[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 18, 1998]
[Page 1458]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on the Deployment of United 
States Forces To Protect the United States Embassy in Albania
August 18, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:  (Dear Mr. President:)
    After receiving credible information of a possible attack against 
the U.S. embassy in Tirana, Albania, similar to the attacks against our 
missions in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the Department of State 
authorized the draw-down of embassy personnel. Embassy business is 
currently conducted from the Rilindja Ridge Housing Complex in Tirana, 
as a new embassy building with improved security features is currently 
undergoing construction. The Marine Security Guard detachment at the 
embassy consists of six Marines.
    Consequently, to enhance security at the present site of embassy 
operations, on Sunday, August 16, 1998, at about 12:00 p.m. eastern 
daylight time, a combat-equipped unit consisting of about 200 Marines 
from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and 10 Navy SEALS was deployed 
to Albania to provide security to the embassy compound at the Rilindja 
Ridge site. These personnel were deployed from ships that were already 
in the Adriatic Sea region preparing for an amphibious NATO military 
exercise, which was scheduled for August 17-22, 1998. As of August 17, 
1998, all personnel from this unit except for 50 Marines have returned 
to their ships to participate in the previously scheduled NATO exercise. 
United States Armed Forces personnel will continue to augment security 
at the Rilindja Ridge compound until it is determined that the 
additional security support is unnecessary.
    I have taken this action pursuant to my constitutional authority to 
conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief 
    I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the 
Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I 
appreciate the support of the Congress in this action to assist in 
embassy security and the security of American citizens overseas.

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives, and Strom Thurmond, President pro tempore of the