[Congressional Record Volume 145, Number 46 (Tuesday, March 23, 1999)]
[Pages S3110-S3119]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 21) authorizing the 
     President of the United States to conduct military air 
     operations and missile strikes against the Federal Republic 
     of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. STEVENS. Parliamentary inquiry: How much time is involved?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Thirty minutes equally divided.
  Mr. STEVENS. Who is handling the opposition?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The two leaders or their designees.
  Mr. WARNER. I am, of course, in favor, as the cosponsor with Mr. 
Biden, so I suggest that the Senator from Idaho, Mr. Craig, be a 
  Mr. BIDEN. I yield myself 3 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware is recognized.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, this is a very straightforward concurrent 
resolution, but I think it bears reading again.
  It says,

       Authorizing the President of the United States to conduct 
     military air operations and missile strikes against the 
     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).
       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That the President of the United States is 
     authorized to conduct military air operations and missile 
     strikes in cooperation with our NATO allies against the 
     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

  It is straightforward and simple. It is a clear up-or-down vote on 
whether or not we support the action that is contemplated by the 
President, that NATO, through its action order--so-called action 
order--has authorized Solana to call for at his discretion and 
concurrence with the leaders of the 19 NATO countries.

  I think we have debated this a lot. There are very strong views on 
this. I happen to think this is an authority that Congress should be 
giving the President, but at a minimum I think most of us agree that 
the President needs to hear from the Congress as to what our position 
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
  I reserve the remainder of the time.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. May I ask the Senator a question?
  Mr. BIDEN. I am happy to respond to a question.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I thank my colleague.
  Could my colleague, for the purposes of the legislative record, spell 
out the objective? The President is authorized to ``conduct military 
operations.'' Could my colleague spell out what his understanding is?
  Mr. BIDEN. My understanding of the objective stated by the President 
is that his objective is to end the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the 
persecution of the Albanian minority population in Kosovo and to 
maintain security and stability in the Balkans as a consequence of 
slowing up, stopping, or curtailing the ability of Milosevic and the 
Serbian VJ and the MUP to be able to go in and cause circumstances 
which provide for the likelihood of a half-million refugees to 
destabilize the region.
  The objective at the end of the day: Hopefully, this will bring 
Milosevic back to the table. Hopefully, he will agree to what all of 
NATO said they wanted him to agree to, and hopefully that will occur. 
In the event that it does not occur, the objective will be to degrade 
his military capability so significantly that he will not be able to 
impose his will upon Kosovo, as he is doing now.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for his response 
and would like to make it clear that I believe my support would be 
based upon these kinds of objectives.
  Mr. BIDEN. I thank the Senator.
  Does the opposition wish more time?
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I stand in opposition to the Senate 
concurrent resolution and yield 2 minutes to Senator Brownback.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas is recognized.
  Mr. BROWNBACK. Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate our colleague 
from Idaho recognizing me to speak briefly on this amendment.
  I rise in opposition to this amendment to this resolution. I think 
this is an ill-advised, ill-timed, inappropriate action to take, given 
the situation that we have, given the potential and the actual probable 
loss of U.S. lives, the lack of involving the entire United States in 
this and saying to the American people: Why are we doing this? We don't 
know where it is going on step 2, step 3, and step 4.
  This is step 1. We go in and we bomb a sovereign nation involved in a 
civil war. What if he doesn't fall back? What if Milosevic doesn't say: 
OK, I give up, and you can have autonomy in Kosovo? What if we go ahead 
into Montenegro and say we want to split off. Will the United States 
bomb and support Montenegro in that process?
  This is a very, very serious step we are taking of such foreign 
policy, and we have not had sufficient debate about what the U.S. 
position is. This is not in our strategic and vital interest of what is 
taking place. Yet we are going to go forward and start a bombing 
campaign. We need to have a thorough, extensive debate here, involving 
the American people, as to whether or not this is in our vital and 
strategic interests. I submit that has not taken place to date. The 
administration has not brought the Congress along, and this is an 
inappropriate, ill-timed event and action for us to take and is not 
being supported by the American people.

  For those reasons, I will be opposing this resolution.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
Senator from Massachusetts, Senator Kerry.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I believe that the way we have arrived here 
is less than ideal. However, the choices we have are also not ideal. 
The choice of doing nothing is absolutely unacceptable.
  While I will have more to say about the process by which we got here, 
there are powerful strategic, humanitarian, and historical reasons that 
the United States, in a broad-based, NATO-based effort, ought to be 
doing what it is engaged in.
  I think it is important for all of our colleagues to reflect on the 
fact, this is not the United States acting unilaterally; this is all of 
the allies, all together, all of them coming together, with a 
preponderance ultimately of European involvement if there ever is a 
peace process to enforce.
  I want to emphasize one thing with respect to the goals and 
objectives. I view these as very limited in their current structure. I 
view it as essentially an effort to try to minimize Milosevic's 
capacity militarily to ethnically cleanse. It is hoped that you might 
also secure the peace. It is hoped that you might also be able to move 
to a more broad-based enforcement process. But I don't view that as the 
essential objective. The essential objective is to minimize his 
capacity to work his will without any contravening forces that would 
equalize the battlefield, if you will, and minimize the capacity for 
ethnic cleansing. That is the overpowering strategic and, I think also, 
humanitarian interest here, and I think it is important for the Senate 
to stay focused on the limitations.

  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, we are in this situation because sometime 
last year the administration authorized our representatives of NATO to 
enter into an agreement that would allow NATO forces to conduct strike 
operations against the Serbs if they did not sign an agreement that was 
sought--the ``peace agreement'' so-called. That did not occur. 
Suddenly, we find that now here we are with one sentence, one sentence 
approving the concept of sending in airstrikes against that nation. We 
do not have a prohibition against the use of ground forces, and I told 
the President this morning I would support this resolution if it did.
  But beyond that, I am constrained to say that I remember standing 
here on the floor in 1991 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, when racial 
cleansing was not

[[Page S3111]]

