua, our support has helped prepare
for elections this fall, which should mark the first transition from one
freely-elected government to another this century.
In the aftermath of Cuba's deadly assault on unarmed civilian aircraft,
President Clinton acted decisively. We won the UN Security Council's
first condemnation of Cuba. The President signed and moved to implement
the Helms-Burton Act. And I can assure you that the President and I
will be working hard to press our allies and friends to join with us in
isolating Cuba's dictatorship.
In Haiti, President Clinton's firmness and patience allowed American
troops to come in peace and leave on time. While many difficulties
remain, security and human rights conditions have improved for the
Haitian people. The tragic and destabilizing flow of migrants has been
stemmed. We have sent a powerful message that democracy in the Americas
cannot be overturned with impunity. Continued support for economic
reforms and development is essential if Haiti is to overcome the legacy
of its repressive past and become a stable neighbor that can give its
citizens decent lives at home.
Running through all these actions, Mr. Chairman, is a commitment to
defend democracy and human rights. From Bosnia to Burma to Cuba, we are
convinced that lasting stability can best be assured by governments that
are accountable to the people they govern. That has been and will
remain a central principle of our foreign policy.
International institutions such as the United Nations can also be a
critical tool to advance our interests -- including our interest in
peace and stability. For without the UN and its peacekeeping
capabilities, we would be left with just two alternatives when crises
such as the one in Haiti arise: sending American troops or doing
nothing at all. We would be unable to maintain sanctions against rogue
states and to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. And we would
not have the means to care for millions of refugees and fight
effectively against epidemic diseases such as smallpox and AIDS.
There is broad agreement that the UN has serious problems. And though a
great deal of progress has been made, it is still seriously in need of
further reform. The President and I have made clear that tangible
reform is essential to sustain the support of the Congress and the
American people for the UN. And we have insisted on the need for a new
Secretary-General. At the same time, Mr. Chairman, we cannot lead
effectively on these issues unless we meet our financial commitments to
the UN. We cannot reform and retreat at the same time.
Promoting Open Markets and Prosperity
A third central priority for President Clinton has been creating jobs
for Americans at home by opening markets abroad. I believe that the
President's extraordinary success in this regard will stand as a lasting
legacy of his Administration. We have put the bottom lines of American
business on the front lines of American diplomacy. The over 200 trade
agreements we have negotiated over the last three years have helped our
exports grow by 34 percent since 1993 and created 1.6 million new jobs.
By passing NAFTA, concluding the GATT Uruguay Round, and forging the
Miami Summit commitment to achieve free and open trade in our hemisphere
by 2005 and the APEC commitment to do the same in the Asia-Pacific by
2020, the President has positioned the United States to become an even
more dynamic hub of the global economy in the twenty-first century.
I used my meetings in Jakarta last week to lay out our goals for two
events that can shape our trade relations and create jobs for Americans
into the next century. At the APEC Leaders Meeting in Manila this
November, we will move forward with specific commitments to open trade
in the Asia-Pacific region and find new ways to involve the private
sector. In December, we will use the first ministerial meeting of the
World Trade Organization in Singapore to galvanize our trade partners to
carry out their Uruguay Round commitments -- and to complete the Round's
"unfinished business" in telecommunications and financial services. We
will also work hard to set the WTO's priorities for the early 21st
century -- opening new sectors, increasing the transparency of
government procurement, and addressing the relationship between trade
and core labor standards.
President Clinton has recognized that our economic security at home
depends on shaping economic forces abroad. That is why, even in the
face of considerable opposition, the President acted to support Mexico
at its time of grave financial crisis. The Mexican government's
announcement last week that it would repay early two-thirds of its
remaining debt to the U.S. demonstrates that our strategy worked. The
Mexican economy is beginning to recover -- and U.S. exports to Mexico
are running at an all-time high.
Facing Global Challenges
Finally, we are intensifying our efforts to confront the transnational
security challenges we face, including proliferation, terrorism,
international crime and narcotics and damage to the environment. These
threats respect no border, ocean -- or committee jurisdiction. They
must be fought at home and abroad.
As a young republic, the United States was first forced to emerge from
isolation to combat the pirates that threatened our maritime trade.
Today's pirates launch cowardly bombing attacks and sell drugs to our
children. They cannot be defeated by one nation alone. But they can be
stopped if the international community stands united and vigilant -- and
the United States leads the way.
We are far safer today from armed conflict and nuclear war than we were
during the Cold War. But as recent events have shown us, this is not a
time when we can take our security and our freedom for granted. The
purpose of terrorism is to strike fear into open societies; it can be
overcome as long as we do not surrender to fear.
From the start of our Administration, the President has identified
terrorism as one of the primary security challenges we face in the post-
Cold War world. In fact, the President laid out a strategy to contain
state sponsors of terrorism in early 1993. Since then, our nation has
been leading the world in the fight against terror. We have had some
successes, but clearly, much more needs to be done.
Yesterday in Paris, Attorney General Reno led our delegation to a P-8
Ministerial Meeting on Terrorism, where we pressed for practical steps
to improve international cooperation against terror. The meeting
adopted a U.S. proposal to protect mass transportation by, among other
things, setting uniform standards for bomb detection, marking and
tracing explosives, and standardizing passanger and cargo manifests. We
also agreed to negotiate an international treaty on terrorist bombings.
Such a treaty should require countries to share more information on
terrorist bombing suspects and making it certain they will be tried or
extradited when caught.
