Letter to Jan Baughman on Kosovo
by President William Jefferson Clinton



August 19, 1999

Ms. Jan E. Baughman

Dear Jan:

Thank you for sharing your views on Kosovo.

The United States and our NATO allies went to Serbia with three clear objectives: the withdrawal of Serb forces, the deployment of an international security force with NATO at its core to protect all the residents of the region -- Serbs and Albanians alike -- and the safe return of the Kosovars to their homes to live in self-government. Thanks to the strength and solidarity of NATO, the diplomatic efforts of Russia, and the courage of the men and women who went to Serbia, the conflict in Kosovo was brought to a just and honorable conclusion.

Now we are entering a new phase, one with formidable challenges. First, we must ensure that the Serbian authorities meet their commitments to the international community. Second, we must continue our efforts to help the Kosovar refugees return home safely so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. That includes clearing dangerous minefields, providing food and medicine for those in need, overseeing the demilitarization of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and ensuring the overall security of the region. To achieve these goals, approximately 50,000 troops from nearly 30 countries will deploy to Kosovo. Our European allies will provide the vast majority of those troops. The United States will contribute approximately 7,000 troops, and we plan to be part of the long-term efforts of the international community to promote democracy and stability in the region.

The crimes of Slobodan Milosovic and his top aides shocked freedom-loving people around the world and united 19 democracies behind a common cause for liberty. Our victory in Kosovo and the indictment of Mr. Milosovic by the International War Crimes Tribunal send a powerful message to people everywhere that hate and violent crimes have no place in our world today. As we continue working to uphold America's values, protect our interests, and promote stability, I appreciate your interest in this important issue.





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