only taking place, they were murdering people in public. They had taken 
over a nation and they were obviously going to go into Saudi Arabia. We 
were in the minority and we sought to support our President, and we got 
very little support. I put in the Record already the letter that 
President Bush sent. He said if the Congress did not agree, he would 
not dispatch forces. Today, I looked in the eye of a President that had 
already made up his mind on the air war. I seriously regret that we 
have not put a parameter around this war so it will prevent the use of 
our forces on the ground. I believe we are coming close to starting 
World War III. At least I know we are starting a process that is almost 
going to be never-ending, unless it never starts.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks recognition?
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I cosponsor this resolution because, year 
after year, we have asked Europe to take the lead before we are leading 
in their own back yard, to become united, to take care of troubles 
before they spread. They have done so. They are now waiting for us. It 
has been asked, will our European allies stay with us? That is not the 
question. The question is whether we will now join our European allies 
who are waiting for us to sound a clear call that we will not permit 
ethnic cleansing to spread to destabilize a region and to destabilize 
  The stakes here are huge. The objective here, we should be very 
clear, is to reduce the military capability of Milosevic to 
``ethnically cleanse'' Kosovo and thereby touch off a broader war and 
massive instability in Europe. That is our military objective--to 
reduce that military capability to ethnically cleanse Kosovo.
  If we had acted earlier in Bosnia, we could have avoided that 
genocide. We did not act. NATO has now decided to act, and it is the 
future stability of Europe which we are going to help determine here 
tonight, as well as the support for our troops. It was asked of the 
President, ``Request our support, Mr. President.'' We heard that at the 
White House over and over again. The President has now requested our 
support. Our military leaders have set forth a clear military 
objective. They have done so before the Armed Services Committee. They 
have done so before other committees and each of us. So now it is up to 
us to decide whether or not we will support our troops, and whether we 
will support NATO. The risks of not acting are greater than the risks 
of acting.
  Mr. President, I believe it is important for the United States to 
participate in NATO air and missile strikes. NATO is ready to act 
because of the threat that the conflict in Kosovo could spread to the 
neighboring countries of Macedonia, Albania, and Bosnia and could 
involve nations such as Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary, 
and to prevent a humanitarian disaster.
  I believe the military mission for our forces should be clearly and 
carefully stated as to reduce the military capability of the Serbian 
special police and Yugoslav Army to ethnically cleanse Kosovo and touch 
off a broader war and major instability in Europe.
  It is tempting and would be easy to justify NATO action against the 
Serbian police and Yugoslav Army forces as a way to punish Milosevic. 
He has destroyed the economy of former Yugoslavia; shut down its 
independent media; ousted all democracy-learning professors from its 
universities and substituted his cronies; has threatened President 
Djukanovic of the Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro, who favors democracy 
and a free market economy; has seized privately-owned property, 
including property owned by an American citizen; and has violated every 
agreement he has ever made, including, in particular, the Dayton Peace 
Accords and the October 12, 1998 agreement with Richard Holbrooke.
  But it is the threat to regional peace and security that justifies 
NATO air strikes.
  The United States is the leader of NATO and the credibility of NATO 
is on the line; the future stability of Europe is on the line; and the 
ethnic cleansing of the population of Kosovo is on the line. With all 
of these important interests on the line, I believe the United States 
must do its part, in cooperation with our NATO allies, to carry out air 
operations and missile strikes to reduce the military capability of the 
Serbian special police and Yugoslav Army to ethnically cleanse Kosovo 
and touch off a broader war and create major instability in Europe.
  I have been a strong supporter of the development of the European 
Security and Defense Identity within NATO and I want to take particular 
note of the role that our NATO allies have been and are playing with 
respect to Kosovo. First of all, the Organization for Security and 
Cooperation in Europe or OSCE--a European dominated Organization of 55 
nations--stepped up to the plate and established the Kosovo 
Verification Mission or KVM. The KVM has as its mission the monitoring 
of compliance with the October 1998 agreement negotiated between 
Ambassador Holbrooke and President Milosevic.
  Because the OSCEs KVM is unarmed, NATO established an Extraction 
Force, which, as the name implies, is designed to come to the aid of 
KVM personnel and to remove them from situations in which their safety 
might be imperiled. The Extraction Force is led by a French general and 
is made up entirely of forces provided by our NATO allies. The United 
States has provided 2 military personnel to serve in the Extraction 
Force headquarters, but no combat forces. Once again, our NATO allies 
  When NATO was planning for a ground force to implement an interim 
peace agreement in Kosovo with the consent of the parties, it was 
decided that approximately 28,000 troops would be needed. Our NATO 
allies agreed to provide more than 24,000 troops. The United States 
would contribute less than 4,000 troops to that force. The on-scene 
commander for the force would have been a British general. The force 
contribution of our NATO allies would dominate the force. Once again, 
our NATO allies delivered. And the foreign ministers of Great Britian 
and France co-chaired the negotiations that provided the opportunity 
for a peaceful settlement of this crisis.
  Finally, Mr. President, I want to describe my visit to Kosovo in 
November. In the course of that visit, I accompanied a U.S. Kosovo 
Diplomatic Observer Mission team on its daily tour that stopped in the 
village of Malisevo. Malisevo was a ghost town. The Kosovar Albanians 
who had previously lived there were afraid to return because of the 
damage that had been caused by the Serbian special police and Yugoslav 
Army and the continuing presence of Serbian police forces in the 
village. In order to conceal the extent of the destruction they had 
wrought, the Serbian forces had bulldozed a large square block of the 
village and carted off the debris. The bullet and shell holes in the 
remaining structures bore silent witness to the cruel way in which 
President Slobodan Milosevic's forces punished the civilian population 
in response to the resistance of the Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA.

  Kosovo is the scene of a horrendous humanitarian disaster. The United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated last week that at 
least 230,000 persons were displaced within Kosovo as a result of the 
conflict and a further 170,000 have fled from Kosovo in the past year. 
That adds up to a total of about 400,000 people who had fled their 
homes. That number increases on a daily basis as Milosevic's forces 
continue their rampage.
  During my visit to Kosovo, I met with the political representative of 
the KLA, Adem Demaci, with the elected President of the Kosovo shadow 
government, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, and with the editor of the Albanian 
language newspaper Koha Ditore, Veton Surroi.
  My meeting with Adem Demaci, the then political representative of the 
KLA, who was first arrested in 1958 and, by his own admission has been 
fighting for Kosovo independence, ever since, had spent 28 years in 
Yugoslav jails for his campaign for independence for Kosovo, involved a 
friendly and occasionally heated discussion. He stated that he could 
not endorse any agreement that did not have a guarantee that the ethnic 
Albanians could decide their own future after three years. Mr. Demaci 
resigned his position in protest when Kosovar Albanian negotiators' 
agreed in principle to the agreement at Rambouillet.

[[Page S3112]]

  Dr. Rugova, who has consistently espoused a policy of peaceful 
resistance, stated his preference for the agreement to provide a 
mechanism for the people to express their will at the end of three 
years but was flexible on that point since he was committed to reaching 
an agreement that would stablize the situation. Dr. Rugova and a number 
of his lieutenants participated as part of the ethnic Albanian 
negotiating team that went to Rambouillet.
  Veton Surroi, who has courageously published an independent newspaper 
in Pristina, the capitol of Kosovo, expressed his concern about 
achieving an agreement in view of the difficulty he anticipated in 
reconciling the positions of the KLA and the Rugova camp. He was not 
optimistic. He also participated in the Rambouillet negotiations as a 
member of the ethnic Albanian team.
  Mr. President, despite the Kosovar Albanians strong desire for 
independence, a goal which is supported by the international community 
and is not provided for by the Interim Peace Agreement, they signed 
that Agreement. The Yugoslav delegation, by contrast, has stonewalled 
and, as characterized by Mr. Verdine and Mr. Cook as co-chairmen of the 
negotiations, ``has tried to unravel the Rambouillet Accords.'' And 
Slobodan Milosevic, when given a final chance to avoid NATO air and 
missile attacks, stubbornly continued his ethnic cleaning of Kosovo.
  I will support the resolution, of which I am an original cosponsor, 
and I urge my colleagues to support it as well.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana is recognized.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, we have heard the debate on this floor. Now 
what is at hand? How many questions have we asked ourselves? Are we 
crossing international boundaries to inflict heavy damage or to destroy 
the ability to make war in a sovereign nation? Are we not making war? 
Are we not using a treaty organization to participate in a civil war? 
Is there a possibility that we are being used to deal with a very acute 
and serious problem in the stability of a region?
  No one should question the motive of any vote on this issue. Every 
Member of this body is capable of casting the hard vote. One cannot 
clear his or her conscience of the atrocities that have been committed, 
and one can see the desperation on the faces of those who are being 
displaced. But I say to you, the nations that are most affected must 
now assume the responsibility that confronts them. To ask us to 
participate in a civil war, which is not our character, is a lot to 
ask. Can we help? Yes, we can. We can do it in different ways. But to 
ask us to place our men and women in harm's way, to force submission of 
a people with deep resolve in an area where not very many folks have 
ever been beaten into submission, that is asking of us a great deal.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I thank my friend from Delaware. Mr. President, on 
Christmas Eve, 1992, President George Bush issued what is known as his 
``Christmas warning'' to President Milosevic that if he attacked 
Kosovo, NATO would have to respond. We had President Clinton reinforce 
that threat as recently as last October. Milosevic signed a cease-fire 
agreement in which we again said to him, if you attack Kosovo, we will 
have to respond with force. What has happened? He is attacking Kosovo. 
The International Finnish Pathological Team said a massacre occurred 
there in January. Kosovar women and children were put on their knees 
and shot in the back of their heads.
  Mr. President, if NATO does not act, and if the United States does 
not act to be consistent not just with the threats we have made to him, 
the warnings he has ignored, but the principles that underlie those 
warnings, it will be more than the Kosovars who will suffer irreparable 
damage at the hands of the Serbians; NATO will be irreparably damaged 
and so, too, will the credibility of the United States.
  Mr. President, some of my colleagues say, ``What's the plan?'' There 
is a plan here and we have heard it. There is a response and we have 
options as we go along. But I ask, what will happen if we don't act? If 
we don't act, a massacre will occur. There is great danger of a wider 
war in Kosovo, wider even than the one that would have occurred if we 
left the conflict in Bosnia unattended. With all due respect to my 
friend and dear colleague from Alaska who suggested we may be beginning 
world war III--
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I ask the Senator for 30 seconds more.

