Thursday, April 1, 1999


Our mission now is clear. To change Mr. Milosevic's calculations by exacting a punishing cost for his present policy of repression. To diminish his capacity to carry out that policy. To attack his military from the air when he wants to preserve it and conduct an offensive on the ground.

President Bill Clinton
April 1, 1999

Today, President Clinton travels to Norfolk where he meets with the families of military personnel serving in the Balkans, discusses our mission in Kosovo, and the reaffirms the dedication the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have to ensure that this crisis ends peacefully.

President Clinton Exhausted All Peaceful Ways To Settle This Crisis. President Clinton has spearheaded international efforts to achieve a durable peace in Kosovo through diplomatic means. In October of last year, the U.S. and our NATO allies brokered a ceasefire in the region that successfully reduced the violence, prevented it from spreading, and allowed hundreds of thousands of Kosovar Albanians who fled the fighting to return safely to their homes before the onset of winter. When the fighting again flared in January, President Clinton joined our allies in calling for peace talks in Rambouillet, France that ultimately led to the Kosovar Albanians signing a interim political settlement. When the Serbs failed to join the Kosovars at the bargaining table, President Clinton and NATO were left with no other choice but to begin an air campaign to degrade Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's ability to wage war against the Kosovars.

President Clinton And NATO Are Committed To Bringing Peace To Kosovo. In today's speech, President Clinton will reiterate our firm resolve to exact a punishing cost on Milosevic for his actions and to stay the course until our objectives are met:

Providing Critical Humanitarian Assistance. The actions of Serbia have led to a humanitarian crisis not seen in Europe since World War II. In response to these atrocities, the United States:

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