WASHINGTON -- President Clinton, bowing to opposition from conservatives, has decided to drop the controversial nomination Morton H. Halperin as assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping, officials here say.
The White House was expected to announce today that Mr. Halperin, 55, a former National Security Council staffer and civil libertarian, has asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration.
Administration officials said the Pentagon also will eliminate the new peacekeeping post, which had been created by outgoing Defense Secretary Les Aspin when officials expected heavy U.S. participation in such operations.
The move had been widely anticipated since mid-December, when Mr. Aspin himself resigned in response to White House suggestions that Mr. Clinton wanted to replace him as defense secretary.
Although incoming Defense Secretary-designate Bobby Ray Inman had publicly supported the Halperin nomination, insiders said it was unlikely that the retired admiral would want to do battle over the issue.