  Mr. BIDEN. I don't have it. I am sorry.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. I will finish by saying I think what we are doing in 
authorizing this action is making sure that world war III does not 
begin in the Balkans.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. President, I thank the Senator. I rise in 
opposition to the resolution. I have all the confidence in the world in 
the capability of our military. But I think this is an ill-advised 
mission. I heard my good friend from Delaware, and I also heard the 
Senator from Massachusetts use the word ``hopefully.'' In fact, that 
word was used repeatedly. ``Hopefully,'' the airstrikes will work. 
``Hopefully,'' the airstrikes will bring Milosevic to the bargaining 
table. ``Hopefully,'' there will be a peace agreement.
  The question I ask is, What if our best hopes are not realized? What 
if it doesn't work? What happens then? I raised that question to 
Secretary of Defense Cohen. I don't believe the answers were sufficient 
or satisfactory. There were far more questions than answers. The 
President has not made the case to the American people or to the 
Congress. We all know the great limits there are on airstrikes, the 
capability of airstrikes in changing behavior. There will be limits on 
these airstrikes and how successful they can be. Our hearts go out to 
those who are suffering, and they should. But I remind my colleagues 
that there are massacres taking place in many places in this world, 
including Sudan, where the level of carnage is far greater than what we 
have seen in Kosovo.
  I asked the Secretary this afternoon what will be the cost in 
financial terms? To my dismay, there is no estimate of what kind of 
dollars or costs, budgetary costs there will be. But the far greater 
cost will be in potential American casualties. We all know that the 
probability is high that there will be the loss of American lives. So 
this afternoon I did a lot of soul searching. I thought about my 20-
year-old son, Joshua.
  If it were him going in, could I in my mind justify sending him in, 
and the tens of thousands of Joshes who are 20 years old?
  I believe stability in the Balkans is not a satisfactory answer.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
Senator from Rhode Island.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. CHAFEE. Mr. President, I support the resolution. I believe the 
danger of inaction--of doing nothing--greatly exceeds the dangers of 
action. What are the dangers of inaction? There are three, in my 
  First, disintegration of instability in a key part of Europe.
  Second, the acceleration of existing humanitarian catastrophes, which 
we have all seen.
  Third, the unloosening of bombs that tie us to NATO, bombs that 
cannot easily be renewed in the days ahead when the need for NATO 
cooperation will be ever greater than it now is.
  So, for these three reasons, the dangers of inaction, I hope the 
resolution will be supported.
  I thank the leader.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. KYL. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. President, first of all, let me declare that this is not a vote 
to support or not to support the troops. This is an authorization to 
the President to use military force against Serbia.
  If this were an appropriations bill to support a mission already 
underway, a mission which the President had ordered American troops to 
engage in, there is no question that I assume all of us would have to 
support that and

[[Page S3113]]

would not vote against an appropriation of funds--at least I would not 
vote against an appropriation of funds--to support the troops. That is 
not what is involved here. This is an authorization for the President.
  Second, this is a vote to tell the President two things, I believe: 
No. 1, before you send American troops in harm's way, you need to have 
a dialog with the Congress and with the American people to explain two 
  No. 1, you need to explain why there is a direct threat to the 
national security of the United States. And there isn't in this case. 
And, No. 2, you need to explain how your plan is going to achieve the 
  There are two goals there: to repeal an attack by Serbia against 
Kosovo and to force the Serbs to enter into a peace agreement.
  The particular kind of military campaign planned here cannot achieve 
either goal, in my opinion. The quasi-police forces going into Kosovo 
are not easily stopped or impeded in their progress by cruise missiles. 
And, second, I suggest that the kind of plan here of a 48-hour, or 
similar hour, campaign with cruise missiles against Milosevic is not 
going to force him to his knees to invite peacekeepers into Kosovo. My 
guess is that he will, in fact, rebel against it rather than succumb to 
  For both of those reasons, I will vote ``no'' on the resolution.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry. How much time 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 4 minutes.
  Mr. BIDEN. I yield 1 minute to the Senator from Minnesota, and then 2 
minutes to the Senator from Virginia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota is recognized for 1 
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, as a member of the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee, I have for months been closely monitoring the 
situation in Kosovo, hoping and praying for a peaceful resolution to 
the crisis. I traveled there about 5 years ago, and have seen for 
myself the conditions under which millions of ethnic Albanians have 
struggled under increasing Serb repression. I have seen and visited 
with U.S. military personnel posted along the Macedonian border--
including some very young men from my home State--and I am well aware 
of the stakes involved in this debate.

  I and some of my colleagues have been briefed by Secretary Cohen, 
National Security Advisor Berger, Secretary Albright, Joint Chiefs of 
Staff Chairman Shelton and others recently about the very fluid and 
violent situation there.
  Now that the Albanian Kosovars have signed the Rambouillet agreement, 
and the Serbs have forcefully rejected it, it is clear that the crisis 
has moved into a new phase. And now that the Serbs have in the last few 
days begun--slowly, brutally, methodically--to expand their grip on 
Kosovo with a massive force of an estimated over 40,000 Serb police and 
army regulars, the situation becomes more urgent with every passing 
hour. Those Serb forces have been burning homes, taking the lives of 
innocent civilians along with KLA insurgents, and forcing tens of 
thousands of innocent civilians to flee their homes without food and 
shelter. Just in the last few days, tens of thousands more civilians 
have been forced from their homes, with Serbian forces leaving their 
villages smoldering and in ruins behind them in what appears to be 
their brutal final offensive. While reports have been barred from many 
areas by Serb forces, it is clear what is going on there. Atrocities of 
various kinds have become the signature of Serb military forces in 
Kosovo, just as it was for years in parts of Bosnia.
  In recent days, including in his press conference last Friday, the 
President has begun to articulate more clearly to Americans what he 
believes to be at stake there. The humanitarian disaster that's been 
unfolding of months, and has now been accelerated by the recent Serb 
onslaught, coupled with the serious concern that increased violence in 
Kosovo could spread throughout the region, must be addressed 
forcefully. While I know some of my colleagues believe strongly that 
the administration has not articulated forcefully, consistently and 
clearly the mission and goals of this use of force, and I still have 
some unanswered questions about the administration's military plans--
including the precise timing and strategy for withdrawing U.S. and NATO 
forces from the region once their mission is accomplished, provisions 
made to protect United States forces against sophisticated Serb air 
defense systems, and likely casualties expected from any military 
action--I believe there is little alternative for us but to intervene 
with airstrikes as part of a NATO force.

