Rod Grams' Reply

I received the following letter dated 7. April, 1999 from Senator Grams in response to my Letter to my representatives about Kosovo.

Dear Mr. Polaschek:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the current situation in Kosovo. I appreciate hearing from you.

Currently, U.S. forces under NATO command are conducting air strikes against Serbia. They have my full support and endorsement as they go into battle.

As you may know, I voted against authorizing the use of force against Serbia, because the President refused to explain to Congress and the American people how his goals would be achieved by bombing, and what our plan would be after the bombing stopped -- if Milosevic refused to yield. I do not see how bombing Serbia will bring about peace in the region, end the atrocities being committed, or lead to the Administration's goal of greater political autonomy to Kosovo. Indeed, those desired results appear more elusive since NATO bombing commenced.

The best way I can support our troops at this time is to declare that I will do everything in my power to make sure they are not put on the ground in Kosovo. I hope that we have not started down a slippery slope where the President insists that in order to protect our credibility or NATO's credibility we have to send in U.S. ground troops. There is a reasonable concern that U.S. standing in the world will suffer a temporary setback if we do not defeat Milosevic and rely on a negotiated solution. But our men and women in uniform should not have to pay the ultimate price for the poor decisions and miscalculations of this Administration.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of NATO, it is particularly unfortunate the President's decision to use NATO to attack Serbia has fundamentally changed the nature of this important alliance. Up until this point, NATO had been a defensive alliance. It had never attacked a country that had not threatened its neighbors or a member of the alliance. The President should not have altered the purpose of one of the most successful military alliances in history without a debate. NATO credibility should not have been tested with this ill-conceived venture.

The only lasting solution to this conflict in the Balkans is a negotiated agreement where both sides agree to live with the results. Otherwise any peacekeeping force will be caught in the middle of the ethnic Albanians who want independence and the Serbs who want total control of Kosovo.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your views. Please continue to get in touch with me anything you have questions or concerns about an issue.

Sincerely,

Rod Grams
United States Senator

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:05:53.