U.S. State Department Geographic Bureaus: Europe and Canada Bureau

U.S. Department of State
95/11/01 Fact Sheet--Bosnia: If a Peace Agreement is Reached
Bureau of Public Affairs


If a Peace Agreement Is Reached

In October 1995, President Clinton stated the following: "If a peace agreement is reached, I will request an expression of support in Congress for committing United States troops to a NATO implementation force."

If a peace agreement is reached, only NATO can effectively implement it. NATO will not deploy in Bosnia unless and until the parties reach a real agreement that demonstrates their commitment to peace.

U.S. participation in any peace implementation force (IFOR) will depend on the details of the peace plan. President Clinton will not send our troops to enforce a plan that is not accepted by the sides, or to defend a paper settlement where there is no peace to keep.

Ongoing NATO planning emphasizes the need to maintain a cease-fire and ensure that local forces withdraw to their respective territories as established at settlement. To accomplish these goals, Allies envision that the IFOR would report through a NATO chain of command to NATO's supreme political body, the North Atlantic Council. There will be no "dual key."

The operation would be under the overall authority of the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General George Joulwan, and under the direct command of NATO's Southern Commander, Admiral Leighton Smith. Both men are United States military officers.

It is desirable for many reasons for the IFOR to contain units from non- NATO states as diverse as Russia, other Partnership for Peace members, and countries whose forces currently are part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). Arrangements for coordination between non- NATO participants and the NATO command structure are now being finalized.

Once the IFOR is deployed, UNPROFOR's mandate will terminate, although some forces in UNPROFOR would be "rehatted" as part of IFOR. This would include "rehatting" Allied units that now comprise the Rapid Reaction Force.

In parallel with military implementation efforts, the United States and our Contact Group partners envision programs for economic reconstruction, civilian-led human rights and humanitarian activities, and the development of democratic institutions, including the conduct of free and fair elections.

Planning has also begun for a European Union-led economic reconstruction effort to help the Balkans rebuild and to integrate into the broader economic community.

A range of organizations and bilateral aid organizations, including the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the EU, and the international financial institutions will be involved in implementation of the non-military aspects of the settlement.

Discussions are under way among our Contact Group partners on the need for a senior coordinator to ensure that the work of the various organizations involved in implementing the non-military aspects of the settlement proceeds smoothly.

November 1995 (###)

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