  I come to this conclusion, as I think many Americans have in recent 
days, reluctantly, and recognizing that all of the possible courses of 
action open to the United States in Kosovo present very serious risks.
  But I am pleased that we are finally having a real debate on this 
question on the Senate floor. As Senators, I believe we should make it 
clear on the record what we believe our policy should be in Kosovo.
  I have agonized over this decision, and consulted widely with those 
in Minnesota whom I represent, with regional political and military 
experts, and with others, and have tried to place in historical 
perspective what is at stake here for our Nation. I have tried, as I 
know my colleagues have, to weigh carefully the costs of military 
action in Kosovo against the dangers of inaction.
  Mr. President, one thing that is clear is that the situation on the 
ground in Kosovo today is unacceptable and likely to worsen 
considerably in the coming weeks. The ongoing exodus as refugees flee 
this latest major military operation mounted by the Yugoslav Army over 
the last 3 weeks must be contained.
  This conflict has created, by some estimates, more than 400,000 
refugees. A spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for 
Refugees estimated that 20,000 have been displaced just in the last 
week by military operations, most of them in the mountain range just 
northwest of Pristina. As we all know, Milosevic has already carried 
out numerous massacres and other atrocities in Kosovo, including the 
killing of more than 40 ethnic Albanian civilians in the village of 
Racak in January.
  Right now, there are tens of thousands of refugees on the move in 
Kosovo. These refugees are facing very basic problems of survival. They 
lack shelter. They need blankets and stoves. The fighting has knocked 
out the electricity and water supplies. There are people right now 
huddling in cellars, and in unfinished houses, with their families. 
According to an account in the New York Times, people who are refugees 
themselves are giving shelter to refugees. One family is giving shelter 
to 80 people.
  Serbian forces that have been massed on the border of Kosovo are on 
the march, and it is widely believed that they are planning to 
accelerate their advance west into the heartland of the rebel 
resistance and the base of its command headquarters. The people of 
Kosovo are terrified of such a massive offensive. It is almost certain 
that we will soon be hearing more stories of massacres and 
displacements, of women and children and elderly men being summarily 
executed, and of further atrocities.
  I have called for months for tougher action by NATO to avert the 
humanitarian catastrophe that has now been re-ignited by  the latest 
Serb attacks. I find it hard to stand by and let Milosevic continue 
with his relentless campaign of destruction. But I also recognize the 
grave consequences which may follow if the U.S. leads a military 
intervention into this complicated situation.

  The airstrikes proposed by NATO, if Milosevic does not relent and 
sign on to the peace agreement, will represent a very serious 
commitment. If NATO carries out these airstrikes, U.S. pilots will 
confront a well-trained and motivated air defense force that is capable 
of shooting down NATO aircraft. Serbian air defense troops are 
knowledgeable about U.S. tactics from their experience in Bosnia, are 
protected by mountainous terrain and difficult weather conditions, and 
are well-prepared and equipped to endure a sustained bombardment.
  Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan told the Senate Armed 
Services Committee last week that casualties are a ``distinct 
possibility,'' and Marine

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Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak said. ``It is going to be tremendously 
  We not only risk losing our own pilots, but, even if our attacks are 
carefully circumscribed, we run the risk of killing innocent Serb 
  Before we decide to send our pilots into harm's way we must be 
certain that we have exhausted all diplomatic options and that we 
essentially have no other choice.
  As I have grappled with this decision, I have tried to reduce it to 
its simplest form: Will action now save more lives and prevent more 
suffering than no action.
  Despite the dangers, I have concluded that the NATO airstrikes which 
may soon be underway will save more lives in the long run than they 
will cost. I hope and pray that we do not suffer any American 
casualties in these air operations, and that innocent civilian 
casualties on both sides are kept to a minimum, but I fear that if we 
do not act now thousands will lose their lives in the coming months and 
  A decision to use force is also justified by reasons that go beyond 
humanitarian concerns. It has been argued by the Administration that an 
intense and sustained conflict in Kosovo could sent tens of thousands 
of refugees across borders and, potentially, draw Albania, Macedonia, 
Greece, and Turkey into the war. We will not be able to contain such a 
wider Balkan war without far greater risk and cost. And we could well 
face a greater humanitarian catastrophe than we face now. I am not just 
talking about a geopolitical abstraction, the stability of the region. 
I am talking about the human cost of a wider Balkan conflict.
  So as I see it, the immediate goal of NATO airstrikes would be to 
degrade Serbian military forces so that they could not seriously 
threaten the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and also to force Milosevic 
into signing a peace agreement that could end the fighting in Kosovo 
and bring stability to the region.
  I am not a Senator who supports military action lightly. I still hope 
this conflict can be settled without an actual military engagement. But 
I feel that we simply must act now to forestall a larger humanitarian 
  Mr. President, in the end my support for airstrikes in this situation 
arises from my deep conviction that we cannot let these kinds of 
atrocities and humanitarian disasters continue if we have ti in our 
power to stop them. I believe that it is our duty to act. In this case 
we cannot shirk our responsibility to act. We cannot stand idly by. 
That's why I intend to support the President's decision.
  Mr. President, I have agonized over this vote. But I very honestly 
and truthfully believe that if we do not take this action as a part of 
the NATO force that we will see a massacre of innocent people--men, 
women, and children. I do not believe that we or the international 
community can turn our gaze away from that.
  Therefore, I rise tonight with concern, but, nevertheless, I want to 
say it as honestly and as truthfully as I can as a Senator from 
Minnesota. I do support this resolution. I hope and pray that our 
forces will be safe. I hope and pray that there will be minimum loss of 
civilian life. And I hope and pray that by our actions we can prevent 
what I think otherwise will be an absolute catastrophe.
  I yield the floor. I thank my colleague.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I would suggest we alternate back and 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from South 
Carolina, Mr. Thurmond.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. THURMOND. Mr. President, I rise today in opposition to the 
pending resolution.
  NATO was formed to defend Europe against Soviet aggression, not to 
settle domestic problems. The NATO treaty was ratified with the advice 
and consent of the Senate. NATO's mission has clearly changed without 
congressional consultation. Whether for good or bad reasons, NATO 
combat power is being used to intimidate a sovereign country--Serbia--
into signing a peace agreement on domestic problems.
  What NATO has done in Bosnia should not be used as reasoning for U.S. 
action in Kosovo. President Clinton wrongly claims that NATO succeeded 
in Bosnia because of its air strikes and economic sanctions against 
Yugoslavia. In fact, it was the successful Croat ground offensive 
against Bosnian Serbs just before the 1995 Dayton agreement that forced 
Serbia's compliance with the peace agreement. Likewise, to resolve the 
problem NATO faces today, ground force will probably be required in 
  Today, the most important issue to the U.S. is our credibility in 
NATO. For NATO, it was credibility that pushed the majority of NATO 
members down the dangerous path toward military intervention. At home 
and abroad the President's problem is credibility. Likewise, it may be 
America's problem abroad. NATO has issued a clear ultimatum to a 
vicious aggressor. If Congress does not back U.S. efforts in NATO, will 
the credibility problem reflect on the United States? It may. However, 
these issues and questions come to us from the Administration's faulty 
policies. Such policies have resulted from timid piecemeal reasoning 
and lack tough-minded decision-making worthy of the problem at hand.
  Bad national defense policy is about to get us into serious trouble--
again. The list of the administration's failed peace missions is long 
and growing. I am unconvinced that trying to resuscitate these failed 
nation-states is in the U.S. vital interest. The costs of U.S. 
involvement in nation-building are not in our national interests and 
should be reduced. The price tag of the Bosnia mission, for example, 
has already hit $12 billion, with no end in sight. The question is 
simple: Is it in the United States' best interest to have our troops in 
imminent danger, preoccupied with defending themselves against people 
whom they have come to help, who have shown little inclination for 
reform at a great cost to America? This is the path down which the 
administration has taken the United States. We are now involved in a 
steady run of civil wars without clear solutions which involve failed 
nation-states. We will soon drown in this kind of foolishness. Stemming 
civil wars should not be the main strategic challenge for the United 
States. These kinds of misadventures do not really engage the strategic 
interest of the United States. Certainly, such ill-conceived adventures 
do arrogantly endanger our troops. I cannot support endangering our 
troops without good reason.
  Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, our worst fears have been realized. Months 
of patient negotiations, bolstered by repeated threats of air strikes, 
have failed. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has defied the will 
and the prayers of the world and has turned his back on the prospect of 
peace in Kosovo. Indeed, he is intensifying his relentless assault on 
the ethnic Albanian population of the Serbian province of Kosovo. It 
was made clear to me and to many of us at the White House this morning 
that the question is no longer ``whether'' NATO will launch air strikes 
against Yugoslavia but ``when''. It is entirely possible that by the 
time these words are uttered, the machinery to launch an air offensive 
against Yugoslavia will have been put into motion.
  This is a matter of immense importance and far-reaching consequence 
for the United States. Senior defense officials have warned that an air 
operation against Yugoslavia will be extremely dangerous for U.S. and 
allied forces. This is not Iraq. This is a rugged, mountainous region 
frequently shrouded in fog and protected by a sophisticated air defense 
system. If the United States sends aircraft into Yugoslav air space as 
part of a NATO strike force, we must understand--and accept--the risk 
of that operation. That risk includes the possibility of downed 
aircraft, American hostages, and American casualties.
  An operation of this magnitude and risk should not be undertaken 
without the express support of Congress and the backing of the American 
people. We saw in Vietnam what happens when the will of the people is 
not taken into consideration.
  Only the President can lead the way in this crisis. Only the 
President can rally the American people. Only the President can 
mobilize the troops. Only

