Originally created 02/17/99

No foreign commanders 021799 - The Augusta Chronicle



As President Clinton prepares to put U.S. troops in harm's way on another ill-advised peacekeeping mission -- this one in Kosovo -- U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., and a host of other congressional members are moving to prevent Americans from being put under a foreign command.

Think about this: As Clinton administration policies now stand, Marine and Navy reservists training at Daniel Village could be called to Serbia to be commanded by a Pakistani general.

Norwood and U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., are spearheading a bipartisan drive to prohibit such an abomination from occurring.

In a letter sent to the president, the coalition recalls the disaster that followed the last time U.S. peacekeeping forces were under foreign officers. Communication and command confusion led to the deaths of 18 Americans in Somalia.

The thrust of the Norwood-Bachus letter is legislatively reiterated in House Congressional Resolution 29, which we strongly urge both chambers to support.

Another bill, H.R. 647, also deserves strong public backing. It bars the Pentagon from spending any tax revenues on deploying U.S. troops to Kosovo unless specifically authorized by law.

These measures would force the Clinton administration to get congressional approval before sending American fighting men and women half way around the globe on "feel-good" peace missions with no exit strategy.

Recall that troops were sent to Bosnia late in 1995 for "just one year." They're still there -- and there's still no end game in sight.