With Congress's help, the United States has already taken the lead by
being among the first to ratify an existing series of ten anti-terrorism
conventions, and by strengthening our network of bilateral extradition
treaties. Our efforts have paid off, with the capture and trial in the
United States of all the World Trade Center bombing suspects, as well as
the conviction of TWA hijacker Ali Rizak. We also, of course, worked
together to create the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, and to put into place
provisions making it easier to stop terrorist fundraising in this
I don't think anyone has worked harder than I have to isolate the states
which sponsor these heinous crimes. President Clinton has taken
unprecedented steps to deny Iran the resources it needs to finance its
support for terror. We will continue to urge our European allies to
abandon their unsuccessful efforts at dialogue and join us. We will
continue to work in the UN Security Council to maintain and strengthen
the sanctions regime against Libya. And President Clinton will shortly
sign the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act.
As the President has said, we want to work with the Congress in this
urgent fight. I call on Congress to adopt the President's proposals to
strengthen our domestic counter-terrorism efforts.
Mr. Chairman, strong law enforcement and intelligence are critical to
our fight against terrorism. But we will not defeat this scourge simply
by being prepared at home. We must continue to support peace in places
like the Middle East. We must build strong partnerships with other
nations to ensure they cooperate with us while denying support to
lawbreakers and outlaw regimes. We must keep deadly weapons from
falling into the wrong hands. In short, we must continue to lead.
This Administration has pursued a far reaching agenda to stop the spread
of weapons of mass destruction, the gravest potential threat to the
United States and our allies. Last year, American leadership helped
secure the unconditional and indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty. Our goal of concluding a Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty this year is within reach. Meetings on the draft treaty resumed
this Monday in Geneva. While imperfect, the text of the treaty as it
now stands will strengthen the security of the United States and the
The State Department is advancing the President's strategy to put
international criminals and drug traffickers out of business. We are
intensifying international cooperation from Mexico to Australia through
training programs, extradition treaties and assistance. With Congress's
support, we will step up our crop substitution and aerial eradication
programs in Latin America, and our efforts against heroin traffickers in
South and Southeast Asia. We have stepped up the pressure against drug
traffickers in Colombia and, as you know, we have denied a visa to
Our Administration is also working to protect the security and well-
being of American citizens by putting environmental issues where they
belong: in the mainstream of American diplomacy. The environment
affects our national interests in two ways. Environmental threats
transcend borders and oceans to influence directly the health and
prosperity of American citizens. Natural resource issues are also
critical to political and economic stability, and to pursuing our
strategic goals around the world. For these reasons, I launched an
initiative this spring to integrate environmental issues into every
aspect of our diplomacy.
For example, we are making greater use of environmental initiatives to
promote peace in the Middle East and democracy in Central Europe. In
Ukraine, our assistance is helping to close the Chernobyl nuclear power
plant, which still poses a danger to the citizens of a dozen countries
and drains the resources needed to build a secure market democracy. In
Brazil, USAID programs are saving hundreds of thousands of acres of rain
forest containing countless numbers of species of potential importance
to medicine and science. And today, the House votes on H.R. 2823 --
sound legislation to implement a successful international agreement to
protect dolphins and marine wildlife. I urge you to support this bill.
As a result of discussions on climate change in Geneva two weeks ago, we
have moved to promote binding targets for reduction of greenhouse gases.
We are making sure that our proposals will create flexible procedures
that do not impose unreasonable burdens on American business -- or
consumers. Indeed, our environmental programs are helping American
companies expand their already commanding share of a $400 billion market
for environmental technology.
Mr. Chairman, I know that our human rights, democracy and development
programs are of particular interest to many of you on this committee.
They are a clear-eyed investment in helping ensure that more nations
emerge as stable, prosperous democracies and fewer fall victim to costly
humanitarian crises. They are the proverbial ounce of prevention in a
world where the "cure" often requires sacrifices in lives as well as
This kind of assistance certainly cannot solve every problem. It is no
substitute for good government in the states we assist, and it cannot
make up for failed economic policies. But we have learned many lessons
in the last few decades about what works and what does not, and we are
applying them well.
Our assistance programs are helping ease the burden that rapid
population growth places on economic growth and the health of the global
environment. They are strengthening accountable governments that
respect human rights. By enforcing our trade laws, we have gained
commitments from Guatemala and Pakistan this year to improve enforcement
of labor standards for children and adults -- and I am pleased to say
that a recent mission to Guatemala was able to document significant
progress. And they are helping build democracies in regions like
southern Africa, which boasted only one democracy just seven years ago.
Today ten countries from South Africa to Malawi are successfully making
this difficult transition.
There is much more work to be done, Mr. Chairman, in all the areas I
have mentioned today. We have a solid record upon which to build, and a
sound structure for moving forward.
The President and I will continue to do our part to sustain American
leadership in the world. And let me assure you that we will continue to
work with you and the full Congress as you do your part. As I have said
many times before, our leadership cannot be maintained on the cheap. We
need the resources to support our people and our posts. We need to
sustain concrete support for democracy and development. We need to let
our allies and adversaries know that the United States will do what it
must to meet its commitments and to protect its interests.
If we do, then as the President has said, "We can enter the 21st century
with a military whose fighting edge is sharper than ever; with a
peaceful, undivided Europe and stable, prosperous Asia; with fewer
nuclear weapons in the world's arsenals and tough new agreements to
control chemical and biological weapons; with terrorists, organized
criminals, and drug traffickers on the run; with more barriers to
American products coming down; with more people than ever living with
the blessings of peace and democracy."
The President and I look forward to working with this Committee and this
Congress in pursuit of the goals I know we share.
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