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the President can unite our NATO allies. Only the President can explain 
to the American people the reasoning for his intended action and the 
risks attendant to it. I urged him last week to make his case to the 
people as well as to the Congress.
  Mr. President, I again urged the President at the White House this 
morning to seek the support of the Congress for air strikes against 
Yugoslavia. I asked him to make that request in writing to the Majority 
and Minority Leaders of the Senate. I am pleased that he has done so. I 
commend him for recognizing the need to seek the support of Congress 
when the use of force is contemplated.
  We do not know where this conflict will lead. The winds of war are 
blowing over Kosovo today. Who knows what fires those winds might fan. 
Bosnia. Montenegro. Macedonia. Albania. All are in danger of being 
drawn into a conflagration in the Balkans. With enough sparks, Greece 
and Turkey could be drawn into the inferno. Although the conflict in 
Kosovo is far from our doorstep today, it could spread quickly, as 
wildfires are wont to do. Today our credibility as a world leader is 
threatened. If the conflict in Kosovo spreads, much more than our 
credibility will be at stake. If we are to act at all, the time to act 
is now.
  All we know for certain is that Slobodan Milosevic is a ruthless and 
desperate leader. If anything, his defiance of NATO and his repression 
of the Kosovo Albanians are increasing as his options dwindle. Violence 
is mounting in Kosovo, and thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees have 
already fled their homes and villages. The bloodshed has begun. Let us 
pray to God that it will not turn into a bloodbath.
  The United States cannot stand idly by and watch the catastrophe 
unfolding in the Balkans. It is in our national interest to support 
stability in this volatile region, to prevent the downward spiral into 
violence and chaos, and to stem the humanitarian disaster spreading out 
of Kosovo like a contagion. Having raised the stakes so high, a failure 
to act decisively could have untold consequences.
  The President may have the primary responsibility in the formulation 
and execution of foreign policy, but the Congress has an equally 
weighty responsibility, which is to authorize or refuse to authorize 
military action.
  The resolution that we are currently considering, which was drafted 
by a bipartisan group of Senators, endorses air strikes, and only air 
strikes, against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The goal of this 
resolution is twofold: to stop the violence in Kosovo before it 
escalates into all-out carnage, and to convince President Milosevic in 
the only terms he understands--brute force--to abandon his campaign of 
terror against the Kosovars.
  Mr. President, my thoughts and prayers today are with the brave men 
and women of the United States military who are willing to put their 
lives on the line in order to save the lives of countless strangers in 
a strange land. And my thoughts and prayers are with their families, 
the parents, spouses, and children who will wait at home, fearing the 
outcome of every air strike, until this madman Milosevic can be brought 
to his senses. These are the people to whom we have a duty to show 
courage in the execution of our responsibility. My prayers are also 
with the President. His is a heavy burden of responsibility. The 
decisions he makes in the coming days will affect the lives of many 
Americans. He is embarked on a somber, sober, and serious undertaking, 
and I pray that he will find the strength and guidance to bear the 
burdens of office that will weigh heavily on his shoulders as he faces 
this crisis.
  Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, I rise today to express my strong 
support for President Clinton's decision to use United States Armed 
Forces, together with our NATO allies, to stop the killing in Kosovo 
and help bring peace and stability to a troubled region of Europe.
  International intervention to stop the killing and atrocities in 
Kosovo is long overdue. The United States, as the world's sole 
remaining superpower, must lead that international effort.
  Mr. President, I firmly believe NATO must follow through on threats 
of air strikes unless Milosevic immediately ends his assault on the 
people of Kosovo and accepts the Contact Group's interim agreement. If 
we do not, Milosevic will pursue his kind of peace in Kosovo--through 
``ethnic cleansing.''
  Air strikes are a means to an end. I hope Belgrade will agree to sign 
the Contact Group's interim peace agreement, as the Albanian side has 
done, without further revisions.
  President Clinton has decided and the Pentagon has planned to deploy 
about four thousand U.S. troops to participate in a NATO-led 
peacekeeping force to help implement the interim agreement, once it has 
been signed by both sides. I support this plan because I stand behind 
its goals. United States armed forces should participate in a 
peacekeeping force in Kosovo.
  I support the President's determination that this must be a NATO-led 
force, with sufficient forces and appropriate rules of engagement to 
minimize the risk of casualties and maximize prospects for success.
  U.S. participation is essential to the credibility of NATO's presence 
in Kosovo.
  NATO's peacekeeping role is essential to the implementation of a 
peace agreement for Kosovo. And implementation of a peace agreement is 
essential to stop the killing--and end the atrocities in Kosovo--and 
allow people to return to their homes and rebuild their shattered 
  But today we face a more immediate question: whether NATO should 
launch air strikes to stop the killing and end the atrocities in 
  In my view we must end Milosevic's reign of terror.
  Some in this body have argued that these atrocities are an internal 
matter, that we should not get involved.
  Others have said U.S. national security interests in Kosovo do not 
rise to a level that warrants military intervention.
  I strongly disagree with those assertions.
  Allow me, therefore, to remind my colleagues of the fundamental 
United States interests which are at stake here:
  The first is U.S. credibility, going all the way back to the 
Christmas warning issued by President Bush and reaffirmed by President 
  If we fail to act, our threats in other parts of the world will not 
be taken seriously, and we may find ourselves having to actually use 
force more often.
  The second is the credibility, cohesion, and future of NATO. As the 
50th anniversary Summit approaches, I believe we need to strengthen the 
Euro-Atlantic partnership.
  Particularly when a crisis arises in Europe, we need to be able to 
act in concert with allies who generally share our interests and values 
and who have the capability to undertake fully integrated military 
operations alongside U.S. armed forces.
  Third, we need to prevent this conflict from spreading. How can we 
expect Albania to stay out of the conflict as their kin are being 
slaughtered? What is to prevent citizens of Macedonia from joining up 
with different sides along ethnic lines? Would Bulgaria, and NATO 
allies Greece and Turkey, be drawn into a widening conflagration?
  I don't claim to be able to fully predict what will happen if we do 
not act, but it seems to me we're better off stopping the conflict now 
than risking another world war sparked in the Balkans.
  Finally, I would remind my colleagues that Milosevic and his police 
and military forces are killing people and driving them from their 
homes on the basis of their ethnicity--they are committing genocide. We 
have an obligation and a responsibility to act to stop genocide.
  How can we stand by and allow these massacres to continue and claim 
to stand for what is right in this world?
  The time has come to stop threatening and start making good on our 
threats. There is too much at stake.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the crisis in Kosovo. 
President Clinton and our NATO allies are at the point of having no 
other option except to conduct air attacks against Yugoslav forces 
operating in and near the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. I regret we are 
at this point, but that doesn't change the facts. At this crucial 
moment, Congress should not tie the President's hands or give Mr. 
Milosevic the slightest reason to believe the

