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H.Doc.104-36 FINAL REPORT ON THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE ...


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        104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House 
Document 104-35

 
                                H.R. 872

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  FROM

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              TRANSMITTING

  A LETTER IN WRITING EXPRESSING HIS DEEP CONCERN ABOUT H.R. 872, THE 
               ``NATIONAL SECURITY REVITALIZATION ACT''.


<GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

February 14, 1995.--Referred jointly to the Committees on International 
 Relations, National Security, and Intelligence (Permanent Select) and 
                         ordered to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                     Washington, February 14, 1995.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: I am writing to express my deep concern 
about H.R. 872, the ``National Security Revitalization Act''. 
This bill represents an assault on the authority of the 
President as Commander in Chief and, by destroying the capacity 
for U.N. peacekeeping, would force us into a choice between 
acting alone or doing nothing when international crisis arise.
    The bill contains numerous flawed provisions that are 
simply unacceptable.
    First, by effectively eliminating U.S. payments for our 
share of U.N. costs and by encouraging other nations to do the 
same, H.R. 872 would end U.N. peacekeeping overnight. The 
elimination of U.N. peacekeeping would damage U.S. interests. 
While the U.S. must remain prepared to act alone when our vital 
interests are threatened, we must also preserve the ability to 
share risks and burdens with other nations where that is the 
most appropriate response to international dangers. Of the more 
than 60,000 U.N. peacekeepers currently deployed in trouble 
spots around the world, less than one thousand are Americans.
    The option of collective action through the United Nations 
has been available to every U.S. President since Harry Truman. 
As successive Administrations of both parties have found, U.N. 
peacekeeping can be one of the best forms of burdensharing. 
U.N. missions in such places as the Golan Heights, Kuwait, 
Cyprus, El Salvador and soon in Haiti serve important U.S. 
interests by protecting our allies, checking aggressors, 
deterring regional conflicts, and promoting democracy. H.R. 872 
would deny the President the flexibility to employ this cost-
effective tool to protect and advance U.S. interests.
    Second, this bill would infringe upon my constitutional 
authority as Commander in Chief to determine the appropriate 
command and control arrangements for U.S. forces serving around 
the world. While I will never relinquish command authority over 
U.S. forces, as Commander in Chief I must retain the 
flexibility to place U.S. troops temporarily under the 
operational control of allied officers of another nation when 
it serves our interests, as the U.S. has done from the 
Revolutionary War to Operation Desert Storm. By restricting 
that authority, H.R. 872 would undercut our ability to mobilize 
the international community to respond to threats.
    Third, by requiring specific Congressional authorization 
before the President can dispatch even a single U.S. soldier to 
a U.N. mission, H.R. 872 hinders our ability to react swiftly 
and proportionately to regional security threats. The likely 
result is to impel the U.S. to act alone more often.
    Fourth, this bill alters the steady course we and our 
Allies have set toward the expansion of NATO. As I have said 
many times, NATO's expansion is inevitable and will strengthen 
stability in Europe for all countries--NATO members and non-
members alike. At our initiative, the Alliance is now 
developing the principles to be applied in considering 
potential new members and will present its initial conclusions 
this fall to members of the Partnership for Peace. H.R. 872 
would unilaterally and prematurely declare certain countries as 
qualified for NATO membership, writing into law distinctions 
that could discourage reformers in countries not named and 
encourage complacency in countries that are. The legislation 
could actually slow and complicate the expansion process by 
generating disagreement with our Allies and by sowing 
instability in the region whose security we seek to bolster.
    Fifth, H.R. 872 seeks to commit the United States to an 
accelerated deployment of a National Missile Defense (NMD) 
system that would cost many tens of billions of dollars and 
could only be fielded if we abrogate or amend the Anti-
Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Such a costly undertaking would 
divert defense resources from higher priority mission areas, 
including readiness and theater missile defenses. By 
threatening the ABM Treaty, this plan would also put at risk 
continued Russian adherence to the START I Treaty and its 
ratification of the pending START II Treaty--treaties which 
together will remove from deployed status two-thirds of the 
strategic nuclear warheads which threatened us when the Cold 
War ended. Finally, there is simply no need to embark on an 
accelerated NMD deployment plan at this time. The NMD 
technology readiness program proposed in my FY 1996 budget 
request ensures that we can respond in a timely fashion should 
a long-range missile threat to the U.S. homeland materialize 
sooner than our intelligence community now forecasts.
    In addition, H.R. 872 would slow the pace of U.N. reform by 
mandating withholdings of U.S. payments to the U.N. until the 
recently-established U.N. inspector general meets several new 
and unworkable requirements. Finally, at a time when my 
Administration is successfully cutting the size and cost of 
government, this bill would create a new National Security 
Commission that would duplicate work already being done 
properly by the Department of Defense and Congress.
    H.R. 872 is simply bad national security policy. It would 
limit the United States' flexibility to respond to 
international crisis and to protect U.S. interests. It would 
undermine the President's constitutional responsibility to 
conduct U.S. foreign policy and act as Commander in Chief. It 
could set us on a collision course with some of
our closest allies. It would undercut U.S. leadership abroad. 
It would place U.S. forces at greater risk by forcing us to act 
unilaterally or not at all.
    I urge Congress to defeat H.R. 872.
            Sincerely,
                                                      Bill Clinton.
                               <greek-d> 

Pages: 1

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