[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 Executive. 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. Sincerely, 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 Senate.