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United States will not join with its allies in airstrikes against the 
Yugoslav units that are burning and shooting their way through Kosovo 
as I speak. For this reason I will vote for the resolution.
  A requirement to use military force often follows a failure of 
diplomacy. That is not the case in Kosovo; this Administration and our 
major European allies have worked hard to bring about a just and 
peaceful outcome in this Albanian-majority province which also has such 
powerful historic and emotional significance for Serbs. A just and 
peaceful outcome would have been possible, but for the unwillingness of 
the Milosevic regime to govern Kosovo on any basis other than force and 
fear. Common sense and appeals to higher motives did no good, and now 
force will meet overwhelming force in what can only be a tragic outcome 
for many Yugoslav soldiers.
  The President is out of options, and we must support him and the 
aircrews who will carry out his orders. But I am under no illusions 
that airstrikes will fix the Kosovo problem. The best I hope for is 
that the airstrikes will bring Milosevic back to the table to accept a 
NATO-brokered agreement for a peaceful transition in Kosovo. Such an 
outcome would at least stop the killing and would accustom all in the 
region to the idea of an autonomous Kosovo. Even if we succeed to this 
extent--and it is by no means certain we will--the underlying 
instability in the region will persist.
  The Kosovo problem is really the problem of a minority ethnic group, 
the Albanians of Serbia, who have not been fully accommodated. The 
Albanian minority in Macedonia has the same problem. Within Albania 
proper there is an ethnic Greek minority, and concern for that minority 
has created tension in the past between Greece and Albania. My point is 
not to induce despair about the complexities and complexes of this one 
small corner of the Balkans, but rather to encourage Congress and the 
Administration to see the region as a unity and work simultaneously in 
all the affected countries to promote solutions. Just fixing Kosovo 
won't do it, and I'm not confident we can do even that.
  If airstrikes can begin a transition to a Kosovo settlement, the next 
step will be the insertion of a ground force to keep the transition 
peaceful. The Administration has proposed this force include about 
4,000 American soldiers or Marines, and has promised to deploy this 
force only in a ``permissive'' environment--meaning a Kosovo in which 
at least the leaders of the various factions agree to the presence of 
our troops. Mr. President, the resolution before us does not deal with 
the question of ground troops. When that question does arise, I will 
oppose any deployment of U.S. personnel on the ground in Kosovo. The 
stability of the entire planet depends on the readiness and 
availability of the U.S. Armed Forces. We should not fritter them away 
in peacekeeping missions in countries which do not rise to the level of 
vital American interests. We should keep them ready for the 
contingencies that are truly in our league: Iraq and the Persian Gulf, 
the Koreas, Russian nuclear forces. Europe contains wealthy countries 
with the militaries that could take on local European missions like 
Kosovo. It is their problem, and they should step up to it.
  Mr. President, several other reasons are raised to justify U.S. 
deployments to Kosovo. Some assert a ``domino effect'' from Kosovo will 
plunge Europe into war. After all, they say, World War I started in the 
Balkans. But the alliance systems, rival empires, and hair trigger 
mobilization plans of 1914 are nowhere apparent in today's Europe, so 
there is no need to fear a return of World War I. We are then told the 
instability could eventually cause war between Greece and Turkey. But 
Greece and Turkey could have fought over many things over the last 
forty years, most recently the Ocalan affair, and they did not. There 
are rational leaders in Athens and Ankara who know their own interests. 
Kosovo will not set them off.
  As I said, the Administration should be praised for working for years 
on the thankless task of trying to bring peace to Kosovo. At this 
point, airstrikes are the last option available. The people of Kosovo, 
as well the Serbian people and all the people of the region, deserve a 
dignified, secure peace. Diplomacy, supported by U.S. and other NATO 
airpower and, when appropriate, European ground troops, should aim to 
bring this peace about. The United States should concentrate on the 
bigger problems which truly threaten us.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, the Senate is now considering the 
gravest decision we are ever called upon to make. Do we send our troops 
into harm's way to defend America's values and interests? Do we use our 
military to seek to end the brutal repression in a faraway country?
  After careful thought and serious discussions with our Secretary of 
State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of 
Defense, I will support U.S. participation in strategic NATO air 
strikes against Serbian military targets. Our objective is to stop the 
killing and to weaken Yugoslav President Milosevic's ability to further 
hurt the people of Kosovo. These objectives are crucial to achieving 
durable peace and security in Europe.
  There are two primary reasons that I support the limited use of 
force. First of all, we must prevent further Serbian acts of genocide 
and ethnic cleansing. Serbian actions have resulted in terrible human 
suffering. The Serbs abolished the Parliament and government of Kosovo 
in 1990. In response, the Kosovar Albanians maintained a policy of 
nonviolent resistance for seven years. During this time, Milosevic 
ethnically cleansed Kosovo--driving over 400,000 people out of their 
homes and destroying hundreds of villages. For those who wouldn't flee, 
Milosevic sought to starve them out--destroying farm land and 
blockading the shipment of food.
  Reports from last night indicate that further humanitarian 
catastrophes are imminent. Serbia is moving aggressively to overrun and 
drive thousands more ethnic Albanians from their homes. The Serbs have 
deployed 40,000 army and police units in Kosovo. Over the past weekend, 
over 10,000 Kosovars were forced to flee their homes fearing for their 
lives. And for good reason: a brutal Serbian attack on the village of 
Racak in January resulted in the death of 45 civilians.

