[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[August 2, 1993]
[Page 1297]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1297]]

Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With the Progressive Caucus
August 2, 1993


    Q. Mr. President, could you clarify U.S. policy towards Bosnia? Is 
the U.S. prepared to unilaterally use military force to break the siege 
of Sarajevo and get humanitarian supplies in? Or will it work only in 
conjunction with the NATO allies?
    The President. Well, let me say, I think the stories this morning 
perhaps exaggerate our position a bit. Our position is we are working 
with the allies. We're going to try to work through to a common 
position. We believe we will be able to work through to a common 
position. And I don't think it serves much of a purpose to speculate 
what might otherwise happen.
    I don't believe that the allies will permit Sarajevo to either fall 
or to starve. I just don't believe that will happen. So I think we'll 
have a common position. There are some concerns; there always have been 
by those who have forces on the ground there, particularly those in the 
exposed positions. And I think we'll work it through, and I want the 
talks to continue. My goal has always been to work with them and to 
proceed together, and I think we'll be able to do that.
    Q. Are you concerned about the reports that the talks may be delayed 
because the Bosnians expect you to come in on their side militarily?
    The President. No, I don't think that will happen. Let me say this: 
I think peace has been delayed by the reverse perception that because 
the allies have not done anything to try to stabilize the position. The 
situation has until very recently gotten much worse since they were all 
in Athens talking--because the allies did nothing. Now, I think it's 
getting a little better again because, in part, because we're talking 
about what ought to be done for humanitarian reasons and to protect our 
own forces there, the U.N. forces.
    So I'm very hopeful. I think they've made real progress in the peace 
talks, and I'm hopeful that will go on. I don't think the Bosnian 
Government will pull back.

Economic Program

    Q. Are you going to win?
    The President. America is going to win. Not me, it's not about me; 
it's about the country.

Note: The exchange began at 10:14 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the 
White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of 
this exchange.