[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[October 5, 1994]
[Pages 1704-1705]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 1995
October 5, 1994

    Today I have signed into law S. 2182, the ``National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995.'' This Act authorizes 
appropriations for Department of Defense and Department of Energy 
national security activities and extends and amends other programs. This 
Act, which authorizes most of the Administration's major defense 
priorities, will provide for a continuing strong national defense during 
fiscal year 1995.
    In signing this Act, it is important to clarify the interpretation 
of several provisions related to the President's authority and 
responsibility in the area of foreign affairs.
    First, with respect to section 1404, which relates to Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, I note that the language on international policy leaves 
flexibility to calibrate our actions as events develop. Similarly, the 
provisions on reporting to and consulting with the Congress on training 
and the unilateral termination of the Bosnia arms embargo leave 
flexibility to determine the content of these reports and consultations 
and the extent to which such proposals would be implemented. This 
flexibility is critical for ensuring that the United States remains in a 
position to react to developments in the manner that best serves our 
Nation's interests.
    Moreover, with respect to the provision on use of funds, I note that 
the limitation in section 1404(f)(2) applies only when appropriated 
funds are used ``for the purpose'' described therein. I sign the bill 
with the understanding that it therefore would not affect the United 
States' ability to participate in activities in the Adriatic that are 
needed in order to avoid impeding enforcement of sanctions against 
Serbia, or for other purposes, even if doing so provides indirect or 
incidental support or assistance for the embargo. Also, I further 
understand that the waiver authority in paragraph (3)(A) applies to U.S. 
military personnel serving in headquarters positions for NATO's Supreme 
Allied Commander, the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe, 
and subordinate headquarters staffs, such as those for the Commander, 
Joint Task Force Provide Promise and his subordinate headquarters 
    To the extent that section 1404 could be construed to require the 
President or other executive branch officers or employees to espouse or 
refrain from espousing certain substantive positions, it would be 
inconsistent with my constitutional authority for the conduct of foreign 
affairs. I will accordingly interpret the provision as not applicable to 
efforts that are diplomatic in nature.
    In the Classified Annex, incorporated into S. 2182 by reference, 
section 101 directs that the Secretary of Defense provide a weekly 
National Operations Summary to the Committees on Armed Services of the 
House and Senate. Implementation of this provision must be consistent 
with my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and my 
constitutional responsibility for the conduct of foreign affairs. While 
I understand the interest of the two Defense oversight committees in 
receiving this sensitive information, there are questions of scope that 
need to be resolved. In this regard, I note that the joint explanatory 
statement of the conferees indicates their intent to provide maximum 
flexibility to the Department of Defense and the committees to work out 
the details of the content of the National Operations Summary.
    I also point out that section 232, relating to modifications to the 
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,

[[Page 1705]]

cannot restrict the constitutional options for congressional approval of 
substantive modifications of treaties.
    Finally, I note that section 1304 could be interpreted as 
specifically directing the President how to proceed in negotiations with 
European countries regarding cost-sharing arrangements for U.S. military 
installations in host nations. I support the policy underlying section 
1304 to encourage these countries to increase their contributions, 
direct and indirect, of the nonpersonnel costs described in the 
provision. However, my constitutional authority over foreign affairs 
necessarily entails discretion over these and similar matters.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,
October 5, 1994.

Note: S. 2182, approved October 5, was assigned Public Law No. 103-337.