  Some of my colleagues have argued that we should consider military 
action only if further humanitarian atrocities occur. We cannot wait 
for genocide to occur before we act.
  Our second goal must be to stop this war from spreading and from 
threatening stability and our national interests throughout central 
Europe. The ethnic tensions in Kosovo could spread to Albania, 
Macedonia and even to our NATO allies, Greece and Turkey. Serb actions 
threaten the stability of the entire region.
  I would not support the use of military force unless we had first 
exhausted all other options. There are three ways that America can best 
exert our leadership. First, through diplomacy. There is no question 
that we have done everything possible to resolve the Kosovo crisis 
peacefully through diplomacy. Second, we can apply sanctions or 
rewards. We have applied sanctions to Serbia for many years with little 
tangible result. And third, we can use our military to fight for our 
interests and our values. That is the decision we face today. After 
exhausting diplomatic and economic options, do we now use our military 
to force the Serbs to end their intransigence and repression?
  The military action proposed by President Clinton meets three 
principles I consider before supporting military action.
  First of all, whenever possible, military action should be 
multilateral. In Kosovo, we will be acting as part of NATO--with the 
nineteen allies sharing the burden.
  Second, the military actions should be strategic and proportional. We 
are authorizing air strikes against military targets--like bases, 
military storage depots, and command and control centers--and against 
key infrastructure--like roads and bridges that Serbs use to reinforce 
  And third, military actions must be intended to achieve a specific 
goal. In this case, we are seeking to prevent further atrocities and to 
weaken Milosevic's ability to hurt the people of Kosovo.
  Mr. President, I am disturbed by the process that was initially 

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for this vote. The Senate should vote on whether or not to authorize 
the use of force. Plain and simple. Instead, we are asked to cast a 
cloture vote on a second degree amendment to an appropriations bill. 
That is not the way to conduct foreign policy in the Senate.
  That is why I voted against cloture on this matter--and I will vote 
for a bipartisan resolution to authorize U.S. participation in NATO air 
strikes against Serbia.
  Mr. President, I still hope that the Serbs will back down. But if 
they don't, the Senate must show that we back our troops one hundred 
percent. Our airmen have excellent training and the best equipment in 
the world. They will have the participation of our NATO allies. And 
they will have the prayers and support of the American people--who 
recognize their heroism.
  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I yield myself 1 minute. Of the 3 minutes 
remaining, I yield myself 1 minute, and I ask my friend from Virginia 
to close on behalf of the proponents.
  There are a number of Senators who wished to speak today--Senator 
Specter, Senator Hagel, Senator Smith. There are a number of people who 
wanted to speak. In the interest of a limited time, we have been unable 
to do that. And I apologize for that.
  But the reason why I think it is appropriate that the Senator from 
Virginia close the case for us is that no one has been more 
instrumental in bringing about the ability to vote up or down on this 
proposal as well as the outline of the proposal.
  I thank him for his leadership.
  I yield the remainder of the time under the control of the Senator 
from Delaware to the Senator from Virginia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.
  Mr. WARNER. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I thank my distinguished colleague from Delaware. We have joined 
together many times in our two decades-plus here to work on what we 
felt was absolutely essential in the best interests of the country. I 
respect every colleague and their votes, whichever way it goes. There 
has been, I think, a substantial debate--perhaps not as long as I 
hoped. But, nevertheless, we had the debate. And this is essential now. 
We could not have done it had it not been for the Senator from New 
Hampshire, Mr. Smith, the Senator from Texas, Mrs. Hutchison, and the 
Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Byrd, and others who joined in to make 
this possible--and my good friend from Michigan, Mr. Levin. We made it 
  But this started with this Senator last September when I made my 
second visit to Kosovo. Having come out of Bosnia and seeing that 
situation at that time, I have tirelessly worked on this issue ever 
since that period. And now I join my colleague from Delaware to make it 
  But, Mr. President, my main concern has always been the investment of 
the American people through this Congress in Bosnia--8-plus years, $9-
plus billion, which could be severely at risk if this area of the 
Balkans known as Kosovo and the environs thereto were to erupt and 
begin to take down what little progress we have achieved in Bosnia, and 
display before the world a magnitude of human suffering and ethnic 
cleansing and crimes of horrific nature.
  So I know it has been a painful subject for many. But I honestly 
believe that by supporting this vote we are doing what is in the best 
interests of mankind.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CRAIG addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I yield 2 minutes to the senior Senator 
from New Mexico.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I spoke at length today, so I will try 
very hard to not even use the 2 minutes.
  Mr. President, this President has decided that he doesn't need our 
approval. This vote tonight has nothing to do with whether we agree or 
disagree, and we are sending that message to him, because he has 
already told us he is going to do it. So it is a different request. It 
is a request saying, ``I am going to do this. Would you tonight concur 
that it is OK?''

  What a difference a President makes. George Bush didn't do that when 
the United States had a far more serious problem dependent upon oil--
oil in jeopardy in the Middle East, Iraq invades a sovereign country. 
And what does he do? He sends us a letter and says, ``Would you concur, 
and if you do not I will not do it.'' Now that is the kind of true, 
dedicated President that gives credit to the elected representatives of 
the American people.
  We talk about this great Senate. Well, there is a great House, also. 
And they deserve the right to pass judgment on this. And for us to sit 
around here tonight saying we finally made the point, and we are going 
to get to decide whether he is or isn't, that is just a hoax. I do not 
believe we ought to meddle in civil wars that have been going on for 
800 years. We are not going to solve it unless we commit to have a 
military force on the ground for perhaps 100 years, because we are 
going to get involved through NATO. In fact, I think we ought to begin 
to ask our NATO general, we ought to begin to wonder how in the world 
does he get in the middle of these negotiations and then he makes 
commitments through NATO and we say we have to live up to what has been 
committed through NATO? I think we ought to be able to commit that, 
too. It is our law. It is not the other countries. They are putting in 
very little.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. I yield 1 minute to the Senator from Georgia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. COVERDELL. Mr. President, as my good colleague from Virginia, I 
appreciate the conscientious nature of every vote that will be cast 
tonight. I was among those who visited with the President this morning 
and have struggled with this. I have concluded that I cannot vote for 
this resolution. It is a declaration of war. There are going to be 
casualties. This resolution will not bring about the adjusted behavior 
of Mr. Milosevic that is sought.
  The lingering question throughout the day and throughout all the 
deliberations is: What is next? That question has not been answered and 
it will surely come upon us as a result of this vote tonight. This is a 
very grave decision we are making for which the prospects of a 
solution, as proposed in this resolution, are nil.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.

  Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I be able to 
proceed for 30 seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BIDEN. I ask unanimous consent the letter from President Clinton 
to the leaders be printed in the Record.
  Mr. STEVENS. It is already in the Record.
  Mr. BIDEN. I understand it is, but I want to point out again where he 
says, ``I ask for your legislative support as we address the crisis in 
  I point out I was here, too, during the gulf crisis. I recall we were 
not even going to hold hearings in the Foreign Relations Committee. I 
recall the President said he would not send up a request for authority 
until it was clear that the Congress was going to revolt. Every 
President, of the six while I have been here, has been reluctant to do 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired. The 
Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I had the letter read to us this 
afternoon. There is nothing in that letter that says he will not do it 
if we do not agree. That is the difference. It says: I ask, but I am 
going to do it anyway.
  Mr. BIDEN. If the Senator will yield, neither did President Bush; he 
didn't say I will not do it if you do not do this. Let's get that 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. I reclaim my time and yield the remainder of it to the 
Senator from New Hampshire.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire. Mr. President, how much time is 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 30 seconds remaining.
  Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire. Mr. President, that is not very much 
time, but this is a very serious matter. It is

[[Page S3118]]

a vote that I wanted. I have been asking for it for a number of days 
and weeks. Now we are here, and the President has already made up his 
mind. He didn't really care particularly one way or the other how the 
Congress felt, which is pretty much the way the foreign policy has been 
conducted. Thousands of people, hundreds of thousands have died in 
Rwanda. We are not firing missiles there. This is a mistake. This is a 
civil war. We are attacking a sovereign nation without a declaration of 
war and we are going to regret it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired. The question is on 
agreeing to the concurrent resolution.
  Mr. LOTT addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.

