[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1996, Book II)]
[December 23, 1996]
[Page 2235]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Retirement of General George A. Joulwan, USA
December 23, 1996

    Today Gen. George Joulwan, the Commander in Chief, U.S. European 
Command, and the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, announced that he 
plans to retire next spring, after 36 years of active duty service. I 
want to take this opportunity to commend this extraordinary soldier for 
his exemplary service to his Nation, particularly his role in building a 
new post-cold-war security structure in Europe.
    His sound military advice on the use of military power to back U.S. 
diplomacy, his crucial role in shaping new security structures and 
partnerships, and his superlative leadership in implementing peace in 
Bosnia will ensure that the NATO alliance will remain the anchor of 
American engagement in Europe and the linchpin of transatlantic 
security. In Bosnia, a breakthrough was achieved when he married 
appropriate military power to diplomatic leadership. He seized this 
opportunity for peace which he had created, helped to broker a cease-
fire, and then, through his command of the multinational force IFOR, he 
ensured a stable and secure environment so that the parties had the 
confidence to carry out their obligations under the Dayton agreement.
    As General Joulwan worked to bring peace to Bosnia, he also led the 
effort to transform NATO so that it could better address such conflicts 
and remain the guarantor of Europe's democracy and the central force for 
European stability. He was the architect of the adaptation of NATO to 
meet the new challenges of a changed world, enhancing its security 
through the Partnership For Peace program and by modernizing its command 
structure. His efforts have built a foundation for a Europe that is 
safe, secure, and democratic well into the 21st century.
    General Joulwan's leadership and wise counsel will truly be missed 
in the senior decisionmaking ranks of our national security structure. 
Hillary and I join our NATO allies in wishing him the very best.