    Unanimous Consent Agreement--First Concurrent Budget Resolution

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed 
to the first concurrent budget resolution at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday and 
there be 35 hours remaining for debate as provided under the Budget 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LOTT. In light of that agreement, the vote on the Kosovo 
resolution will be the last vote tonight. The Senate will start the 
budget resolution tomorrow. Obviously, hard work will be in order for 
the Senate to complete action on the budget resolution prior to the 
recess, but we must do that. Hopefully we could get it completed by 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the concurrent 
  Mr. BOND. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. 
Cochran) is absent because of a death in the family.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. (Ms. Collins). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber who desire to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 41, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 57 Leg.]


     Smith (OR)


     Smith (NH)

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The concurrent resolution (S. Con. Res. 21) was agreed to as follows:

                            S. Con. Res. 21

       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That the President of the United States is 
     authorized to conduct military air operations and missile 
     strikes in cooperation with our NATO allies against the 
     Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

  Mr. BIDEN addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. BIDEN. Madam President, I referenced earlier the significant help 
and leadership of the Senator from Virginia, but what I did not mention 
was the person who carried the ball on this side of the aisle, the 
Senator from Michigan, Senator Levin.
  You know that old expression, success has a thousand fathers and 
mothers and failure is an orphan. Hopefully, I am not going to be 
praising him and others and it turns out that what we have done tonight 
is a mistake. I think it is not a mistake. I think it is necessary. I 
think it is going to make for the possibility of some peace in the 
  I want to tell the Senator from Michigan how much a pleasure it is to 
work with him. I mean with him. As my grandfather used to say, he is 
the horse that carried the sleigh. He is the guy who maneuvered us 
through all this to get to the resolution. I personally thank him and 
tell him how much I enjoyed working with him.
  Mr. LEVIN. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. BIDEN. I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I thank my friend from Delaware. His 
leadership is what carried this resolution to a bipartisan conclusion, 
along with the Senator from Virginia. I pay particular, really, homage 
to both of them. This is a very difficult vote for all of us, whichever 
side of this resolution we voted on. It is very important it be a 
bipartisan vote. It is important to our troops, first and foremost. It 
is important we send a bipartisan message to Milosevic so there not be 
any misunderstanding or miscalculation. The leaders in the effort to do 
that were the first two names on that resolution, and they are Senators 
Biden and Warner.
  I commend them for their leadership.
  Mr. CRAIG addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho is recognized.
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, while I opposed the concurrent resolution 
which was adopted this evening, I think it is very important that it be 
said, once again, that this resolution does in no way authorize the 
commitment of ground troops and that the President certainly--I think 
this Senator believes as many others do--needs to seek the counsel of 
the Congress if that day should become necessary, in at least the eyes 
of our Commander in Chief, that he consult fully with us on that issue.
  Mr. BIDEN. Madam President, I concur with the Senator from Idaho on 
that score. I want to say just one more thing. This was a very 
difficult vote, and I echo the words that were stated by several people 
here. On these matters--and I give credit to Senator Nickles, who is 
the No. 2 man on the Republican side--when we were negotiating, I asked 
him how many votes are for this. He said, ``I did not whip this.'' In 
our jargon, we know that to mean: ``I did not go out and count votes. 
This is not a partisan matter. This is something that should be left to 
the conscience of each Senator.''
  The fact of the matter is, when my colleagues came up to me before 
the vote started and said, ``How many votes do you have?'' I said to 
them, ``I did not do it.''
  I did not know how many votes were here for this resolution, but I 
thought it was important that the Senate go on record exercising its 
responsibility in this area. I do not think the President has the 
authority to use force in this nature without our approval, a 
concurrent resolution, or any statement by us, assuming the House makes 
a similar statement, and meets the constitutional criteria that he has 
the authority.
  But again I want to make it clear that I respect those who voted 
against it. There are very strong reasons to vote no. I think the 
reasons to vote yes are stronger. And no one, particularly the Senator 
from Delaware, can tell this Senate where this action is going to lead. 
It is a very tough call.
  I am confident, in my view, that there is more of a danger in not 
acting than in acting, both constitutionally and practically. But I 
just want the record to reflect that everyone in this debate, including 
the discussion at the White House--the Presiding Officer is younger 
than the Senator from Delaware, as is the Senator from Louisiana, who 
is on the floor, is younger than the Senator from Delaware. I came here 
in 1973 as a Senator. I was 29 years old.
  I remember one of the things that I resented the most keenly was that 
at the time, for those of us who opposed the Vietnam war, at least in 
some quarters on this floor, and at times with the then-sitting 
President, we were told we were giving, by our opposition, this great 
deal of help to the

[[Page S3119]]

North Vietnamese; we were hurting our troops who were overseas; we were 
basically un-American for objecting to the war.
  One of the generational changes that has taken place--I want the 
record to show this--sitting with a number of Senators and 
Congresspersons--I am guessing the number at 20--in the private 
residence this morning, the President of the United States said to us 
assembled he wanted to make one thing clear, that he respected the 
Congress voting. He knew some who opposed were going to be told that 
Milosevic is listening and he is going to take some confidence from 
this; he is going to somehow be emboldened by the opposition.
  He said, ``I want you to know I think you have an absolute right and 
obligation, if you believe that way, to object. I will never be one who 
will tell you that, notwithstanding he is watching this on CNN in 
Belgrade, that somehow you're undermining our effort. Were we to apply 
that standard,'' he said, ``we would never be able to debate in this 
society the important issues.''
  So the reason I mention that is not to give particular credit to the 
President, although in this case he deserves it, but he came from that 
same generation. I think we have moved to a position here where we have 
debated, in the last several years, the major contentious issues 
relating to our peace and security, and that when the debate has been 
finished, when it has gone on, it has been cordial and it has not been 
  When it has been finished, there has been unanimity and support of 
American forces. The same occurred in the gulf. After the gulf, many of 
us voted no. I was one who voted no. And at the end of the day, we all 
said, once the Senate spoke, once the President spoke, once the 
Congress spoke, we would stay the course.
  So I thank my friend from Idaho who was in opposition, my friend, the 
Presiding Officer, who had a different view on this to tell you. And I 
am not being solicitous. It is important for the American people to 
know we do not always disagree based on our partisan instincts here.

  The judgments made by every Senator on this floor today were made 
with their intellect and their heart, on the direction that they 
thought was in the best interest of the country. I think the right 
outcome occurred, but I do not in any way--in any way--question the 
motivation, or am I so certain of my own position that I would be 
willing to guarantee either of my colleagues that they are wrong. I 
think they were wrong. I think I am right. But we are approaching this 
in the way we should, openly and in a nonpartisan way. I want to thank 
the Republican leadership for proceeding this way and thank my 
colleagues for the way in which we conducted this debate earlier.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CRAIG addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Madam President, I thank my colleague from Delaware for 
those remarks.